Marketing Music On Amazon & iTunes.

10 replies
I recently made a thread some of you may have read about marketing a musician.

Now i was wondering if you could all give me your $0.02 on how to market an artist who has an album on amazon & itunes to generate more sells without a list.

Just looking for your advice,

#amazon #itunes #marketing #music
  • Profile picture of the author Derek Allen
    Social networks work great (facebook, myspace, twitter). Give out sample clips on these social media sites. Not only will you get more sales but you will get new fans for the artist. Fans are priceless because they are the ones who buy the music and keep the artists income streams rolling.

    Also, youtube. You can take a sample of each song off the album and pair it with a slideshow like video. Only give them enough to hook them to the song and want more. Include your links everywhere and you will do fine. Basically, any site that people visit to be entertained and you can sign up for free is a good bet.
    My Blog + Cool Stuff>> Self Made CEO
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  • Profile picture of the author CodyTemke
    I would say Youtube!! man you see so many new upcoming good artists on there... Just post a demo of a song with a link back to there myspace page in the "info" bar.
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  • Profile picture of the author David Hooper
    Work in this market and have a radio show at Music Business Radio that you might find helpful. Music Marketing [dot] com is my blog, if you're rather read than listen.
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    • Profile picture of the author GeorgettaSterling
      I think one approach is to just build up a fan base. They will buy once they have an emotional connection to the artist. It sounds obvious, because it IS obvious. The big question many ask is "how to build up a fan base" but that can be done pretty simply (not easily, but simply) - - interact with people until they become fans.

      Consider a "case study" I have been following for awhile - her name is Kina Grannis. She is an independent artist whose most recent album debuted on the Billboard top 200 (at #139, I think), without marketers, without hype, without a promotional push from a label. It is pretty high up in iTunes too. I don't know how many CDs she has sold, but "lots" is an understatement.

      You can check her out on Youtube:
      YouTube - kinagrannis's Channel
      her own website:
      Kina Grannis
      and the various related Twitter, Myspace etc.

      Here is how I believe she built a significant fan base:
      1. put out a LOT of youtube videos, both original songs and covers. Do it consistently. Kina was putting out 1 per day, then 1 per week, now it is roughly every 2 weeks, but for a year or two at least 1 per week. If the video performance is GOOD (lots of emotion) then people will spread it around and subscribe. These people will beg to buy your album when it FINALLY comes out. This consistent effort also got her over 100K subscribers and climbing, which is pretty good for a musician.

      2. get personal with your fans, and do it consistently. In her YT vids, Kina does shoutouts and birthday wishes (usually in some cute or artsy way, too). People like recognition. Most won't ever make a video themselves. People like to be acknowledged as existing.

      3. drive people to social networking sites, and then interact with your fans there. Kina does a lot of twitter stuff, and while not HUGE on Twitter (I forget, I want to say maybe 30K followers) she interacts with them, answers their questions, lots of @ replies (again, acknowledge their existence). Same on other sites. It is a lot of work. Kina also answers emails (she has answered several of mine, which was quite a thrill - why would this thrill me??? Answer that and you answer the question of "promoting" an artist).

      4. give away some of your music. For her album launch (no money, no record label, totally indie) Kina gave away a track from the album and encouraged others to give it away also. She got lots of extra attention and new fans (and I bet, more album sales). This is in addition to Youtube live performances of acoustic versions of all songs, AND recorded versions of some of her older songs that are available for free download.

      5. make a music video. It doesn't have to be high budget or high concept, but people still like music videos in addition to "regular" or "bedroom musician" videos that are all over Youtube. With the help of your fans, you can get them bookmarked, which might give a little more exposure. For example, Kina made a video for her first single off her new album, which was also the song she gave away, called "Valentine":

      It has over 900,000 views in 3 weeks, which isn't bad for an indie artist (whose music will only appeal to a small subset of the YT population). It also has something like 1400 diggs, which doesn't hurt.

      6. do some stunts. Kina wrote a song called "Gotta Digg" which was about, and of course was quite popular there (even the Digg founders talked about the song, the video, and Kina, on one of their videos to their members). In the most cynical sense, you can consider Gotta Digg to be an appeal to the vanity of the Digg community. Of course Kina also created a cute video to go along with it. It was amateur, but still entertaining (you can find it on YT if you are interested). As an artist, I am sure you can think of other attention-getting stunts that you could do that would get attention either online, offline or both.

      7. make it easy for your audience to consume your music. So, this isn't just Youtube videos like already mentioned. Make it available through as many channels as possible - CD, iTunes, Amazon, and a host of other mp3 download sites, as well as free stuff on your own site. Kina even streamed her entire album, FOR FREE, on her website for the first week it was released. You didn't have to buy the album to hear ALL the tracks in studio quality. I bet lots of folks did anyway. Rather than saying "I got it for free" they said "I want it to be mine."

      I am sure there are other factors, but essentially - get involved with your community, consistently, and you can build a following/tribe/fanbase. It DOES help that Kina is very pretty, has a great voice, writes catchy pop songs, etc. but more importantly, she showed up every day, presented TO her audience, interacted WITH her audience, and involved her audience in her music and journey. Those are compelling things.

      Just my thoughts.

      Regards, Georgetta
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  • Profile picture of the author JeffersonB
    Thanks for that Georgetta... that really helped. Sorry for the late reply
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  • Profile picture of the author LilBlackDress

    This is an excellent post. I have a daughter who is a pop/rock artist. She has gotten millions of hits, views and song plays through social networking. Not to mention the opportunity to work with some big names. She is still in school (graduating in May) and has a lot of gigs.

    There are a few points I want to make.

    Popularity does not always equal sales. People are getting music free free free on the internet so to earn income many artists need to tour, offer special merchandise or offer something else that they can't get for free. You can have the most popular video on Youtube but that does mean you are making the bucks.

    And no you can't just slap a video on Youtube and expect it to make your band a star or for it to go viral. You have to work the crowd lots of places. My popsinger is on Twitter, Myspace, Facebook, Friendster, Tagged and lots of other sites. She has been/is featured at quite a few which has resulted in hundreds of thousands of plays.

    Next why are you not building a list? ReverbNation has outstanding services for artists
    many of which are free. They have easy to use templates where you can integrate your shows, music etc. We were using a regular autoresponder service but found Reverb so simple we send out many more newsletters.

    Get the fans to help. They love helpilng out their favorite artists. And will bend over backwards to spread the word, build a list etc.

    If you want to sell music you need to treat it as a business and put in the time to be successful.

    PS I am happy to send a link to beautiful daughter and her music to anyone who wants it. Just PM me

    Pen Name + 8 eBooks + social media sites 4 SALE - PM me (evergreen beauty niche)

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  • Profile picture of the author Twisted
    I'd love to know about this too ... I have a band but ... well, I write music and have a live band play it with me on stage.

    But I'm VERY interested in music marketing !
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Riddle
    Music promotion is changing rapidly, what worked online a year ago barely gets noticed today.

    The music biz isn't really the music biz, while having great music and the desire to write and create songs that listeners can relate to is always an important foundation, it's not what makes one artist profitable and another artist living on Beanie Weenies.

    It is about the experience for the fan.

    Fan's will go hungry for a week just so they can get that experience that their favorite artists bring.

    Indie doesn't automatically mean broke and no promotion budget, There are quite a few indie artist that have promo budgets several times larger than new artists on major labels.

    You can find artist who's promo budget is totally dependent on a tour of house concerts that include a nights stay and gas for the vehicles to make it to the next gig, but it is becoming more important to reach out to fans and potential fans with the help of marketing people that understand the difference between what a marketer does, and what a promoter does.

    Promoters are finding the venues and the promotion channels they have used for years drying up, and nothing replacing them.

    I'm going to be rough on artists here, but its a comparison that will help you define what you really want to do.

    Think of your $15 CD as an ebook.

    What would you do to promote?

    Would you find affiliates? (promoters that work on commissions)
    Would you tour the country talking to people who buy ebooks on your topics (PR and Promo tour)
    Would you leverage social media (fan pages, blogs, sonic bids, youtube, reverbnation, internet radio stations)
    Would you use PPC to drive traffic? (pay commission on ticket sales)
    Review product in your niche on amazon? (with a link to your products in the review.)

    Obviously there are more things that you could put on your list.

    You may find it much more profitable to give your music away with each concert ticket sold.
    Sell videos of that evenings concert, T shirts, Skate boards, Shot glasses, etc.

    This is not meant to discourage anyone from getting into the music business, it is meant to help you focus on the experience and not the tracks.

    Mark Riddle
    Today isn't Yesterday, - Products are everywhere if your eyes are Tuned!
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    • Profile picture of the author GeorgettaSterling
      I agree with LilBlackDress' point completely: network, network, network! It is more acceptable and more appropriate for the musician than any other "business" I can think of.

      If you look at most of the musicians (even some of the big ones) they have:
      myspace (I bet ALL bands have a myspace, with the song player widget)
      and about 10 others.

      It is all about interaction with the fans and potential fans. Creating that emotional bond creates fans.

      Mark Riddle is of course correct too (and he should know, I believe he is a professional music promoter...). However, there ARE several different music business models. Some folks, like Trent Reznor, suggest the one Mark suggests - touring and "stuff" as opposed to the CD/mp3. They may be right. Even the "big" artists often do this.

      Think about this a second - why do the Rolling Stones tour? They are one of the biggest bands in the world, and have been around forever. Doesn't everyone know them? According to what I saw Mick Jagger say in an interview years ago, they tour because they are obligated to (to support an album with their label), because they love it (good for them!) and because they make most of their money touring!!! Not off of CD sales.

      Of course, live performances can be magical, and if you are already a fan, you can truly get that emotional/spiritual communication from a song played live, in person that you cannot get so easily from a CD.

      One other "marketing" point that does well for artists: the JV. More specifically, co-promotion or collaboration. A lot of the indie artists do this - they do duets, they open for each other, they promote each other on their channels (YT, twitter etc.). My example above (Kina) did stuff with another popular indie artist named David Choi (they even got a department store to underwrite the collaboration and giveaway of the resulting mp3). She also did some writing and opened for David Archuleta (who has a rabid fan base), and some "archies" became Kina fans too. Not really that different to an ad swap between two mailing list owners...

      Finally - encourage your fans to do covers and remixes of your music! The big record labels desperately discourage this (think of all the YT bedroom artists getting "copyright" penalty notices and audio removed). They don't understand that a cover, particularly by a fan, is an act of pure love, and that even if that person only has 100 followers, some of those may become followers of the original artist (multiply that a bunch of times and it becomes very significant). The more "circles of influence" that you can be a part of, the better. It isn't really different than having a street team out there promoting you with posters or stickers or whatever - referral marketing is a huge part of the music business. Too bad the big labels have forgotten that.

      People want to consume music. They need to consume music. The more ways that they can consume YOUR music, the better, and the more attached to you they are.

      Best Regards, Georgetta
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  • Profile picture of the author JeffersonB
    Thanks Mark too & Georgetta.

    Well ive had two tracks on the amazon top 100 downloaded... which must be a sign that a couple of the songs are doing good.

    Anymore information will be grateful people
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