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May 2013

#BrandU

 Your ‘Single’ as a Marketing Tool

By: Anthony Villiotti

 marketing-toolsYou’ve been in the studio working on your first [or upcoming] album, and you have a couple of songs that you think are going to rock the market – awesome!  However, have you thought about releasing just one of these songs first?  It is arguably more important for an upcoming/independent artist to select a single carefully than it is for an established artist who is just releasing another album.

 Yes, the single is a marketing tool.  But this isn’t just a fancy word for an ‘advertisement.’  While the single does create a buzz and a hype [if you’ve selected one carefully], it is also a form of ‘experimental market research.’  If you remember back to our article, ‘Lean Production as a Recording Artist,’ you will recall that this method aims to create a pull system (demand-driven) that lets you record what your audience wants.  Well, releasing a single – observing what you did in that single to offer the audience something unique and fresh – and then analyzing the market performance provides a basic framework for this lean production system.

Perhaps recording an R&B single using your signature vocals and your lyrical style is something you consider unique – but then, this single flops in the market.  What you need to do now is take this data and assume that any subsequent attempts at a song with the same inputs will produce the same result.  Think of this as a trial and error phase.  It is also important to keep an open mind and be willing to redefine your brand if you’re serious about making a lasting impression in the industry.

Finally, while the single primarily advertises your sound to consumers in the music market, it is also a chance to show the “bigger fish in the sea” that you are a viable contender.  Who knows?  You may even strike some collaborations!  This way, not only will your single advertise your sound, but you may also get your sound advertised through a potential song, with a bigger name than yours, that will get much more attention right off the bat – like double jeopardy!

Thus, before you start worrying about your album and making too much progress towards it, release a single or two to forecast demand and create a hype!

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