I originally posted this in Victorious Magazine International. You will note that I do this occasionally. I have different audiences across platforms.
In the recent times I have frequently stressed how increasingly competitive music markets have become . There has been undoubtedly an increased number of good players on the market so winning in the game is no longer dependent on skill alone. The economics of music now requires strategy more than ever before.
However some online advice maybe irrelevant for people who live in developing countries such as Zimbabwe, Zambia, Angola, Ghana and Malawi among others.
First Things First
The contents of the album very much matter as part of the release plan. You must know your target market before you even record the album. Find out which stories would be relevant to them and specifically what change does your album help them make in their life.
Do not seek support out of pity such as having some #SupportLocal hashtag, people should unconsciously show their support because they are really moved by the value your album adds to their life.
Value can be laughter, excitement, knowledge, inspiration or motivation. Value is broad, but you must choose the core value proposition you are giving to your audience. For instance I believe my selling proposition with this article is to help artistes with more fluid strategy.
I have to accept that people who don’t sing may not find this article interesting.
Imagine if you gave your niece shoes and a bag in February as a gift. Surely they would appreciate both and be so excited. She would probably instagram it with a grateful caption and show all her friends. Both the bag and the shoes would be useful in their own unique way and lets suppose her excitement and euphoria would last 4 months or so, meaning by around June, yes she would still appreciate the gifts but not be as excited anymore.
Now imagine giving her the shoes in February and then the bag in June. It would mean she would be excited about the shoes from February through to June and then from June she would have a bag to be excited about probably through to September.
Now which methods of giving her a gift keeps her excited for the longest time?
What we know about gifts is…
The Example: Chocolates would have been good as a gift, but after they are eaten they will only last a s a memory, so the bag and the shoes are as sweet but also useful in day to day life. She gets to see them daily.
The Take Away: Likewise having songs on trending events is fun and fine, but don’t expect songs based on a trivial event that sparked discussion on twitter to last as long as Bob Marley’s One Love.
The Example: Giving your niece 4 gifts on different months through-out the year keeps her excited longer than 4 gifts on one day. It is like if you drank 5 pints of coke on Monday, you would simply pee the excess. It wouldn’t guarantee that you have no thirst till Friday.
The Take Away: Likewise, space your promotional releases on the build up to the album and focus all efforts , such as videos, remixes and interviews on the current song per given time.
Of course have some back up songs you can perform so that you can have a full set for public performances.
Make sure your catchy songs are know by your fan base by album launch.
It is no secret that by the time Jah Prayzah drops an album the audience can already sing along to many songs he releases at his album launch.
While many artistes want to give their audiences surprises. The surprises should not be too much.
The atmosphere is more Euphoric if you can start performing your main song and the crowd is able to to chant along. The result is someone who is watching post footage and journalists will take it that you connect with your crowd more.
The simple logic is they had time to learn the lyrics.
Imagine a scenario where you are singing a completely new song and much as the crowd wants to engage they don’t have the lyrics? If you already have a video with a specific dance for the song, it is even more powerful because it means the audience is already accustomed to dancing along.
The crowd is powerful!
The crowd is powerful, people always look to other people’s reactions because deep down people want to belong that’s why the crowd atmosphere is something that you should engineer. Most people simply adopt what the majority is already saying about the album or its launch.
If you don’t have a lot of fans, don’t choose a very open space. Always choose a venue smaller than your audience size. Pictures of a full auditorium where tickets were sold out will work to your advantage in the eyes of new potential fans and reports in the media.
Headlines: <insert your name> Album Launch Packed!
Of course some artistes may still be unable to fill an office toilet, but that’s something they can work on by curtain raising at events of people who fill stadiums. Also make sure the venue and time is favourable for your major market.
Times and dates
If you appeal to teenagers and any demographic which might require parental permissions. Afternoon is probably a good idea. If you appeal to an audience that is probably at work on afternoons, evenings may work best.
As fore-mentioned, studying the audience is pivotal. If you are targeting college students or teenagers, make sure they don’t have exams going on. In fact use your launch as their after-relief.
See you may like the idea of releasing an album because it’s your Moms birthday, but if your Mums birthday is happening a week before the Mathematics exam and the people writing it are your main audience, good luck with that.
Shall we draw conclusions?
That said, my advice is never the only way of doing things. Take what you love and leave out what is irrelevant but never blame the advice for not working if you refuse to follow it in part. For this advice to work it must be taken as it is.