How do you market your music?

I am wondering how to sell music online via itunes. Major labels sell music! And it´s not always good, but they market it with a flashy design and a cool video, but the sound is bad.
So I am wondering how do you get on the frontpage of itunes or on the suggest lists or if there are other options to get your music out there.

Personally I have been thinking about advertising with a image ad(pay per click) I have seen artist advertise before. Another option is to have your music reviewed by indie websites or sending your stuff to the newspapers for review.
It seems like all record companies do is get it on radios and in newspapers mainly and on itunes frontapages. And they take like 60% of all record sales. It would be cool if you “made it” on your own. Talking to radio stations and newspapers. Newspapers or itunes should listen to a person also if the music is good or take it serious. Right?

Go to the library, read these for starters:

http://www.amazon.com/Hit-Men-Brokers-Inside-Business/dp/0679730613

http://www.amazon.com/Confessions-Record-Producer-Moses-Alalon/dp/0879305320


But, before you read the above books … watch this, it may be the best primer on the music business ever:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8AJxc3Lxn4o

D1ck Dale is a legend. To reinforce what Nick pointed to, listen to Jazzy Jeff too: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=skkcNYQxAog&feature=player_embedded

The music business is a sham, stay away from it. You don’t need it when you can do it yourself :sunglasses:


and the genius of Frank Zappa too: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZazEM8cgt0&feature=fvwrel

Yeah I know. This is my plan:

  1. FInish my music and get it on itunes
  2. Get a graphic designer to make a website
  3. Get the desinger to make a cd too so I have some to send out
  4. Send out cd´s to newspapers and indie websites to get reviews
  5. Advertise with image ads
  6. Send out a digital pressrelease via a digital pressrelease distributer

What do you think? Any more ideas?

Real quick…

A band came in to record. During the recording and production, mixes were sent off to management. MAnagement was $$$HIRED$$$, a tour was booked and completed. Now there is PR looking to promote the band and now the band is playing good venues whereas the tour venues were hit or miss. The EP wasn’t even completed but it was close. Now there will be a full length coming out in a year or so with some serious buzz.

I didn’t do much but record and produce (produce meaning finalizing/altering the song structure and what backing players played and what harmonies (note intervals) were sung. I also went a little into uncharted territories when it came to producing the mix.)

My only word of advise is to focus on what you are best at and hire others to tackle the other as you quarter back it all. This does take $$$$ but if it is done right, you will make it back and then some.

Generally, 80% of start-up businesses fail within the first two years.

The music business is worse.

Whatever capital you put into it … you have to ask yourself this question: “Can I really afford to lose it all?” Based on the answer … only put into it what you can afford to lose. It’s a bit like gambling; the “house” always has the advantage in an honest game (read the books, watch Mr. Dale YouTube and you’ll soon realize the game ain’t exactly “honest”).

Absolutely. That band I was talking about is probably in about $5,000 right now.

Been reading a lot from these people recently:

http://www.indieguide.com/

Dave

I have been reading a lot latley and it seems that for me the best thing to do is a online newspaper ad. 1000dollars for 1 million impressions( frontpage, 300x300 ad on a sat or sun) on a day in one of the main Norwegian newspapers. Seems like the best deal and idea I have come over.
With a click through rat of 1%= 10,000 and maybe I will sell 200 albums.

That’s the easy part e.g. http://www.recordunion.com, http://www.cdbaby.com
etc

Major labels sell music! And it´s not always good, but they market it with a flashy design and a cool video, but the sound is bad.
So I am wondering how do you get on the frontpage of itunes or on the suggest lists or if there are other options to get your music out there.

That’s the hard part… and usually involves large sums of money :confused:

It seems like all record companies do is get it on radios and in newspapers mainly and on itunes frontapages. And they take like 60% of all record sales. It would be cool if you “made it” on your own. Talking to radio stations and newspapers. Newspapers or itunes should listen to a person also if the music is good or take it serious. Right?

It would be cool if you made it on your own. The are millions of artists and bands worldwide trying to do just that. A newspaper or magazine will listen to anyone who wants to spend money with them on advertising but I doubt they care particularly about the music itself, unless you’re already famous! They’re primarily interested in selling advertising as are most commercial radio networks. You may however find a local ‘indie-friendly’ radio station that may be willing to give your music a spin and perhaps a lesser paper or mag that will do a review.

Personally I have been thinking about advertising with a image ad(pay per click) I have seen artist advertise before. Another option is to have your music reviewed by indie websites or sending your stuff to the newspapers for review.

Your experience may differ if you look into this.
I’ve however have had 6 or 7 CD’s reviewed in local musicians mag over the years, a mag that is distributed nationwide and widely read. Several of these reviews were very favourable. Total CD’s sold as a result of this valuable exposure has been zero. As an ‘experiement’ I even paid for an ad ( i was invited to do so by the editor) in a popular music-related USA magazine, using the glowing review I’d received for the album as part of the ad. CD’s sold as a result of that endeavour was zero. I realised the editor only made the suggestion so he’d get the sale. I fell for the flattery and the ‘ego-stroke’ that went with his pitch. That was a $300 ‘life lesson’! :unamused:

I’ve also done two radio interviews, where we talked about and played tracks from my then new CD. The first one around 8 years ago, was on a national talk-back show. CD’s sold as a result of that was 5. A couple of years ago I did another interview - similar thing. We even took calls from several enthusastic listeners. CD’s sold as a result of that valuable exposure was zero.

As a more recent ‘experiement’ inspired by an article I’d read I thought I’d try out an ad campaign on Facebook. I was very skeptical, a skepticism that was soon validated. After a 6 week pay-per-click ad campaign my bandpage on Facebook increased it’s number of ‘likes’ from 1 to 38. Of those 38 fans no one purchased a single digital download, entirely consistent with my expectations! :smiley: Fortunately with only 37 clicks it wasn’t very costly! :slight_smile:

I reckon it all really comes down to significant advertising, promotion and marketing…and to achieve that at a level that is likely to yeild a worthwhile result is usually out of reach for most of us and usually requires the sort of budgets that only a major label can afford. So all we are invariably then left with is shameless self-promotion! :laughing: And remember, noone enters the name of someone they never heard of into a search engine!

I have been reading a lot latley and it seems that for me the best thing to do is a online newspaper ad. 1000dollars for 1 million impressions( frontpage, 300x300 ad on a sat or sun) on a day in one of the main Norwegian newspapers. Seems like the best deal and idea I have come over.
With a click through rat of 1%= 10,000 and maybe I will sell 200 albums.

I don’t want to sound overly negative but personally based on my experience and understanding of how things are I’d be pretty cautious about spending $1000 on an ad to be honest. I rather suspect your estimated click through rate, one that results in a actual sale could well be more like 0.01% ! And I of course also realise your CD’s aren’t going to sell themeselves sitting in a box under your bed either! It’s a tough one.

Anyway, if you do decide to pursue this… let us know how you get on. As I said earlier, your experience may well be different to mine. Good luck!
:sunglasses:

Excellent post Ian!

That $1,000 proposed expenditure for online advertising, in all likelihood, will not pay a dividend. Even if it did achieve the sale of 200 units, that’s $5 per unit advertising cost. Entirely too expensive for too few sales. Unless you can move tens-of-thousands of units or more, at less cost per unit than $5 it doesn’t make sense.

I advise move product the “old-fashioned” way … selling them at gigs. You have to really move people, in a deep and profound way to get them to part with their money. Seeing your CD in the stacks of a store, along with thousands of other CDs competing with you (or the online variant of CD stores) isn’t going to move folks in a deep and profound way unless you already got to them at a concert/gig somewhere. Even then, best to capitalize on the impulse right then-and-there and sell those CDs during a break while the folks are in-the-mood. Strike while the iron is hot.

A decade ago I worked as a side-man with a native american folksinger. In six years he sold 800+ cassette tapes of his album at our gigs. He made a little money.

No, it ain’t easy. It never was. It never will be.

Listen to the wise counsel of Mr. D. Dale.

That reminds me, I also had a couple of albums in a local music store. 10 copies of each on a sale or return basis. I collected them two years later… 10 copies of each unsold. :confused: People seemingly don’t want to take a chance on someone they’ve never heard and never heard of.

Most of my sales in the end were word of mouth, and of course I’ve had a bit of support in the past from good folks here, but after the first few releases the novelty wears off! :smiley: And to be honest I find myself philisophically opposed these days to pitching my CD’s to my friends and peers. Makes me feel like an Amway salesman! :laughing:

:sunglasses: