For Artists: How to Promote Music in the Digital Age

Posted by | April 23, 2010 | Music Business 101 | 2 Comments

Lately, I’ve been having discussions with several peers about how modern-day consumers are able to find out about new music. In fact, I just had this conversation with my buddy Amir Windom from Atlantic Records. It’s interesting because we are no longer “forced” to watch music videos on MTV, BET, VH1, etc. Instead, we are provided with music videos and streaming content on blogs, which most people only sample (maybe 15-20 seconds?). If they don’t like something, they move on. Back in the day, if we wanted to watch MTV/BET, we had to WAIT for the next video to come on. Now we log onto WorldStarHipHop or YouTube, and we watch whatever seems interesting to us for a few seconds. Also, most artists accept the fact that they have to give away a certain amount of free music in order to promote their upcoming albums. At any rate, there was an interesting panel with several major bloggers put on by the Future of Music Coalition and Words Beats. The panel included Meka from 2dopeboyz, Dallas Penn, FWMJ, Jason R. (from Okayplayer), etc. They address such topics as: 1) How an artist can succeed in a digital environment, 2) the Telecommunications Act of 1996, 3) Reading vs. Visuals, 4) Posting content from a blogger’s perspective, 5) Labels vs. Blogs (i.e. Cease & Desist letters). Check out Part 1 below… Part 2 after the break.

If I Ruled The Blogosphere Part I:


  • Amir Windom says:

    The music industry is one of a few industries where you can absolutely get whatever you want for free without having to pay a single dime!! Think about it. Can you get a free fly without having to pay for at least 10. At a grocery store, are they ever just giving anything free? Besides the samples? Nope… You have to buy one and get one free. *Light bulb just went off*

    Maybe that’s what she should start doing putting out samples of songs… If a song is only 3:00.. We’ll only put out 1:30 of the song… We’ll give consumers a little sample, just like they do in the grocery store.. And if they like, maybe they’ll buy the song. Right now, the samples we give are full songs, full albums, full mixtapes. For the Free99.

    The music consumers are so spoiled. I had one of my best friends recently say to me… “Man, Amir, I know you’re a music exec so I dont know how you’re gonna take this… But I haven’t bought an album or song in 10 years!”

    I was thinking last night… If GM, Ford, Chrysler… Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Chase can all go before Congress and beg for money because of the economy… Why can’t the music industry. Why can’t we show the balance sheet of how we’ve seen almost a 20% in drop of sales in the last 4 years.

    Now don’t get me wrong, have we been putting out not so good music… Well, I haven’t 😉 … But the answer is yes. The quality of music I can not say is high right now. Music is made based on the current trends and phrases… Not a lot of effort is being put into making the music anymore. Concepts won’t be relevant a year from now. What happened to making music for the decades and not the day-cade. But this is not the main blame for the drop in sales. The main cause is how easy accessible and free music is. I repeat, one of a only a few industries where you can easily access what you want and get it totally for the Free99.

    Long story short, the music industry is one of a few industries in which you can get whatever you want free and won’t have to pay a dime. Think about any other industry or thing that you use.. you have to pay for it in some regard. But music… Free99. I think music consumers are spoiled because they can get whatever they want free… And because of this, if somehow we found a way for music to be a little bit more hard to access for the Free99… People would have looks on their face just like the looks on the face of chicks who came to the club swearing they were Beyonce…. Swearing that they were about to just walk up to the front of the line.. Swearing that they were about to get in for the Free99… And the bouncer says.. “That’ll be $20 dollars pretty lady.” I gotta pay???? I think we should go before Congress and do what the automotive companies did… Cry and beg.. To get ahead.-AW

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