The Music Gardener was recently involved in what is now being referred to as the “4 week New Release Plan.” The plan was birthed out of a November strategy meeting with Brandon Bee, an artist we manage, and Save The City Records. We were looking for a way to bring some attention to Brandon during the holiday season and build his overall awareness. Knowing the heaviest traffic of the year on iTunes occurs the two weeks during and after Christmas week, we set that time as our target. All who receive iPods or iTunes gift cards for Christmas generally fuel up with music during those two weeks. Brandon had released a full album earlier in 2009 so we needed something new in order to have a shot at positioning in the iTunes stores. Our brainstorming resulted in the idea of recording a 6 song acoustic ep targeting a December 22 street date.
Brandon immediately began writing and recording. Even with the tight deadlines, we were able to get the ep recorded, mixed, mastered and up on iTunes via Tunecore by Dec 22. Fortunately, iTunes was willing to give us positioning in the New & Noteworthy section and at the only time of the year when the majority of the iTunes positioning remains in place for two weeks. Utilizing Twitter, Facebook and Brandon’s email list we began the web 2.0 marketing frenzy. Amazingly, we were able to drive Brandon’s ep as high as #17 on the Christian albums chart during Christmas week which is incredible for a new artist with absolutely no radio play. Traffic on Brandon’s website reached an all-time high which confirmed we had accomplished our goal. Coming from the major label system, I know first hand that this would have been absolutely impossible for a major label to pull off in 4 weeks. As a matter of fact, most major labels shut down for the most of December. It was so refreshing to be working with an artist who acted quickly, a label who turned all elements with speed and accuracy and no cost marketing vehicals that can be unleashed in seconds.
How would you release a record in 4 weeks? We know it’s possible!