In an article on marketing music for the digital era, Kevin Young outlines some important points that no doubt steer the direction of music marketing in the favour of independent artists. With the incredible amount of online capabilities at the disposal of independent music marketers, and the depreciating value of the personal listening experience – he recommends investing concerted time and effort into propagating an effective online marketing strategy. This would ensure that music hungry listeners are well invested into buying merchandise and attending the live music experience. I recently read a qualitative study that found that over 80% of students at tertiary level are willing to pay more to see a live show than actually buy an album. Furthermore in an isolated incident at EMI headquarters a bunch of teenagers turned down a batch of free CDs. This is an interesting development. A few years ago Radiohead dropped a proverbial bomb on the music industry by putting their album ‘In Rainbows’ up on the net for free. This move instantly propelled them to the status of world’s most influential. The value of recorded music is not as high as it used to be, and efforts by major record companies to curb the spread of the independents are hampered by digital technologies. Already in South Africa, the independents account for 25% of all the music that is produced. Now the battle for brand equity is fought online.


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