What Are the Benefits of Music Promotion?
So, your band has recorded a few songs and you’ve even gotten music gigs, but things don’t really seem to be escalating as you hoped they would. If your phone isn’t ringing often (or isn’t ringing at all), it is a definite sign that a new promotional strategy is in order. Whether you attempt to do it yourself or through the guidance of a professional company, there are plenty of benefits to be reaped from promoting your music to the masses in an efficient way.
How to Build a Fanbase for Your Music
The more people are exposed to your music, the more potential listeners you can gain. By putting in place a strategy that gets your songs into more spaces, you are increasing your chances to become somebody’s favorite new band, setting off a word-of-mouth chain reaction that might land you your next gig.
It isn’t just about quantity — it’s about quality, too. Reaching a wider audience through music promotion means you can have access not only to more fans, but also to better fans: the loyal die-hards.
These are the people who will respond when you need extras for a video. They’ll join your street team in exchange for concert tickets. They’ll chip in if you’re trying to crowdfund the expenses for your new album. And, above all else, they’ll get your name out there for you — just because they want to.
Of course, even the most die-hard supporters can’t jump on a bandwagon, so to speak, if they’ve never heard of you before. That’s why you need to…
Network with Other Bands and Musicians
If you’re a fan of band biographies, you know that oftentimes it was fellow musicians who introduced producers, executives or even band members to other groups. Music promotion can help connect you with your colleagues and establish a very useful network of contacts. It may sound like cliched advice, but it truly is about more than just what you know: it’s also who you know.
Metal heavyweight Metallica is just one example of the powers of networking. Metallica’s lead guitarist, Kirk Hammett, got his first gig after members of his former band, Exodus, introduced him to vocalist James Hetfield and drummer Lars Ulrich.
Years later, Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins followed a similar path, joining the band through a recommendation by Alanis Morissette. Even if other musicians don’t perform exactly the same type of music as you, they can still help connect you with relevant artists. You may be surprised at what sort of collaborative projects you get involved with as your talents grow and your musical interests expand.
In addition to introducing you to other artists, your fellow musicians can also help you get the attention of key industry people. Toward that end, you should also be thinking about…
Connecting with Record Labels and A&Rs
Times have changed drastically for the music business since the 90’s and even the early 00’s. Giant record stores are but a shadow of what they used to be, record deals are scarcer, and major record labels have gradually given way to the might of indie labels and DIY album releases. If one thing remains the same, it is the importance of having A&Rs listen to your music.
A&R stands for “Artists and Repertoire,” but you probably know this role by a different name: the talent scout. A&Rs are often described as the “gatekeepers” of the music industry, because their attention has the power to lift an emerging act out of obscurity and into fame.
However, aspiring musicians should be wary: landing a CD on an A&R’s desk, or getting them to attend your show, is nowhere near enough. If these industry scouts take notice of what you do, it is critical that they encounter an act which exhibits credibility, professionalism, and the potential to handle the spotlight of the music business with ease. (And talent, of course.) A strong promotional campaign can help a band achieve that status and maximize their chances at landing a sought-after record deal.
Rock and roll guru Dave Grohl summed up his advice for aspiring bands with three words: “Go play live.” Even though he has the evidence to back up his words of wisdom, most groups out there have found that playing gigs isn’t enough on its own. With the right strategy in place, music promotion is often the solution for musicians who seek to play for millions.
If you have questions about how music promotion could help your band or solo act, Planetary Group can help. Call us in L.A. at (323) 952-5050, or in Boston at (617) 517-4193.