Just the other day, I was flicking through countless TV channels. I settled on a daily talk show from my home country, the Netherlands, where a (still not very well-known) rap artist was explaining how releasing music these days works, according to him.
I decided to keep watching and hear him out. His story was a solid one, it all made sense. He was talking about how he spent his days monitoring social media, uploading his music, finding ways to get his music more widespread and gathering attention for his musical creations. Listening to the story, I was wondering if this kind gentleman perhaps has more hours in a day than most of us do.
This young man aside, most of us don’t have the luxury of too many hours in a day. I think most artists would prefer spending their precious time on their musical creativity. Having artistic freedom is possibly the biggest gift you can give to a dedicated artist. This is where a modern distributor comes into the picture; here’s where we can get our extra hours. Let’s have a closer look at how a distributor can help artists.
Let’s start at the point where an artist has finished his/her masterpiece, a single or album. The next step would be to get a proper marketing plan in place and scheduling communications with the target audience. By signing up with a distributor, the artist can upload his release and get all the help needed to turn his creation into a commercial success. Distributors like Symphonic Distribution, The Orchard, Black Hole Distribution and many others, have a daily delivery feed to the biggest retailers worldwide and communicate with these retailers about the music that is being delivered. The artist saves precious hours by letting a distributor take care of marketing and sales.
Distributors that are digitally devoted to the world of social media can help even further, by amplifying the reach of the artist. Social media support in terms of consultancy, or clever promotions or advertising are all roles that can be fulfilled by a distributor. If an artist feels the track is ready, that’s when the creative process of a distributor is set to begin. The artist is given not only time, but also consultancy and advice. Of course, there are artists who have a management team on board to monitor and support these activities, but a distributor widens the scope and amplifies the total reach.
When the artist is busy performing, creating, enjoying life as a musician, the work behind the front cover also continues. What to an artist may seem only digits, graphs and tonnes of data, is interesting content for database marketing specialists. While a DJ is killing it, or a singer-songwriter is turning a venue upside down, the distributor is taking care of accounting, database marketing and making apps for mobile devices. It all works in symbiosis, one act empowers the other. By the end of the month, the audiences have got what they wanted (to see their hero) and the artist has an overview of what sales, online activities and licenses have been done in the same time. No more worrying about thousands of streams and who to pay the revenue; as an artist you may think you pay for distribution, but in fact you pay for artistic freedom. Try putting a price tag on that.
As I pointed out earlier, we are given many choices. Not only when it comes to TV channels, but in a wider perspective the internet is pretty much the same thing. Artists are being served so many options to choose from online, that choosing too many can actually slow you down. We are not all the rapper that I saw on TV, not all of us have an extra couple of hours at the end of the day. For all of us that only have those 24 little hours, it’s not about how many choices you make but about making the right one. To all artists: if making and performing music is what makes you happy, choose artistic freedom.
Bas Kruijssen is new media manager for Black Hole Recordings, the dance label co-founded by Tiesto. The label is about to launch its own distribution arm, Black Hole Distribution. More info here…
Photo by Anna Omelchenko via iStock