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You're Not a Sellout: Why Independent Artists Must Advertise

Image via performermag.com

This article originally appeared on Performer Magazine.


I cringe a little bit inside when I hear people say, "Good music will get found." Who knows how or where this myth got started, but even to this day it's prevalent…very prevalent. I suspect it has something to do with the stories we pay attention to. When you think of Nirvana, you most likely think of it from your side of the tracks. Band famously pays $600 to record first album. Geffen finds them and invests in a big way. Then, "Smells Like Teen Sprit" takes over the airwaves and music is changed forever! One is tempted to think that these three gents from Washington were meant to be found.

But they didn't get "found." They built themselves up to a point where they were in clear view. They worked harder than any other band on their scene, and they practiced far more often than most bands today. And for Nevermind to even reach the general public, the advertising efforts would have been astronomical.

The truth is that without advertising, good music will get buried.

Why Unsigned Musicians Should Worry About Popularity, Not Money

Image via independentmusicpromotions.com

This article originally appeared on Independent Music Promotions.


Even in 2015, unsigned musicians are still releasing their music and asking, "Where's my money?" right out of the gate. It's extremely important that every artist look deeply into this question. First of all, in my view, the expectation is flawed. If you have fewer than 10,000 genuine fans and you're hoarding your music waiting for those iTunes sales to save you, you're shooting yourself in both feet.

Build your audience first. Then you can sell to that audience. Not before they're "on board."

How to Leverage Free Music Sites to Increase Fan Engagement

James Moore. (Photo by Ryan Donnelly)

This article originally appeared on Performer Magazine.


Free music online can either spread like wildfire or sink like a stone. It largely depends on the work put into promotional efforts. Many bands post their album for free and think, "I'm done! Our album is free and available, and who wouldn't want a free album?"

Well, first of all, those who don't know about it. If you want to generate those downloads, you'll have to put the hours in spreading the word. Artists who obsess over where their next 99 cents is going to come from (will it be Aunt Jackie or possibly your friend Dave?) may be unaware of this, but there's a major underground support network for artists who release free music. Much of this promotion machine is completely unavailable to artists who don’t give up the goods, so to speak.

Features, Marketing & Promotion

Jul 30, 2014 12:40 PM

James Moore

The Backwards Method to Music Success

The Weeknd (image courtesy of James Moore)

The following is an excerpt from Your Band is a Virus by James Moore, reprinted with permission.


The music industry has changed so much in the past 10 years, that there has emerged a "free path," or a backwards method of promoting, and this presents another way to go when approaching your website design. I present this as another option, as many people are tired of the “information overload” so common on the internet. When you provide something simply and directly, it can pay off, and people spread the word accordingly. Please note that this “backwards method” is my suggested method. While the sales tactic definitely works for many bands, I have seen many more forward-thinking artists make huge strides by making their music free and easily accessible.

Features, Marketing & Promotion

Jun 20, 2014 12:19 PM

James Moore

7 Red Flags That a Music Promotion Service Isn't Legit

via We The Data

James Moore runs Independent Music Promotions, a DIY music PR company working exclusively with "music with depth" worldwide. He is the author of the Your Band Is A Virus book series.

This article originally appeared on Independent Music Promotions.


Almost every artist who approaches me has had one or more negative experiences with music promotion in the past, and this is largely due to the “quick fix syndrome” on behalf of both individuals who engage in the partnership.

First of all, there are the automated music marketing services who I tend to call the "internet cowboys." They offer progress and lavish promises at the push of a button. Facebook likes? You got it. YouTube views? Not a problem. Get your press release on the desks of thousands of journalists? They do that too.

The artists who tango with these folks also suffer from the quick fix syndrome. Rather than build a team of people and gain fans organically one by one, they instead aim for the mountaintop, neglecting to do the proper research or seek out the proof that Google can provide.

So what are some common warning signs to look out for when researching music promotion services? These aren't hard and fast rules, but they're all serious things to keep an eye on: