Strategy: The power of exclusivity as a revenue stream

WE’ll ANSWER

  • What is music exclusivity?
  • Why is music exclusivity the new digital wave of the future?
  • How can an emerging musician use exclusivity to build buzz and make money online?

LETS GET STARTED

The new music industry can be exhausting for a new artist or band. Consumers are being blasted with new musicians, trying to get their new music, in the face of new fans, every single day.  This often leads to new emerging digital artists and bands feeling the pressure to release all of their recorded material all at once, you know like how Netflix does it.  But is this the best strategy for an emerging digital artist or band?  Exclusivity makes sure that whatever music you put out is part of a larger digital brand strategy.

Let’s take a look at a fictional alternative rock band called RockYou.  RockYou, just recorded their first 7 song LP, and they’re extremely proud of their final product.  Since their guitarist Erik is the “technology guy” in the band, RockYou appoints him to get their new LP in front of the faces of some new fans.

Lets take a look at what type of release strategy would work best.

A.  Uploading the entire 7 song LP on Youtube, Soundcloud, Reverbnation and Immitter.com

B.  Uploading the 7 song LP to just one social music website

C.  Releasing 1 song per week from the new 7 song LP on Youtube, Soundcloud, Reverbnation and Immitter

If you guessed C.  You were “C”orrect.

By holding back from releasing the entire LP at once, Erik helped his band extend the life cycle of their newest LP from one week to 7 weeks across 4 music websites.  Not only are avid fans waiting eagerly to see what RockYou is cooking in the kitchen for next week, but RockYou can now market fresh new material to new fans over a longer time period without the risk of their LP becoming stale and played out – That’s the power of exclusivity.

In the past the traditional label system used exclusivity as their main sales weapon.  You remember it, don’t cha?  Promote the crap out of the single to the masses and get the most curious fans to purchase the CD in exchange for experiencing the rest of the album.  That was a brave world for consumers because most people just wanted the single they heard on the radio, only true fans really cared to experience the album cuts.  And then, Napster came along and unbundled the album allowing fans to pick and choose the songs they wanted for FREE!  Yikes.  Fans 1, record labels 0, artists -1.  Ever since that fateful day, artists and bands have struggled to make money digitally recording music, lets call it the great unbundling.

But alas, all is not lost.  At a time where everything is available for free, exclusives are refreshing because they bring the mystery back to the music.  When everybody and their mama’s music is available for free online the fandom game isn’t as fun anymore.  The corporations know; Apple, Spotify and now Amazon are jumping on the exclusive band wagon. Fans who subscribe exclusively to these music streaming services get a chance at having the “worlds” recorded music at their fingertips.  The only problem is, as an emerging artist, the payments from these services are so small you’ve virtually been cut right out of the revenue, ah-gain.

As important as it is to be on all streaming platforms, it’s equally important to create your own exclusivity for your own music brand.  Websites like Bandcamp and Immitter have exclusivity tools that allow emerging artists to become their own self-sustaining Spotify and Apple music while keeping a large portion of the subscription revenue for themselves.

Todays digital musicians are seen more as brands as opposed to real people.  A brand is basically a business with products that a lot of people recognize.  Fan subscription tools now allow your most loyal fans to subscribe directly to your brand (for a small recurring fee) in exchange for exclusive access to your brands history of recorded music.

Lets take a look at another example

Sam is a part of a goth girl group called, Vampgelica.  To date Vampgelica has released 3 LPs containing 10 songs each.  Vampgelica decides to use an exclusive fan subscription tool to lock 5 songs from each LP that are exclusive to the Vampiress nation.  15 songs are now freely available (for free download and stream only) to new fans, who are just ready to sink their teeth in, while die hard fans and supporters would…

A.  Feel like a bloody-mess if they were left out in the sun without access to the additional 15 Vampgelica songs.

B.  Forget about the exclusive songs that they do not have access to and instead watch re-runs of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

If you chose A, you were right!

Super fans, as we call them, want 24 hour access to your brand at all times (why do you think gossip magazines are still so popular?).

In the digital era it is completely possible to charge a small fee to your super-ist fans for the privilege of accessing your entire discography, as well as uninhibited access to any of your future releases.  As a developing artist or band, your fan subscription revenue now goes directly to your bank account as opposed to making the corporations even richer.  Super fans 1, Artists 1, Corporations 0.

Now that you know why it’s important to embrace exclusivity, lets review some basic guidelines that can help you build a successful exclusivity campaign.

Avoid bundling digital releases

Your goal as a digital distributor (yes you are that too) is to spread the buzz of your newly released EP or LP over the course of a couple weeks, maybe even months.  Don’t be the flash in the pan, make your fans crave for more.

Offer your super fans an exclusive club to belong to

Whether you are using exclusive mailing lists, exclusive fan only shows and digital performances or exclusive fan subscription tools, making sure that your superfans feel like they are getting an experience unbeknownst to outsiders is something that they’ll appreciate, heck, they’ll even pay you for it.

LESSON COMPLETE

Reply to this post right now and let us know ways that you’ve used exclusivity as buzz or a revenue stream.  Even if it’s small, we want to hear about it.

Know someone who would like this lesson?  Use our social share buttons on this page to share it with them!

Immitter Goes Secure

Here’s a really quick update for you.  Now when you visit Immitter you will see a conveniently placed lock to the left of the https://www.immitter.com URL.  While no one was watching we secretly updated our website to a secure server.  This move was a necessary precursor to allow emerging artists and bands to start taking direct payments from fans through Immitter.  In the next couple weeks we’ll touch more on exactly what type of payments you’ll be able to take and what this means for your bank account, but for now, take comfort in knowing that Immitter values your privacy and security.  Bring on the payments!

An Evening Interview With Dru Paris

Hey Immitter Family,

I’m going to start conducting interviews with our artists who are currently scaling the Immitter charts. First up is Dru Paris, a 22 year old out of New York City whose song Do What You Do is #4 on our playlist.

Hilarie Naymick xx


Dru Paris Performing
Dru Paris Performs on the show circuit in 2016
How would you describe your music?
I would say it’s New Age Rap/ R&B/ old school Hip Hop, and I think it carries its own aura.
How long have you been pursing music as a career?
 
I’m 22, and when I was 14 I started to lightly pursue the music industry as an actual dream or goal. I really started to take it seriously when my brother passed away when I was 17.
Can I ask how he passed?
 
It was an unfortunate circumstance. He got in a dispute with another guy, I think it was over a girl, and he ended up being fatally shot.
That’s awful, I’m sorry for your loss. How did that take a hold of your life?  It obviously had an effect on your music.
 
Yeah, I don’t know if I can site any one person who has influenced me through excellent action, but I know that I am heavily influenced by the negative actions of others. With my brother, it was such an unnecessary way to leave this earth, he had his whole life a head of him…It showed me to take the higher road and never let my anger or temper get the best of me. Just appreciate what I have and keep going with my head held high.
That’s invaluable, in the music industry and in life. But since we are talking about influences, can you tell me some of the artists who you have been inspired by or simply just love their tunes?
 
Well, I love Post Malone, a favorite song of his would be Go Flex.
Drake is amazing, Bria’s Interlude is definitely one of my favorites.
And I can always listen to John Mayer.
A huge part of the last decade of upcoming musicians have been influenced by him. From all genres really, because I hear him cited as a major influence from all walks of life as far as artists are concerned. What are some favorites of his?
 
Oh, well: Vultures, Gravity, Neon, and probably Stop This Train are the ones that immediately come to mind.
And what do you hope to accomplish with your music Dru, do you have a message that you would like future fans to take away from your songs?
 
Just that you don’t need to come from money or some big, well connected walk of life to get your music heard. Just keep going and see where everything leads.
Shout out to Immitter and Jermaine Kelly for being awesome, by the way!

How Immitter Works For You

Immitter is an automated music marketing machine for unsigned and emerging artists and bands.

We make it easy for you to be an artist by taking away the B.S and getting you and your target audience, straight to the music!

When you stream or buy from IMMITTER, you’re not just helping an artist rise up the charts or taking home a bit of music; You’re supporting an artists ability to continue recording and performing.  We’re a small idea, but hope we can have a big impact on your music-life.  Join us.

Here’s more about The-Internet-Music-Transmitter.

  • Easily upload singles to an album to create an EP or Album length project.
  • All users can stream music ad infinitum once songs are uploaded
  • Sell individual songs or entire albums.
  • Songs can be listed for free, for sale, not for sale and can be downloaded just as easily.
  • Songs move up and down the charts depending on the amount of streams received per week.
  • Songs are limited to one play per day per computer, meaning that one, unique user can only increase your play count by 7 throughout the entire week.
  • All songs are ranked weekly and displayed on the global chartbuster located on the homepage from highest to lowest rank.
  • Top charting artists promoted daily through email and social media campaigns.
  • All songs can receive song feedback from users through native comments pane.
  • Add songs to playlists in 1-click.
  • Completely redesign and customize your profile, album, playlists and songs pages, using basic html.
  • Embed anything.  Youtube videos, Soundcloud clips, instagram photos, mailing lists, countdown timers etc. directly into your profiles and digital albums.
  • Insert messages and links to communicate with your target audience on your profile in your albums and on screen during song playback.
  • No interruptions, No Ads.
  • Instantly receive payment via paypal (immitter receives a small commission of 20% – that’s lower than iTunes).
  • Optimized for mobile, looks great on any device.
  • Increase traffic to your pages with options for paid marketing.
  • Completely automate your music marketing with Immitter PRO teams and services.

 

A solid foundation of support from all angles

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First and foremost, to all of the legacy IMMITTER artists out there currently reading this message, thank you.  Thank you for your trust, thank for your patience. To all of the newcomers, we welcome you with open arms, let’s all join forces and be stronger.

We want to start a monthly, open conversation between us and you regarding everything music.
We want to hear from artists about their career goals, the highs and lows, what you are currently doing to promote your music, how you feel about the music business (both independent and major), where you think the industry is going and how you are navigating those tumultuous waters, and most importantly, how Immitter can help.
We’ll start doing these conversations biweekly and hopefully begin to establish a stronger relationship with the artists whose music is sponsored through Immitter.
Our goal is to have anyone who wants to get feedback, not just from us on the business end of it all, but to bring musicians together so that they can form a solid foundation of support from all angles.
We will let you know the time and date of the the first…
Immitter Heart-to-Heart
 
And we can’t wait to hear from you!
Hilarie xx