Your shopping cart is empty!
War! This is what it is like in the music industry, well at least the environment i have been in, behind the scenes, in the trenches. Musicians, labels and distributors are all fighting. What are these people fighting for? SPACE… If it is space on the shelves in physical retail stores, space on the front page of the online stores and even space on your social media time line, they are all fighting for space.
There are two questions, why do they want this space and why is it so important? These questions have the same answer actually, SALES! Placement is everything these days, there is a huge amount of music out there so if you want sales you need to get your product placed in the right spot for your fans and possible fans to see your product which could possibly turn into a sale.
Now in order to make the sales you need to get your product to the stores. Online stores are the easiest to get your product to, there are literally hundreds of distribution partners for you to choose from. Some examples of these are FUGA, The Orchard, Africori, Distrokid (These are some bigger well known names) and the list goes on, all of which offer various distribution options and costs, you just gotta decide what will work best for you. Do your research.
Each of these sort of distribution services send out a weekly or monthly updates to the retail stores highlighting what products are priority releases for the month which are suggestions on what each service should feature in their platform. The disconnect comes in when you use one of these services to get your product out there but if you are an underdog, meaning you are a relatively unknown artist, which means you aren’t a priority release, you will not get featured in that mailer. Which is understandable, services like iTunes, Spotify, Deezer, etc know that they should feature “top 40” products in order to satisfy customers. A user comes in looking for the new Cassper Nyovest or Justin Bieber latest single and this is what gets front page featuring and obviously take priority over your release, and rightfully so, this will satisfy the user which makes a payment which makes money for the distributor which makes money for the label, which makes money for the artist. I know, everyone takes their cut and the artist is last, but that is for another time. What i am trying to get to is that the war is not lost!
So how do to fight a war for space when you are not a “top 40” artist? The trick is to make a connection with your distributor. Make sure they know what your release is about. Get the e-mail address for the person that runs product management for the distributor and start sending them updates. Let them know who you are, what your music is about and who your market is, develop a relationship with them so when they see an opportunity to push your product, they will.
Further more, find out what stores they distribute to and find out where your fans shop for their music. For instance, if you make dance/house music you are probably trying to get DJs to download you songs for their sets. This means your market is probably shopping for music on Beatport, Traxsource or one of those DJ stores. Once you have that established, reach out to those services, send them a mail, tell them you use (X) service to distribute your music and you would like to possibly get featured somewhere in their service. Send them the stuff you sent your distributor and develop a relationship with the content manager of the service, they will probably have some artist discovery platform that they will include you in.
Then, the easier you make their job the more you will stand a chance in getting some valuable space. For instance, ask them what the dimensions are for the banners on the service and make your own HIGH QUALITY banners and send it to them, if its a streaming service, build your own kick ass playlist and send it to them to feature. If they have the assets it will be easy for them to just use what you sent them to feature.
Now that you have those 2 elements going, you need to reach out to your followers so they know that your product is available. MARKETING! You don’t need to know about marketing to market your product. The social media revolution has simplified things a lot! Facebook for instance will help you to market your product, you dont need experience you just need to put some money down, not a lot even R200 will help you if it is targeted in the right way.
This is definitely a topic we will discuss in future posts, I hope that this was helpful to you and please follow, like, share, subscribe, whatever you need to do to get updates (If you want them). OMM