As Vice President of Studio 18 in Orlando, FL, I worked with Indies day in and day out for 3 years. I also worked directly with label managers, blog publicists, and with artists like Joey Badass, Daddy Yankee, and Ayo the Producer (Chris Brown, Bryson Tiller, Rick Ross, Beyonce).
Moonlighting as a marketing consultant for top tech and startup companies in Miami and Fort Lauderdale, I knew that something was wrong with the way the record industry marketed artists.
I couldn’t find an example for it anywhere else in marketing.
Seriously, there is no other business that is this bad at building relationships with customers.
Almost every other industry has matured far beyond the spray-and-pray approach of publicity and mass-media.
But, the music industry chooses to use mass-marketing tactics like independent radio promotion, which is basically bribery, to influence us and tell us what to enjoy.
They’re even using 30 second TV ads to promote artists.
The relationship between artists and listeners is much more unique and special than the kind of relationship that can be formed during a 30 second TV ad.
But the labels aren’t capitalizing on modern marketing strategies to promote artists or build relationships.
In fact, when I would tell A&R’s about direct-response marketing strategies, they would often go cross-eyed.
They didn’t even know how to interpret the ideas, there was no example for them.
They would usually just tell me “Shut up, and take my money”.
Now, after growing up through the age of MP3s and P2P sharing, I watched how the industry blamed consumers and even sued listeners in open court.
I don’t think the record industry has earned the right to innovate.
If anything, they have held us back.
That’s why, in 2016, I stopped taking meetings with industry operatives (save for a few international licensors) and started helping one group and one group only: Independent Musicians.
The Majors are just far too resistant to any kind of change. I truly believe that Indies can accomplish something that these sluggish, slow moving, record labels never could.