To the right here in the picture you see the Nine Inch Nails DOTS sequencer that can be purchased via the itunes App Store. It is a basic music sequencer that allows you to create a “kick snare” beat and control loops on the fly. If done correctly, one can actually re-create NIN’s Echoplex that is off of their album The Slip.
Let’s backtrack a lil bit here…
The Slip by Nine Inch Nails
- Released for free on NIN’s official website May 5, 2008
- CD was Released July 22, 2008
- Nine Inch Nails 7th studio album
- Album was released for free under a creative commons license
- Released digital through band’s official website
- Album peaked at 13 on Billboard’s Top 200
- Over 2 million digital download before CD release
- Physical release sold over 98,000 copies
So, its true. Trent Reznor headman of NIN loves his fans and his fans love him back just the same. Personally, NIN is one of my favorite bands. He is so innovative when it comes to writing music and marketing the band alike. Before selling The Slip, NIN decided to give the album away on their own official website. At that time, referring to the new album, Reznor said, “Thank you for your continued and loyal support over the years – this one’s on me”. That’s just awesome! A famous musician personally giving back to his fans.
As a fan this totally motivates me to purchase future tickets, merch, or music in the future! What a great way to utilize e-marketing!!!
Lights In The Sky Tour
During this tour NIN pushed their album The Slip hard to say the least. Echoplex was one of their songs that was part of their set. To start the song Trent touches the huge sequencer on their set to start the song. You just have to see it for yourself!
And it doesn’t stop there!
NIN also released a rehearsal session of the same song where it shows the drummer making a drum beat with a similar sequencer. You’ve gotta watch this too!
So I bet you can guess where this is heading…
On purpose NIN visually included the sequencer both live during shows and in the music video that you just watched. They did this with intention of creating a sequencer app for the iphone, sorry guys, but Droid doesn’t. Anyways, by the time the NIN DOTS sequencer app was released practically every fan was familiar with the sequence.
and this is where it gets interesting…
With the DOTS application you can totally re-create the song Echoplex. However, its not that easy. I have it on my phone by the way! Sorry, anyways when I first started playing on it I was not able to just crank out the beat and play the samples in the right order. I had to listen to the song over and over, I had to watch the live videos over and over, I had to watch the music video over and over before I actually mastered the app. Think about it, exponentially increasing the hits on your videos, which creates a buzz, which engages fans, which keeps fans engaged, and most importantly, gets records sold!!! Trent Reznor is quite the businessman and should be a model for any musician that wants to maximize their exposure! I’m not saying to devise some revolutionary app such as the DOTS.
I’m saying think out of the box and figure out a cost effective way to reach your fans (aka revenue source) and get them engaged. A street team just ain’t gonna cut it!!! Reach your fans on a personal level and secure “return customers” for life!
It is very difficult to establish your market share in the industry! This is how you will stand out!
Aaron M. Schulman
In 2012, according to a year in review report from Nielsen Soundscan and Billboard, they found that “total music purchases (physical albums, digital albums and digital songs) totaled an all-time high of 1.65 billion units in 2012, a rise of 3.1 percent over 2011“.While this is great news for the music industry, it also means that competition is growing ever more fierce between artists for a market share in a growing market. Given these facts, it is becoming ever more imperative for a band to implement a marketing mix that will give the artist the best chances for success. So “don’t fear the reaper”, if your music is good enough a proper marketing mix will ensure your band’s longevity and ultimate success.
Dont cut corners. Put forth your absolute best work. As an up and coming artist, you can only make a first impression once. Most listeners will write you off forever if they don’t like what they hear their first listen. In my opinion, your music should not be a product of your target market. On the contrary, your target market should be a product of your music. Meaning that you should not write music for anyone but yourself. There are millions of listeners that drive the music industry, be unique, be yourself, BE YOUR OWN BRAND, and push it to the limit! If your music is up to par, you’ll find your niche!
Pricing is crucial when marketing your music. The music industry is now facing a major change, as mentioned in my previous post, from CD to digital. Let’s get real here, the COGS for the CD is much more than digital. Straight up, digital music should be cheaper and you’re not going to change my mind. Do a little research about Radiohead’s In Rainbows. Radiohead released the album on their website for free download and asked their customers to pay what they thought the album was worth, if anything for all. I hate to sound like a broken record, but with online music piracy, music listeners are faced with the decision of either stealing it for free or paying for it. Your price has to be justified or people will help themselves to shoplift your art that you’ve poured your heart into. Anyways, back to the Radiohead album. It turned out that only about 2/5 of the people that downloaded the album actually put money down for it and the average person dropped about $6 bucks. I guess the invisible hand says that album was worth $6. When you consider that in the first 29 days that the album was released 1.2 million people visited their site you could imagine that Radiohead did quite well in sales. I’m not saying that you need to try and give away your music and ask for donations, this is just an example of how listeners determined what the price of an album should be. In this case it was $6 dollars which is significantly lower than the average album price for a full length album on iTunes. Achieve your cumulative profits through volume as opposed to a high profit margin per unit. This is possible through proper product placement and promotion.
Placement and Promotion
Product and placement I grouped together because we are talking about an artist’s debut effort here. A new artist simply is not going to have much capital to run an effective ad campaign, however, who said that you needed money to promote your band. You can hit two birds with one stone by putting your music on blast through social networks. At this point you’re not too sure of what exactly your target market consists of so it’s best to use a shotgun approach. Post your music anywhere and everywhere on the internet that is available! Create a buzz! I can’t stress how important it is to utilize all social media that is at your disposal. As far as actually distributing music without a record deal there is a remarkable site called Tunecore.com. You have to pay, but with payment Tunecore posts your album to the most popular digital music distributers where listeners from all over the world can listen and purchase your masterpiece! It’s priced right too, I wouldn’t be telling you about it if it was a scam!
If your new to the music scene don’t fear the reaper! Kick his ass with a kickass marketing mix!
As I briefly touched on in my “About Me” page, the music industry is an ultra competitive market. You have major labels, small labels, independent self promoted artists, and then there’s www.tunecore.com. In reaching out to artists across the globe, Tunecore proclaims, “We put your music on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and many other stores. We collect and give you 100% of the money from your music sales along with detailed streaming and sales reports” (www.tunecore.com). Basically, Tunecore offers online e-marketing and distribution services to all artists.
At this point I bet you a wondering how Tunecore is a profitable business if they let the artist keep 100% of their royalties. It’s genius. Part of Tunecore’s revenue can be attributed to member sign ups and annual fees. There are a few different tiers and categories that you can choose from when signing up, you can view those here. The other way Tunecore pulls in money is through charging the artist a minimal fee every time they collect royalties via Tunecore.
Now that we understand how Tunecore makes their money, let’s talk a little bit about how they market their artists. Earlier I punched in Tunecore’s url into the Hubspot Marketing Grader. I had a feeling they would be rated high, but I most definitely was not expecting them to have an overall grade of 90. Their high rating can be attributed to their frequent blogging of Tunecore news and releases, their activity on Facebook, their twitter account, RSS feed, and it’s optimized mobile version of the site. In looking at Hubspot’s marketing critique of Tunecore, the number of sites that have links to their site is what stood out to me most. 3,954 sites provide links to Tunecore’s site. That’s pretty good exposure.
Without a doubt Tunecore is more than efficient at utilizing social media to their advantage in order to market their service and artists alike, however this is not the only way their artists are marketed and it doesn’t cost Tunecore a cent. Tunecore distributes music through the following music outlets; Itunes, Spotify, Amazon MP3, Deezer, Simfy, Rhapsody, Myspace, Medianet, Muve Music, Rdio, Iheart Radio, Xbox Live, Google Play, Nokia, And Emusic. Each of these music providers also have their own marketing departments. The way these companies make money is by selling music. You better believe that they are going to do their best to market their content in order to lure their target market and secure net profits.
With these reasons that I have stated above, I think that Tunecore should be a viable option for any artist no matter how famous or underground they are. Of all the ways an artist can distribute music, Tunecore seems to be the most cost effective, take the man out of the equation and do away with the old ways of major record labels that solely care about money and volume of sales. I really do think that Tunecore can change the way the whole world distributes music! Check them out!