How Do Record Labels Promote Artists?

By Tiara Ogabang

Tools of the trade

The music industry has seen massive changes over the past 20 years.

Open did buy the advent of the Internet, the way that musicians, labels, and consumers interact with music has changed in some seriously key ways.

Where is before you had to have access to a multi-million dollar recording studio in order to yield any sort of high-quality music or recording, these days, anyone with a few hundred dollars worth of gear and a bedroom could theoretically become the next big thing in music.

While many things have changed, some things that haven't changed a lot are the basic tenants of being a professional musician or being a professional music label that helps promote and establish an artist.

Many of our users and people our platform have promoted are interested in some simple info: what are all the ways that record labels promote artists? How do they make use of these tactics in order to build a fanbase and brand for the artists on their label?

If this guy to give you an overview of all the ways that record labels promote their artists.

What if I'm not signed by a record label?

Create a website so people can easily find more information

Some good news for those of you who aren't signed to a record label – These days, many of the ways in which record labels promote artists are available to you too.

You don't actually have to be signed by a record label in order to maximize your Fanbase, nor do you have to spend a ton of money unnecessarily.

While many of the tactics used by record labels to promote their artist do in fact cost money (hence why labels take a portion of the income an artist earns), things needn't cost massive sounds like they used to.

With some good songs and a few hundred to a few thousand bucks, you can do quite a bit of damage on the promotional front yourself.

Labels can help with social media management

Let's dive right into the first way that record labels promote their artists – social media.

Yes, people typically think of social media as being "directly from the artist", but the reality is that most of the time record labels or other representatives of the artists tend to do a lot of heavy lifting on social media.

Sure, maybe an artist will have a hand in all of their social media profiles, and maybe even one profile they will look after entirely. But for musicians who are pros, a lot of times they simply do not have the time or wherewithal to handle all of their social media themselves.

Labels can often use in-house social media managers to help ease the burden on an artist when it comes to maintaining a social media presence.

Social media is such a key part of an artist brand, even if the label isn't directly providing social media management, they often can make suggestions about who to tag and what to post about in a way that artists by themselves wouldn't necessarily be able to figure out.

Labels often have connections to relevant music blogs

Ways to promote your music

The way that record labels can promote their artists is my leveraging connections at various music blogs and websites in order to ensure that their artists are being covered by various online outlets.

Here at Promo Panda, we talk about this type of promotion all the time (given that it's our business to promote artists in blogs!).

This type of promotion tends to be very difficult for artists to do on their own. But, while this has historically been the case, it's now changing.

Services like Submithub and Promo Panda make it much easier for users to Connect with blogs from all over the world.

Bigger labels can get access to radio play

Sure, it may be old-school, but the fact is that radio is still a very viable way to promote music.

It is notoriously difficult to get any sort of radio play without having some sort of liaison on the "inside" who can help place your tunes on a station, whether local or national.

Certain levels have connections with major radio conglomerates and can help increase the chance that your song make some sort of rotation.

Bear in mind that this doesn't just apply for terrestrial radio. The bigger labels also have connections with satellite radio, which also reaches millions of people around the world.

If you are trying to mimic the way a record label would promote you, we suggest skipping this one, as it is insanely difficult to do your self, and the reality is that you don't really need to be played on the radio these days in order to have a successful career as a musician.

That being said, radio play can't help, hence why it makes our list of ways how record labels promote their artists .

Labels can pair artists with tastemakers

This one is kind of similar to the radio promotion described above, the only difference is that Often times determining exactly who the right tastemakers for your music are is more difficult than figuring out which radio station makes sense for your music.

The reason is simple – there are just A TON of tastemakers, whereas there are only a few radio stations in any given market.

Labels often have connections with Pandora and Spotify playlist creators, not to mention influencers who are popular on various social media platforms. The right placement on the right playlist or social media posts can make all the difference when it comes to making or breaking an artist.

Labels can help book shows

Our last, but certainly not least example of ways a record label promotes their artist has to do with booking shows.

Often times even if labels do not have an in-house booking agent, they can help put their artists in touch with a very good booking agent who can take the artist from not doing very many shows to having all sorts of touring options year-round.

Yes, it's totally possible to find and sign with a booking agent on your own, independently of any sort of record label.

But booking agents can be very picky and who they sign on, and having a label in your camp that puts in a good word with the booking agent may be the difference between them signing you versus passing on you.

Still wondering how labels do it?

No to record labels are the same, and the truth is that two different artists can have very successful careers even if their promotional strategies don't look that similar on the surface.

The more important thing to do as an artist is to make sure that you are at least trying to promote your music on a professional level.

Far too many artists assume that just having music is enough to persuade anybody to take a listen or book them for show.

In order to have a shot at being a legitimate artist with a real career, You're going to need to have some sort of promotional strategy at some point (with or without a record deal).

At Promo Panda we've helped thousands of artists get the word out about their music – if you've enjoyed this article and found it helpful, try creating a profile and let us place you in music blogs all over the internet.