by Bryan Farrish
Adding Other Artists
No real label has just one artist, for this would be way too costly
to keep putting all the marketing efforts into making just the one
thing happen (when those same marketing efforts could be
making several other things happen at the same time, with no
more cost.) Radio promoters can easily handle five songs on one
phone call; PR people can pitch three albums with one call;
distro people can try to sell ten albums during a single lunch with
a retail buyer. And, the folks on the other end of these marketing
conversations expect this. Matter of fact, every record that has
ever sold 250,000 units has gone through this system with many
other records simultaneously... that's just how marketing and
sales works... in any business, not just music.
So, if you are establishing your own label, at some point you must
add other acts to your offerings. And our advice is to do it after a
full year of promoting your own album first. This way, you will
have made some headway at radio, press, and retail, and any
new acts that you talk to (especially ones with a following) will
take you much more seriously if you really did something with your
own record first.
If it's all the same to you, we'd recommend adding three other
acts at the same time, none with more than three members each,
and with solo artists being preferred. Three new acts is preferred
because you will probably lose one or two during the setup
process, and you need to be left with at least one. Also, the
economies of scale come into play with four total acts, especially
in touring (sharing a bus), retail meet-and-greets (one earlier, one
later), performances (help in setup/takedown), distro agreements
(four is a minimum many times), etc. Within a few months, you'll
know who your priority act is, and you can structure your
activities accordingly from there on.
Other areas of marketing require different approaches when
handling multiple acts, but for radio, the best technique is to
stagger your releases, going for adds at least a few weeks apart,
but while still taking advantage of any multiple-project discounts
you get from some radio promoters. Do be realistic, however, in
that there is always one priority project. Everyone on your
marketing team, including your radio promoters, needs to know
who to push during those situations where they only have time to
mention one act, and one act only.
Nothing is more impressive than having multiple acts from one
label on a chart simultaneously. It really shows that you are not a
one-off situation, and other people will have much more faith in
doing business with you when this happens.
You should continue working your four acts (which includes
yours) for another full year. It will take that full year for retail,
clubs and the media to become familiar with your other three
acts, just like it took a year for them to become familiar with you.
Your own act, however, is now becoming a staple with them.
At the end of two years, whatever work you had been doing
yourself will probably need to be handled by some hired help.
And at this point you can be freed up to start looking for four
Farrish Radio Promotion is an independent radio airplay
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