Marketing for the music business

LESSON 7. Marketing

More than ever, artists and their representation have so many ways to get their music out to the public. Firstly, consider your strategy and create a brand: build a legend, craft your image. Next, take this brand and design products and services that people would like to pay money for: good songs, great recordings, and amazing performances!

How are you getting people to listen to your music?

For attracting attention, a great way to start is to build an electronic press kit (EPK) which showcases your sound, image, background and appeal.

Next, you need to get some distribution going. For recordings, that would be getting into online retailers, but look out for those that are illegal and use legitimate aggregator services. Start social media accounts, make them look amazing, and then spread messages which get people to go to your retail links.

Then, submit your tracks to broadcasters. Radio has been an obvious start, but it’s best to start by requesting interviews at community radio stations and working your way up. Get a video of the music going, submit it to broadcasters and upload it on YouTube. Be careful of paying for play (payola), as this is bad for everyone and against stations policies. Getting gigs and playing to an audience is a great way off cross-marketing your recordings and your services like performances.

There are so many ways you could promote your products and services. Start with those you can control like social media and advertising, and then move to publicity which involves media announcements and news coverage which comes as you get more opportunities.

KCA RADIO interviews Jonathan G. Shaw at South African Music Week 2022

Street Carnivore sums up your marketing strategy (2018)

Thandiswa Mazwai’s EPK (2010)

Jonathan Shaw speaking about how technology is affecting the music industries (2015)

Cassper Nyovest on building yourself and career (2018)

Lesson 7. Questions

7.1 What is music marketing strategy?
7.2 What should you include in an EPK?
7.3 Which marketing mediums can you control and which do you have less control over?

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