I’ve typically been the type of person who learns something and then feels compelled to share that knowledge with my community. Right now, I’m learning a great deal about the most cost-effective ways to promote my new song, “Let This Be Enough.” In case this knowledge is interesting to you, here is a summary of what I’ve learned since I released the song on August 1st, 2023.
According to this website, “Let This Be Enough” has a relatively high level of “acousticness” and knowing this helps inform me about which playlist curators and radio stations would be most likely to add my song to their catalog. Knowing this, I can reach out to people who would actually appreciate the acoustic richness of my song (instead of throwing money at campaigns that don’t have a vested interest in my success).
Pretty cool, huh? Incidentally, the key I wrote this song in, for those music-minded people who know, is in a flat key, which makes it ideal for adding horns at some point in the future. I wanted to make the tonality of my song stand out from the crowd (using a tonal center different from the typical C, G or D major keys). Maybe someday there will be a full orchestral version of this song (gotta dream big, right?).
Back to the topic at hand, many of my subscribers know that I used to develop websites. In that process, I learned a lot about marketing, specifically, the importance of identifying your target market. Finding the target market for “Let This Be Enough” continually involves analyzing statistics and the best website for doing this for musicians is ChartMetric.com (lucky for those of us emerging artists, they are currently offering a free trial for six months and no, I’m not an affiliate making a commission from this link). Check out their dashboard:
Chartmetric complies tons of data into one place, allowing developing artists like me to keep track of the results of their promotion efforts with ease. They also provide tons and tons of information about playlists, curators and radio stations that I could potentially ask for inclusion of my song. My development as an artist, by the way, has been a long, slow, organic process (my first release was in 2008). My music has not “taken off” like I’d hoped, so here I am giving it another go in 2023.
Here’s another service that helps with genre targeting, Cyanite:
I uploaded my encoded MP3 that I converted using VLC.app, and within seconds, Cyanite showed me the “predominant voice gender” and “voice present profile” and the genre. More data to use in my targeting efforts! These screenshots show the genre and mood analyses from Cyanite.ai:
Did you know? Spending money on a music marketing campaign can be a bit like going to a casino and spinning the wheel, hoping you will land a lucrative deal that will pay off your debt and take your career to the next level. There are literally thousands of ways you can waste money and there really aren’t any guarantees that you will recover your investment. The music industry seems to be a “pay to play” game and in some ways, that can be good (when you have disposable income and can take the risk) and in other ways, this structure can be a major obstacle (for those who are working class and living paycheck to paycheck).
To get to Phase 2: Market Research, I’ve had to overcome a lot of self-doubt. My first Spotify campaign provided more rejections than playlist adds, which was very disheartening. I had to do what I’ve been doing ever since I was bullied as a kid: tell myself that I am talented, people like my music, and there is a niche somewhere out there that appreciates what I’m giving (yes giving) to the world.
It feels vulnerable to share that I come from a working-class background and no one in my family has broken into the “creative class” of people who can throw money at a creative project and know it will pay them back. I’m sharing this information for those artists like myself, who have a limited amount of capital to take risks with and know they have something meaningful to offer the world (because their listeners have told them so and they’re not a “vanity project.”
Here’s a snapshot of what I’ve spent on “Let This Be Enough” and the results I’ve seen:
Promotion & Market Research: $864
Time, Energy & Emotional Labor: countless hours upon hours….
Here are my “recent notable changes” as reported by ChartMetric:
My goal with all of this is to grow the reach of my music organically in order to demonstrate the necessary “social proof” to get my music licensed for film/tv/podcasts, etc. I’ve heard that the music licensing pathways are shut down right now due to the writers strike. Did you know that many composers who write for the TV and film industry are not unionized and have seen a dramatic loss of income? This needs to change!
How can you help? Are you a playlist curator, podcaster, radio DJ, or music supervisor? Please contact me and let me know how I can get in touch with you or simply share this post with someone in the music industry who could give my music a boost. Those who love independent indie acoustic music from a feminine perspective will thank you!
Stay tuned for more development updates as they evolve.