As the former Senior Vice President of Music Strategy for CMT, the current head of his own digital record label, and the author of two books about creating and promoting hit music in today’s digital landscape, it’s safe to say Jay Frank is an expert in the field. He’s listened to thousands (and thousands) of songs over the years, and knows what they need to stand out above the rest. Jay will be touring Full Sail’s campus and speaking to Music Production, Music Business, and any other interested students virtually via Adobe Connect (the link is available on Connect) on Wednesday, September 4, at 3 p.m. EST, but we had a chance to chat with him on the phone prior and get some of his advice for how to get your song the attention you want.
Draw People in Right Away. “The beginning of the song is absolutely crucial to its success. Grab them quickly and efficiently. I’ve seen a lot of data that says if you don’t impress somebody within the first seven seconds, chances are they won’t be engaged for the entire song. People need to feel strongly about the song quickly.”
Put Your Music Everywhere. “The world is overwhelmed with a huge, huge volume of music out there. It’s physically impossible to listen to more than 5% of the music that comes out in any given week. So you have to make yourself available on a variety of platforms to make sure you get heard. [Spotify, music blogs, YouTube, iTunes, SoundCloud, etc.] You never know when or where somebody is going to be checking into your music. If I hear about your band, and I happen to like iTunes but your track isn’t available there, I’m not going to look for it elsewhere. People don’t have enough time to care about things they can’t find quickly and easily.”
Provide Something of Value. “Why should someone pick your song over any other song? The reason why is ultimately you provide them something of value. It’s just like any friendship. There’s no reason someone should like your song without hearing it. If all you’re saying is, ‘Hey, I’ve got great music, promote me,’ there’s no reason why they should. You have to provide value, either by making the best song anybody’s ever heard in their life or by cultivating a group of people who love you so much that they can see the passion and see how much greater you are than other acts out there.”
Don’t Give Up. “One of the easiest things I’ve seen that leads to somebody failing with their music is that they stop marketing and promoting their songs too soon. A lot of people like to think it’s easy: you put the song out, people hear it, it goes viral; and if it doesn’t, oh well. That’s not really the case. For any artist and any song, it requires months and months of hard work and continuous promotion. In many cases, perfectly great songs are left in the dust simply because people don’t market them enough. Major record companies market new artists for 9 months to 2 years before they hit their peak. If it takes an experienced marketer 9 months, it’s only going to take the independent artist longer.”