Releasing and promoting music in 2019 (A dilemma)

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Krankenwagen
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Releasing and promoting music in 2019 (A dilemma)

Post by Krankenwagen » Sat Jul 20, 2019 10:58 pm

Not sure if this really belongs in this forum but it didn't really seem to fit in the 'artist discussion' or 'your tracks' forums.

I was wondering how people go about releasing and promoting their music in 2019? I released an album on a Japanese label around 10 years ago and that was done old-school by sending demo CDs in the post to various labels until I got a response.

Are there experimental electronic music labels than even accept demos anymore? Is it even worth attempting to sign with a label instead of just self releasing through Bandcamp? If so, how do you go about getting any sort of attention in an endless sea of other self-published artists.

Guess I'm just getting old... :despair:

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Post by chvad » Sat Jul 20, 2019 11:32 pm

We, as a band, still release through labels (currently Artoffact) and I release my solo stuff through Silber Records. Distro independently is easy now but I find the labels help with reviews, press, promos and occasionally finances (not often) still and a resource people will go to looking for curated label stuff instead of the open seas where it's easy to get lost. I've released a lot indie over the years as well but it's a slog promoting shit. For me... I prefer to just record and send off the goods to the label and let them handle the dirty work lol.

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Post by lisa » Sat Jul 20, 2019 11:59 pm

I have a friend who runs a real but small label and booking company for indie pop music. He’s interested in artists that he likes but there’s also a popularity threshold. He tells me that artists/bands he’s interested in should get at least 10 000 plays when they release a track on bandcamp/soundcloud if he’s to sign them. If he signs them he’ll help with getting releases ready, promoting them, finding gigs and so on.

Big companies seems to do similar things for artists but with greater effect. On the other hand their popularity threshold is much higher.

When it comes to releasing your stuff on your own, you can build a following over time but you’ll have to put in many hours of promotion on forums, social media, etc. The best shortcut, I think, is to get your stuff used in a game or in, say, a popular youtube channel.

EDIT: Oh, I forgot to mention that there are ”labels” for modular music on bandcamp/soundcloud that seems to limit their efforts to posting music on said platforms. They usually have a much smaller following than I do so I generally don’t care about them but perhaps they could bring some listeners to a new account?
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Post by unrecordings » Wed Jul 24, 2019 2:47 am

Even if you've released stuff successfully before through a third party label, there's almost inevitably a point where the whole process gets downgraded to a hobby - in which case BandCamp is a good place to start, and scale things up from there

(I'm glad to see Controlled Bleeding still out there bucking the trend)

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Post by dubonaire » Wed Jul 24, 2019 4:30 am

While I can understand that some labels operate by plays etc, not all labels operate that way. I have friends who have been picked up by labels based on the music fitting well with the label's aesthetic. And given you are on the experimental tip, you may find a label that doesn't need 10,000 Soundcloud plays (which would be on the high side for experimental), but cares about the content.

You can buy Soundcloud plays, so that method is quite cynical and a bit pointless just for that. But it's awful also because that method is just reinforcing the status quo.

I would suggest spending some time searching out labels that fit what you are doing.

My general impression is that the basics haven't changed that much. You need to have a live presence, and you need to spend time with people who run labels and might be interested in your music. Electronic music is still about relationships, for better or worse.

But I don't think you can devolve promotion to the label anymore. That period is behind us. We live in a world in which all kinds of people self-promote on Instagram, and even headlining musak EDM acts feel a need to publicize their every move on Instagram. Except for an informed niche, to listeners who you are is as important as your music. But it's always been a bit that way. To exist now, you need to be public, unless you've been able to market yourself as a masked musician. And if anything, you would be devolving promotion to an agent not a label. I don't even know if experimental musicians have agents, maybe a few.

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Post by lisa » Wed Jul 24, 2019 4:52 am

dubonaire: Interesting! Are the labels that picked up your friends actually labels with a bit of impact that works on promoting the music and gets some results?
My attempt at dodecaphony, following all of the twelve-tone serialism rules but still fashioning it the Lisa style that you all know and love. ;)


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Post by Joe. » Wed Jul 24, 2019 5:29 am

Hire a Blimp.

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Post by Fog Door » Wed Jul 24, 2019 6:35 am

You can buy Soundcloud plays
I don't use Soundcloud but I cannot think of a more damning indictment of our somewhat pathetic times than this :waah:

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Post by titanium » Wed Jul 24, 2019 7:03 am

I went to Amsterdam Dance Event University last year and was at this ted talk about releasing music etc. Some A&R people from online labels were talking and it was utterly depressing really.
Indeed, they do look at your plays, just to check you are a feasible assett for them to put time/effort in... it's all about your spotify, soundcloud, bandcamp, itunes numbers, where they pull the geosocial data from and see how they can market you.
After the meeting I had a chat with one of them and when I asked her whether I was fucked by not having a social media presence and the answer was the presumed YES.
It is all about media presence now, rather than talent I am afraid...
:deadbanana:

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Post by unrecordings » Wed Jul 24, 2019 8:14 am

Fog Door wrote:
You can buy Soundcloud plays
I don't use Soundcloud but I cannot think of a more damning indictment of our somewhat pathetic times than this :waah:
It's always gone on since day one. I used to know one or two pretty influential UK pluggers from the 60's (***) and they used fair means or foul to rig the charts, radio playlists, instore displays, anything that would give their client's product the advantage. The internet just makes it easier for the kids at home to try it, and the willing collaborator (Soundcloud/Facebook etc) not to feel culpable

*** I'm not of that era. These are just some of the the old guard that popped up and made fascinating conversation during my adventures over the years

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Post by unrecordings » Wed Jul 24, 2019 8:23 am

titanium wrote:I went to Amsterdam Dance Event University last year and was at this ted talk about releasing music etc. Some A&R people from online labels were talking and it was utterly depressing really.
Indeed, they do look at your plays, just to check you are a feasible assett for them to put time/effort in... it's all about your spotify, soundcloud, bandcamp, itunes numbers, where they pull the geosocial data from and see how they can market you.
After the meeting I had a chat with one of them and when I asked her whether I was fucked by not having a social media presence and the answer was the presumed YES.
It is all about media presence now, rather than talent I am afraid...
:deadbanana:
Brings me to another basic tenet that I've felt to be true for the last 30 years:

You need at least two of three things:

Talent
Money
Luck

Talent requires luck or money to succeed
Money requires luck or talent to succeed
Luck requires money or talent to succeed

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Post by Muff McMuff » Wed Jul 24, 2019 8:34 am

I heard Lil Nas X created 50 different memes to promote his unknown track from nothing to global mega hit. Just him and his smartphone.

[video][/video]

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Post by Fog Door » Wed Jul 24, 2019 9:02 am

Not sure if the OP is planning on going global but how many memes do you think it would take to turn an experimental modluar track into a global mega hit? ;)

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Post by Liddlepud » Wed Jul 24, 2019 10:01 am

Fog Door wrote:Not sure if the OP is planning on going global but how many memes do you think it would take to turn an experimental modluar track into a global mega hit? ;)
Image

Probably more than this one

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Post by Muff McMuff » Wed Jul 24, 2019 10:06 am

I think Lil Nas X created 50 memes/vids/ pieces of content and about 3 of them gained traction and went viral. Experimental modular or skinny black guy dressed up as a cowboy doing a country and western themed rap song. Both don't seem mainstream to me but it shows anything is possible with social media, ideas, hard work, smartphone, internet etc. A weird modular global hit must be possible?

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Post by Fog Door » Wed Jul 24, 2019 10:53 am

Muff McMuff yeah I was being light-hearted, I wasn't knocking your post. Only a fool would doubt the power of the internet. There are a huge amount of people who like exactly what they are told to like, so anything is possible :)

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Post by cg_funk » Wed Jul 24, 2019 12:41 pm

Fog Door wrote:Muff McMuff yeah I was being light-hearted, I wasn't knocking your post. Only a fool would doubt the power of the internet. There are a huge amount of people who like exactly what they are told to like, so anything is possible :)
My limitation must be that I'm not telling enough people on the internet to go out and like my experimental music... I think you do have a really good point here, it's so awkward to self-promote, but on the internet it is the only way to reach people I guess!

So.. what are you waiting for? Go on and like my music!! :-)
Go listen to it! I know you like it. You know you like it.
:love:
:tu:

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Post by Fog Door » Wed Jul 24, 2019 1:08 pm

what are you waiting for? Go on and like my music
ha ha, sadly it has to be very a special kind of human being called a celebrity that tells people what to like. But who knows? Maybe Beyoncé would be totally into your shit? :tu:

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Post by captjrab » Wed Jul 24, 2019 2:45 pm

Its all about the grass roots. Reach out in your locale. Find like minded arists of all media and bring them together. Reach put online. Check out other peoples stuff. Invite them to do shows, they will reciprocate. Next start a co operative label if you feel that is necessary.
As for the i ternet,
“Nobody goes there anymore, its’s too crowded” besides, do you really want your art associatd with video games or youtubers? That is not art, it’s advertising, sorry.

Btw, playing a great show in NY this Tues. any fellow wigglers want to keet up, we can discuss this and more, plus spme top notch music.


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Post by dubonaire » Wed Jul 24, 2019 4:49 pm

lisa wrote:dubonaire: Interesting! Are the labels that picked up your friends actually labels with a bit of impact that works on promoting the music and gets some results?
Yep. Two I can think of quickly are https://soundcloud.com/primary_colours_music and https://controlledviolence.bandcamp.com

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Post by dubonaire » Wed Jul 24, 2019 5:05 pm

unrecordings wrote:
Fog Door wrote:
You can buy Soundcloud plays
I don't use Soundcloud but I cannot think of a more damning indictment of our somewhat pathetic times than this :waah:
It's always gone on since day one. I used to know one or two pretty influential UK pluggers from the 60's (***) and they used fair means or foul to rig the charts, radio playlists, instore displays, anything that would give their client's product the advantage. The internet just makes it easier for the kids at home to try it, and the willing collaborator (Soundcloud/Facebook etc) not to feel culpable

*** I'm not of that era. These are just some of the the old guard that popped up and made fascinating conversation during my adventures over the years
It was common practice for managers and labels and even bands to buy up the singles when they were released to push records up the charts. In some countries it didn't take all that many to get the song onto the charts, and once a song got on the charts it started getting higher rotation on the radio. It was also practice for the big labels to pay radio stations to put singles on high rotation. When music videos overtook radio as the prime hit-making medium, investing in a well-produced video and giving the video to the tv channels for free became another method.

Now you can pay companies to give you a full online presence and do all the social media hyping for you. Some of these companies host music sites and blogs and partly fund them by artists paying for promotional services. In addition to soundcloud plays you can buy Facebook likes and follows, Instagram followers, and Beatport, Apple, Spotify and RA promotion etc.

Here is just one example I found randomly. https://artistpush.me/ . Notice the small banner at the top "Order three or more services and get FREE 10k soundcloud plays".

In the big dance festivals now there is a bunch of DJs who have just been promoted into being headliners making huge $$ with no real background in DJing at all, which you don't really need now thanks to the sync button (and some DJs just play pre-recorded sets). The industry is possibly more artificial now than ever but fortunately good music is till being made.

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Post by Keltie » Wed Jul 24, 2019 5:57 pm

Fog Door wrote:
You can buy Soundcloud plays
I don't use Soundcloud but I cannot think of a more damning indictment of our somewhat pathetic times than this :waah:
I was on soundcloud today putting up a coupla pieces for someone who wanted to hear something before they book me to play. My soundcloud has been close to dormant for a while, so it was the first activity on my page for a long time.

Within twenty minutes I had a pair of cut n paste messages directing me to a site offering pay for likes/subs/plays.

Depressing as hell.

On the brighter side, I just started on instagram recently, and a 30 sec iPhone clip just gave me 25 new followers...all real ppl including some unexpectedly high profile peeps n companies.

I’m a social media moron, so not holding my breath for the next meme/media driven megahit.....

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Post by Parnelli » Wed Jul 24, 2019 6:21 pm

Dang... only 9,994 more soundcloud plays to go! :bang:

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Post by lisa » Thu Jul 25, 2019 5:46 am

Fog Door wrote:
You can buy Soundcloud plays
I don't use Soundcloud but I cannot think of a more damning indictment of our somewhat pathetic times than this :waah:
Made even worse by the fact that buying plays wouldn't fool anyone that matters. It's not hard to identify an account with fake plays or fake likes on any social media platform.
My attempt at dodecaphony, following all of the twelve-tone serialism rules but still fashioning it the Lisa style that you all know and love. ;)


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Post by dubonaire » Thu Jul 25, 2019 6:39 am

lisa wrote:
Fog Door wrote:
You can buy Soundcloud plays
I don't use Soundcloud but I cannot think of a more damning indictment of our somewhat pathetic times than this :waah:
Made even worse by the fact that buying plays wouldn't fool anyone that matters. It's not hard to identify an account with fake plays or fake likes on any social media platform.
Are you sure about that?

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