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INTERVIEW: Andy Gesner From HIP VIDEO PROMO

So your company is considered one of the premiere music video promotion companies – and you’ve been doing this for over 15 years –  how did you get involved in it?

Many thanks for the kind words and it really has been a remarkable journey over 15 years! I played my first rock ‘n roll show in 1980, and I had the profound pleasure in playing bass guitar in independent rock bands right up until the time I started HIP Video Promo in the year 2000. At that point I was coming up on my 40th birthday and I needed to find a way to stay on the independent music industry playing field. A lot of people thought I was a bit crazy for wanting to promote music videos, since 15 years ago the Internet was still in it’s infancy and videos being programmed on terrestrial television were the only avenues to securing music video exposure for our clients. But now because of the Internet, music videos have become any band or artist’s most potent marketing tool, and is an integral part of any up-and-coming band or artist’s marketing campaign.

Why do you think music videos have become so popular and important in recent years?

Now more than ever, fans of independent music don’t just listen to music anymore, they would prefer to have a visual component along with it. Fewer and fewer music fans are reading about music, or going to shows or listening to the radio. With so much music available at fan’s fingertips, the Internet has become the first place that music lovers go to discover new music. And if given the choice between just listening to a song or listening to the song and watching the video along with it, most music fans choose the latter!

For you, what’s the thing that makes a music video standout from the rest? Is it the story-line, the production value?

I tell all my clients that you “never get a second chance to make a first impression”. And if a band or artist has a compelling new video, I’ve always contended that if you watch the video for the first time and at the end of it you have no other visceral urge other than to watch the video again, then you know you’ve got an outstanding video that will bring a huge boost to securing exposure! Most of our programmers do like to program videos that have high production value and/or and intriguing story-line, but over the span of promoting 2300 music videos, it’s not only those components alone that make a great video. Sometimes a video is considerably simple in concept, but memorable in every way. Usually when a clip has that “je ne sais quoi” needed to become a must-see video , you know it right away!

You’ve worked with some pretty incredible record labels and bands. Who are some of your faves? 

Absolutely! Some of our favorite labels that we’ve had the privilege of working with regularly over the years include Dualtone (The Lumineers), Polyvinyl (of Montreal, Tancred, American Football, Alvvays), Tommy Boy Records (Method Man, Nina Sky), Octone (Maroon 5, Flyleaf), Daptone (Sharon Jones, Charles Bradley), SideOneDummy (Astronautalis, Nahko & Medicine For The People, The Gaslight Anthem), Sub Pop (Fleet Foxes, The Postal Service, The Shins, Iron & Wine), Merge (Bob Mould, M. Ward, She & Him), PIAS (Pixies, Mew), Armada Music (Armin van Buuren, Breathe Carolina) and Protocol Recordings (Nicky Romero).

Are there any “under-the-radar” bands that you’ve worked with that you particularly like?

This might be the most rewarding part of what we do! We’ve worked with some truly incredible indie artists that I seriously recommend you check out / keep an eye out for in the coming months and years, including, Justina Valentine, Will Jay, MAAD, Mvstermind, Builder Of The House, Liana Bank$, Tritonal, Trapdoor Social and My Darling Fury, to scratch the surface. I’m regularly amazed by how many brilliant artists and bands are “under-the-radar”.

Do you gravitate towards any specific genres of music?

Though in the beginning days of HIP we mostly hung our hat on promoting great indie rock bands and artists, including bands and artists on the labels we mentioned in the prior response, we embrace the opportunity to work with great artists in the Hip-Hop world, the Electronic Dance Music world and the singer-songwriter world. We realize that fans of music have many disparate tastes and musical aesthetics they embrace, so as long as the video is top-notch and the artist has a compelling song, Royce happy to help them in their quest to get to the next level.

Can you give some tips to the bands and artists reading this on how to use their music video as a promotion tool? Some do’s / dont’s?

The first suggestion I would make to any band or artist that has a terrific new video is to realize that there’s lots more out there than just YouTube. We service our videos to all of the national outlets including MTV, Fuse, Music Choice, Revolt, Much Music,  etc., as well as service all of the retail pools and content providers that provide programming to retail stores, shopping malls, fitness centers, cruise ships etc. There are also dozens of regional and multi market programming terrestrial television outlets across the country, including outlets like JBTV in Chicago and California Music Channel in San Francisco. As far as pitching your video to online blogs and websites, that is something we do on a daily basis! Rest assured that any music video promotional push is much more effective if you have a well respected promotions company advocating and fighting the good fight on your behalf. We have the eyeballs in the eardrums of the programmers out there that are the decision-makers, so when you come to HIP Video Promo and we have the opportunity to help you, the likelihood of your new video connecting with the maximum amount of eyeballs is decidedly increased. And we don’t shy away from helping our clients on social media too! There’s no better way to increase social media presence than when you have an outstanding video you can share with new potential fans.

I see you also provide social media promotion as well as YouTube promo and more. What else is happening over at HIP Video Promo these days?

Yes! Your social media presence as well as your YouTube numbers are a vital part of the overall package these days if you’re trying to gain legitimate attention online, so we’re super proud to offer professional YouTube promotion AND social media promotion spanning Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Our clients swear by our services so I encourage anyone reading this that would like more info to get in touch and I’ll be more than happy to personally provide all the details. It’s also worth mentioning that we provide stand-alone closed-captioning service.

What’s the best way for a band with a new music video to get in touch with you?

Give us a call here at HIP HQ at 732-613-1779 or email us at info@hipvideopromo.com. I look forward to chatting.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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