Well, if you haven’t, it’s called Fine Line. And if you have, how did you hear about it?
What is your favorite tv show right now? And how did you find out about it? Maybe you logged onto Netflix, and it was in the popular section? Maybe you saw it trending on Twitter? Well, what about Harry’s new album? Did you see a Twitter ad for it? Or was there a commercial before your YouTube video started? I know that was not my experience, which got me wondering: How do you promote an album? And how do you do it well? Let’s find out.
While shamelessly plugging Harry Styles, because I love Harry Styles.
1. Social Media
It seems like every tv show and movie has their own social media accounts these days. In that way, the music industry is no different. I’d say the majority of popular artists have a personal account, whether on Twitter, Instagram, or both. Fans who are looking for any and every way to connect with their favorites are following these accounts. That is why the best plan for these artists is to keep their profiles authentic. Sure, you can promote your album, but what people really want to see is the artist’s true self. From real life stories, to the inspiration behind their music, links to recent interviews, and really just who the artist is.
If you’re skeptical, and a fan of Harry, don’t you wish he’d use Twitter more? Isn’t it disappointing to go to your favorite musicians profile and just see promotional material?
Music connects with people on deeper levels, social media connects the artist with those people.
2. “Now available for preorder”
Providing a preorder is a great way to create buzz. The artist is then able to simultaneously promote the album and accept orders. Fans receive instant gratification by “securing” their purchase now. All that’s left to do is count down the days until the album’s released.
3. Releasing a Single
Singles are meant to be splashed on the radio, grab people’s attention, gain momentum for an album, and spread awareness for an artist. That’s right, singles featured on the radio are one of the main ways artists gain new fans! Streaming services and social media pride themselves on being personalized by the account holder, meaning the radio is the population’s main exposure to artists they aren’t already familiar with. This is why most singles are designed to appeal to general audiences(Adore You), they are the hooks that direct people towards the artist’s album.
4. Get your album up on streaming services
And next up, getting your songs on streaming services. iTunes, Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, GooglePlay: these services want the next best thing, and luckily, artists want to sell it to them. These services are mutually beneficial middlemen that more and more artists are taking advantage of. You may think, “Why not just make people buy the album on iTunes?” To that I say, music is an experience that’s meant to be shared. People love to share their Spotify top artists. They want to share their new playlist with their friends. They want to create an image for themselves. These streaming platforms give music fans these abilities. And they create more exposure for music in the long run.
5. Get interviews
Music, while often relatable, is also extremely personal to the artist. For example: from the moment Harry Styles released “Kiwi” to this very day, people have been dying to know who and what inspired it. I mean millions of people. Blogs have been written, interview questions have been asked, and Google searches have been made. When Harry didn’t give the answers, fan theories were made and shared online.
“I’m having your baby, it’s none of your business.”
Harry had to know that people would ask him questions about those lyrics. But, look at how much buzz it created. This time around Harry has been much more open about the inspirations for “Fine Line.” The point is: Harry knows the value behind his songs’ inspiration. Sitting down with someone for an interview or a podcast may be all it takes to go viral.
6. Create merch
If you have the audience and the money, create that merch. Get that money. T-shirts, bags, water bottles, and coffee cups are like everyday billboards. Merch is notoriously expensive, but people will buy anything to support their favs. Just please, make sure your design is better than Kanye.
If you are an independent musician looking for ways to promote your music, I recommend these websites: