In our circle of musicians and labels, there are a few questions that get asked and talked about over and over again. One of these questions is whether or not sending promo’s and using feedback for promotion matters or if it is a waste of time and resources for a label.
Doing a quick google search puts hundreds of opinion pieces at your fingertips and most of the ones I read are torn between these two ideas. On one hand, music reviews and opinions seem to matter less in a world where you can almost always hear the entire release before you buy it but on the other hand, how do you find new music if not through musicians and reviewers you respect?
This is a particularly hard question to find exact answers for, especially when you are looking at specifically House genres. Having looked hard and long for an answer to this question, I finally turned to fellow people in the music business from DJ’s to musicians and label owners. After two years of research and conversation I finally feel I have an answer that applies at least, to our neck of the woods.
85% of all participants in our survey buy digital music on a monthly bases but only about 25% buy physical releases in the same time frame. Of this music, participants felt they were more likely to find good music on their own (80%) followed by relaying on DJ’s & Radio Mixes (60%) as well as friends (45%) for the best new tunes and musicians.
A shock to me was that 80% of those that answered said they were more likely to listen to a track if it was supported by an artist or DJ they loved and the golden ticket for buying a certain track depended on three main factors. First if the track was well produced (85%), if the track was from an artist they loved (37%) and if they track was on a label they supported (29%).
So ya… it does matter and yes it does make a difference when it comes to who leaves quality feedback and supports your music. This all just brings home the idea that working like a family, a family of labels, artists and music lovers is what it all comes down to. Although support and collaboration does not always equate to more sales in the short term, I do believe and the evidence suggests, that creating this sort of collective family community pays off in the long run, both financially and via quality of life within the music business.
I believe it needs to be said that sending your music out to everyone and their mother (especially if you are the artist and NOT the label) is not the best choice of action. Instead, over time curate a list of influencers in your scene, from DJ’s and musicians, to reviewers and tastemakers that really support your sound. Keep in mind the only real difference between your neighbourhood DJ getting your latest track and DJ Big Name is that DJ Big Name already has a massive and at times lemming audience… having them play your track doesn’t mean they’ll remember you in the morning 😉
A big thank you to everyone who took the time to answer these questions and help us out with this survey. Please feel free to take the survey HERE and I will do an update if the answer change much over time.