I used to get e-mails from Paper + Plastick Records about free downloads once a week or once a month (to be honest, I don’t remember which). While it felt a little overwhelming at times, I also found myself being informed about new bands and releases I really cared about. Bands like Flatfoot 56 and The Braces who I’d followed for years were putting out new releases and I was getting mp3s and updates pretty regularly on their new stuff. Facebook worked for this as well, but I didn’t get free music out of it!
In general, however, I went out of my way to avoid mailing lists. If I had to sign up for one in order to use a product or service, I would immediately unsubscribe as soon as that service or product was mine. Lately I’ve been changing my tune a bit, mostly due to me reminiscing on how I found music in college. It was the early days of Death to False Hope Records, Bandcamp, and an exhaustive amount of internet comps (because physical comps were no longer selling).
I remember getting e-mails from Direct Hit and Hold Tight! (RIP) about upcoming tours and releases. I felt like I was a part of something big that might happen, and judging off of Direct Hit’s recent signing to Fat Wreck Chords, I think I was.
So my question to all of you musicians, label owners, managers, PR guys and gals: are mailing lists relevant nowadays for independent artists and record labels? I ask this for my own benefit as much as yours. I’ve thought about starting one for my label to inform followers when a tour is happening or a release is coming out. It appears as though they still work in major industries - is music an exception or does it follow the rule?
Let me know your thoughts over at Twitter please!