demo recording

Marketing your own music

Marketing is not only about advertising. It includes market research, media relations and planning, product placement and pricing, sales strategies, distribution, public relations, and much more.

Whom do you sell your music?

Marketing research can be an excellent way to put your finger on the pulse of the public. It can tell you who is out there and what they are buying. When you gather data from a variety of sources, such as focus groups and the like, you can analyze your findings, define or quantify issues, address those issues, and come up with creative solutions. Then you can expand your marketing base in a scientific way, so that money is not wasted on markets that won’t have any interest in your products and services. After all, can you really sell snow cones to Eskimos? Probably not, but you could sell them the syrup. So you probably shouldn’t be trying to sell heavy metal records to traditional country music fans, and vice versa. Marketing research allows you to pinpoint your advertising and marketing strategies so that they reach the right people.

Dealing with an independent record label

The real upside to signing with any of the major labels is that they have the money for big recording budgets, tour support, and the like. Also, the Big 5 labels have the marketing and promotion muscle to make sure your record is played on the radio in all major markets. However, the major record labels are a lot like a big cruise ship—once they get moving in one direction, they have a really hard time stopping or turning in other directions, such as niche markets that can be very profitable for all those involved. So even if you can’t get a deal with a major record label, you should not give up, because there are always the independent labels.

What is an independent record label?

An independent record label is basically any label that is not affi liated with any of the Big 5, and that uses different distributors than the major labels to get its music to the retailers. An independent label may be the only place you can go for a record deal, especially if your music is not in the mainstream or doesn’t have huge market potential.

But this doesn’t mean that these independent labels can’t help you out. In fact, often they’re better suited to niche markets and can adapt more readily to changes in the marketplace. Furthermore, an independent label may be much more willing to take a chance on developing an act even after the majors have passed it.

How to get your first record deal?

I’ve received hundreds, if not thousands, of promotional packages from all sorts of people trying to get a deal. These people were savvy enough to know that an entertainment lawyer or a reputable manager was the only way they were going to get their foot in the door. So, you might like to know what I was looking for when people asked me to help them get a deal.

QUALITY PRODUCT

I’ve had enough experience as a musician to know what it takes to make a living, get a gig, or attract someone’s attention in the music industry. I also have plenty of experience in seeing how many opinions there are about “good” music. Early on, I realized that the music I liked and the music that ended up on the radio were not always the same thing. Therefore, when I began practicing entertainment law, I had to take an objective look at music. Getting someone a deal wasn’t always about what I thought was good music. It was more about what was commercially exploitable.

So, the first thing I looked for was quality product. To the record labels, publishing companies, etc., musical talent is really just a product, a commodity—a widget, if you like. Therefore, I was always looking for an act or writer who was a total package, someone who labels or publishers could mold into something commercially exploitable. This meant my clients had to have not only talent, but depth of material and versatility. They also had to have a good attitude and be a team player.