Forget the music media; your real audience is elsewhere

June 13, 2014{ 20 Comments }

shutterstock 185938724 300x198 Forget the music media; your real audience is elsewhereA couple weeks ago we talked about how to get the media’s attention so your music will have more opportunities to be heard. But do you really think the majority of your potential fans are reading all of the trendy magazines and blogs that cover your genre of music? Probably not. Your average listener doesn’t care about album reviews or exclusive interviews, and even avid fans are often too busy to keep up with the constant buzz of the music media.

Hell, I’ll bet the majority of folks who’ve purchased or streamed my music did so because they saw me perform, heard one of my songs on some podcast or online radio station like Pandora, had a friend recommend me to them, or checked out my website after reading one of my blog posts. Conversely, I’ll bet very few people purchased or streamed my music after reading a review of one of my albums.

So maybe next time you launch an album or single into the world, you should forget about Filter, or Pitchfork, or The Source, or DownBeat (well, maybe don’t forget about them; but focus your PR energy elsewhere) — and start thinking about hitting up the places where your potential fans actually hang out (online, or otherwise).

For instance, my buddy Brad is putting the finishing touches on a hip-hop-influenced album that features the sampled voices of 80′s Pro Wrestling stars. He’s already getting a decent amount of attention from popular wrestling podcasts and websites, and the album isn’t even out yet!

When I contributed a song to a compilation of murder ballads based on true life (and death) stories, the album was marketed to historical societies, to participants of walking-tours through Portland’s oldest cemetery, to Halloween event planners and attendees, and other enthusiasts of the macabre.

Got a song about sailing? Look for opportunities at yacht clubs, in nautical magazines, or online discussion forums (there are forums for almost every model of boat). Written a song about a tired race horse? How about pitching your music to an equestrian magazine? Mention a certain brand of whiskey in your latest country shuffle? Go straight to the distillery and see if they’ll give your song away for free on their website for 30 days.

You get the point. Your music contains more potential connection points than simply being part of a larger genre. So stop fretting so much about getting great coverage from the traditional music media, and start worrying instead about getting your music in front of the exact people who will take the greatest interest.

Have you tried this approach with your music PR? How did it go? Let us know in the comments below.

Marketing your music 101: 
essential tips for getting your music out there

[Empty chairs image from Shutterstock.]

  • Tommy Mac

    I like this article, well written and nuggets of gold in here. tommy mac jazz aka: DJ JazzyRoxs

  • lukascamenzind

    Great advice!

    • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

      Thanks, L. Thanks for reading.

      @ChrisRobley

  • Jennifer Coleman

    I sold my classical Music CD through a Wine Merchants. That’s been great for me! I’m selling it on a pay what you want philosophy on my website or you can listen for free at http://www.jennifer-coleman.co.uk

    • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

      Nicely done.

      @ChrisRobley

  • M-Twist*.*

    been thinking of this @torayeray

  • Scott Balsai

    “Your average listener doesn’t care about album reviews or exclusive interviews, …” I think that this is probably pretty true….Except that many of the people doing the booking for performance venues, especially listening performance venues, do seem to care about those things. It seems that if you have no “accolades”, such as reviews or interviews, in the right places from the right people, you have no name, and no name means no, or very few, gigs in the right places, and fewer gigs means fewer listeners, and fewer listeners means fewer CD and/or digital music sales.—The reality is that most people doing the booking seem to rely on positive reviews, interviews, etc., to help them decide who is worth booking and who isn’t. They can then use or cite those reviews, interviews, etc., when they write up their own publicity for the concert or performance. Without that, it seems few are willing to “take a risk” based upon their own conclusions. Some of this may be changing with the advent of the internet, but I think that by and large this is still the reality for success in the music business.

    • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

      You’re certainly right that reviews from the right places mean a lot WITHIN the music industry. But there are always ways of bypassing the gatekeepers (even bookers) to create a fanbase directly.

      @ChrisRobley

  • kurtjuergens

    I was thinking along these exact lines for my album! This inspires me to expand on that idea a little further and be more thorough.

    • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

      Nice. Let me know how it goes.

      @ChrisRobley

  • http://soundcloud.com/lagomorpha Lagomorpha

    I’m an Electronica-Artist and my tracks don’t contain any vocals – I have no idea, what I can do with your tips… :-(

    • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

      Is your music dance-oriented? What about publications having to do with party/event/DJ topics? Is it ambient? Maybe holistic medicine/yoga/meditation websites or magazines. Etc.

      @ChrisRobley

  • Frankie Nash

    nice idea

  • https://www.facebook.com/KingRochy Rochy

    my song is an awareness on breast cancer and surgery .. Searched google trends but it just tells you which countries talk about it, don’t give a specific address .. Any idea of the places i should target ?

    • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

      Well, the obvious angle would be to partner with some breast cancer awareness or fundraising organizations. Maybe you could get them to write about your song, or do a free giveaway to their email lists? Also, you could approach hospitals, clinics, wellness centers, etc.

      @ChrisRobley

      • https://www.facebook.com/KingRochy Rochy

        Thanks for the reply , i’ll try that
        :D

    • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

      Well, the obvious angle would be to partner with some breast cancer awareness or fundraising organizations. Maybe you could get them to write about your song, or do a free giveaway to their email lists? Also, you could approach hospitals, clinics, wellness centers, etc.

      @ChrisRobley

    • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

      Well, the obvious angle would be to partner with some breast cancer awareness or fundraising organizations. Maybe you could get them to write about your song, or do a free giveaway to their email lists? Also, you could approach hospitals, clinics, wellness centers, etc.

      @ChrisRobley

    • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

      Well, the obvious angle would be to partner with some breast cancer awareness or fundraising organizations. Maybe you could get them to write about your song, or do a free giveaway to their email lists? Also, you could approach hospitals, clinics, wellness centers, etc.

      @ChrisRobley

  • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

    Hmmm. Maybe some mystery or macabre magazines?

    @ChrisRobley