Free Music

Artist Garden Entertainment has been doing a great deal of marketing brainstorming over the last couple of weeks and the idea of “free music” seems to be a re-occurring theme. Many examples over the last year point to successful marketing campaigns having some element of free. One of the best campaigns that I’ve seen was the launch of Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida” I signed up for the free download and immediately bought the entire record when it was available. Coldplay is on a much bigger platform than most of the artist we are currently working with so using a similar campaign would most likely net disappointing results. Our plan is to use “free music” with a different twist. We look to partner with established brands outside of the music industry to create a “free music” campaign. It is important to find a brand that is compatible with the artist. Gummi Bears and Metallica probably wouldn’t work well as a partnership? Although it would be nice, the brand doesn’t have to be national. Regional brands or developing brands often prove to be great partners. Doing a little research might even result in finding a brand that you aren’t personally familiar with. The key is to align the artist with a brand that has a parallel audience and projects a similar message as the artist.  Whatever the campaign, I am definitely not in favor of giving away the entire cd. I know many people would argue with me and throw examples of successful campaigns but you will never convince me to give away the entire cd as I eventually need to generate money for the artist. My idea of “free music” is to leave the listener wanting more. Give them a taste and if they like it, they should be willing purchase the rest of the cd. If they aren’t willing to purchase, then did the artist really connect with the consumer anyway?