The Urban Music Industry
Urban DIY (Do It Yourself)
With the autonomy and the authority to release records as he saw fit on a one off basis with different distribution companies, you saw the "Emancipation" set which was released on EMI, and more recently the Arista Records CD "Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic".
Marketing urban music is similar to marketing other genres of music in that a complete marketing plan involves a combination of retail, radio, press, video, lifestyle / nontraditional efforts, Internet marketing, tour support, and campus marketing. Therefore, you should review the StarPolish section on Marketing and follow the links within that section to learn how to put together and execute an effective marketing plan. When putting your marketing plan together, start by making sure that your image is together with the packaging and the music. There are a few marketing efforts that are particularly unique or effective for urban music. Since urban music often comes from "the street" it should not be surprising that street marketing is a key element in urban music marketing. In fact, the most relied upon tactic for urban music is the use of "street teams"-- national teams of people (usually kids) handing out t-shirts, cassettes, CD singles, flyers, and other promo pieces at night clubs, basketball games, other artists' shows, and any other special events in their hometowns that might be appropriate for the act. Street teams align your act with some other popular experience or chic setting in an organic "keeping it real" kind of way. Street team members are considered "tastemakers"-- people who know where the cool vibes can be found and thus where your stuff should be found, and people who are trusted amongst their friends as always knowing about the best new music. StarPolish has an entire section on street teams and how to put one together that you should definitely review now. One note about urban street teams-- it's all about volume. Whereas alternative or rock music street team often have a smaller number of creative members designing their own mini-marketing-plans, an urban street team should have as many members as possible, giving you extra sets of "arms and legs" to hit as many streets as possible. Another key example of urban street marketing is "sniping"-- putting up posters on construction sites and all over town.
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