Andrew Apanov On Music And Blogging

AAnd here I am again! In this interview for Omega’s Apple (the site has covered lots of great writers, check out its interviews archive), Anthony Morgan talked with me on the current and future developments of Dotted Music and Ultimate Guitar, my past musical career (there were lots of fun stuff to remember), and things that aspiring musicians can learn from bloggers.

Read several excerpts below. I included few general Dotted Music-related parts so the new readers can become more familiar with what this website is all about.

Omega’s Apple: Personally, how would you describe what Dotted Music covers exactly?

Andrew Apanov: Dotted Music is heavily centred around music marketing, services for musicians, and general music biz news. What I try to cover more extensively right now is a variety of new technologies meeting musicians’ needs. And in the long run, this blog is all about inspiration. Each writer on this blog tries to give readers a few bits of inspiration each week, bits that can help boosting your music career at least slightly. Dotted Music can’t help to solve all problems of a struggling musician (no one can), but it is aimed to help musicians to move in the right direction instead. Fortunately, everything above fits the original Dotted Music motto, “Living music in the digital age.”

Andrew Apanov

Dotted Music seemingly has a focus on how the digital age has affected music, and the ways in which labels and bands are or are not adapting. How is Dotted Music incorporating new mediums in which to promote itself, and experimenting with new things? Surely it’s difficult to get noticed?

Marketing and managing a blog is an exciting and difficult adventure on its own, that’s for sure. I use social media actively and push the blog in various ways, but overall – will be sincere – I can and will do a way better job here.

A blog, just like a band, has to be treated as a business. I often find a lot of inspiration and great ideas applicable to music marketing in blogs about blogging. General internet marketing rules work for everyone on the Web. Vice versa, if you are a musician – go read Problogger or Copyblogger to find useful ideas and sharpen your writing skills. Have I mentioned that I believe that all musicians have to blog a priority?

Being involved in the music industry, has being located in Russia presented you with any difficulties in progressing throughout your career?

Living where I live has its pros and cons, but I tend to see mostly cons, ha! Kaliningrad is very nice and cosy, but there are not too many places to go out – and just being at the same town most of the time can be pretty tiring. I would be much happier with the place if I and my wife could travel more.

On a positive side, hell – I am in Russia, so everything could be way worse! I’m very lucky with where exactly I am located. Geographically, Kaliningrad is in the middle of Eastern Europe, and it doesn’t even have any direct connection with the “big” Russia. Plus, I think it’s a blessing if you live here and own business operations outside the country. Compared to most European countries or the US, life is relatively cheap over here.

What new developments can readers expect at, and also, will these new developments give you any extra responsibilities?

Oh man, there are so many things happening right now. We’ve been in a very difficult licensing process with music publishers during the last few years, and by now have signed contracts with all major publishers, which is absolutely unique for a tablature website. The Ultimate Guitar Tabs mobile application is doing very well, and we just released an Android version to accompany the iPhone one. An iPad app is coming very shortly, too. In March we announced a venture deal with Slash, and as part of that deal we are hosting his official website, built and maintained on our side. There was even a very special branded edition of Arcade Rocker iPhone app released in the summer.

And around February or March Ultimate Guitar will present users something totally fresh. I believe any guitarist will love what we’ve prepared. This is a big step for UG, and more details are to follow soon. The company as a whole is at a very important stage of its life cycle. We are getting seriously big, and I’m really happy to grow alongside it.

Read the entire interview at this location.