Tag Archive for: Jason Aldean

Reach and Frequency Feature Image

Marketing of any kind requires 2 very necessary components: Reach and Frequency.Reach and Frequency Molecule


First, you have to reach the (hopefully) targeted audience.


Second, there has to be frequency on the message, regardless of how good it is, before it sinks in.


Both are expensive via the mass media.


Both aren’t working anymore via the mass media either.


Reach and Frequency Old School Collage

Let’s look at your dreams of breaking on the radio right now; I want to focus on that.


Let’s break down both marketing components with regards your assumptions on the significance of radio spins today.


If you think about it, reach in mass marketing wouldn’t allow a whole lot of “surgical” targeting or micro-targeting. (You are a unique artist after all.)


For instance, you could be getting spins on a country station and your audience would be targeted to country but think about how segmented that is. Traditional Country (old school icons), Pop Country (Faith Hill, Carrie Underwood, Shania Twain), Bro Country (You know them), Country Rap (Big Smo, Big & Rich [remember Cowboy Troy?]), Country Rock (Jason Aldean, Eric Church), Alternative Country (Jason Isbell, Kasey Musgraves), etc.

Reach and Frequency Everyone Else


Not so targeted, huh?


Just like you, fans have VERY divisive thoughts and opinions about each of these subcategories. This dynamic is true of any genre, by the way, like rap, rock, pop, indie, etc.


Consumers are passionate about their subgenres.



Here’s the thing, radio was super-effective and worked for 60+ years because the reach was SO big. Everybody radio reached was paying attention with fewer distractions, and up until the last 20 years, there were far fewer sub genres.

Reach and Frequency Passionalte


Absorb that statement, can you get your head around how efficient radio used to be?


Too many of you have false hope that if you get your hit song on the radio in any given market that it might “blow up” after people hear it once.




Let’s dissect this belief for a second.

Reach and Frequency Blow Up


Let’s assume for the argument that people are actually “listening” to the radio.


What does that mean, “listening”?


Terrestrial radio is mostly consumed in the car. What goes on in the car (phone conversations, texting, Vining, Snapchatting, Twittering, Facebooking, YouTube, movies for the kids in back, etc.)? Who’s driving? Do they have kids?


Reach and Frequency Driving Texting

What are they thinking about while a song presumably provides a backdrop for the onslaught of mundane errands, social media addiction, fodder-like drama, real drama, conversations, text messages, arguments, rants, road rage, and otherwise general thought processes that occur in their heads even when their favorite familiar artist is playing?



They’re NOT thinking about you.

They’re not focusing on your song.


Hell, they’re not focusing on DRIVING!


Think about how your driving habits and behavior have changed since the invention of social media and smart phones in the last 10 years.




Next time you are listening to the radio, I want you to try and be aware of EVERYTHING else that is going on inside your head, your car, your office, etc.  Are YOU really “listening”?Reach and Frequency Why Don't You Get Me (2)


See my point?


Do you really expect anyone to “get” you and understand you as an artist after hearing one song, one time?


Here’s the sobering truth:  They’re not “listening”.


They have aux cables, WiFi in the car, and their own preferences.


When it comes to the reach element of the marketing equation, you are battling people with all these distractions while the radio is playing.


Simply put, you’re not reaching anyone.

At least in terms of the reach equation with regards to terrestrial radio. ESPECIALLY on your indie budget which doesn’t allow for anywhere near enough frequency. I’ll get to that shortly.


Truth is they’re most likely avoiding the radio altogether and experiencing music they are already acquainted with emitting that conversant signal from their smartphones.


Next, who’s going to hear it exactly?


In other words, is it your targeted audience?


With Bailey James, her audience is 7-14 year old kids. What station do they listen to?


Of the reach that terrestrial radio has in a given market, how many of the people listening are in your demographic and subgenre?

Reach and Frequency Sterilization


Can you comprehend the erosion of consumer attention here?


How about the resultant “art by committee” that occurs to optimize your chances for being spun?



2 words: Artistic Sterilization.


The tactics for effective reach have to change if you’re to be effective. Period.


To think otherwise is to be naïve.


To be naïve is to sacrifice your artist soul forever.


Artists, your soul is at stake!

Reach and Frequency Suffering Artistic Soul


Your artist soul won’t care why you don’t have an audience. It’ll just suffer the common tragic death because there is not enough adoration and compensation for the good work.



Which creates frustration.


Which creates doubt.


These are the initial infections that lead to the gangrenous decomposition of the artist dream.


I’ll bet that one hit close to home.


Don’t trip, it’s preventable to the seekers of the truth.


Reach and Frequency Preventable

Frequency, the second component of the marketing equation is equally mission critical.


Major advertisers are acutely aware of this fact and you must be as well.

You’ve heard the stories (that continue to feed your uninformed hope) about artists like Guns & Roses whose life changing Appetite for Destruction record took a year to break. They were about to be dropped. Then label owner David Geffen called in a personal favor at MTV who played the new video for the second single “Sweet Child ‘O’ Mine” at 3am on a Saturday morning and they blew up.


Yes that happened.

Reach and Frequency Appetite For Destruction

But not the way you imagine it.


That ONE video spin caused enough of a reaction to convince MTV it deserved a few more spins. They bought into frequency of their precious airwaves.


Which begat more video spins.


Don’t look now, but GNR blew up because good art met with reach and frequency in a medium where the market was paying attention.


Who’s paying attention today?


To be perfectly clear, it was frequency on a hugely popular NATIONALY CONSUMED television music station that no longer plays music videos and is no longer nationally consumed.

Reach and Frequency No MTV Logo


Assuming you’re on the radio and anyone is “listening” it takes a TON of spins A.K.A. frequency for your art to sink in and catch on with each individual listener.


Now, how many times are you getting spun per day in each market?



How many spins till any individual experiences enough frequency within a given market to influence them to take action and buy your single, ya know, when they get home from driving, unload the kids, stop texting, and hop off Facebook?


Get it?


Reach and Frequency How Many Spins MemeFrequency takes time even when there was an attentive mass market to influence. Most radio promo campaigns take at least 35 weeks to get traction with established iconic stars never mind a new emerging artist.


Frequency is also expensive on mass media.


Expensive means its cost prohibitive to the indie artist like you.


This is why radio promo has become a poor, archaic approach to any new artist’s promotional strategy. Even to the majors with million dollar budgets.


It used to work, now it doesn’t.


Get over it.


Wow, that sounds disappointing doesn’t it?


Ready for the good news?

Reach and Frequency is free

 Frequency is FREE if you have the audience’s permission.


Emails, text messages, social media posts, tweets, snapchats, etc. are free once you get their attention.


It used to be that your music opened the door and got you noticed within a market. That is no longer true.


Now, you have to break through another way, and the quality of your music is what keeps you in the room.


Stop fighting the way you “think” it should be or the way it “used” to be and start imagining how you can break through with the way it is.


Reach and Frequency JimiJimi Hendrix, one of the ultimate rock guitar Gods was a huge star in England that couldn’t break through the clutter of USA radio in the 60’s (when radio ruled and there was no real clutter!). He wasn’t noticed, that is to say he didn’t come into anyone’s awareness (in the States) because of his music, at first. It wasn’t until he played the Monterey Pop Festival and famously lit his guitar on fire that he caught the attention of the American people.


This seemingly impromptu sacrificial burning ritual was NOT a spontaneous act from an artist “in the moment”, rather it was a premeditated, strategic plan put forth by his brilliant PR firm.


They (being Jimi and the PR firm) got our attention.


Then, we listened to him play.


After we opened our hearts & minds to really “listen” we truly experienced Jimi, and we responded. We fell in love!


Are you picking up what I’m putting down?


Don’t confuse the love and importance of your favorite artist’s music with the strategy that was used to get your attention.


STOP focusing on what you don’t have (money, management, radio, label deal, blah, blah, blah) and START focusing on what you DO have.


Reach and Frequency Focus

Focus on creating relationships with an audience. If you do that you’ll own what the marketing world considers to be the greatest asset of all, HEADSPACE and TRUST.


They’ll listen with an open heart and an open mind.



If you’re compelling, and they know & trust you, they’ll buy your music, merchandise, tickets, and anything else you suggest is cool.


You now know what the record business refuses to figure out. The numbers prove this point and the numbers don’t lie because the numbers can’t talk.


Here’s what you DO have.


Free surgically targeted reach via social media and YouTube.Reach and Frequency Social Media Logos


Free frequency if you’re smart enough to begin amassing contact data.


Oh, and your intelligent creative brain to begin connecting the dots.






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The Climb 200x200



P.S. I you like podcast formats, I have a new one with hit songwriter Brent Baxter called The  C.L.I.M.B. (Creating Leverage In the Music Business). You can listen HERE for free. again, please leave a rating and a review.





Music Marketing Reason Feature

The music industry is SUFFERING because consumers don’t need more ways to connect with artists and purchase products, they need more reasons. Creating reasons consumers want to buy is what music marketing is all about.Music Marketing Bkstg Logo

Why does the music industry keep creating new WAYS for fans to purchase music/merch/tickets, etc.?

You’ve heard of “Murphy’s Law”? Well, Murphy completely underestimated the problem here.


A new startup called Bkstg just raised $20 million to create a new social network geared towards artists and music sales. Of course, fans and artists alike will have to adopt the new app, new platform, care about the artist and artist’s product, and there’s your proverbial trouble.

If a cool, easy to use distribution platform was all that was needed to sell more music, indie artists and Music Marketing Barrel Moneymajor label artists alike would be in high cotton selling like crazy on iTunes, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Bandzoogle, Reverbnation, CD Baby, blah, blah, blah. The trouble is when you put your music on any digital distribution platform nobody cares unless you make them aware that you are there and then make them care about YOU.


Get it?

Consumers need a reason.


A good reason makes the purchase worth it.


Your music has to be worth it to the consumer not just you, so if you’re thinking “my music is amazing and that’s why they will buy” you are seriously delusional.

Music Marketing WHY Ksayer1 License

Photo: Ksayer1
License: http://bit.ly/1jxQJMa




Your delusions, in my point here, have nothing to do with your music (although that is often part of the problem…but I digress as that issue is not germane to this article).




If we all understand the difference between music distribution (which is where consumers go to Music Marketing Distribution Equalspurchase) and music marketing (which is why consumers will purchase) then it should be obvious to y’all that a new distribution method is a waste of time.


There are many BIG investors behind this new Bkstg platform that frankly, seems to be reinventing the wheel.




This is where I see opportunity for all you indie artists.


Focus on the “why” right now. Focus on music marketing and marketing yourself.Music Marketing Magnifying WHY



Ask yourself, “What reasons do consumers have to purchase my music?”




What are your gifts?

Can you sing?

Can you play?

Can you write?

Can you rap?

Can you dance?

Music Marketing Gifts ElfAre you funny?

Are you a big personality?

Share these gifts with the world on social media.

Let them get to know YOU.



If you own the “why” it really won’t matter what the “where” is because real fans will find a way to get it…just like drugs, or Christmas, or Black Friday, or Valentine’s Day, etc.Music Marketing Why Collage


In plain English, any and all distributors (of the consumer’s preference) will be utilized to purchase music from an artist people are genuinely interested in.



The biggest reasons consumers will purchase anything from an indie artist these days is a relationship with the artist. Period.



If you’re not thinking about this then you are an idiot.

This is what new music marketing is all about, people.


Music Marketing 1 MIllion. Morgan Williams License

Photo: Morgan Williams
License: http://bit.ly/1jxQJMa



Jason Aldean had lots of promotion, lots of radio spins, and barely sold 1 million units. This number along with almost all the other record sales scares the crap out of industry executives.


Aldean had the #1 selling country music record of 2014.






Taylor Swift had lots of promotion, lots of radio spins (albeit NO SPINS on country radio where all her previous releases were promoted) and a relationship with her fans via social media.

Music Marketing 7 Million Jana Zills License

Photo: Jana Zills
License: http://bit.ly/1jxQJMa



Taylor sold 7 million units.

Her fan’s reasons for purchasing the whole record vs a single were founded in the relationship they felt they had with Taylor.



So what are you doing with your music marketing?

What are you doing to create reasons for people to buy your music?

To expose people to your music?


Why do so many of you wait until you finish recording before you begin thinking about creating the relationships with your fans online?

Music Marketing Music Don't Talk MEME

This tactic suggests that the music will do the talking. The trouble is if consumers are not aware of you, if they are aware of you but are unfamiliar with you, or don’t like you, they won’t give the music a chance.

Get them interested in your talent, in you as an artist, and they will be curious to hear your music when you release it.

THEN the music will do the talking because the consumer will be open to receiving the communication you want to send. (At that point your music and recordings better be good!)


Get it?

Overlooking and under-funding the music marketing for your project is akin to choosing not to put oil in your car because you don’t have “the budget”.Music Marketing Junkyard

You wouldn’t be shocked when your engine freezes up without oil, why would you expect the world to purchase a product they aren’t aware of or familiar with?


Look, you’re not sure you know what you’re doing, I get it.


It’s foreign.


Get over it. FAST.


You must learn.

Music Marketing Bailey James MEMEWith Bailey James we have been marketing her on Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook since January.

All this activity creating relationships with fans, getting them connected with her as an artist and her talent was consistently happening while we were still developing the project artistically.


As of now, we have created a decent fan base that now know her, are familiar with her (they regularly watch her YouTube videos), they interact with her on social media, and they adore her.

8 fan created Instagram accounts have been started so far.

Her EP is loosely scheduled for release mid-September.


Listen, YOU’RE the reason get it?

Music Marketing YOU MEME Gabe Austin License

Photo: Gabe Austin
License: http://bit.ly/1jxQJMa


Don’t make the mistake of thinking the music is the reason.


In today’s indie online market, you come before the music.


The more “reasons” you can give, aka the more of yourself that you put out there, the more fans you will get, the more music, merch, and tix you will sell.


Get to work now on creating more reasons.


Focus inventively on why a consumer will buy your music, not where, and you’ll be one step ahead of the whole damn industry.





Music Marketing Laser  Find Your Audience

Mistake Twitter


PS: If you haven’t already downloaded my free Music Marketing On Twitter book, please enjoy it on me. Go to GiftFromJohnny.com put  in your name and tell us where to send it. It’ll teach you how to get 1,000 new targeted followers every month for just 15 minutes per day.



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State of the industry

The state of the industry in the music business seems abysmal to many.

I disagree.


It’s definitely changing which makes it uncomfortable for everyone. It’s more treacherous for bigger companies as it is far more difficult to steer a huge ship to navigate the constantly moving target of the new market.

I feel the outlook is actually amazing and quite bright for all artists, especially indie artists.

Industry Aground Ship


This post is a little different than most and I chose to show this because I have received a ton questions and requests.

Complete transparency, this is somewhat self-serving as I am going to give y’all a glimpse into portions of the marketing proposal we use with our private clients and record labels.

I don’t ever want this blog to come off as “sales-y”, rather, I hope you’ll find this article to be educational.

I hope it will inspire you to begin putting the marketing pieces of your music efforts into place. When you do that, you will begin the journey of making a better living at your music career.

It starts with a breakdown on the state of the industry and then answers some questions on how we address these changes to create cash flow for artists.

Please let me know what your thoughts are on this.


Current State of the Music Industry

Record sales are dramatically down. This is factually accurate, the numbers don’t lie because the numbers can’t talk. The question everybody is asking is, “Why?”

Industry Shania Twain UP


The bestselling country record 10 years ago was Shania Twain’s “Up!” which sold 11 million copies. The bestselling country record of 2014 was Jason Aldean’s “Old Boots, New Dirt” which barely cracked 1 million in sales by 12/31/14.


I’m certain that the unbundling of records by iTunes contributes to this degradation of sales, but only because the market wants it. I’m certain that technology like Spotify, Pandora, Deezer, Slacker, iTunes Radio, etc. also contributes and the market seems to want that as well.



The question is WHY does the market want it?


The biggest reason consumers have stopped purchasing records is because they don’t feel the full CD is worth the price anymore, plain and simple.Industry Is it Worth it Meme







That’s a marketing failure.

Industry Amboo Who License

Photo Credit: Amboo Who


If we can sell bottled tap water, a commodity consumers can obtain free of charge, for twice the price of a gallon of gasoline, we can sell music. We can also sell it for what it used to cost.





Industry Water Collage







Let’s define what it used to cost:

In 1978 I purchased Tom Petty’s “Damn the Torpedoes” for $8.00, which when put into an inflationary calculator, is worth $28.80 in 2015 dollars; it was worth it. As a point of comparison, the new Tom Petty record “Hypnotic Eye” is selling on iTunes for $10.99 which is 38% of the total inflationary adjusted price of “Damn the Torpedoes”. So the cost of a 2015 album has decreased by 62% and, STILL, unit sales are down about 90% from just 10 years ago.


Are consumers simply over listening to and owning music?


Consumers love music. We’ve already proven over decades that we are willing to invest in the music; we need it as it is quite literally the soundtrack of our lives.

So what’s changed?

The platforms for exposing and marketing artists have transformed. The new platforms require a completely different language to effectively communicate to consumers. The music industry, which continues to utilize marketing strategies that have proven to be successful for decades, is now doing it wrong.Industry Doing it Wrong


The game/market has changed, and the industry hasn’t.



Here is some data to support my statement.

Jason Aldean has a multi-million dollar marketing budget for his new release “Old Boots, New Dirt”, MASSIVE radio promotion (every single is in heavy rotation), and he has sold barely 1 million copies.

Taylor Swift has a multi-million dollar marketing budget and her new release “1989” has eclipsed 7 million in sales with ZERO support from country radio where all her prior releases were promoted.


Taylor Swift has a big marketing budget, ZERO country radio promotion, and has sold 7 times that of Jason Aldean because her fans FEEL like they have a relationship with her.

Industry CD Pawel Loj License

Photo: Pawel Loj


Taylor gets it.






On a smaller, more relatable scale, any indie artist who completes a project doesn’t have any problems selling 50 or so CDs, right?  Who is buying these CD’s? The buyers are his/her friends and family. They do this because they have relationships and they wish to support their artist regardless of the quality of the product.



Within the context of even a perceived relationship, $10-$15 is NOT that much money so it doesn’t take a whole lot to make the purchase “worth it”.

Industry 2 Cocktails WIKI free image


That’s 2 cocktails, 2 beers, a dinner, or lunch that you’d gladly buy a friend or someone you really wanted to spend time with.

Consumers are savvy now and they demand more from the artist before their buying decisions can be influenced.




The trick is to target an audience, then build and deepen relationships between the artist and the fan enough to monetize. Monetizing requires the consumer to feel good enough about the relationship with the artist to part with some cash.



Marketing Language Breakdown:

We are all human beings, and as such we require acceptance and belonging.  We are wired up to want to be a part of something; this is not news.

Due to our tribal, lemming-like human nature, there is implied power granted by audiences in mass market presentations. That is to say that we behave like lemmings (I’m generalizing but this is factual or mass marketing and politics would never work) when we consume as a crowd.Industry Military Tribal WIKI Free image


When you see someone on TV, you immediately feel they must be important, and you can share your experience with anyone else who watched what you watched. When you hear something on the radio, the artist must be important and you can share your experience with anyone else who listened.




Even when you attend a concert and the lead singer (Think Axl Rose from Guns & Roses) commands, “EVERYBODY GET YOUR CELL PHONES Industry Axl Rose LIVE WIKI FREE ImageUP IN THE AIR,” most of us will do it because the implied power we give to the performer in a sold-out venue is intense, somewhat unconditional, and we want to do what everyone else is doing; we want to belong.


Now here is how the market changed.



Imagine Axl Rose sitting directly across from you at your kitchen table and delivering the message using the same language and tone, “EVERYBODY GET YOUR CELL PHONES UP IN THE AIR!!!”

How would you feel?Industry Kitchen Collage

Probably like he was over-the-top, crazy, hyper, possibly disrespectful, definitely intrusive, too LOUD, high, etc.


The mass market is splintering and therefore constantly shrinking into niche markets referred to as the “long tail”.


The long tail market is more effectively reached using a content marketing approach via email, text, and social media exchanges all of which are always consumed one-on-one; just like you and Axl at your kitchen table.


Industry Skeptical FREE Pixabay imageThere is no implied power in a one on one interaction, so it’s all about creating relationships.


Nobody is going to impress you with hype at your kitchen table.

If you want to sell 10,000 units, you are going to have to meet 10,000 people and shake 10,000 hands.



You haven’t had very many people sitting at your kitchen table that you didn’t have a relationship with, have you?

Proper care and attention to written messaging, verbal messaging, non-verbal messaging, and paraverbal messaging (AKA how it’s served up) is paramount to persuading somebody enough to get them to perform for you.Industry One On One


A relationship has to be made and deepened or we simply don’t care, especially when we are not influenced by what everyone else is doing (because it’s one-on-one); it’s personal, not tribal…at least initially.


There is a lot of talk about creating a tribe on social media. A social media tribe can be created, however, new members of the tribe have to be inducted one by one.


This is where the industry is screwing up.

This is where Daredevil Production thrives.



Daredevil Production Approach

Daredevil Production monetizes attention.

This process is effective, sustainable, and creates an ever-expanding, very solid, engaging, loyal grassroots fan base. As such, this marketing Industry Increasing FREE Pixabay imagestrategy takes time to create and once created takes time to cultivate.  Daredevil Production provides a long term, steadily increasing, measurable growth program for up and coming artists as well as legacy artists.


Facilitating this program ensures a more maintainable ride to the top, optimizes relationship building and monetization at the top, and provides a more profitable ride back down, actually allowing exponential cash flow to the business once the media “ride” is over (80’s and 90’s vocal superstar Michael Bolton quietly makes 7 figures a year from his mailing list, remember him?)


The measurable data we monitor is social media expansion, social media engagement, contact data accumulation, and revenue per contact.


Once implemented, there are metrics that provide guidance with mathematically predictable ROI’s on capital marketing expenditures ensuring Industry Data Accumulation Memeany marketing effort will return the highest and best value for each dollar spent. Each step is carefully placed in the attempt to reach critical mass with an artist’s brand. Of course, some business exposure costs are more risky than others but there are no “darts in the dark”.


If you can measure it, you can manage it.



Industry Measure FREE Pixabay Image


Assuming the product is well done, attention and exposure will create traffic. We focus on increasing traffic, framing the consumer input experience to accentuate the brand and create excitement, accumulating contact data, and optimizing the revenue from the buyers via creative product bundling packages and residual revenue streams.

The attention can be generated from live shows, television, radio, press, public relations, and social media exposure.




With the mass market continuing to erode and the long tail growing, we see the music industry heading quickly towards Direct-To-Fan marketing scenarios.

This approach is extremely effective when executed correctly, and requires expertise in:

  • Social media marketing
  • Content marketing
  • Squeeze page technologyIndustry Juggler MEME
  • Text capture technology
  • Web store sales/bundling tactics
  • PPC (Pay Per Click) technology
  • CRM Integration
  • Framing initiatives
  • Remarketing technology
  • Exit-pop technology
  • Annotations
  • Effective web store staging
  • PR relationships to craft new campaigns that will likely be unique and foreign to the firm
  • Subscribership based website themes
  • Subscribership based business model structures
  • The language to effectively integrate these technologies in a profitable manner
  • The psychological skill set to evaluate, script, and comfortably incorporate the artist role to maximize sales.

We have effectively implemented these techniques on various levels with multi-platinum artists such as Collin Raye, Jamie O’Neal, Ty Herndon, 7Horse, Andy Griggs, and Tracy Lawrence.

On an indie level, we are working with a 12-year old artist named Bailey James. We began simultaneously building her audience and developing the artistic project on January 2 of this year. The EP was written a few weeks ago, we will record it at the end of June (recording this week!). We expect to release the EP end of July or mid-August depending on the launch strategy.

We have already begun creating the market demand before we release the product.

Here is a list of our marketing accomplishments with Bailey James in the 4-5 months of work thus far:

  • From zero to over 17,000 targeted Twitter followersIndustry_Bailey_YouTube
  • From zero to 20,000 targeted Instagram followers
    • Bailey gets a solid average of 500 likes and 50 comments for each post
  • At least 5 Bailey James “fan pages” have been independently started on Instagram
  • YouTube channel with over 1000 subscribers
  • YouTube channel with 64,000 views
  • Email list of 1,200 subscribers
  • Squeeze page conversion rate of 38% (we expect 25% with an unknown artist)
  • Text capture of 223 phone numbers
  • Added 1,500+ Facebook LIKES

Understand that with the contact capture mechanisms operating on all cylinders, any TV, press, Public Relations, and tour exposure will be Industry Capture FREE WIKI imagecaptured and monetized making promotional budgets exponentially more cost effective. Additionally, each promotional campaign will have measurable ROI.







Sales Structure Example

Here is a quick generic example of how it works.

Let’s use 1,000 contacts (emails and/or phone numbers) as a sample.

Online sales are mathematically predictable with any business. Depending on the brand, framing, and source of the lead, we can predict a 3-8% contact conversion rate to sales. Let’s use a 5% conversion rate to keep the numbers easy and conservative.

  • 1,000 contacts x 5% = 50 buyers
  • 50 buyers at $10/CD = $500 in revenue
  • $500 in revenue divided into 1,000 contacts = each contact is worth .50 cents
  • 30% of the buyers are willing to be upsold if there is a bigger package available for purchase (this statistic is scarily accurate)
  • 50 buyers x 30% = 15
  • 15 buyers purchase a bundle which adds an additional $40 per sale
  • 15 x $40 = $600 of additional revenue
  • $500 + $600 = $1,100 total revenue
  • $1,100 total revenue divided by 1,000 contacts = each contact is now worth $1.10
  • Statistically we know 55% of the buyers will be willing to explore a subscribership based business relationship paying $2.97/month and receiving X, Y, and Z from the artist (10% off future releases, getting releases 2 weeks before the market, 1 free song per month,tchotchkes, meet & greet discounts, Special subscriber content, etc.)
  • 50 buyers x 55% = 26 subscribers
  • 26 x $2.97 = $77.22/ month x 12 months = $926.64/year (round down to $900)
  • $500 + $600 (upsells) + $900 (Subscriptions) = $2,000/year gross revenue
  • $2,000/year gross revenue divided into 1,000 contacts = $2 per contact.

If we want to make $40,000 we will need 20,000 email addresses

If the squeeze page converts at 25% (conservative) we will need 80,000 hits per year.

80,000 divided by 365 days is just 219 hits per day. That number decreases if a text capture implementation is successful in the market.

Furthermore, if you’re considering a solid PR firm for $1,500/month and after the first month you obtain 750 contacts, you’re breaking even on your brand expansion. Even if you’re not breaking even you can measure the growth and you are offsetting the PR costs with real cash flow.

Get it?Industry Juice Worth The Squeeze

That’s doable.

That’s scalable.

That’s real.

This kind of data provides guidance on future promotional expenditures.




In today’s record business, major labels are not developing talent, rather they have moved to and acquisition based business model. In plain English, they are buying small businesses, not developing raw talent.

It is now up to the artist to demonstrate, beyond a reasonable doubt, that their music has value in the market place and a viable audience.  The truly iconic, game-changing artists like Mötley Crüe, Metallica, Neil Diamond, Zach Brown Band, Ani DeFranco, Kiss, Florida Georgia Line, etc. didn’t get lucky, they proved their worth in advance of the big deal.

Industry Make Your Mark Raphael Labbe

Photo: Raphael Labbe

Today’s music market is no different in that you have to prove your value. However, it IS DIFFERENT in that it is easier and less expensive than ever before for an independent artist to make their mark.












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Music Starving Millions

Consumers really want to buy music.

I keep hearing everyone complain from the bottom and from the top that record sales are down; consumers aren’t buying.Consumers Buy Feature Image

This is true.


Why aren’t people buying music like they used to if they really want to buy music?


Music is such an important part of so many of our lives. Is it that we just don’t care these days?

Are we in danger of having a society where music just isn’t present in the fabric of our lives?

Music is Important


No, it’s not that we don’t like music anymore as a society.

Consumers aren’t buying music because we aren’t reaching them.




The methods and dynamics to connecting with consumers has changed, therefore the marketing needs to change to influence their buyingMusic When You Are Happy decisions.

For the most part it hasn’t. We keep holding on to what used to work and by “we” I mean all of us; indie artists and major labels.

Either consumers aren’t aware of the product or they are aware of the product and don’t think it’s worth the price.

The previous statement was the very definition of ineffective marketing.


Yikes! They don’t think it’s worth it??


Access to the “mass market” is becoming more difficult and complex. The result is the mass market is nowhere near as “massive” as it used to be. This is because the mass market is continually fragmenting into smaller and smaller pieces.

Music Mass Market Niche Market

As a big market disintegrates into smaller, more focused markets the definition changes from “mass market” to “niche market”.


As a marketer (of your music) you have to consider the fact that the mass market simply isn’t as easy to reach as it used to be because consumers have so many choices to hang out.


In any given media market, there used to be only 3 TV networks (CBS, NBC, and ABC), 1 or possibly 2 (genre specific) radio stations, 1 or 2 newspapers, and maybe MTV for consumers to receive input about any product, project, or artist.

Think about how easy that was for the record labels to reach us when we were such a captive audience.


Now we have well over 500 channels on TV in addition to the initial 3 networks.file00041345220


There are endless possibilities for consumers to devour radio including their 1 or 2 local terrestrial radio stations, HD Radio, Satellite Radio, I Heart Radio (1,000 stations), Pandora, Spotify, Deezer, Slacker, personal playlists, etc.


Every magazine, YouTube, social media, and countless music sites are accessible online at anytime, anywhere in the world from a smartphone.


There is a fundamental, paradigm shift happening right now in the music industry.


Simply put, the methods that were once effective in exposing consumers to new music and influencing their buying decisions has gone through a drastic change.


Music Paradigm Shift


These formerly effective methods were geared towards communicating to and converting a mass market.


The WHOLE industry will have to change with it and adapt. Until then, it will continue to suffer.



Consider this, as indie artists and human beings for that matter, our understanding of our everyday reality is directly related to the input we receive.


Think about that concept outside the realm of marketing music for a second.Music Input Brain Chart

  • Poor children aren’t aware that they are poor until they are exposed to how the other half lives.
  • Children of famous parents aren’t aware that their parents are famous until they are exposed to other children whose parents aren’t famous.
  • Mentally and physically abused people are sometimes not aware (or forget over time) that there are more peaceful ways to live because they get only one kind of input.
  • People that are constantly told they are bad, horrible, not important, etc., will ultimately begin to believe that if it is the only stimulus they are exposed to.

We are all products of the input we receive in life and, of course, input from the market place is equally applicable.


The input we receive becomes our reality.


Music Time To Adapt


My point is when you think about marketing your music you naturally think about how music (in the form of your favorite artists) has been marketed to you in the past.


It’s the only input you have ever received with regards to music marketing, and it worked.




It’s not working now.Music it's not working

Not for you.


Not for the major labels either.


Shania Twain’s “Up!” was certified 11 million units sold in September 23rd, 2004.Music Shania Twain Up



10 years later, Jason Aldean’s “Old Boots, New Dirt” was the best-selling country record of 2014 and it barely cracked 1 million in sales by December of last year.


Music Jason Aldean Old Boots



Clearly the record labels haven’t got it figured out yet, man.


So why follow them?


Consumers haven’t stopped wanting or liking music. The way in which they receive their input about music has drastically changed due to technology and a fragmented marketplace.


Music Who Else Should We Target


So, in a way, they’re starving for good music, they just can’t find it in the new marketplace. They can’t find it because we aren’t getting it to them in a language/manner they find acceptable.

The artists and labels that have figured this out are thriving.

Listen, consumers are just as desperate to be turned on to really good music as you are to sell it to them.  Crazy, huh?


The new way for receiving this marketing stimulus via social media and content marketing through email and text exchanges is consumed Music Chicken Paradigm ShiftCOMPLETELY differently than the mass media branding methods that were effective before.


Systems and strategies for addressing mass media don’t work for private, one on one interactions which is how social media, text messaging, and emails are consumed.



Once the fundamental changes to language and the approach have been internalized, understood, and executed masterfully music sales will rise.



Taylor Swift provides us with proof of concept on this statement.

Music Taylor Swift 1989


While Jason Aldean is an undeniable superstar at the top of his game with TONS of country radio support for his new record, he barely broke 1 million copies.


Taylor Swift released “1989” in 2014 and it was certified 4 million in sales January 22 of this year and she did it WITHOUT any help from country radio.

She knows how to communicate with her audience effectively in the new marketplace and she has the sales to prove it.

Not only is Taylor’s audience aware that her new record was released, they all felt it was worth it.


Right now I want you to quit lamenting the fact that you aren’t as popular as Taylor Swift and concentrate on the concept here.  COUNTRY RADIO ABANDONED this artist and still, she QUADRUPLED the sales of the #1 selling record that country radio unwaveringly supported!


How did that happen?!?!?!  Your future as an artist lies in the answer to this question, people.Music is Live image


You hear Jason Aldean’s singles every day, multiple times a day on the radio, every single he’s released is in heavy rotation.


You never hear Taylor Swift anymore on country radio (except for very recently but only on the limited number of NASH ICON stations which is a joint venture between Cumulus radio stations and Scott Borchetta’s NASH ICON label who is Taylor’s record label head…so that was just a matter of time).

In plain English, record sales are down because labels are not marketing properly. Period.


Music Marketing Sucks

Your marketing sucks too.


That is if you even think about marketing.




People want music, people need music, and people continue to consume music.

Just not your music.


It’s about the marketing.


Artists need innovative marketing strategies.


Want some staggering proof that it’s all about marketing?

I’ll give you 2 examples.

This is the absolute dumbest most insanely unnecessary product ever produced.

I believe the infomercials for this product still run today.

That is because of only one reason, it sells.

It sells for only one reason, marketing.

Nobody NEEDS the Pasta Pro but the buyers all feel it is worth it because it’s marketed correctly.



Here is another example that is simply mind blowing.Music Bottled Water

Bottled water.

Everyday people purchase a 1 liter bottle of water for $1.99.

On average. There are 3.7 liters in a gallon.

That equates roughly to $7.40/gallon for a product we can get for free.

We happily pay more for water, something we can obtain at no cost, than we do for gasoline.


Music Worth It


This is because of marketing.


We feel like it’s worth it.





Bottom line to all artists and major labels, if you aren’t selling your music, it’s because people aren’t aware of it and the ones that are don’t feel it’s worth it.

What has to happen for consumers to think your music is worth it?

If we can sell free water for more than twice the price of a gallon of gas, we damn sure can sell music.






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