Self Portrait of the Artist as a Music Marketer

by Matt @ Kurb on September 6, 2009

I’m MATT TURNER I do MUSIC MARKETING and ONLINE ARTIST MANAGEMENT – MUSIC BUSINESS Stuff // starting from $200 p/month  – email

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My personal music marketing strategy has been a topic I’ve been dancing around for a while now so this post I’m going to be talking more about that and the logic behind a lot of the decisions being made about my next release.

So what’s the idea of even putting this music, this release out, what’s the point?

Well I don’t think it will shake the world but I think I need to position myself a little further from the bottom of the table, you see, I’ve never put out a proper mixtape that was 100% my stuff.

So it kind of is like an album, except in reality only half of what goes on the mix would ever make a traditional 12 song LP. The rest is how you say . . . “filler” if you like.

But mixed and mashed up, well it sort of brings a different set of values to the table. Mixtapes like these are for listening to for a fortnight or so at the most.

So the point is an opening salvo. It’s an introduction.

The motivaton behind your release – that’s what’s shaping your decisions on how and what you’re going to release and why. I’ve taken my cues from artists such as Aphex Twin and Lil’ Wayne and using my prolific output as the vanguard of my marketing strategy.

Although I’m using these guys as examples, it’s also about a critical analysis of your own strengths and weaknesses and how you can manoeuvre yourself accordingly. After 9 years writing beats I can knock them out pretty fast, but I can’t ever decide what’s good and what’s not and half the time I end up wrecking the tracks trying to improve them so I’ll just do lots of free mixtapes featuring 20+ tunes and wait fot the cream to rise.

If there really is a good tune on the CD it will probably be mentioned.

I’m not even trying to sell this thing. There are so many producers hustling with their tapes, i feel the whole argument about giving up control because the only thing people are doing when they appropriate your music is help to give it a viral voice.

Especially when absolutely no one knows who you are. 1000 fans? That’s the beginning, make no mistake.

As I said, there are so many people trying to break through, I’m not going to ruin my chances but being stupid about what the recordings are really worth in context.

The music is worth nothing. It’s my name that becomes worthwhile if people start to hear it mentioned enough and having the content available connects with fans who are able to grab a full length mix and really immerse themselves in what I’ve put up.

At this point I’m still just building my name, and hoping that my efforts will not go unnoticed by the gatekeepers that are present in my scene as they are in any others. Perhaps not this time, but maybe the next. That’s what I’m talking about in terms of return on my first venture.

All I’ll be talking about until february is this mix and that will give me the cover to produce another 20+ songs ready for the next round then.

As I mentioned in another post I will use all the techniques Ise for my artists – article marketing and SEO to optimise for hyper relevant terms and also ongoing ppc advertising.

I will have a sign up but that won’t be conditonal to downloading the mix. I want people to be seriously motivated to sign up whether or not they get the mix.

Also I have leveraged a $600 marketing campaign directed just at NZ on the NZ only radio station. That way you’ve got a niche of people who are really a lot less fussy about what genre they get and are likely to be experimental listeners in the first place to listen regularly to a NZ only station.

As I said, I have got this campaign through negotiating a job for credit putting up their posters. I’m sure this could work for any specialist station that needs help and could offer your group a platform.

We’ll also have a release gig, and while I can, give out a lot of CD’s.

I will probably also have my staff upload the mix and the details to many many different sharing and hosting platforms.

Perhaps I will see if I can sell it as 1 song through retailers to emphasize the strong value in a kind of ironic way.

As I also mentioned and will doubtlessly mention again: There must be solid artist branding and product branding to accompany the release. There’s got to be something distinct there but as I continue to talk about the role the website will play beyond just delivering the mp3 and making me look cool, we can talk again, i’m sure about distinct artist brands.

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