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!