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Six More Creative Ways To Promote Music In The Future

With every new year(and even month) the music industry changes and develops and  to usher you in to 2014, I brought back the #NewerRules series from last year. While we can’t see into the future we can infer what it’d be from the present. Here are six creative ways to promote music in the future that have not (really) been used.

[ALSO CHECK OUT: #NewerRules: 6 Creative Ways To Promote Music In The Future]

Flash Crystal

According to eMarketer, over 70 million people in the United States listened to music on their phone in 2013.

Here are a few “facts” you can verify by doing a simple eye test around a rap concert: music fans have short attention spans, music fans want music discovery to be done for them and they want it as unobtrusive to their lives as possible. These are the very factors that makes hand-to-hand distribution of CD’s an antiquated model of promotion as no fan wants to 1. wait to hear music  and 2. carry around a CD that is either the same size or larger than their smartphone.

Flash Crystal revitalizes hand-to-hand distribution as it allows an artist to simply tap the Flash Crystal on a fan’s phone and the fan’s phone will instantly be directed to either download the music or to a site to stream the artist’s content. All a fan would need is an NFC-enabled phone which will become increasingly more common in the near future. In 2013, 285 million NFC-capable phones were shipped and more than 500 million NFC-enabled devices will be in use by consumers worldwide by the end of 2014 according to ABI Research.

Live Stream Recording Process With Fans

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Secret to all artists: if you listen to fans they will listen to you.

Fans, and humans in general, are more likely to purchase something they feel they had a hand in making. Artists have been live streaming studio sessions since Ustream debuted in 2007, however none have been able to recreate the immersive experience of actually being in the studio with the artist.

Live streaming a studio session from the beginning and stipulating that fans who do not give suggestions will be removed from the session would help at recreating the actual feeling of being in the studio. To take it a step further, silent rehearsal studio makers JamHub have this software, BandLab that allows artists to record music on a cloud service. What that does is allows anyone with access to the session to edit the song from anywhere in the world on any device. This would allow fans to put in their own flavor by inputting vocals and instruments into a shared session cloud folder. If an artist does this with a different group of fans and compiles those songs into an album, the fan engagement would be through the roof.

Pop-Up Vendors

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Pop-Up shops are cool but they are not seamlessly integrated into a person’s daily life. Imagine if while you waited for the train, your coffee or anything in your daily life that there was a booth that streamed music free of charge?

This concept exists, as certain stores will have albums preloaded at listening stations, but with the advent of music streaming and cloud storage, this concept can be taken to the next level. Local artists could work directly with local businesses such as Chinese food restaurants, barber shops and hair salons to have a makeshift booth that has a tablet inside that can stream the artist’s collection of music wirelessly. With enough booths strategically placed in certain businesses(transportation, food, clothing), an artist could successfuly integrate themselves into a person’s daily life to the point where they associate getting a haircut with listening to a Wu Tang album.  Weird, but effective.

The rest of the world is starting to use music streaming for its communal benefits as this service Hoopla Digital has begun streaming albums such as Drake’s Nothing Was The Same at 40 different libraries. The service plans to expand their reach to over 800 library systems by the end of 2014.

Track Where Your Music Is Pirated And Plan Special Events For That Area

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This was inspired by a bit of misinformation. CiteWorld erroneously reported that legendary rock band Iron Maiden worked with U.K. analytics company Musicmetric to plan their tour based on which areas pirated their music on BitTorrent the most. While Musicmetric has since denied working with Iron Maiden, that idea could be turned into promotional gold.

Using Musicmetric, an artist can track which areas in the world pirate their music on BitTorrent and randomly choose to surprise one of the Top 10 areas with a free show, merchandise giveaway or any other promotional tool that makes sense for the artist’s brand. To sustain fan engagement, place the chart of the Top 10 areas on your website and constantly update it to show fans that they can affect the placement of their city. With more artists and Oscars shortlisted video directors turning to BitTorrent Bundle to release their work, this method could become industry standard soon.

Make 2nd Half of Double Album Available For Free After Certain Number Of Downloads

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Fans want more music before you even give them the album and a smart artists wants a reliable way to measure his fanbase’s loyalty. Promoting a double album with the promise to only release half until an undisclosed digital download goal is achieved would marry both of these ideals. After the undisclosed digital download goal is met, the artist releases the album at once unannounced as a free download. This suspends the anticipation for the second disc and creates an event-like atmosphere every day since fans are unaware of how many downloads is needed to get the second disc.

This also is aimed to take advantage of an impending shift in the music industry as digital download sales decrease and record labels begin altering the royalty payment to artists. On New Year’s Eve, Warner Music Group (WMG)’s offered a settlement to a group of artists suing the company for paying them on a royalty basis instead of a licensing basis for digital downloads. As a result, WMG has proposed to make all digital download sale royalty rates for artists start at 10%, a considerable increase for WMG artists with 1% to 6% royalty shares.

Also known as “The Beyonce Test”.

Make your album/song currency

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Whatever your brand is make a purchase of your album be the only way you can buy certain things. Make these brand-specific. If you’re Juicy J, then presenting a purchase of your deluxe album could result in a free lap dance at participating strip clubs. If you’re Curren$y, with recreational marijuana becoming legal in Washington State and Colorado, free legal marijuana could be a Datpiff download away. The creative side is finding as many brands that intersect with yours that you can do this deal with. Imagine if a fan was told you could get a free lap dance, an 1/8th of medical marijuana, free food, etc by presenting a download code. It turns their neighborhood into an event almost.

You could also just make your own cryptocurrency, like these people did for Kanye.

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