There’s far more to advertising and marketing your music than simply selling it to your followers.

Each band, solo artist, songwriter, producer, report label, venue, and promoter ought to have a agency grasp of the 4 Ps—product, value, promotion, and place (distribution)—if they need their music to succeed.

On this information, we’ll present you the way to use advertising and marketing to succeed in your music targets in seven steps. 

However first, let’s handle the fundamentals.

For this, let’s adapt the AMA definition of selling. Music advertising and marketing is the act and course of of making, sharing, delivering, and exchanging music choices which have worth to prospects, followers, or companions.

So let’s break down this definition.

  1. Creating – Advertising and marketing is about creating music merchandise (which you’re doing already).
  2. Speaking and sharing – Advertising and marketing is telling folks about your music. “The very best factor about doing one thing you like is sharing it with somebody who loves it too.” – Eric Prydz
  3. Delivering – Advertising and marketing is about delivering music to followers and prospects.
  4. Exchanging music choices – Your music provides followers worth; in change, they offer you worth by consuming or shopping for your music.

How your function in music influences your method to advertising and marketing

Accordingly to Spotify, of the 8 million individuals who have uploaded music to its platform, 5.4 million have revealed fewer than 10 songs. This knowledge means that they might be new to music, approaching music as a aspect mission, or not leveraging streaming.

Round 165,000 artists have launched at the very least 10 songs, and 199,000 have had a gig or dwell live performance.

Of those 165,000 to 199,000 artists, 25% earn greater than $10,000 from Spotify streaming and $40,000 or extra in complete income.

Printed on Spotify Musician standing Quantity Share
A minimum of one music New to music 8 million
Fewer than 10 songs Hobbyist, aspect mission 5.4 million 67.5%
10 or extra songs Aspiring, not leveraging streaming or music profession 165,000 2%
Incomes over $10K from Spotify Earners drawing streaming and live performance earnings 41,250 1%

Whereas that is how Spotify identifies musicians, it’s possible you’ll establish your self as a:

  1. Band.
  2. Solo artist.
  3. Songwriter/composer.
  4. Report producer.
  5. Music venue.
  6. Mixture of the above.

Irrespective of the place you might be in your music profession, creator Steven Pressfield sums up the artist’s manner:

There isn’t a worse feeling for a author or any artist than to see their ebook, their movie, their comedy, their music go on the market and die. Or worse, exit into the world and no person even is aware of they exist. I’ve skilled it greater than as soon as and it’s heartbreaking.

Seven steps to attaining your music advertising and marketing targets

Comply with these seven steps to nail your music advertising and marketing.

Step 1. Create or resolve your product

All advertising and marketing begins with a product, even when it’s only one music.

In conventional advertising and marketing, you look out on the market, see how huge it’s, what it needs, and the way your product is completely different.

However you’ll be able to’t consider your product in the identical manner as a Tesla automobile or cornflakes.

The product comes from inside for the artist or musician. You might want to hearken to your inside voice and work out what you wish to convey into the world.

Merchandise

Listed below are some examples that will help you perceive what I imply by a “product.”

A music or album

You create a music; a single launch is a product.

You’ve three or 4 demos sitting in Ableton; that’s an EP within the making. 

The album you launched final yr to vital acclaim is a product—so is the proposed remix album you might be contemplating.

A gig, DJ set, or tour

A one-off gig or DJ set is a product. Lengthen these gigs right into a sequence, and you’ve got a tour, which is one other product.

Licensing

When Carly Paradis was commissioned to create the soundtrack for “The Rising” TV sequence, she created a product.

Caleb Murphy licensed a music to the TV sequence “Chicago Hearth,” and over 76% of his music earnings got here from sync licensing.

Distribution of music income for Caleb Murphy's song
Supply: Musician With A Day Job.

Get a synchronization license that enables somebody to make use of your songs in commercials, movies, video games, and even YouTube movies.

An unique sync license lets one celebration use your music, whereas a non-exclusive sync license lets a vast variety of folks use your music.

Merchandise

Various kinds of merchandise, corresponding to clothes, vinyl, and CDs, are merchandise.

Go to most live shows, and also you’ll see T-shirts, hats, and different artist merchandising.

You don’t want a large fanbase like New Order or Depeche Mode to promote merchandise. Spanish musician Henry Saiz sells a small assortment of merchandise on Bandcamp.

Report manufacturing

The manufacturing of a music or album is a product, whether or not you might be paid a flat price or negotiate a share of ongoing royalties.

Streaming

Music on streaming platforms, corresponding to Apple Music, Amazon Music, and Spotify, is taken into account a product.

Session musician

A session musician is an individual who performs music for a band, orchestra, and so on., and is barely wanted to play a specific music or efficiency; a session is a product.

Artists like Clare Uchima tour with artists like Harry Types, Pet Store Boys, Kate Tempest, and others as session musicians whereas having their very own music and merchandising.

Authorized stuff

Ensure you handle your merchandise’ copyrights, logos, and registrations. Speak to a lawyer, report label consultant, and different musicians.

Listed below are some beneficial sources and hyperlinks:

After creating or deciding in your product, transfer on to the following step.

Step 2. Determine your pricing/earnings streams

Pricing is what folks can pay to your product, and it ought to be linked to the true and perceived worth of the product you provide.

For instance, early birds pay a decrease price at this live performance in Seattle.

Example of lower early bird ticket prices

You possibly can differentiate product worth through the use of tiered pricing, corresponding to normal, premium, and VIP tickets.

Typically, musicians work with third events, and everybody shares income.

The 15/85 rule for live shows and gigs

rule of thumb for artists and live performance tickets is the 15/85 rule.

Meaning 15% of the gig earnings is for you; 85% is spent on brokers, the venue, promotion, journey, lodging, and different musicians.

If you’re an unknown or new band, many venues will work on a income share with you. You promote and promote tickets to your gig, and so they get a lower and all of the bar and drinks income.

Streaming pricing

Spotify determines the worth per play or stream.

Right here’s the estimated income for a band with 600,000 streams of its songs.

However keep in mind, there are extra streaming platforms than Spotify. You need to use this calculator to work out your streaming earnings.

Streaming income calculator

You might earn extra should you launch the edited model of a single or album totally free on Spotify:

Free album on Spotify

Then promote the prolonged variations on one other platform corresponding to Beatport:

Beatport platform

Manufacturing

Producers’ charges can differ significantly, however these examples illustrate some frequent situations:

  • Studio – $600 per day
  • Mixing – $300 per music
  • Mastering – $70 per music
  • Manufacturing – $350 per music (plus royalties)
Producer on SoundBetter
Supply: SoundBetter.

Merchandising

In accordance with Spotify, the preferred kinds of merchandise throughout all music genres are:

  1. Vinyl
  2. Shirts
  3. CDs
  4. Different
  5. Hats
  6. Outerwear
  7. Equipment
Spotify's stats on merch

Artists and labels can use Merchbar to promote extra merchandise straight or by channels like Spotify, Instagram, YouTube, and their very own web sites.

Merchbar manages the merchandise, orders, funds, deliveries, and returns. However you’ll be able to promote merch on Spotify as effectively:

Alternatively, add your merchandise to Bandcamp.

Session musician

In accordance with the ​U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics​, session musicians roughly earn these quantities:

  • Median annual wage: $58,552 ($28.15/hour)
  • Prime 10% annual wage: $152,547 ($73.34/hour)
  • Backside 10% annual wage: $21,632 ($10.40/hour)

By now, you need to know which merchandise you’ll be able to create and which costs and earnings streams they’re price.

Now it’s time to set a objective.

Step 3. Set a objective

When you have a transparent objective, you’ll be able to construction your advertising and marketing efforts to succeed in that objective effectively.

When you’ve revealed one music on Spotify and solely have just a few hundred listeners or followers, your objective could also be to get 10,000 streams of your music.

That’s an achievable objective.

Or take into account the 1,000 True Followers technique: For instance, you have got 1,000 followers. Every fan spends $50 a yr in your merchandise. That equates to $50,000 income per annum.

However let’s say the objective is a mini tour of eight gigs.

So eight gigs x 500 tickets bought per gig x $20 per ticket = $80,000.

And 15% of that’s $12,000. That’s wonderful for a solo artist or DJ, however keep in mind that income is shared amongst band members.

When you’re one of many tens of millions who’ve added fewer than 10 songs to Spotify, you might have different targets, such as:

  • Securing one tour as a session musician with a band.
  • Incomes one fee for a soundtrack or video recreation.
  • Reserving 4 different musicians into your manufacturing studio per month.

You need to have a number of targets in terms of releasing and streaming your music as a result of it would finally develop your repute and fan base in the long term. However don’t overlook to have one other product with a extra fast income stream.

What now?

Step 4. Select the locations to distribute your product

There are various locations to distribute your music or product in order that it may be performed, heard, seen, and/or bought.

Right here’s an outline of key locations to distribute every product kind and hyperlinks to related sources and guides.

Product Key locations to distribute product
Single or album – Spotify
– Apple Music
– YouTube
– SoundCloud
– Bandcamp
– Tunecore, CDBaby, or EmuBands to distribute music to 100/150 different locations
Gigs or live shows – bandsintown.com
– Google search (Bandsintown widget)
– songkick.com
– ticketmaster.com
– livenation.com
– Fb Occasions
– Spotify gig itemizing
– Your web site
Merchandise – Amazon for artists
– Spotify
– Merchbar
– Bandcamp
– Your web site
Licensing – CD Child music licensing service
– YouTube Content material ID – license to YouTube
– Music licensing firms
– musicbed.com
– musicvine.com
– audiojungle.web
– freesound.org
– pond5.com
– soundsnap.com
– mixkit.com
– storyblocks.com
– Private networking with music supervisors
– Networking with filmmakers
– Networking with online game firms
– Use a music licensing agent
Manufacturing/session musician – Private networking
– Google search outcomes
– Music manufacturing marketplaces corresponding to SoundBetter and AirGigs
– Reserving platforms corresponding to Encore and GigSalad

A few of these locations present the power to stream your music, checklist your gigs, and promote your merchandise, e.g., Spotify.

Subsequent, it is advisable to promote your merchandise to succeed in your targets.

Step 5. Create promotional campaigns

Promotion is the ways used to inform folks about your product and encourage them to note it and take motion.

Your promotional marketing campaign consists of pre-launch bulletins, the launch, and post-launch actions.

Right here’s how Vivrant launched its compilation album.

Album launch post from Vivrant
Supply: Vivrant.
  • March 2 – Announce album; save and preview observe #1 utilizing fan hyperlinks
  • March 4 – Launch observe #1 on Spotify and hyperlink to all streams
  • March 7 – Spotify playlist look
  • March 9 – Announce observe #2; preview on SoundCloud with associate and hyperlink to all streams
  • March 11 – Launch observe #2 and hyperlink to all streams
  • March 17 – Announce observe #3; preview on SoundCloud with associate and hyperlink to all streams
  • March 18 – Launch observe #3 and hyperlink to all streams
  • March 24 – Announce observe #4; preview on SoundCloud with associate and hyperlink to all streams
  • March 24 – Spotify playlist look
  • March 25 – Launch observe #4 and hyperlink to all streams
  • March 25 – Monitor #4 seems on an Apple Music playlist
  • March 31 – Announce observe #5; preview on SoundCloud with associate and hyperlink to all streams
  • April 1 – Launch observe #5 and hyperlink to all streams
  • April 18 – Mixmag.com interview concerning the album
  • April 20 – SoundCloud combine options album songs
  • April 25 – Spotify playlist look

Planning for this occasion would have begun months earlier than the primary date talked about above, and a few bigger venues plan occasions a yr upfront.

Songkick supplies the instruments for artists, managers, venues, and reserving brokers to checklist and promote their dwell occasions and notify followers to advertise pre-sales.

You need to use instruments like ToneDen to permit followers to pre-save or pre-add songs to their streaming platforms in order that they will hearken to or purchase them on the discharge date.

Web site

Your web site ought to be the main target of your promotional efforts.

First, you’ll want a emblem, colour scheme, fonts, and pictures.

Your greatest guess is on low-effort and low-cost web site builders like Bandzoogle, Wix, or GeneratePress (customise the “Solo” template).

Bandzoogle website builder

The web site ought to have the next sections:

  1. Your music (or gear)
  2. Earlier and forthcoming gigs or occasions
  3. Press equipment and pictures
  4. Movies
  5. Biography
  6. Contact type or “subscribe” button

When you’re accomplished with the web site, you need to make it possible for it’s effectively optimized for each customers and search engines like google. To try this, add the web site to Ahrefs Webmaster Instruments, which is able to analyze and monitor all the pieces for you for free.

Search visitors

Relying on the kind of musician and product you promote, it’s possible you’ll wish to develop content material past these necessities.

For instance, a mixing engineer or producer could wish to talk their expertise or experience by writing articles or guides to assist safe a solo artist or band as a shopper.

And there’s various content material that may be lined. For instance, this web site has pages about house studio setup, DIY vocal sales space, the way to grasp a music, the way to make an album, and so on.

Its 1,000+ pages drive virtually 80,000 month-to-month visits from Google:

Top pages by traffic in Ahrefs' Site Explorer
Prime pages report from Ahrefs’ Website Explorer.

King Tuts, a famend music venue in Glasgow, generates practically 10% of its search visitors from its artist profile pages.

Example of an artist profile page

So when followers seek for a band, King Tuts reveals up close to the highest of Google’s search outcomes, selling the venue, band, and ticket gross sales.

Electronic mail advertising and marketing

Your web site and social channels ought to have a contact or subscription type to seize the e-mail handle of followers (or potential prospects) who can obtain advance notifications and information from you.

Electronic mail platforms, corresponding to Mailchimp and ConvertKit, permit musicians to create a free-of-charge mailing checklist of two,000 and 1,000 folks, respectively.

Right here’s an e-mail from Liam Gallagher to pre-order tickets and an album months upfront of the discharge.

Ticket pre-order email

The very first thing you see on Ushuaia’s web site is a subscription type: “Subscribe to our publication to obtain probably the most up to date info on the DJs of the season.”

Newsletter opt-in example

As well as, you’ll be able to add hyperlinks to your subscription type out of your social media profiles utilizing instruments corresponding to Linktree or ToneDen good hyperlinks.

Social media

When you haven’t accomplished so already, arrange the next social media accounts:

  • Fb
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • SoundCloud
  • Bandcamp
  • YouTube
  • TikTok
  • Spotify

After all, have in mind your listeners. TikTok will doubtless be a waste of time when you have a predominantly older viewers.

You or your group can use Canva’s templates to design pictures and movies after which publish them to your social media channels.

Press equipment

An digital press equipment is a group of details about you or your band, together with your emblem, images, contact particulars, social media hyperlinks, and every other related content material.

A press equipment is nice for music journalists who use it when writing articles or doing options about you.

The best place to retailer a press equipment is in your web site.

Press kit example

Spotify for artists

Spotify is constructed for artists, and you should use it to advertise your songs, gigs, or merchandise.

  1. Add music to Spotify
  2. Pitch to playlist editors
  3. Add or handle your profile
  4. Add your gigs and occasions
  5. Add promo playing cards
  6. Add merchandise to Spotify
Spotify Promo Card

Wikipedia

Seek for any artist or band and, generally, the highest result’s a Wikipedia web page.

Wikipedia is the top result for many artists

Getting a Wikipedia web page is tough for many companies, however it ought to be simpler for artists who have already got some protection and historical past.

Really helpful studying: Create a Wikipedia Web page (Step by Step)

Pitch to journalists

A necessary a part of promotion is to pitch merchandise or tales to related journalists in order that they will function such content material of their publications or web sites.

For instance, right here’s a brand new musician featured in DJ Magazine who performed a dwell set from an deserted concrete plant in Sweden.

News article about a band's livestream from an abandoned concrete plant

This occasion was “pitched” to advertise his new EP.

So how do you discover journalists?

1. Discover journalists

Use Ahrefs’ Content material Explorer to establish journalists to your style of music, e.g., rock.

Enter this search question:

different rock” OR “alt rock” OR “indie rock” OR “stoner rock” OR “psych rock” OR “surf rock” OR “submit rock”

Searching for journalists who write about your genre of music in Ahrefs' Content Explorer

You’ll then see an inventory of potential journalists to contact below the “Authors” tab.

Searching for journalists in Ahrefs' Content Explorer

Or you’ll find journalists who write about new music. I regarded up the next question:

observe of the day” OR “observe of the week” OR “new music roundup” OR “music roundup” OR “new music Friday”

Searching for journalists who write about new music in Ahrefs' Content Explorer

Once more, once you click on the “Authors” tab, you’ll be able to view journalists or bloggers who write about new music, their Twitter addresses, and what number of followers they have.

Relevant journalists and authors in Ahrefs' Content Explorer

On this instance, I found Georgia Murphy had written 293 articles on her web site about new songs and musicians. She shares them together with her 43,171 Twitter followers.

Example of a music journalist's website

2. Filter and export checklist

Filter your contact checklist through the use of the filters obtainable after which export it.

3. Discover e-mail addresses

Use an e-mail look-up service, corresponding to Hunter, to establish the addresses of the journalists you discovered.

Finding email addresses with Hunter

4. Pitch your concept

Right here’s the way to pitch your concept to a music journalist.

  1. Your concept doesn’t have to be as elaborate as a DJ set in a Swedish warehouse, however it does want to face out.
  2. You need to embrace hyperlinks to your press equipment with materials about your “pitch.”
  3. Then do one e-mail follow-up should you don’t get a response or ship your concept to those that do reply.

Getting featured by journalists isn’t that straightforward, however the above ought to provide you with an concept of the method.

Playlists

Pitching playlists is one other option to promote your music.

Use a service like Repost by SoundCloud to advertise playlists to editors at Apple Music and different platforms like Tidal, Deezer, Beatport, and Amazon Music.

Or comply with these steps to pitch a Spotify playlist:

Promote your songs with mixes

Promote your product effectively upfront of the discharge date by that includes the brand new music in a combine.

For instance, this SoundCloud combine consists of two new songs from Molo’s forthcoming EP and was revealed on SoundCloud lower than 48 hours in the past (as of when this text was written). Since then, there have been 1,481 performs and 45 reposts.

SoundCloud Mix

Pitch for placements

Caleb Murphy outlines the steps to pitch your songs for movie and tv placements to licensing brokers.

  1. Register or log in at crucialmusic.com
  2. Submit a music (and instrumental model) you have got carried out, produced, engineered, combined, and mastered
  3. Present music particulars
  4. Repeat

Reserving platforms and marketplaces

Particular reserving platforms and marketplaces, corresponding to SaladGig, Upwork, SoundBetter, and The Bash, are the place you’ll find initiatives.

After registering, comply with these steps:

  1. Profile: write a bio describing the way you’re completely different from others and might resolve their issues
  2. Reply to inquiries shortly
  3. Comply with up by way of e-mail, name, or textual content
  4. Add a free present or a information along with your quote
  5. Use anchor pricing to suggest higher- and lower-price choices

Spotify Marquee

Spotify Marquee is a paid service that will help you promote your music to the proper viewers, rising listeners and playlist provides.

Spotify Marquee

Promote your live shows and gigs

To advertise your occasions, live shows, and gigs on Fb and Instagram, comply with these steps utilizing ToneDen:

  • Occasions are pulled out of your ticketing platform.
  • An viewers visiting particular music occasion pages is created.
  • Folks enthusiastic about an occasion are focused with an advert for that particular occasion.
Promoting gigs via ToneDen

Step 6. Measure and evaluate

Let’s say your objective was to promote out tickets to eight venues. However you solely secured 4 venues, and they’re 50% full.

Most on-line platforms will offer you viewers statistics, e.g., followers, streams, ticket gross sales, orders, and so on., that you would be able to evaluate.

SoundCloud statistics
Supply: SoundCloud.

Overview the earlier steps. Then talk about what did and didn’t work along with your group or colleagues.

Step 7. Repeat

So let’s say you revealed your first music on Spotify, adopted the above steps, then measured the outcomes.

Now repeat the steps along with your subsequent product, which might be extending the primary music right into a full album.

Otherwise you launched an album and determined the following product is a nationwide tour.

Advertising and marketing is a steady loop of going over product, value, objective, distribution, and promotion.

Use our music advertising and marketing marketing campaign template

I’ve created this easy music advertising and marketing template with examples you should use as a information. You may make your personal copy right here. 

Product Worth Objective Place Promote
Single or album launch $0 – $13.99 Get revealed – Spotify
– SoundCloud
– Apple Music
– Bandcamp
– Or use a distribution service like groover.co
– Spotify
– Social media
– Electronic mail checklist
– Playlist
– Mixes
– Promoting
Dwell tour $20 ticket income share Get eight venues booked – Venue #1
– Venue #2
– Venue #3
– Venue #4
– Venue #5
– Venue #6
– Venue #7
– Venue #8
– And so on
– Create gig graphics and movies
– Announce dates
– Electronic mail checklist
– Add venue hyperlinks to the web site
– Work with the venue’s promotion employees
– Social media
– Promoting
Merchandise $25 per merchandise 500 models – Your web site
– Your occasions
– Amazon for artists
– Spotify
– Merchbar
– Bandcamp
– Google search engine
– Electronic mail subscriber
– Promo code
– Use FOMO
– Upsell
– Promoting
– Desk at dwell occasions
Licensing License 4 songs $10,000 per annum – Licensing
– CD Child music licensing service
– YouTube Content material ID
– Music licensing firms, corresponding to Music Mattress, Music Vine, and so on
– Private networking with music supervisors
– Networking with filmmakers
– Networking with online game firms
– Use a music licensing agent
– Publish music on SoundBetter
– Add music to different licensing websites
– submithub.com
– crucialmusic.com
Report manufacturing See value information Produce one band’s album – Private networking
– Your web site
– Social media
– Trade occasions
– Numerous marketplaces and reserving platforms
– Publish your personal productions and sounds
– Collaborate with different artists and promote
– Publish content material often to the web site and social media platforms
– Tour (as a assist act)
– Search, discover, and bid on reserving platforms and marketplaces

Last ideas

Music advertising and marketing is quite a bit like every other advertising and marketing: begin along with your product, decide the pricing, set a objective, and use the instructed distribution channels and promotional strategies to advertise your product.

Comply with these steps, and also you’ll be effectively in your option to creating success to your music.

Received questions? Ping me on Twitter.

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