East Coast Music Week Recap: Getting the Most from your Music Placement
At Innovate By Day, there’s one consistent thing we’ve noticed about TV fans and music in the digital age: when a carefully-chosen song moves them, they want to know (1) what is that song? (2) who is that singing? and (3) where can I get it? So if you’re a musician, having your work available to stream (hello, Soundcloud!) or purchase (hello, iTunes!) is paramount.
I had the pleasure of visiting Charlottetown, PEI to speak about this topic with Supersonic Creative’s David Hayman and journalist Hilary Doyle at East Coast Music Week 2014. As a community manager, my strength lies in connecting the audience to the artists, and that was the thrust of my portion of the talk.
This reality became very clear to us when working with David and the producers of Saving Hope Season One in 2011. We created a series of “Supertrailers” using show footage and set to the featured song from the respective episode. These trailers were released through YouTube and the CTV site after the broadcast, and were very well received by the audience.
Further, this extended placement opportunity had a significant impact on the musician’s bottom line. We followed up New Brunswick’s Andy Brown, after his participation in Saving Hope Season One. He told us that having his song(s) on the show and in the Supertrailers helped an already two-year-old album chart again, increased his sales by 25%, and increased his newsletter subscriptions by 10%. A win for the show, and a win for the artist.
Looking at IBD’s experience with CBC police drama Cracked, we see another great example of how musicians can raise their profile. Episode 107 centred around a troubled pop superstar and a song he wrote for a lost love, “Annalise”. Music Supervisor Michael Perlmutter of instinct Entertainment reached out to Winnipeg songwriter Phil Deschambault of the band Ash Koley. The fans responded immediately to the episode, wanting to know where and how they could get that song. We worked with Michael and Phil to get the song posted online, and set up custom download codes for fans who wanted it badly enough to own it.
So if you’re a musician and you’re working with a music supervisor, make sure you have a plan for maximizing the placement of your song. Here are some things to think about:
1. Make sure the fans can find you. Be active on Twitter, Facebook (a page, not necessarily your personal profile), Tumblr.
2. Make sure the fans can find your music, especially the songs you’re licensing to TV / webseries / videogames. Host them on Soundcloud. As David put it on the day, if everyone seems to be using a particular website or software, why use something else?
3. Reach out to the show’s social media accounts in advance — find out if there’s anything you can do to help promote your episode. Community managers love to have fresh content — a little-used headshot, a homemade shoutout to fans video. Perhaps they have standard interview questions you can respond to by email, and get a little extra (free!) publicity tied in to your song’s appearance.
4. Reach out to the communities: your fan community, and the fans of the property you’re licensing to. For TV, know when your episode airs. If you can be online on the air-date to respond to the show’s fans and increase your own reach, it’s a win for both of you.
While I was in Charlottetown, I got to hear a lot of great music from Canadian artists that I hope end up on TV for those Superfans to start loving along side their favourite shows. I put together this little playlist of some of the highlights of my weekend, hosted (of course) on Soundcloud. Enjoy!