Recently, I was speaking with a very cool friend of mine from Los Angeles who came to me because he is thinking about releasing a box set filled with vinyls containing his music.
I am generally not a big fan of physical releases nowadays because, often, it is a waste of money. Especially vinyls, everybody thinks it’s cool and is starting to make them when in fact that should be used in a very different way than banking on them to bring cash as an artist.
But his project is a little bit special and as an Advisor and Marketer, sometimes, the strategy is actually to release physically because everything seems to be positive for the artist. For example, he is in a very retro and jazz scene with tons of swing lovers that generally buy physically and cherish vinyls or vintage items.
Analyse the cost
First thing first, when it comes to releasing something, the first reflex you should have is to analyse the financial sheet: how much is it going to cost you. In the case of my friend, his box was a deluxe set filled with multiple vinyls and vinyls are already pricy.
For 500 units of this box set, he could sort it out for around $3,500, which is not bad, but still very pricy for an independent artist that is not selling anything at the moment not even digitally.
Can you sell?
Second question, if the price is not too bad for you to handle, can you actually sell all this with a promotion on your own? If at the moment you have zero sales anywhere with your music, it is a very risky strategy to bank on a physical release because you’ll be left with a lot of stock that you will have to sell somehow, and so your focus point will be strictly about selling instead of enjoying your music and what you do.
Everyday, I help artists maximize their revenues so they can actually enjoy doing what they love doing. Sales, marketing, distribution and promotion should not interfere with their career. While it is absolutely mandatory for them to take care of that part, it definitely should not stop them. It should be an easy process.
Think about product placement
That’s a very common thing to do in marketing and I want you to know that not only is it easy to do but every single situation has a product placement solution.
I say this because most of the artists I work with can’t really think of anybody they could team up with for the simple reason that when we say “product placement”, they immediately think about either big brands that will never even consider them or things that have nothing to do with their image.
A product placement is simple: a brand pays you to place their product or their name, somehow, in your project.
It’s beneficial on both sides
You may think “Why would they put their name in my thing?”. Well, a brand is a business and every business allocates money for marketing strategies. While they generally have their own department and advertise on social media or traditional mediums like newspapers, billboards and television, it is good for them to reach out audiences that is already buying.
Let me explain that better by taking the example of my friend: he is selling a box set of vinyls, it means that the consumer is buying because he or she trusts the brand that my friend is as an artist, therefore, the business, which could place a product in my friend’s project, will benefit from that trust between the artist and the fans to bank on a return on investment.
Know your demographics
You probably (you should in fact) are using social media such as Facebook, Instagram or Youtube and therefore you have access to some insights or analytics. This is the important part to help you determine who to reach out for your product placement.
For example, my friend would have a large crowd of 25–34 years old men living mainly in the US (top 3: LA, NY and San Diego).
This coupled with the fact that they love vintage and retro items with keywords like Jazz, Swing, Retro, 1950s… We can easily say that these people will be interested in things like retro clothing, cocktails and beverages, retro events and themed restaurants…
You can now apply
We are talking about a very specific case right there, but remember, I said that every situation has its own product placement solution.
Here are a few examples on how you could handle things:
- A music video? Have a brand placing their product in the scenario against them paying for the production of the music video
- A physical release? Have a brand placing a flyer, coupon codes or digital accesses to their product against them paying for the release production
- A digital release? Have a brand placing their name for the release of your single on social media like a referral link against them paying for your Instagram/Facebook ads.
Think about being a Happy Meal and your box will come up with an extra toy.
The solutions are unlimited and if you need help, don’t hesitate to reach out to me, I’ll be glad to help you see it clearer!