2011 was another year that changed the musical landscape especially for new artists that are trying to build a career.
The popularity of Facebook prompted artists to use the mega social network as a prime destination spot for fans and attracting new fans. Utilizing Facebook as promotional tool for artists remains competitive. Capturing the publics interest is a challenge in an environment that thrives on minute by minute information.
Of course, great songs and a solid story trumps all other marketing techniques, Adele being a great example. She is overweight and kept her clothes on separating herself from other pop artists. Her success should prove to hopeful artists that there is life beyond pop artists like Lady Gaga and Katy Perry that are cut from the same rug.
After talking to hundreds of artists this past year I hear the same recurring theme. How do I expose my music? Or why isn’t anyone buying my songs? If these questions were proposed to me 10 years ago, I would have the answers. Lock yourself in a studio, record well crafted songs, tour, build a buzz, negotiate a record deal, and land on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine.
Ironically, The cover of a recent issue of Rolling Stone Magazine featured a relatively unknown band called The Sheepdogs. The band mustered up about 2000 Facebook like over a 2 week period. Hence, Rolling Stone magazine won’t provide you a career, and a late night performance on David Letterman and Jimmy Kimmel won’t have a significant impact either. It’s not that late nights and magazines are not relevant, it’s the content or musical act that’s not making an impact. Don’t blame the messenger, blame the message. I understand my site is only as valuable as the content I publish.
If your waiting for a solution, I am here to tell you that I don’t have one. Neither does anybody else even though they claim to have one. I can only reveal scenarios that have always worked. You need to be on FM radio to have a place in music because the majority of Americans are tuning in. It’s a shocking statistic, but it’s a fact. There are indie acts that make a mark without radio, but it’s an exception and not the rule. I’m here talking about rules, not exceptions. I cannot provide a detailed plan to achieve radio airplay, I just know it’s necessary.
Understanding current tastes will greatly give you an edge. Tastes change quickly but the entertainment business is a gamble. The idea is that you want to understand the current taste and still write from the heart. Yes, it’s a mystery, but it’s been done. This is the ingredient that allowed the legendary acts to survive through the 70’s,80’s,90’s etc.
Rather being consumed by marketing techniques, focus on the music, because music in itself is more powerful than any other marketing strategy. Think of music as the ultimate power source, not Facebook Likes. Presidents have used music to stir up people in there campaigns. Nations who have fought wars used music for victories and defeats. Music is used for worship among all faiths from the beginning of man.
In conclusion, music is the fuel that lights the fire and never underestimate it’s effectiveness in promotion. If you find yourself struggling, it’s more likely the music than the marketing technique. Keep on writing…