Today’s musicians, both mainstream and indie, are using social media to connect with fans, build anticipation, and generate revenue in new and unique ways. The products range from singles to mix tapes to digital six-packs, even oddly shaped USB sticks, vinyl, and the occasional traditional album.
But how are these artists reaching their new fan bases online through social channels? Much like the business world, social media promotion for musicians is still a very new game, with no exact recipe for platinum success.
There are however, some innovations being put forth, and a new connection is being formed between artists and fans — a connection that empowers both to give each other what they are looking for.
We have all heard about the success of micro lending organizations like Kiva, which use multiple small payments to contribute to a larger goal. The same process is being applied to creating an album or a music-based project.
One such project is the Washington D.C.-based indie hip-hop group Panacea. The producer/MC duo listed their project on Kickstater, a funding platform for artists, designers, filmmakers, musicians, journalists, inventors, explorers, and others.
The project was posted on the morning of February 26th. According to Jeremy Calvery, the group’s Director of Digital Media and Promotion, “We were at $1,000 before the end of the first day. We had to increase the number of $200 packages from three to five over the weekend because people were e-mailing and literally begging for the chance to ‘buy’ the whole back catalog. Less than five full days from the first e-mail to the list, we had reached the funding goal of $3,800, which was set to be just a bit more than what the minimum press of 250 vinyl copies was going to cost.”
Another hip-hop outfit, the Get Busy Committee, also launched a project on Kickstarter. In their drive to raise $3,218, they included one premium pledge level at $1,000 — an investment that netted the donor a song about him or herself to be included on the record, as well as a platinum plaque. They sold this spot within 24 hours.
Using Video to Create Buzz
Another approach musicians are taking is the use of web video series. Indie pop artist Mike Posner has been telling his story over the course of a video series titled “One Foot Out The Door.” Daniel Weisman, Mike’s manager, stated that he was attempting to create an income stream for Mike while he was finishing college and working on his debut album.
Daniel and his management company Elitaste were approached by the shoe company Puma about integrated artist campaigns. Puma ended up sponsoring Mike’s last semester in college, and provided a camera crew to follow him from classes, to the studio, to shows all over the country.
Daniel wanted to do something special for the Mashable readers when I reached out to him, so fresh off the upload, here is the premier of Episode #10 of “One Foot Out The Door.”
Live streaming has also been worthwhile for big announcements. Underground artists the Kottonmouth Kings turned to Ustream to tell their fans all about their new album and when they could expect it in local stores.
The video was watched live and formatted like a press conference, with fans getting the chance to ask questions and share their feedback. It was a smart way to bring their fans into the experience and give back to the community that has supported them for 10+ years. SOURCE