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Click to Email BryanThe Overall Picture
of Music Marketing
by Bryan Farrish


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There are two options for your independent music in the music business: You can either try to be your own record label (and/or PR firm, music company, entertainment agent, etc.), or you can partner with others who will do the work for you if you pay them. Either way, you need to know who does what.

A Record label, PR firm, music manager, music publishing company, entertainment agency, music distribution firm, entertainment lawyer, music magazine, and most any other entity in the music industry are all part of a "mass media" wheel that generates airplay, publicity, gigs and record (CD) sales. All this is part of a record deal (from a record label), or, it can be used to get a record deal. Alternatively, you could decide just to keep as much of it in-house as possible, thus creating your own operation. This is a realistic option if you will be in the business for five or more years, and you are willing to work at least 30 hours a week at it.

A real record company handles four basic areas of music marketing: Radio, PR (public relations), gigs, and music retail. The radio portion is what this entire site is about; radio is the most complicated part of the music industry, and the most expensive part of the budget of a major record label. If you hire an independent radio promoter, they can also help a little with PR, gigs and retail, provided the airplay campaign is large enough.

The PR (publicity) portion of the entertainment industry is obtained by hiring a PR firm (or PR person). A large record label has these people on staff, but will still hire out for more push. A smaller independent record label sometimes will just try to do its own publicity, maybe by just focusing on some local music magazines. Big mass media music magazines, however, will be beyond what an independent music label can get.

The gig portion of your music marketing is obtained by partnering with an entertainment agency who book gigs for you (good gigs can get you some PR too.) Small music labels will just try to book their own gigs. Note that an entertainment agency for gigs is not the same as an entertainment agent that an actor would have.

For the retail part of the music industry, a record company would hire a retail promoter, whereas a small independent record label would just call stores on their own. Note that this is NOT the same thing as music distribution, which is simply a middleman between the record company and the music retail stores... they just take retail orders once the retail promotion person causes the sales to happen. If you have no retail promotions person, you will have no sales, regardless of the radio that you do.

The entertainment industry has a few other entities you will have to work with... like the music manager (i.e., personal manager) and the entertainment lawyer. While they are not into music-marketing or mass-media details the way a record label or radio promoter would be, they are needed with things like music publishing and general operation once you are on the road (but probably not before.)

As a final note, below are some miscellaneous terms that some new artists seek info on, but which were already covered above:

Record label company
Music royalty
Music record company
Entertainment business
Artist manager
Music industry contact
Publicity agency
PR company
Entertainment marketing
Music management company
Music distribution company
Radio publicity system
Music industry information
Music industry PR company
Radio publicity campaign
The music industry
Music industry marketing company
Music industry resource
Music industry statistics
Marketing music
Music industry contract
Music industry publication
Music industry directory
Music industry management
Music industry magazine ct.



Bryan Farrish is an independent radio airplay promoter. He can be reached at 818-905-8038 or at radio-media.com


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