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The Changing Face of the Music Business: How To Market Like a Pro

The Changing Face of the Music Business: How To Market Like a Pro

How do music venues and festivals keep up with the latest in digital marketing? Learn how the industry has changed — and how to stay one step ahead.

For live music fans today, the challenge isn’t staying on top of what’s happening with their favourite bands and venues — it’s sifting through a never-ending stream of information and picking out what’s relevant for them.

Venues, promoters, and festival marketers have more avenues and channels to reach music fans than ever before. But are they reaching the right fans? And even if they are, how can they be sure their signal cuts through the noise?

Check out this guide to learn:

  • How to reach the right music lovers — at the right time
  • Best practices to reduce inefficiencies and improve your workflow
  • Why maximising the potential of online platforms will help you sell more tickets



1. Getting the word out: The art of music and event discovery


Things have changed so much, so quickly, that it’s easy to forget that until about ten years ago, the music business still operated, more or less, according to traditional rules of engagement. That is to say, legacy media — print magazines, newsweeklies, music videos, and commercial radio — still dominated the music- and event-discovery ecosystem, and successful musicians tended to emerge as products of the pop music hype machine or by bubbling up from a particular subculture.

In other words, fans tended to discover music they loved from a select few traditional media sources or from particularly well-connected, clued-in friends in their social circles. (Those clued-in fans are, in fact, more relevant than ever today: Read more about the social ringleader to learn how they drive awareness and attendance to your events.)

Not long after the turn of the millennium, tradition began to give way to a digital free-for-all. The rules were changing fast: “A New York University study published in February … found that the volume of blog posts about a new album can significantly affect sales. Many record labels now view the audioblog as a vital marketing tool, and a euphoric plug on Brooklyn Vegan is more valuable in certain cases than a five-star review in [the long-standing British music magazine] Q,” wrote The Guardian in 2008.

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