By MIKE MONTALTO
In today’s music scene, it can be difficult for new bands to burst onto the scene. The local music scene is disintegrating, as local venues close one after another.
People have become accustomed to downloading music for free and local artists can’t make money. However, upcoming artists are finding new ways to adjust to these challenges.
Zach Howard, former vocalist of Ambient Ruins and current vocalist of Ocean of Illusions said of these challenges, “You just have to adjust. In some ways it can be harder, but there is also a lot of new ways to promote music.”
USING THE WEB AND SOCIAL MEDIA
The internet has provided some useful tools that bands can use to promote their music.
Facebook has been one of the most useful ways for bands to reach new audiences. As a band’s page generates more likes, more users see can their content.
“You can help promote a local band simply by pressing the ‘like’ button on their page,” Howard said.
Facebook also allows bands to advertise their band right on the user’s newsfeeds, just as businesses can. The bands can select what they want to appear and who it reaches based on location, interests, and age.
Vocalist and guitarist of Terracide, Daniel Tidwell uses Facebook to reach new audiences every day.
“When we started advertising on Facebook, we noticed we were getting new likes every day,” Tidwell said. “We advertised that you could download our album for free and now we have fans scattered across the country.”
Many musicians, local and big time even post entire albums on Youtube for users to listen to for free, without downloading.
Many bands find that they can get more people to listen to their music if they simply give it away. In an age where illegally downloading music is more common than purchasing it online, local artists have had a tough time selling albums.
The solution? Fight music piracy by simply allowing people to have music for free.
“It’s a little disappointing sometimes,” Howard said, “Bands pay hundreds of dollars to record their music and people don’t want to pay for the product.”
Instead, local bands who are trying to get noticed find it beneficial to reach new audiences by offering free music.
OTHER WAYS TO PROMOTE
One of the most common and fun ways for bands to promote themselves is through merchandise.
T-shirts featuring band logos and artwork are relatively inexpensive to print and allow the band to make some profit. Unlike the music itself, audiences are willing to pay for a T-shirt of a band that impressed them or simply had a cool shirt design.
In addition to what bands can do on their own, there are countless promotion companies that help new bands get reached. Jersey Shows is a promotion company based out of Matawan, New Jersey that helps local bands book shows.
“It’s difficult at first,” Howard said, “you won’t make money unless you go on tour, and it can be tough to book initial shows, but there are enough new ways for bands to get their music heard by larger audiences.”