Music marketers are the backbone of a high-pressure, high-visibility and high-reward industry. A marketer is responsible for creating the public image, brand and iconography of a musician or artist. Marketers for large companies tend to work in specialised areas, such as radio promotion or hip-hop marketing, while marketers for small or independent companies often shoulder the entire spectrum of the marketing burden.
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In the 21st century, digital marketing is one of the most important ways to promote music. Nearly everyone who stays current with music is online at some point throughout the day. When promoting a certain artist, a music marketer needs to understand who listens to that artist, and which sites that target demographic visits each day. Creating high visibility on sites such as YouTube and iTunes will promote curiosity about an artist. MySpace and Facebook are very important web marketing tools for the music industry; multiplatinum English pop singer Lily Allen got her start by marketing herself well on MySpace.
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A major part of music marketing is getting songs on the radio. The radio is still how a good deal of the public discovers new music, be it commercial radio, local radio, satellite radio, or college radio. In order to properly market through radio, music marketers need to understand radio demographics; which records are right for which stations, and why? Which employee of each radio station should certain records be sent to? Metal director? Rock director? General music director? Getting musicians' radio interviews is an important part of radio marketing, as it allows listeners to empathise with the artist.
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Concerts are one of the music industry’s few remaining cash cows. A band with a healthy live following will flourish over the course of a career, though concerts must first be properly marketed in order to attract a crowd. Concert marketing is a combination of other forms of marketing, from print to radio to guerrilla. Radio can be used to give away promo tickets, which will spread word of a concert or tour. Print advertisements and artist interviews will also raise awareness. Guerrilla marketing such as posters and flyers are also important for concert marketing. Most high-level music marketers orchestrate teams of people who do most of the leg work in campaigns of this type.
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Many magazines don’t sell as many copies as they used to, but news-stands are still abundant, especially in big cities. Getting an artist’s name or, better yet, picture on the cover of a magazine will create brand recognition for the artist. The next time someone sees the name, there will be an association. And while magazines don’t sell the way they used to, people stand in bookstores everyday reading articles. Newspapers and magazines may be less lucrative than they were in the days of yore, but they’re still powerful marketing tools.
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In order to book a band or artist at a concert venue, get the band played or interviewed on the radio, or get an artist into a magazine, newspaper or website, music marketers need to create a successful press kit. A press kit is a collection of materials that concisely present all of the marketable aspects of a musician or artist. Press kits commonly include a photo of the band or artist, a copy of the most recently released or upcoming album, a brief bio, a list of positive press quotations on the record or artist, and a one sheet, which includes all album track names, album art, date of release and notes on upcoming tour dates and promotional activities. Fun facts about the band or artist--real name, former job, musical training, strange skills--enhance a press kit.