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reference library for Indie musicians...Just about every tip has been used so you won't find false
promises and a series of books to buy after reading each tip. This section was put here by musicians
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Online Music Marketing: Math or Myth
Making money from music online: NARIP and the Hype
Council help the record industry face the facts and
expose the fiction.
A report by The G-Man.
The numbers are supposed to be big in online
marketing, but are they significant in the online
marketing of music? Clearly, we need someone with 'Net
experience to set a few things straight. Scott Meldrum
is a businessperson and musician with a dry wit and a
background in bulk mail. Oops, excuse me, direct
response advertising. He's also the man called on by
major labels when they want to brand an artist and
reach millions of fans via the Internet.
Beginning with Papa Roach in 1998 and continuing with
such platinum-selling artists as Avril Lavigne, Dido
and Jennifer Lopez, Meldrum's Long Beach-based firm,
Hype Council, is one of the prime marketing weapons
utilized by the world's largest entertainment
Taking center stage for a Monday evening presentation
by NARIP (National Association of Record Industry
Professionals) at the Beverly Garland Hotel in Los
Angeles, Meldrum began with some facts about the
Internet. Does that sound a bit dull? It wasn't. His
presentation quickly revealed things about the 'Net
that should be known by every marketer (that's you, if
you or your artists are selling music online).
THE GLOBAL AUDIENCE FOR MUSIC.
Most Internet users (nearly a majority of them) are
between the ages of 30 and 49, far older than many in
the audience thought. And for those of us who believed
that the USA had the highest percentage of Internet
users, it was a surprise to learn that we're only
sixth. (Of course, in raw numbers of users, the USA
has by far the most people.)
Fully 40% of the USA's 177 million 'Net users go
online for music (more in some other nations). Look at
it another way: if you put your music on the Internet,
you have a potential audience of some 70 million. And
with total Internet users currently at 404 million,
that translates into a worldwide potential audience of
161 million people.
The problem is: how to reach them. They are wildly
segmented in terms of music genre; they only want to
be contacted under certain sets of circumstances; and
they need to have a safe, secure, and easy way to make
Fortunately, "The Internet is still a new medium,"
Meldrum asserts, "and there are tremendous
opportunities for people in the business of selling
Some of those opportunities are being wasted, however,
through poor Web site design. Meldrum revealed the
biggest errors made in creating or maintaining a Web
site. . .
TOP 5 MISTAKES OF WEBSITES:
1. Mistaking creativity for functionality. "Don't try
to put everything on your front page. Organization is
the key. Lead your fans to the most important things."
That's what menus are for, so don't hide them. "How
many times have you gone to a site that looks
interesting, but you have no clue how to navigate it?
People don't have time to waste figuring it out. Make
it easy for them."
2. Burying the offer. "Links to buy the CD should be
available at almost every page on your Website. Many
Websites challenge, almost dare visitors to find the
product, let alone buy it."
3. Ignoring fans. "Many artist Websites have a
registration feature, but it is not prominently
displayed. When you are not selling albums at your
Website, you need to be collecting email
registrations." This builds a fan base where you can
sell an album now and more in the future.
4. Not giving fans what they want. "Make your music
accessible. Offer a few full streams of your songs.
Make a download available in exchange for an email
registration. You will win more fans and sell more CDs
giving your music away than you will by not letting
your potential fans really listen before they buy."
5. Failing to design with bandwidth in mind. "Ever
been to a Website and forgot why you were there before
the page fully loaded? Getting people to your site is
hard enough. Losing them because they got tired of
waiting for your page to load is a waste of everyone's
time and energy."
CONSIDER OTHER OPTIONS:
Websites are a necessity, but don't overlook other
ways of reaching out to potential fans on the
Internet. Banners can be bought or traded. Emails can
be sent (be mindful of the CAN-SPAM law; see below for
link). Marketing can be done on search engines. You
can join or participate in message boards and blogs
(web logs). And the latest advancement in music
marketing involves social networks such as MySpace.
Meldrum had many specific suggestions for attendees,
* use Google for research
* check out MySpace.com
* target your audience
* simplify your Website
* give away some songs
* interact with your audience often
"You can send emails in text or HTML format. With HTML
(hyper text markup language), you can include pictures
and graphics. They look nice, but we get twice
the 'open rate' with text emails."
THE BOTTOM LINE ON WEBSITES:
"To your online fans, you are your Website. If they
love it, they will love you, and will be eager to
follow your careers. Take all the great things about
you, your talent and your message, and translate to
HTML. Keep it simple, easy-to-navigate and
informative, and you will have a highly-effective
marketing channel for your music."
Sources for more info:
Scott G records as The G-Man and you'll find his work
on iTunes, at http://www.delvianrecords.com and