In the past few years, the music industry has become extremely cluttered with more and more artists taking the independent route to release their music and build their brand. Media and online websites have given artists accessibility to the masses, however, new independent artists can easily get lost in translation if they do not put a strategy behind their content roll-out. Utilizing a "premier" strategy (aka giving one media outlet the exclusive to debut an artist's new track or music video) is a great way to do that. With a premier, the media outlet usually is given 24-48 hours to host the new music exclusively before you can begin to service it out to other editors. Here are my top tips for a successful music premier for an up and coming indie artist.
Do your research
Research is crucial before you pitch a music editor. When you have a new artist that is not a household name for media, it is even harder to get the attention of media to be inclined enough to release their music. Make a list of comparable mainstream artists that are “similar” to you. Research those mainstream artists online and see what type of stories have been written about them and who the editors have been. These outlets and editors would be the best ones to target for a music premier.
Engage your target media outlet with the subject
Consider the subject line of your email to be your elevator pitch. You want to keep it short but intriguing. Find a call to action, interesting fact or newsworthy way to grab the editors’ attention. Never try to have more than six to eight words in a subject title.
Keep it simple
Editors receive hundreds of emails daily, and if they open a novel, most likely it will be deleted immediately without being read; they just don’t have time for that. Be brief but thorough. Let them know you have done your research by mentioning a previous article you read and why you are a fit for the types of talent they cover.
Control the content
Securing a track or video premier with an outlet is your chance to set the messaging and branding for your work. Media are so inundated with creating posts, they appreciate when you provide them with quotes, background information, images and social information. This also works in your favor because you can control the content being released and put out the messaging you want to be associated with your brand. It is best to always provide a SoundCloud link if it is an audio track release or an embed code from YouTube for a video release. The industry looks at the views/listens to gauge the popularity of a new artist so it is best to upload your music to Sound Cloud or video to YouTube so that all views and listens can be counted.
Create a social media promotion around the premier
Social media is the #1 consumed media by consumers and an important promotional tool for every artist. This is another platform you can utilize for your media premier. Make sure to ask to the editor to promote the premier on their social platforms as well so that you have teaser content from the outlet to cross-promote through your Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
One of our clients, indie hip hop rapper, Lil Debbie engages her fans daily on Twitter and Instagram. She also creates relationships with the media by Retweeting their editorial and posts. She also promotes all her premiers and exclusive releases she does with media through her social channels to link back to the editors she is working with.
Another client that has been using social media in a fun and unique way to build their fan base is the band TeamMate. They create engaging videos for their fans such as Wednesday Wall Bombs where they will pick a fan from their band facebook page, look at their facebook page to get an idea of who they are, what they like and then the band creates an original song about the fan and "wall bombs" their facebook page with the video of the song on Wednesdays. It's an idea that was original to TeamMate and a great fit for their brand that builds buzz.