Marketing and Promoting All by Themselves: Independent Musicians Fine With New Technology Tools to Reach Audiences



Not every artist lives a fancy life in which he only needs to create art, while a bunch of guys work for him as dealer, manager or even public relations agency. As suggested by the Eikhof and Haunschild article, people working in creative industries are usually artists who “have to market and manage their own labor power”. Living the so called bohemian lifestyle, these hard working talents have no access to professional marketing, branding, promotion and sales.

Due to my working experience as a radio program host, I personally have come across quite a few independent musicians back in Beijing. One particular thing (or probably the only thing) they usually worry about was how to make a living while sticking to the course they devoted themselves into. As a band, if you have gained reputation in industry, it will be easier for you to achieve. But small and unpopular bands find it more than difficult to draw attention or even get performance invitation to small gigs because no music label would sign a contract with them. Independent musicians always have problems with marketing their music and promoting themselves.

However, in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazettet article, independent musicians in Pittsburgh turned to online distributors. For instance, Paul Cosentino, leader of a Jazz band sells through CD Baby, a website pushes old-style swing band’s music out to platforms such as iTunes, taking 9 percent of the net earnings. The movement gives the band “a worldwide presence”, enabling the band to be invited to shows in Korea. Besides, online presence helps to finance new albums of independent artists. Musicians could receive donations directly from their audiences or in other words, their sponsors. There are websites allow users to pitch creative projects which helps artists with recording fees.

According to the article, “in some ways, the Internet now fills the role for independent bands that record labels used to play.” I personally believe that more independent musicians distributing their fruits online signals their self-management without much professional outsourced experiences but more initial devotion involved. After all, no professional manager or P.R. agency possess more knowledge, understanding and emotional investment of their own achievements.

As the article suggested, artists could enjoy “having creative control over the process”. Thus creative people can express their own spirit and ego not only during the creation process but also the marketing and promotion phrase. They are now their own managers.


By Feiran


Click HERE for the article


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