Tuesday 19 November 2013

Why New Artists Should Forget About Publicity

"We're a new independent record label from XXX and represent X
exciting artists. .. Our first release came out earlier this month. Could you kindly forward me the address to email the download link, EPK etc to?
We look forward to informing you of our new artists."

Here's the sad truth. Not only will I probably not reply to that email, most days I wouldn't even open it.

Is this a terrible abdication of my responsibility as a champion of new music? A slap in the face of hard-working artists and labels who are just looking for a break?

One of the biggest issues facing the music press is simply the sheer amount of new music being created and published. Unlike the traditional print press, web-based outlets aren't as constrained by page counts and the like but, nevertheless, there are a fixed number of hours in the day and a limit to how much fresh content we can upload; there's little point in someone toiling over an article simply for it to be unceremoniously shunted from the front page after a few hours by yet more content.

At some point I will take some time to detail how I think new artists can - and should - secure coverage online, but for the moment I do question the value of anyone taking a scattergun approach to promotion by firing off a load of emails and hoping a few stick. Whether you go DIY or hire a professional PR, you're still faced with the problem of being just another no-name in a creaking inbox full of similar-looking emails. It doesn't matter how you dress up the subject line, I probably haven't heard of you and, as a result, you're basically the musical equivalent of a couple of Jehovah's Witnesses rapping on my front door.

'But what if we're the next Nirvana, Adele, Arctic Monkeys?!' you cry. Well, we'll just have to live with that missed opportunity.

Good stuff has its own way of getting noticed. Concentrate on being good and you won't need to send out the begging letters - it'll be us knocking on your door.


  1. I half agree with you, getting many amounts of the same types of promos each week can be dull, for me they need to really grab my attention. I always love a personal touch, if someone has taken their time and properly researched us and have a genuine passion for music then they have my attention and respect.

  2. Thanks for the comment. DIY artists, and to a lesser extent PRs, should definitely spend more time ID-ing the best writers to approach. That's something I intend to talk about in a future post.

  3. You inspired me to write this post , i like your blog as well as the posts on The Digital Fix, you seem to have a lot of music knowledge and understand the greatness of old fashioned music ways which are disintegrating in the world today. Would love to hear more of your music views :)