It used to be that record lables would operate in a very simple, organized fashion. As long as you were working these specific areas simultaneously, talented recording artists were guarenteed a certain amount of success. Keep in mind that the old industry machine braggeed about a 1:10 ratio. Out of every ten artist, one would go Platinium and pay for the rest. Remember that?
If you take the lables out of the equation, you can still use these same principals to organize your thoughts. Now that you are the LABEL its important to keep a birds eye veiw of the music business as a whole. I’d be anxious to know if you think this model still works and also encourage you to discuss things that you would include under this “Umbrella”. Performed by Jennings.
Success in 2010 is a long way off from the hey days of major labels, but that doesnt mean we have to throw away everything we’ve learned. If we reduce our overhead and use social strategies, on and offline to create direct to fan relationships, we can only improve upon what has been done for the last 50 years. This time you are in the drivers seat and I’ll let you be the judge…will this model still work?
If you take a close look at all of the vehicles used in The Not So New Record Label Model, you’ll see that they all have one thing in common…college students. Wheter you need radio play, a newspaper write up, or a captive audince to perfom and sell and sell to, you’ve got it all on your local campus. Statistics have shown that college aged men and women are more receptive to try new things, so why not give your band a shot.
The Four R’s
Radio - Log onto the stations’ website and check the program guide to determine what shows play the type of music you create. Once you find out the time slot, listen in. Get familiar with the DJ and his or her playlists. Then see if you can contact the DJ directly thru email or over the phone. Briefly ask them about their submission policy and if you could record a radio drop specifically for their show.
Road - The National Association of Campus Activities thrives off of the fact that organizations at your local colleges have a set budget for entertainment expenses (i.e. Bands, Comedian, Guest Speakers, etc.). Your band is bound to fall into one of those catergories. The key is to start a semester early. Right now Campus Activity boards across the country are booking bands just like yours for the rapidly approaching Winter semester.
Reviews - Use the official campus newspaper to advertise shows, ask for reviews and interviews about your band. Use the momentum from a local gig or radio spins to provide credibillity to your story. With press, you always have to have a story. Make sure you have a series of sound bytes that make for intersting press.
Retail - Brick and mortor shops are quickly going by the way side. Use your college student center as a billboard. Post unqiuley created flyers and posters everywhere the in crowds visit. Make sure to include a website were the can sign up for your email list for a free download.
Was coined by professor/blogger George Howard to explain the difference between online and offline market. Howard purports, “Err too far online, you fail. Too fair offline, you fail”. The balance act necessary to leverage both worlds is something that is not so often talked about, but one that most successful acts are already doing.
For independent artists, this concept is even more important to grasp. Myspace and other social networks have given rise to a generation of musicians who think they can become an instant success from their laptops. Truth is, if you fail to create a real connection with the fans or friends you make online, you will ultimately loose them all offline.
The Not So New Record Label Model by Kevin English is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License