Thursday, July 24, 2008

digital music promotion on the internet: The quick guide


How is digital technology changing the music industry and how soon can we expect these changes to impact the way we can make money from a career in music?

The music industry is fine. The recording industry that has dominated the music industry until now is not.

More opportunites represent more competition.

How Record labels dominated the old music industry:

*Ways music made money: CD’s, Touring, Merchandise, Endorsements/Appearances, Publishing, royalties and licensing.
*Record labels: Controlled recording, manufacture, and promotion (media)

*Music was released in album format to maximise revenue

How the digital revolution is a fundamental shift in the music business

* The physical product of music that was manufactured copies on CD, cassette, and LP now can now be distributed and copied without cost.
* The musical industry was often arbitrated completely by a handful of music corporations known as the “major labels” now artists can connect directly to a mass of fans

* Mass communication and marketing controlled by mass media, now users/fans control online media by choosing what they care about

The digital revolution in the music industry is the first of many digital disruptions to hit major industries.

* dramatically reduced recording and production costs

* need for physical distribution eliminated
* power of traditional media in decline due to growth of online information and networks

The growth of independent music began before the spread of the internet in 1990’s effected by:

e.g. CD Baby, music buyers bemoaning “album filler”, artists bemoaning contractual obligations to labels, Independently successful artists such (e.g. Ani Defranco) and local co operative scenes (Dunedin, Seattle, Jamaica, Detroit) creating niches and the long tail of consumer choice.

Changes and what we can expect in the future:

Important: The digital revolution is inevitably changing the music industry, how quickly the changes are effective is the question.

- Physical purchases still account for 90% of all revenue. But download revenue is expected to surpass that of physical sales in 2012
- All over revenues from recorded music are expected to continue to decline at roughly 10% per annum
- All major labels have cut staff in response to declining revenues. EMI has recently shed 2000 jobs.

So physical music products are still likely to have a market in the future though sales and profit margins will continue to decline.

My personal opinion is that:

- the value of recorded music will continue to decline until it is absorbed as a service
- the traditional label format will decline in favour of independent or loosely affiliated groups of artists and related service providers (like myself)
- the relevance of the album format is tenuous

These concepts are all open to innovation around new ways of creating value for consumers. When someone perfects a better way that works consistently the old model will crumble. What is that better way?


Digital Content Checklist for an online promotion campaign

Mp3’s - Record and encode your songs.

Bio - Words for Google, god of the internet. Who and what and where for fans AND Google to understand.

.Jpg - making a connection as a real person and branding

Video - you don’t have to do video (not “A video” but “video” – ongoing video content!) But it’s just like MTV in the 80’s. Now the digital revolution is underway, they will just like people who have videos more, because videos help fans engage and connect, and fans would rather be engaged and connected.

What is the best way to sell my music online?

- Declining value of music vs. speed of change = selling copies of recordings remains viable.

- - itunes. Accounts for over 75% of all retail downloads. The future of the download market is currently tied to itunes.

- Online retail is just like physical retail: you can sell your music in as many shops as you like but you can only pick one distributor

Credible choices for online distribution: CD Baby is great for including physical distribution for unestablished artists

Pro’s: Physical distro, flat fee of $35, reputable company, handles processing

Cons: Have to send 5 physical copies of release to US, take 15% of sale, up to 2 months processing Tunecore provides great online service for artists with established fan bases

Pro’s: 0% commission, single release option
Con’s: Ongoing fees, store by store fee, no physical distribution,

Storefront widgets – E.G. 3rd party applications for retailing across web/social platforms.

Amplifier + Trademe + Local distro: , ,

- The importance of servicing local niches and local connections

- Building fan relationships on NZ’s most popular local website 1 by 1.

Whats the big deal about social networking and web 2.0?

Social media is content, and content is promotion. “owning more of the internet”

Social networking for google: remember keywords and keyword rich backlinks

OMD + free mp3’s

Old school daddies

New school laddies (ilike)


Myspace changed online culture and made the internet (social media) mainstream. internet hasn’t quite overtaken television as teenagers main media source but will do so in the next 2-3 years. Myspace despite it’s recent decline as a social destination is still the no. 1 music website in the world.

Layout: Keep it modest and don’t over reach. Beware pre-made custom layouts. The function of your Myspace is a showcase, a shop window display, an advertisement. Keep it functional and outcome focused – direct your traffic (ie “check out the new video” “sign up for our mailing list to be notified of our next exclusive mp3 giveaway”)

- use your title and display image creatively (think about your vanguard + first impressions)

- bands ramming their downloads and merchandise down your throat doesn’t feel right – build relationships

But what about promotion? What about the getting an edge in Social media?

Promotion: Is content. Is having something to say. That is, hype is dead. Feed out content. Create access. Destroy friction. Syndicate

Spam and promotion: Don’t try this at home - Its about them not you. Permission marketing.

*spam disclaimer: “spam” is unsolicited electronic contact and is illegal. When I refer to “spam” I refer to bots, scripts and software that automate communication tasks. Bands should refrain from engaging in legally dubious attempts to contact unqualified and unidentified targets unsolicited.

You’re not on social networks to Sell your CD. You’re there to make friends, to have fun. It’s about engaging attention and turning that attention into a connection.

Rule #1 of social media: engage your audience where they are. Manage time SM commitments

- but engage highly qualified local niche sites: ,

Social Networking: Myspace, , ,

- interacting, engaging and joining the conversation ( I don’t want to buy your t-shirt . . . yet!)
- sub networks and sub communities – engage niches within broader networks


- the importance of tags in internal searches, links, bio
- automated distribution and tubemogul
- future video revenue?


Social Music sites:,, ,

- Aggregation of user data for recommendations (

- Widgetisation and 3rd party tools (reverbnation and ilike)

- streaming royalties (, reverbnation and Imeem)

Social Bookmarking:
- Bookmarks your favourite webpages for public use. Aggregates user data. Google juice tool.

Socially organised information:,

RSS, P2P and Podcasts

- RSS, content syndication and
- P2P, peer sharing networks, etc –
- Podcasts, enclosures, Itunes + podcast networks –

Free Blogs: ,

Whats the best thing I can do right now for my music? Write another blog post

Little blogging: Owning more of the web

Big blogging: Creating a channel for content delivery and audience engagement



- building search presence, building revenue sources, building engagement with audiences

Do we really have to write a blog? No. But promotion is content. You engage online audiences by feeding content through your online channel and accumulating online presence and a blog is in many ways a website that has been optimised for regular, frequent and ongoing delivery of content in order to engage.

How can I use my website to build a career?

Your website, blogs and social networks allows you to build contacts, create revenue and build a career without having to gain “old model” industry acceptance.

Being consistent (consistently improving) + prolific is essential, as will engaging new technology give you the edge in digital promotion.

1 - Setting up your website

Domain name – keywords vs. branding: ,
Hosting – – also and

WEB DESIGN – contact

- issues of control and “independence”

- The digital revolution and evil technocrats who charge too much based on your ignorance

- web designers vs internet marketers (metatags, flash design)

- CMS (content management system)

2 - Promoting your blog and website

- What matters to google: keyword content, age + updates, and backlinks with anchor text

- Social Media which we’ve discussed
- leveraging content for promotion (, )
- leveraging secondary services and products for promotion (ie ebook / widget – is for advanced users!)

- Advertising (Is for advanced users)

- offline crossovers (engage them!)

3 - Developing your website

- your website is a channel

- brand for engagement

- unique propositions create engagement

- foster community and interaction

engaging fan relationships: Email Lists:,,
- building a unique value proposition around an emailing list (or; is the future hard?)

How and when are we going to get money from the internet?

We know the music industry is moving online – how will musicians profit and when will technology make new income streams viable?

- is the music industry converging into a greater digital content industry (e.g. rock star, guitar hero)

- What and where is the value of music going to be in the future + how can I capture this value

Diverse products, services and price structures
- Nine Inche Nails
- Korean/Asian Music Industry
- ringtones ( )

Really really get open minded about leveraging what you have to create new services and added value

Monetizing Ad supported content: ,,

Brand expansion
- merchandising
- endorsements
- sponsorship

Leveraging Email lists, affiliate marketing and monetizing relationships
- fan supported models
- affiliate offers and niche storefronts
- high value commissions vs. low value music copies

Building and monetizing online communities
- web 2.0, c2c, facilitating access and community interaction, user generated content
- 1000 true fans
- gated communities and flat fee service access

- Licensing, publishing, royalties and synch fees ,

- online publicity (not officially endorsed by Matt @ Kurb!) , ,

My favourite blogs: – this one is a marketing one but its so good!

Don’t forget to check out the new kurb artist community @ for online marketing, budget cd and dvd services, budget postering services

And stay up to date with my blog: /

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Content IS Promotion: Internet Music Marketing presentation

Hey thanks to Jason @ Depot Artspace and all those who came along to hear my very first presentation on digital music marketing and stuff.

As it turns out I get more than a biscuit. But the important thing for me was really some points I can make – as I often do – that are relevant to artists and one of the most important things I’ve been talking about recently but had to quickly skim because my talk was damn near 2 hours! Definitely room for improvement there. But I did feel good that even though I went on way too long and had to skim some of most important stuff about engaging fans and monetizing fan relationships, most people stuck around even though I went on and on.

The fact is, that online music promotion is complicated. You can catch up with some of those posts in my 7 part series here:

Part 1 is here: In digital we trust - preparing for digital music marketing and promotion

And part 2 is here: Are you ready? Content you need for your digital online promotion campaign

And part 3: Google and the importance of words on the web: more “who’s going to write our blog copy” now then “who’s going to direct our video”

Part 4:  Getting your head around using social media and web 2.0 to promote your music

Part 5: Setting up a music artists website

 Part 6: Music Artist Website promotion: Marketing and Sales

Part 7: Music Artist Website Promotion: Engaging, EMail and Monetizing

And don’t forget: Our new artist community has launched @ - it’s still free to join in July and we’re starting to add new in depth content already.



So in a lot of ways for me this presentation was a bit like a gig – and though I don’t see myself packing out stadiums at $50 a head for presentation talks on online music marketing - like most gigs when you’re starting out, it was an opportunity to get experience engaging deeply and in person with an audience.

I knew it was an opportunity to develop my presentation skills. Now there’s a reason that this applies and that’s not just about developing my skills as a performer.

It’s about the growing power of audio and video to provide a platform to really connect with a large, focused digital audience.

That means although there was an opportunity to improve my performance – which is really important for musicians, more so than for marketers – it was the knowledge that there would be a lot of power in digitally distributing this performance.

I knew there would be audio taken at the event and that I would be able to get into doing some videos based on the presentation content aftwerwards, and syndicate those videos (if theyre decent!) out over multiple online channels thus multiplying the effectiveness of my efforts.

Also it raises some points about how you engage.

There was some mention that I didn’t really use my talk as a platform for Kurb. I’m not one to shy away from a marketing opportunity, but this was about creating positive engagement.

I could have talked up myself and what I do, but there really is no substitute for value. If people who engage with your material walk away thinking “Wow, that was really good!” Then most of the work is done.

And that’s what it’s about. By just focusing on being as good as I could be and giving value to the audience . . . they know who I am, they know what I do, so will those who hear the podcast and watch the videos. The rest will just follow.

A lot of top bloggers can come across as quite sanctimonious and holier-than-thou when they talk about engaging audiences using new media. It’s all very well for them to talk about high quality, high value when they’re doing 5 figures a week and you’re still working your crappy job.

But I made a fresh assertion during this presentation when I said that “content IS promotion” during this talk, because every piece of high quality content is an opportunity to engage with your audience and advance the relationship.

When I think about all the work I’ll be doing on my videos over the next few days, and waiting on the audio stuff from Jason, I know it’s hardly going to convert directly into big profits and opportunities. (well, it might)

But I do know that it’s going to create opportunities to engage my existing audience as well as drawing in new people from around the world who are interested in the way I do business with and for musicians. If more people are going to get more value from this content then it’s going to foster relationships that lead to profitable interactions.

I emphasised this in different ways in my talk, but I know, especially when I get a frantic email or call from a musician that though many people do connect with my blog, my bulletins etc. and that’s been great, video and audio content gives you so much scope for real engagement and real connection.

This is how I’m talking about engaging fans.

It is the 80’s again – without video you could be losing your edge in your ability to connect with people about what you’re doing.

I kept on thinking about radioheads New years webcast which I checked out in regards to these videos I’ll be working on.

I’ll admit I do tend to avoid listening to a lot of music and watching a lot of music video simply because I am very easily influenced. But given the massive buzz around Radiohead, I couldn’t help it!

And watching their webcast we could see the way that Radiohead make their music, as they performed it in their own rehersal/recording space, we could see them performing with passion, we could see that their drummer does look kinda weird, like drummers do, but he’s definitely into it. On the stroke of midnight they stood around in the pitch black freezing cold in a field outside the studio and did an acoustic version of one of their songs.

Their was some weird kinda arty stuff and short poems between each song.

So long story short, I was engaged. They got me, and here I am, responding positively to the free secondary content from radiohead I engaged with.

Radiohead perhaps had some deal for the webcasting of the video but really, there wasn’t big money in this webcast for them. It wasn’t about sales and marketing, it was about engaging fans with content, and letting the rest take care of itself.

I think for those who purchased “In rainbows” it would feel like a bonus, but the flip of that was that for those who didn’t purchase “In Rainbows” it was a step forward in building that relationship through engagement with content to a point where that could certainly happen under the right circumstances.

For those who did purchase John Reese’s “Traffic Secrets” they probably felt they already had received much value in the free videos they watched, paying for the full program was just a follow through.

I’m going to be putting up notes from my talk on my blog soon – both from my hand out and from my own extended notes . . .

Because we all know – more content – more words – more love from google – more opportunites to engage with content and foster relationships and interactions that lead to monetization.

Just like John Reese says: “Own more of the net!”

And Matt Turner says: “Content IS Promotion”


Kurb is an online promotion company specializing in digital music marketing and artist management.

Follow our blog at for cutting edge web promotion as we launch - the exclusive artist community putting artists in control of their online promotion and revenue management.

Within New Zealand we also provide low cost and hassle free
CD DVD duplication and printing as well as poster design print and placement in Auckland.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Online Music Promo - Engaging, Email Lists and Actually Monetizing: Lucky 7 Final chapter

Okay on we go with the very last episode of our 3 part series on getting your head around online promotion basics and then it just mutated into a seven part whopper!

In today s stunning conclusion it’s just all business. It’s not basic anything anymore because we’re actually engaging fans and we’re actually monetizing it.

Here's whats happened so far:

Part 1 is here: In digital we trust - preparing for digital music marketing and promotion

And part 2 is here: Are you ready? Content you need for your digital online promotion campaign

And part 3: Google and the importance of words on the web: more “who’s going to write our blog copy” now then “who’s going to direct our video”

Part 4: Getting your head around using social media and web 2.0 to promote your music

Part 5: Setting up a music artists website

Part 6: Music Artist Website promotion: Marketing and Sales

And don’t forget: Our new artist community has launched @ - it’s still free to join in July and we’re starting to add new in depth content already.

And of course tomorrow @ The Depot in Devonport I’ll be be giving a presentation on all this stuff Check it out if you’re in auckland.

So it was cliffhanger end last time when we suddenly discovered while we were promoting our websites and building the power of our musics brand message to connect with audiences – it was the good old email list that formed a fundamental strategy for monetizing all along!

There are many unique propositions you can be using to monetise this valuable, influential brand you’ve built up and these relationships you’re building with your audience, but your potential fans don’t want to be bombarded by what you want to sell them. That's not real. They want to connect with a message that makes them open to having you earn their trust. And this is where the proposition of having new fans sign up for an email list is probably one of the most successful strategies to create income long term, because the relationship is based on respect for a fan who welcomes your interactions, and will be prepared to spend money as the relationship and the unique value grows.

As the music industry evolves, I always say well . . . the last time I saw the rulebook on making money, it was flying out the window. Only one thing holds true and that is creating value for the fans and managing the relationship leads to artist success.

I think most of the old music industry think Radiohead was just a bad dream. They need to wake up.
Okay so lets wrap
up this thing by describing some different ways you can innovate to create revenue from your website and email list – and remember what I’ve said about new music business models – its not a horse race! You can ride every income stream that is worth the effort.

The idea is to continually innovate and optimize so that you are enhancing the value of your most profitable interactions and minimising the effort of your least profitable interactions. This is fundamental in guiding the innovative process.

Lets look at some areas for innovating monetization:

Pricing structure: Trent Reznors last Nine Inch Nails release was remarkable for the number of pricing iterations he created on different products available, so there was a product for fans at every level from a basic $5 download all the way up to a limited edition item valued a $300 that netted him $750,000 over the 48 hour period they took to sell out. The remarkable thing was also that this was an instrumental album, that though creating further options for licensing and synching, however was not really NIN's core content. But NIN's core fanbase is fully engaged and they dont care.

Income streams: The asian music market, where rampant piracy cripples the value of physical goods and copies, has led the way in showing how developing wide and deep ranges of products and service under the brand of an artist can actually leverage the effects of piracy.

The opportunities here to innovate abound. Maybe you need to have a serious and open minded think about what kind of products and services you can provide. I realised I could go to 6 year old’s birthdays and play pirates for $200 a pop, there’s this guy I heard about who offers to write and record love songs - mainly for the wedding market.

There's Bob Baker's buddy who sold 15,000 CD's on the pier playing cheesy love ballads twice a week for 18 months.

What have you got? Is it your raw technical skill? Is it your charisma? Is there are specific message around a common issue that peopel conenct with through your music? Do you have prolific output?Do you make a fashion statement with what you wear or a sexual statement with what you don't?

You need to identify exactly where you can creating the most value with your specific skills and doing those things that you love that dont seem like work and leverage it!

Fan supported: In the fan supported model which has already been demonstratably successful, the artist set up a system by which there was increasingly personalised rewards for example - $10 pre ordered a copy of the CD, $500 gave you a thank you in the CD liner notes, $5000 gave you a trip from anywhere in the US to stay courtesy of the artist for a weekend during the recording and participate on the backing vocal of one of the songs.

Ad supported revenue: We often talk about the digital revolution creating an “attention economy” that is, in a digital environment where copies of content cease to have financial value, the value is then transferred to the attention created through content and the opportunity that remains to create revenue from attention through advertising.

Advertising networks online are getting increasingly sophisticated, and although I hold fast to the assertion that in 2008, 1000 page views should equal 1000 cents earnings - and currently after blogging for over 9 months, that’s about what I earn from my blogs in a week – I honestly believe that conditions for online advertisers will improve across the board as the medium continues to improve and show its effectiveness. First, muso’s will start out with Google adsense ads, before looking into joining an ad network potentially capable of delivering more lucrative and more consistent targeted ads charged per impression, finally a successful established musician should be able to attract sufficient interest to be able to cut out the middleman and sell advertising directly to niche partners.

Affiliate marketing: Affiliate marketing is a lucrative form of online marketing that drives online sales with high commissions, thus attracting many like a modern day gold rush. Those with online products will join an affiliate network that will provide its “partners” (bloggers, webmasters etc.) with ad offers. The tracking of these sites and offers is a highly sophisticated commercial operation and once a sale can be traced to somebody who once visited your site with the corresponding ad displayed, you will be accredited with a 40%-75% commission on the sale value. As I’ve discussed before the range of products is staggering, and sure, miracle diets etc. do tend to sell better BUT what you’ve got to realise is that there are free offers that pay out. This means you can leverage your email list to present a variety of offers to your fans. But the fact that you are able to collect 75% commission on digital products does raise possibilities about relative product value.

E.G. – Buy a month worth of digital movie rental for $US40 (of which the band gets $US30) and get our new album (worth $10) free!!!

You getting me? Things could get interesting.

Monetized communities:

So monetizing communities is based around the concept that the content that drives your promotion and monetization through advertising etc. becomes exponential once you have harnessed fans to actually create content for you.

Discussion about you, discussion with you, discussion about content, interaction with content, deconstruction (“mash up”) of content . . . when your fans are doing this for you, you’ve now got a a wild freeform content generating, web ownaging machine!

You want them designing their own t-shirts and selling them to one another and taking a cut. “c2c” means “consumer to consumer”.

The way we do business is about to be fundamentally changed online.

But yes. Artists must accept relinquishing control.

In 2013 If some kid photoshops your face on a dogs body and sells 50,000 t shirts online then you’re going to have to take your 25% cut and massive exposure and sulk in the corner.

But on communities gotta touch on what I’m doing personally with kurb – as a working model – so you can see in practice the model of a high value online community that is monetized. And the fact that you can see that I’m doing it, it’s not some huge leap for you. Cost me a few hundy.

With I’ve set up a forum platform from which to distribute high value content. In my case it’s content that I feel is to valuable to share freely – in your case it’s most likely your music. But in creating a platform on which to monetize premium content and your fan relationships you can create dynamic propositions.

You can build a list of 1000 hardcore fans who are happy to commit to paying $1 per week ($1 per week????) and be part of a premium experience that gives them premium access (you stop in the members over the week to interact) and access to premium content: your music, videos, special exclusive content, giveaways, competitions and prizes, special free gigs, seriously, innovation can run wild!


like I said. It’s just one horse in the stable. Your making $1000 p/week of your premium membership sites – your also making pocket money out of advertising, digital retail, royalties and licensing, your gigging of course – even your good old CD’s and merch . . . y’know? The futures not dark.

But you gotta get started now. It’ll take years for your online presence to dvelop and mature.

Okay, So I hope you’ve enjoyed this series!

I’ll be doing a post soon about going back over your blog and editing it for optimisation as a clean up each of the articles in the series.

Part 1 is here: In digital we trust - preparing for digital music marketing and promotion

And part 2 is here: Are you ready? Content you need for your digital online promotion campaign

And part 3: Google and the importance of words on the web: more “who’s going to write our blog copy” now then “who’s going to direct our video”

Part 4: Getting your head around using social media and web 2.0 to promote your music

part 5: Setting up a music artists website

And don’t forget: Our new artist community has launched @ - it’s still free to join in July and we’re starting to add new in depth content already.

And of course tomorrow @ The Depot in Devonport I’ll be be giving a presentation on all this stuff Check it out if you’re in auckland.

It’s time for me to get on with developing my community at

And I’ve got work to building my blogs presentation to build a more powerful brand and develop more and new ways of monetization.

Look for me at http://musicmarketingblog,info as I'm getting my act together here!

And make sure you subscribe by RSS because I just know I’m going to be talking more about branding, engaging fans and more about developing these relationships and monetized interactions soon.


marketing and monetizing a music artists website

 Okay so we been doing this series on online promotion, in the last post in the series we talked about the importance of your website and how to set one up.


Today we’re going to be revisiting a lot of ideas we’ve discussed about promoting your website - and talking about how you can use your website to create value for fans that leads to income.

Now we're getting into the real nitty gritty and moving beyond the basics. So this time we're going to be going through website promotion and we're going to cap it off in the next part by continuing to discuss building email lists and building deeper engagement with fans by fostering interactions and ongoing relationships.

Lets look over the series:

Part 1 is here: In digital we trust - preparing for digital music marketing and promotion

And part 2 is here: Are you ready? Content you need for your digital online promotion campaign

And part 3: Google and the importance of words on the web: more "who's going to write our blog copy" now then "who's going to direct our video"

Part 4:  Getting your head around using social media and web 2.0 to promote your music

part 5: Setting up a music artists website


And don't forget: Our new artist community has launched @ - it's still free to join in July and we're starting to add new in depth content.

And of course tomorrow @ The Depot in Devonport I'll be be giving a presentation on all this stuff Check it out if you're in auckland.


So when I’ve talked about building your website and how important your “internet property” is, it’s about creating an online channel for you to present your content and develop profitable interactions, and retaining control of that environment and those interactions.


Blogs and websites are very similar in the way that they are used as a platform to deliver content, and can be both used to conduct highly valuable propositions such as building an email list of fans from which to monetize continued interactions. Though if you’re innovative and creative your website can be used to create opportunities to drive deeper fan interaction with content that can be managed for monetization.

I tend to explain website promotion in terms of two concepts: Sales and Marketing. First comes marketing, that’s about bringing people to your website. We discussed Social Media, and we also talked about creating digital content, writing and blogging – making a lot of words in particular - to increase your depth of presence, “owning more of the net” and improving search based results. In this way, you can say content IS promotion.


But as your building your content and “owning more of the net”, committing yourself to developing your website into a platform that creates income from your music becomes a long and cumulative process.

Once you’ve worked to bring traffic to your site, we have to examine the sales process, because “Please buy our CD” in big letters wont work.



When I talk about increasing “sales”, or “conversions”, we are optimising the content that visitors to your site experience in order to produce a desired outcome. That is, put in broad terms, when a visit to your website results in the desired action by the visitor, whether that’s downloading a free song, signing up to an email list or even . . . engaging in an interaction which leads to monetization!

How can optimize your website to encourage more “sales”?

Often we can start with basic tweaks - increasing the access, the value and the uniqueness of the proposition.


But this is where we start to discuss the power of building relationships with fans. It comes back to engagement, it comes back to branding. The reality is, unless you engage you’re not likely to even get people interested in downloading your music free. So what engages people?

Well music obviously. But the problem is we’re moving beyond the era in which they used to just play music at you on the radio until you liked it. The struggle is getting them to listen. Getting them to get that far.

What will make them give your music a chance?

Branding. Branding through content that carries powerful messages fans identify with.

The house music videos of Benny Benassi and Eric Prydz carry strong visual messages about sexuality. The Hip Hop music videos of P Diddy et al carry strong visual messages about the rewards of financial success, while Coldplay alludes heavily to personal struggles intepreted through monogamy. These examples abound. Bob Marleys music is depicted as spiritual and political, Radiohead's music is depicted as having intellectual and political undertones. 

Successful artists connect with their audience through strong brand associated messages.

Here again the importance of continuing to create content that enhances the brand value to the fans of what it is you represent. If you don’t carry strong messages in this way then you don’t really represent anything powerful or meaningful to people and so they fail to engage.

It’s not just about branding but also about being unique.

But it’s also about the proposition you’re presenting. It must carry value for your potential fan as well as being unique.

When I talk about the proposition that you are using your social networks and blogs and content to draw people to your site and draw people into, it’s not only a unique and valuable brand proposition such as:


“we UNIQUELY represent a brand powerfully associated with your identity”


but also a uniquely valuable proposition in order to capture the value in your brand as a relationship that can lead to profitable interactions such as:

”So sign up for mailing list so we can continue to have interactions based around uniquely valuable propositions that benefit you!”

So let me cut the marketing speak for one moment:  It means unless people think you’re cool, they don’t care about your free mp3’s. they don’t.


It’s up to you to give them something to care about.

You gotta create the greatest opportunity and encouragement to sell the interaction that will escalate the relationship with the casual visitor.

That’s why you’ve got to go back to Rapino’s statement and recognise the role your website plays in building your email list.

“ . . . and it’s all about the website. Collecting email addresses and maximizing revenue . . . ”

So here we see the value of the email list. We can grasp the simple email list as a way to foster deeper relationships with fans and then and only then arriving at a point at which you can actually start making some money.

So coming right up is our last post in the series before we accept we've well and truly moved beyond the basics into the business of building relationships and innovating to create new value from those interactions.