Sunday, 2 June 2013

Promoting new artists...

Reading the pre-release material carefully, it's clear the onus is on the promotion of new artists, NOT established artists.

Music magazines and their websites tend to feature largely established artists. Why?  Think about it. he magazines are carefully targeted towards an audience. Their business is to sell copies to encourage advertisers to continue to pay large sums of money to place ads in the magazine, which, in turn, will lead to profit for the magazine, so what better way than to feature artists they know the audience wants to see? It is reckoned that when Mojo, Record Collector, Uncut or Q feature Bob Dylan or the Beatles (as solo artists or the group), they sell thousands more copies - and every year, this is precisely what they do. More than this, established artists have a lot of money behind them - they can afford to fund big promotional campaigns to get their artists into the magazines they know will reach the audience they need to.

It's true that some new artists have been 'broken' by magazines - Mojo claims a role in discovering and promoting British soul artists Michael Kiwanuka, for example - but how can young artuists of today compete against the promotional machine of an established artist, be that Beyonce, Bowie or the Libertines - especially when they don't go on talent contest freak shows like Britain's Got Talent?

You're going to be expected to use your webpage to help promote new artists - and tied up with this is the notion of connectivity/interactivity between the artist, the magazine and the audience.

Ideas we looked at:

Following the example of the editor of Kerrang!, invite people to submit tapes or soundfiles; the editorial team could choose the best and create a playlist that could be voted on by readers. There could be links to new artists on Youtube - a video playlist, if you like. After all, that's how Justin Bieber was discovered in 2008 by American talent manager Scooter Braun, who came across his videos on YouTube and later became his manager. There could be links to social networking pages of various artists; the artists will be able to promote their local gigs on a linked page; fan reviews and pictures of gigs can be posted; the site should have a message board - albeit a moderated one - where the audience, artists and the magazine can interact. You should also have links to iTunes so the audience can download songs legally.

What other ideas can you come up with?

Web Page tips...

  • Web page - remember, if you are asked to design an webpage, think about the whole page, not just what you can see on screen.  Look at the NME website and scroll down to see what's 'under the bar', You'll get a sheet of A3, so you'll have plenty of room.
  • If you haven't got time to use colour, at least annotate your page and explain what the colour scheme is.  Keep it limited and, where possible, relevant to the genre you've chosen.
  • Remember, it's web page for a particular genre of music on a music magazine website. It is NOT the RHYMIX home page. Your 'masthead' should be something like RHYMIX INDIE - or whatever genre you decide on.
  • The 'publishing/ownership' details should be at the bottom of the page - again, look at the NME website and scroll down to see what's at the bottom of the page.
  • You ought to have a sign up/log in scheme so readers can receive extra details - perhaps of gigs near them - or whatever: use your imagination.
  • Your page MUST have some interactive features - we've gone over this numerous times in class - but remember, you're being asked to promote new bands/artists.
  • NME (or maybe Kerrang!) has a banner of video links across the page and you can access more by clicking the left/right pointer. Do the same!
  • Have a playlist! It's obvious.
  • A search box.
  • A serach box to find gigs in areas around the country.
  • Have a section for adverts - look at some of the recent posts on the blog that feature reader profiles, created to attract advertises for the magazines.  Bear in mind that your readers are not being asked to pay for this website, so attracting advertisers will be essential. Look at a magazine that deals with the same genre that you want to use; find out who they use as advertisers; use the same on your web page. At least one web page I looked at recently (NME? Kerrang!) was using flash technology to run two or three different adverts in the same section, one after the other.  You need to do something similar and, in your annotation, explain what the ads are for and HOW you decided on those particular brands - hence the need to do a little research into a magazine that covers a similar genre of music to the one you're interested in. 
  • When you're working on your exam revision and drawing out a webpage, try and give yourself 20 minutes to do it and make sure you annotate it so anything the examiners don't think you've covered in the design itself, is covered in the annotation.
  • Look at the recent posts that outlines the features of a web page and look at the slideshare that labels up a web page.  You need to be able to use the correct terminology when you annotate (or, possibly in another question, talk about your own):