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The $52.45 Music Marketing Plan ~ Guest Blog by David Rose

Posted in Guest Bloggers, Recession Proof Musician | 3 Comments »


The $52.45 Music Marketing Plan

by David Rose

If you’re a musician working to build a career in the music business hopefully you have already covered the basics like getting your own website, setting up a MySpace page and signing up for distribution through a company like CD Baby or TuneCore.

There are numerous solutions now available for marketing music at a minimal cost but keep in mind that none of them can offer a magic bullet for success in the music business. Below are a few categories and companies worth considering when you sit down to develop your music marketing plan.


Online radio is growing quickly in popularity among music fans as many of the providers have greatly improved their music recommendation technology and added social networking options to help their members discover new music. Here are two popular online radio providers that accept submissions directly from artists, have a large base of listeners and feature links that allow fans to buy the music they are enjoying.

Pandora – Accepts artist submissions only via mail but it’s definitely worth the effort. They only add songs into rotation that meet their quality standards. Their address is: Music Genome Project Submissions, 360 22nd St. Suite 440 Oakland, CA, 94612. Cost: $2.50 (for postage)

Last.FM – Artists can directly upload their music to the site, create an artist page, join genre based groups, add friends and build their own station. Cost: $0


Licensing music for television, films, video games or advertising has emerged as one of the best ways for independent artists to actually get paid for their work plus gain exposure from a wide audience. If you control the rights to your music, a non-exclusive agreement can be signed that typically pays 50% of the licensing fees collected. Two of the leading licensing companies that accept submissions directly from artists are:

Rumblefish – Rumblefish features an online music licensing store that makes it easy for buyers to search and purchase licenses directly from their catalog of available music. They also allow artists to keep 100% of their PRO royalties Cost: $0

PumpAudio – PumpAudio was recently acquired by Getty Images and is now able to offer Getty’s existing customers access to their music licensing catalog. Cost: $0


Playing live shows is one of the most important things an artist can do to build a fan base and create momentum for their career. Of course it’s very difficult to get booked if you are not widely known, regardless of your talent level. A couple of online tools that can help artists improve their chances of getting booked are:

Sonicbids – Sonicbids allows artists to create an electronic press kit (EPK) that can be submitted via email instead of mailing costly and environmentally unfriendly traditional press kits. They also feature a list of promoters and gig openings where artists can submit their EPK for consideration. Cost: $49.95 annually.

Eventful – Eventful is a leading provider of local community events calendars where artists can upload their tour dates. Their unique approach allows fans to create demand for a specific artist to play in their town. Artists can use demand information to help them plan a successful tour. Cost: $0


Many music fans now spend more time on their mobile device than their PC: It only makes sense to develop a mobile strategy for promoting your music. Mobile marketing solutions can include text messaging, ringtones, ringbacks, full track downloads, wallpaper and mobile fan clubs. Two solution providers that make it easy for artists to start marketing their music through mobile devices are:

– Broadtexter lets independent artists easily create mobile fan clubs plus text fans with artist news and regionally based tour date alerts. Costs: $0

MyxerTones – MyxerTones allows artists to create mobile phone ringtones and wallpapers that can be bought directly from a mobile device or the artist’s website. Artists can set their own prices and keep 60% of the revenue collected for their content. Costs: $0


Building a strong fan base is the key component to a successful career but simply finding a way to get noticed by fans can be quite challenging. There are a lot of great options for promoting your music on the web and here are a few that you should definitely consider:

OurStage – OurStage features a monthly competition where fans use a voting system to determine the best song and video by genre then select an overall winner. There are several monthly prizes, including a $5000 grand prize. Fans of your specific genre will get exposed to your music and even have the option of purchasing it. Cost: $0

Artist Data Systems
– ADS can automatically synchronize an artist’s information, news and tour dates across several social networks and music related sites. This allows an artist to expand the number of places where fans can discover their music without the hassle of individually managing the same information on multiple sites. Cost: $0

ReverbNation – ReverbNation offers a vast assortment of promotional and viral marketing tools for artists including email newsletters, media players, street team programs and embeddable widgets. They also provide detailed reporting and statistics on fans, songs, traffic and widget use. Cost: $0 (they actually pay artists a share of ad revenue from their site)



David Rose is a former technology industry and music business executive and currently the Managing Editor at

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