Marketing For The New Millennium

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

The “Pet Rock” was successful due to nothing more than great marketing. Without marketing, even a great song may go unnoticed. Songwriters now have a relatively easy and inexpensive means of marketing their material- the internet. Here are some ways to use the Internet to your advantage.

The “Pet Rock” was successful due to nothing more than great marketing. Without marketing, even a great song may go unnoticed. Songwriters now have a relatively easy and inexpensive means of marketing their material- the internet. Here are some ways to use the Internet to your advantage.

Locating Publishers/Labels– One possible outlet for your song is a publisher or label. There are many resources on-line where you can locate both music publishers and record labels. One such source is the Internet Yellow Pages. A search under the MSN Yellow Pages (msn.com) for Music Publishers in Nashville yielded 251 listings with addresses, phone numbers and maps. There are also fee-based sites providing access to more detailed contact information. One such site is clubnashville.com You may also want to visit the web-sites for the various record labels to familiarize yourself with the artists on their roster.

Music Industry Tip Sheets– When pitching your songs, it’s important to know who’s currently looking for material what type of material they need, and where to send it. A tip sheet can supply can supply this information. Legitimate tip sheets can be costly, but invaluable. A popular one for country songwriters is the on-line version of the MusicRow RowFax at musicrow.com. Others include songlink.com and tiac.net/users/asn/index.htm.

Songplugging Services– Just because you know who’s looking for songs doesn’t mean you’ll have access to them. You may consider hiring an independent plugger. Be sure to get references, a list of cuts, submission procedures and fee structure. An advantage to using a plugger rather than a publisher is that it may allow you to retain some of your own publishing. Some of the on-line plugging services include songnet.com, musicrowpluggers.com, and taxi.com.

Website– If you wish to set up your own website, proper promotion and search engine listings are critical – without it, you’re just a needle in the haystack. If you wish to promote it yourself, internetday.com has a wealth of information. Alternatively, you may choose to become part of a larger online music community with higher visibility. Some communities allow you to sell your product online. Some of the many online music communities include mp3.com, ubl.com, billboardtalentnet.com, iuma.com, redbutton.com, and songs.com. Some online communities will design and promote your site for a fee. Here are a few: musesmuse.com, musicspotlight.com, and digitalphono.com.

CD Reviews– There are numerous sites that will review your CD and/or song. Each review you obtain may play a key role in opening the next door. Some sites include: flipswitch.com, grandcentral.com, 7ball.com, and musicconnection.com.

Booking– Using the internet can be a more cost-effective and efficient way of finding clubs and booking gigs. We tried an internet search for clubs, venues, coffeehouses, and found numerous listings. You may want to limit the search to your geographic region and genre of music. The site bandradio.com/gig/clubs.html provides direct hyperlinks to numerous clubs and venues nationwide. If you have your own website with audio clips and bio information, you may even be able to audition “on-line.” If you’re a writer/artist looking for a festival to play, check out festivalfinder.com. It provides simple searches for festivals by location, genre, and event date. And of course, don’t forget the online Yellow Pages when booking.

Virtual Networking– Participate in music-related community to make contacts, meet collaborators, exchange information, ask questions and become informed. Newsgroups (such as: rec.music.makers.songwriting) are a good place to post your questions or comments. Virtual communities like musesmuse.com and mnusa.com often have web rings, chatrooms, and e-zines that may provide you with useful information.

Even though the internet is still in its infancy, it is already playing a major role as a marketing tool for all types of business. The role that it will play in the music industry remains to be seen. It’s possible the internet may provide additional outlets for distribution as well as provide songwriters and artists alike more creative freedom. Ultimately, the internet is about expanding the boundaries of communication and sharing new ideas, and isn’t that what songwriting is all about?

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