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Online Marketing

This section discusses the functions of a record label online marketing department. At this point, you may also want to review the StarPolish dedicated section on Cybermarketing for more details and do-it-yourself tips. Online marketing is, obviously, a new department for most labels. These departments are still in the process of defining their roles, exploring opportunities and creating their responsibilities. But for now, for the most part online marketing is exactly what it sounds like -- finding ways to market records on line. New outlets for online marketing crop up almost daily, and part of the challenge for this newly created department is not only to keep up with all the new opportunities, but also to weed out the irrelevant ones. Because nearly every commercial venture and promotional outlet has a website, the online department's tendrils stretch into nearly every arm of the label's marketing and promotion staff. There is an online counterpart for just about every department. They include:
  • Online radio promotion: Every radio station has a website to promote itself, but also to run all sorts online promotions for which they need a label's support.
  • Online publicity: Nearly every major magazine has a website that provides additional content as a supplement to the printed publication. Also, magazine websites and other online publications are more likely to run reviews or features on developing artists, critics' picks and more eclectic releases, which gives the publicity staff another angle to pitch.
  • Online retail: Special events and exclusive promotions can be set up with traditional retailers' websites (like Tower and Virgin), but there are also opportunities for online outlets like Amazon.com or CDNow.com to support artists with exclusive promotions.
  • Webcasting: Online marketing departments, business affairs and webcasting companies are still duking it out for digital rights and ownership of online performances.
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