1: Pick A Niche And Dominate It

There are no ultimate 100 Indie Maximum Exposure vehicles for one simple reason. Indie artists must break from a niche. That niche must be well delineated and can be very very small and still be effective. The mistake most artists make is making a pop record that does not have a niche to break out of.

The adage, think globally act locally can be re-stated think mainstream, act niche. The newer your niche, the greater your chance of becoming identified with it. Almost every Tommy Boy superstar broke out of a niche they dominated if they did not invent. Examples: De La Soul: hip hop hippies, House of Pain – Irish hip hop, Queen Latifah: first proud and powerful African American woman in hip hop, Ru Paul, first drag queen with dance hit, and so on.

So whatever you genre, sub-genre or micro niche there will usually be media that dominates that view of reality. If you are a militant political artist, you would launch in the niche militant political blogs and magazines to establish a beach head. If you a rapper that rapped about uzis and AK’s maybe your entry would be blogs and mags about guns and ammo. David Hazan mentioned a band that was way into Anime and they get written up in the Anime blogs and make a living playing the Anime shows. Will they be able to cross to mainstream? Maybe not but they can be the lords of their niche and make a good living doing that.

So rather than being specific, I would point to blogs and mags in your micro-niche that might not even be music-oriented. You may be more news to a non-music site and reach a core audience that way than trying to get Pitchfork to discover you. There are also opportunities to perform at industry shows in non music industry events and get paid much better than you would in the glutted music market.

In other words make your presentation and target audience as unique as possible so you can be the king of that niche, then target the non-music publications (both on line and off) and the events in that niche. You will be building fans, gaining awareness and making money before you even attempt to cross into the “music industry.”

- Tom Silverman 

Reader Comments (2)

To further your point of finding a niche and dominating it, I'd like to post part of a recent blog article I posted at the FiXT Indie Music Business & Marketing Blog.

Here's an excerpt:

Find a Niche Music Store to Host Your Content
You've put in all the hard time and work in creating your latest release and you want to get it in front of potential fans/customers who will want to purchase it, right? Well by all means, get it into iTunes, Amazon, and all the major music stores who each have great filter systems (you can get your music into any of these stores by using an Aggregator such as CD Baby, TuneCore or ReverbNation). But if you really want to make sure that you're gonna reach maximum exposure to the potential fans who would most immediately be interested in your music, take some of the pressure off of your own promotion and marketing and get your release into a Niche Content store such as places like Beatport (electronic/DJ music), DownloadPunk (Punk/Rock/Metal), and of course (insert shameless self-promotion here) - the FiXT Store (Electronic-Rock/Industrial & Film/TV Music).

The value in being in these niche stores is that typically people will be browsing them with existing interest in the type of music the store carries and often times it's much easier for indie artists to receive featured spots, promotion and visible listings in these stores than the mega-stores like iTunes.

Read the full post

I may be wrong regarding the artists that you deal with Tom, but, I don't think that most artists think beyond writing and recording what they have rolling around in their heads which is inevitably influenced by whatever they hear. They don't think in genre's for the most part that I've seen in 35 years. I don't think they should either. I think they should create the best stuff they can not catering to anyone and if it hits, it hits, playing it safe has made some really boring music. It sounds too similar today.

February 19 | Unregistered CommenterBrian

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