FACT: About 20 percent of all music sales take place in the last six weeks of the year!
Santa Clause is coming... to stream your record!
In this article, MusicPromoToday shares insightful ideas, tips and music marketing strategies to make a profit during the most wonderful time of the year. Enjoy the read and contact us if you want to get going with a Christmas or Holiday music marketing or promo campaign.
The Sooner, The Better
While most of us don’t start listening to Christmas music until after Thanksgiving, record labels tend to release their holiday albums in late October or early November. Make sure your production is preplanned, on point and stick to your timeline, this way you have enough time for music promotions.
CD production? If you’re making vinyls or CDs, consider the shipping time, packaging, and other organizational procedures may take a week if not a few weeks. This means you can end up releasing your Christmas music in Spring if you don't plan it right. You can decide to do a giveaway or gif basket on social media to your friends, fans, family with your merchandise, vinyls or CDs.
Artwork: It may take several weeks before your artwork is ready, so it is a better idea to hire a graphic designer while you are still recording your music. Artworks take us anywhere from 2-3 hours to a day or 2 including revisions.
Mastering: Not everyone can master music. Make sure you have the right circle, engineer, studio... mixing and mastering also takes time.
Recording: It may take hours or days, sometimes weeks, depending on your arrangements, whether everything is recorded live or overdubbed, and the availability of artists or producers/ writers you are collaborating with.
Consider All Types Of Holidays
The whole idea of 'holidays' is not only about Christmas. There is a Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Hanukkah, Giving Tuesday, Kwanzaa, and Winter Solstice, among others. There are a lot of ideas on how you can increase your revenues as an artists this Holiday season. For example, you can team up with a non-profit organization and offer your music revenues to your favorite charity for Giving Tuesday or offer a discount on Cyber Monday and send a special email blast to your fans with discounts on your latest records or merchandise.
Be creative, come up with a cool concept and see how your fans respond. Some fans celebrate Christmas, some New Years, some Hanukkah, some celebrate all December, make sure to tap into a broad audience/ reach but also; zone in on ones that you think would enjoy streaming your music or watching your music videos.
Don’t Spend A Lot
It can be costly to come up with an original record last minute, especially if you are just reading this article and got all excited. Consider doing a cover instead. (e.g. Feliz Navidad)
Covers are new versions of songs that are still under copyright protection.
Therefore, you must obtain a mechanical license in order to record and distribute the song and you are limited in how much you can alter the song lyrically and stylistically. If your performance of the song you’re covering is drastically dissimilar from the original, you begin to navigate into the realm of derivative works and your mechanical license would be in jeopardy. You’d have to get permission from the copyright owner instead of being able to utilize the compulsory mechanical licensing process, which does not require permission per se, but rather a notice and payment of royalties. You would also need to get a synchronization license directly from the copyright owner (e.g. publisher) to use the song in a video to upload to YouTube, or risk having your cover version taken down.
Radio + Playlists
Every year around this time, retailers bombard us with Christmas music. But what’s the impact of all this holiday music? Given that so many stores completely revamp their December playlist, experts assume there’s some pretty strong evidence suggesting that holiday music lifts sales, or at least improves the quality of shoppers’ mood. So what should an artist do? Christmas records get a lot of airplay and rotation during the Holiday season. Make a list of radio stations, by type and category:
- 1- Commercial stations
- 2- Non Commercial
- 3- Satellite - such as SiriusXM
- 4- DJ's
- 5- Radio hosts, executive producers
- 6- Hosts: AM and PM drive times.
Pick your geolocation target well. It's pointless to get placements globally if you're getting 1-10 plays per city.
- Make a priority list of top cities where you'd like to have your song on rotation or played.
- Then, make a list of the radio stations within the locations you picked.
- Finally, make a list of the contacts to communicate with.
Playlists are also a powerful tool/ features to leverage. As an artist, you need to get your track picked up by playlists. Stores, malls, people at the gym or driving on the road usually listen to playlists so they don't have to manually pick and play songs each time. Getting placements on playlists with a lot of followers will translate into building a fanbase, a tribe that loves your music. Sometimes, it is as important to get in playlists with 500-50K followers as playlists with 100K-1M+ followers. To find out how this influences the Spotify algorithmic play-listing feature, read Spotify Algorithm Hack – Getting Your Song In Release Radars.
The Ultimate Holiday Music Marketing Campaign To Do List!
Stoke the fire and sit back in a comfy chair with a warm mug of cocoa. NOT! You have work to do! Here are a few things you need to do besides pitching non stop to radio stations and "playlisters".
- Get on social media: now don't tell us that your brand direction is different or you don't post often because of the aesthetics. If you want grow your streams, your fanbase, communicate often with your fanbase. Through captions, posts, pictures. The more communication, the more impressions, clicks and bridges you build. Start posting often!
- Instagram? It is crucial to get on Instagram. Not because it's crawled by Google and your page will show up when people look you up during a Google search. Instagram has multi million users online per minute. Ever wondered how many news fans you can acquire by commenting under posts, liking, messaging others non stop? As long as you are not spamming and genuinely engaging, you CAN build hundreds of friends, fans on Instagram per day, without spending a dime. but wait.. it's not just Instagram. TikTok and Twitter also give you the same opportunity. Wondering if Facebook is right for you? Check this out.
- Make a video. Don't have a music video? We can help you create a lyric video. Having YouTube presence is key, since audio and video have taken over text content marketing and since video dominates search engines. Don't forget - YouTube also has multi... multi-million hits per hour.
- Offer festive/ music merch. Anything that's unique.
- Email: Build an e-mail list. Send e-cards and build super fans. Tell them how your year went by, resolutions for the New Year. Encourage your fans to write back to you and share their highs, lows and stories. It will take effort on your part to respond to the email that come in but think of this as a unique time to really bond with the fans who take the time to write back - even if it’s just a handful - these are fans who could become superfans in the long run.
- Create a contest, raffle or giveaway.
- Create a Holiday Hangout with Fans by going live.
- Tag team with a charity, give back and collect donations:
- Charity Water – https://donate.charitywater.org/campaigns/new
- Toys For Tots – http://www.toysfortots.org/donate/toys.aspx
- Music Cares – https://www.grammy.org/musicares
- ACLU – https://action.aclu.org/donate-aclu?ms=web_horiz_nav_hp
- TJ Martell – http://www.tjmartell.org/how-you-can-help
- Sweet Relief – http://sweetrelief.org
- World Hunger Year – http://whyhunger.org/
Create user generated content!
Request content from fans. This may be a funny, cool, creative video of your fan(s) doing x,y,z by playing your music. Repost them, share and circulate. Create the effect of a viral campaign.
User-generated content will contribute a significant proportion of the growth in music consumption over the next two years in an opportunity that is worth circa. $6 billion to the music industry value chain.
The rising power of UGC is reflected by the sharp growth in social media platforms in 2020.
In case you read this and it's already mid-December and you have no time for a proper release.. don't release new music last minute, especially if you don't have a plan. Keep it for January and if you need assistance or would like to learn more tips and tricks about promoting your music in January, contact us through our form, and we’ll get back to you in no time.
Dedicate this time to your fans, say thank you, do live streams and chat, wish them happy holidays, show the love that you want to receive in return in 2021.
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