As a startup, we've learned that building an amazing product is the easy part. You can have an amazing product, but if no one knows about it, how will see the value and use it?
We've previously compared up and coming artists to startups and this situation is no different. After you invest a ton of time and money creating and producing great music (a finished product), it's important to invest in your promotion to bring your music to the market.
So you've spent countess hours in the studio and most likely paid a hefty price to finally produce a song or record that youare proud of. Now you need to get it out to the audience! After investing heavily in the music production, artists often look to save some dough on the promotion and come up with some clever viral marketing tactics. You post your music to all of your online accounts: SoundCloud, YouTube, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Bandcamp, etc. You send your music out to all of the music sites, blogs, and radio stations with free downloads, streams, and incentives for the fans. It's great to get your content out there, but all this does is hope that fans actively decide to listen to your music and typically only reaches existing fans.
There are a ton of free, impactful, and successful promotion strategies out there. There is a point, however, that it just doesn't seem to be enough. Just like any business, it's important to invest in the promotion as well as building the product.
If you're going to invest in creating great music, why not invest in advertising and spreading it?
Everyone wants to get airplay on the radio. Historically, this was the best place to get your music heard and to break as an artist. The radio is still one of the most powerful places to get exposure. Although every artist would love to get airplay on the radio, it's virtually impossible for 99% of artists.
Fortunately, as the way that people have listened to the radio has transformed, artists have a unique opportunity get airplay inside streaming services and have a successful radio promotion strategy for how people listen to music today. Even if an artist is getting airplay on terrestrial radio, so many people are switching to digital streaming services, that there is a huge audience that is missing out!
Some artists might be spending their marketing budget on Facebook Ads, Twitter Ads, or Google Ads, but traditoinal ad platforms and their analytics aren't built for music. If the goal if promoting yourself as a musician is to get people to listen to your music, why throw a bunch of display ads out there hoping to reach your target market, of which on average, 0.14% of people will click through, let alone hear your music. Any Facebook likes or Twitter follows you get could cost upwards of $1 and may or may not have come from a real fan who has heard your music.
Finally, it's critical to get exposure and more plays inside the services that actually pay you revenue. Terrestrial radio airplay is great for exposure, but you don't earn your revenue here. Streaming services are becoming the dominant revenue source for musicians and have already surpassed CD sales in the first half of 2014.. If you are 1 of 25 million songs in a streaming service and no one knows about you, you can invest in your exposure to get in more people's ears, added to more playlists, and ultimately get increased spins!