We’ve been experiencing an interesting shift in music marketing as of late. With download pirating, the constant decline of physical album purchases and the meteoric rise of social media do-it-yourselfness, we’re seeing artists take marketing – especially digital marketing – into their own hands. That has resulted in some very creative tactics, five of which are included below.
1. British duo crowdsource an album: Rob and Kal, a two-man band from London, took fan engagement to an entirely new level when they launched Mulba 2.0, a project that allowed fans to not only witness the behind-the-scenes music development process, but asked for their feedback and input that would eventually dictate the final album’s content.
2. The world’s first location-based record: Bluebrain, a D.C.-based band, released their latest album as a location-aware app that plays music when the listener resides in an area of D.C. called “the Mall”, changing tunes based on his or her specific location within the Mall.
3. Rock violinist turns music into a scavenger game: David Garrett enlists geocaching to send fans across the world on a real-life treasure hunt.
4. Radiohead’s freebie turns a profit: In 2009, Radiohead decided to take a unique approach to combating digital piracy; they released their album “In Rainbows” directly to fans online as a “pay what you want” deal. While some people paid nothing, the album reportedly made more money than their previous two records.
5. A legend lives on with the help of user generated art: The Johnny Cash Project lets fans contribute custom artwork to an ever-evolving interactive story, eventually culminating as a music video.