NARIP markets & monetizes music | Learn Network Access Opportunity

Top Ten Ways To Market Music Via Mobile

By Arne Lucas and Raj Singh

The following are ten ways to market music via mobile.

  1. Build an app. Services like Mobile Roadie and others make it easy for you to create a template app where you can upload and manage your music, tour dates, and provide updates directly to your fans. Once uploaded, Mobile Roadie will generate an application and submit it into the iPhone App Store. Presence in these stores means marketing, new music discovery and maybe even some revenue!
  2. Build an online presence. Not that you probably haven’t done so already, but MySpace, Facebook or even Amazon’s music store may be a great place to start. If you have the resources, you can build your own web destination or maybe use 3rd party services such as ReverbNation. Taking this a step further, companies like Thumbplay, Dijit or Myxer can provide you with tools to create widgets that you can readily integrate into your online presence to make your ringtone catalog and in some cases your full track content available as well. An online presence means your existing fans can find you but more importantly, new fans can discover you!
  3. Outsource to the music distribution folks.  INgrooves, IODA, and the Orchard are the higher-end full-service stops and might be harder to get to but you could utilize companies such as Tunecore and ReverbNation who offer distribution for a flat fee and you retain all your royalties. These folks can manage the whole process for you including distribution to 3rd party aggregators, direct relationships to operators and even help you set up and market your online presence.
  4. Partner with ringtone aggregators. You’ll find a long list of mobile content aggregators that can help distribute mobile content across a variety of touch-points. Some aggregators work exclusively with specific carrier platform providers such as Motricity, Airborne Entertainment and Cellmania, others have their own web destinations such as Thumbplay, Flycell and Buongiorno and work across all carriers but may not have the valued carrier-portal (ie “on-deck”) placement. Note: not all of these aggregators are willing to take on any new project, but if you have a robust catalog and a solid marketing plan, this can be the route to take. In any case, we have created a table for you at the end of this document detailing the different mobile content aggregators that you can approach.
  5. Do some event marketing or create some merch. Services like Myxer.com, Mozes and ReverbNation make it easy to do mobile event marketing. You can set up your shortcode such that your fans can send an SMS in real-time to pay and then download your ringtones. Implement a “download to win” contest where fans can win tickets to your next show or just send updates to when the new album is releasing on iTunes. Services like Xpressmo and TopSpin can help you with mobile merch and even mobile ticketing
  6. Work with the device OEMs (original equipment manufacturers). Many of the handset manufacturers have been working on expanding their mobile music initiatives. Nokia ships phones with their “Come With Music” service, SonyEricsson has a music catalog and Apple of course has iTunes. Let’s not forget Motorola and Blackberry.  Pre-loaded music can be a solid revenue stream if you can develop and maintain relationships with the handset manufacturers.
  7. Go retail. Best Buy, Carphone Warehouse and others are bringing music to their devices as part of their broader in-store music initiatives. Working with retail is a great way to market your music and since most of these folks are just getting started, this might be a great way to jump-in as they ramp up.
  8. License your music everywhere. With the introduction of the iPhone and the iTunes app store, full track music (not just the MIDI versions) have become a standard offering on mobile devices and has been available in console gaming for years. Mobile companies like Tapulous (make of Tap Tap Revenge) are the equivalent of Activision’s Guitar Hero and offer an excellent way to market your music to a whole new audience (and generate some new dollars). Licensing your music can be a very lucrative revenue stream so push everywhere – video games, movies and television.
  9. Work with prepaid card vendors. A significant amount of mobile content purchases are by folks who don’t have credit cards or whose parents are paying their phone bills :) Instead of billing through the phone, you can partner with prepaid card vendors such as Incomm, PlayPhone and Blackhawk who offer prepaid mobile content cards in retail.
  10. Work with phone memory. Sandisk, Kingston and other memory card providers put music on their cards. This can be yet another way to achieve innovative distribution and marketing.
  11.  

    The US Operator Ringtone Matrix:

    Operator Ringtone Ringback Full Track Video Ringtone Wallpaper
    AT&T

    Hudson Entertainment

    MobileStreams

    Zed

    SkyRockIt

    FunMobility

    Hudson Entertainment

    MobileStreams

    Zed

    SkyRockIt

    FunMobility

    Napster

    Emusic

    Hudson Entertainment

    GoTV

    Dijit

    Zed

    FunMobility

    Verizon

    Hudson Entertainment

    MobileStreams

    Zed

    SkyRockIt

    FunMobility

    Hudson Entertainment

    MobileStreams

    Zed

    SkyRockIt

    FunMobility

    WDA

    Real Networks

    GoTV

    Hudson Entertainment

    Hudson Entertainment

    MobileStreams

    9Squared

    Moderati

    FunMobility

    Sprint/Nextel Taylor Creek Taylor Creek Livewire Taylor Creek Taylor Creek
    T-Mobile

    Hudson Entertainment

    MobileStreams

    9Squared

    Moderati

    FunMobility

    Hudson Entertainment

    MobileStreams

    9Squared

    Moderati

    FunMobility

    Napster

    Emusic

    Hudson Entertainment

    MobileStreams

    9Squared

    Moderati

    FunMobility

    Hudson Entertainment

    MobileStreams

    9Squared

    Moderati

    FunMobility

ABOUT THE SPEAKERS

Arne Lucas, Director of Mobile Marketing, INgrooves

Arne has spent over half his life in the music industry. His first experience was in the early ‘90s as an artist with the San Francisco-based Soul / R&B vocal group IF. During this time he realized he felt more comfortable behind the scenes, and went on to perfect his skills as a recording engineer. By the mid ‘90s he was chief recording engineer for a full service recording studio located in San Francisco’s Mission District and was working as an executive assistant to the President of a local Bay Area label – Classified Records – which was picked up by Tommy Boy in the late ‘90s.

At the time, the Bay Area music scene was thriving but Arne felt that there was more to accomplish. By now he excelled at the label, getting his hands into everything from A&R duties, to engineering, physical retail distribution and licensing. He was soon hired on full time and thrived at the label. Arne took to the business of music, expanding his knowledge of publishing, licensing and contract negotiations. He moved on to assist in a new music venture for the New York City start-up A Media, which focused on the Asian American entertainment industry.

He was then approached a few years later by his mentor at Classified to take on a Music Supervisor position for 360 Media Group. 360 Media’s flagship product was a DVD series called 360 Video Magazine, a quarterly video magazine that specialized in the import car scene, extreme sports, music and entertainment. Its first mainstream release “Hard Drive” was certified gold and distributed at major retail chains such as Best Buy, Wal-Mart and Target as well as hundreds of smaller retail stores worldwide. After a number of years and over 20 releases under his belt at 360, the DVD market was on a decline so Arne moved into a new career.

In 2003, he accepted a Product Manager position with Hudson Entertainment Inc. who had just acquired the license to The Source Magazine. This was his first experience in the wireless entertainment industry and he hasn’t looked back since. He was integral to bringing what many say was the “Bible of Hip Hop” for over 20 years – The Source Magazine – to mobile. The Source Mobile Channel was one of the only ringtone applications on deck that strictly distributed Hip-Hop/Urban ringtones – this was during the lucrative “polyphonic” era of the ringtone and well before carrier white label mastertone stores such as the ones currently available on Verizon, Sprint, AT&T etc. He eventually moved to a more video game-centric position in mobile as an Account Manager with Namco Networks – working directly with carriers to launch the classic game catalog for mobile from the legendary video game giant. It was here where he learned the intricacies of the carrier world. After close to 2 years peddling mobile video games he decided to get back into the music business and is currently the Director of Mobile Marketing for INgrooves where he oversees a majority of the mobile business for the digital label.

Raj Singh, Mobile Consulting / Strategy / Product Planning / Definition Expert

Raj Singh is a mobile industry veteran who has worked in all aspects of mobile over the past 10 years. Currently, Raj is Vice President of Business Development for Skyfire, a mobile browser that supports the full Web including Flash 8,9, Javascript and Quicktime. Most recently, Raj consulted Dell Mobile and assisted with their global SMS and WAP strategy. Prior to Dell, Raj co-founded venture-funded Veeker, NBC’s mobile video citizen journalism service and boot-strapped ToneThis, CNET’s top ringtone creation product. Raj has also worked in product management, engineering, strategy and consulting roles for Kodak Mobile, Cellmania, MobiTV, PlayPhone, Tellme, Hungama Mobile and Antenna Software. Raj’s personal projects include GameChalk, an SMS multi-player game service and Pubwalk, an LBS bar-hopping service. Raj is a mobile advisor to a number of companies including ChuckD Mobile, Movoxx, Oomble, Klicksports, Muse, Buzzd, Yojo Mobile, Textopoly and several VCs within the valley.
Raj is a regular mobile writer and speaker including formal and guest-blogging for GotoMobile, O’Reilly Emerging Telephony and VisionMobile. Raj has made contributions to a number of mobile user and expert groups including the JCP, MMA and the Bluetooth SIG. For more information, please see www.rajansingh.com. raj at rajansingh dot com

SOURCES FOR MORE INFO:

www.ingrooves.com
www.narip.com
www.rajansingh.com

NARIP. Career acceleration.
Get connected. Stay connected.

____________________________________________________

The National Association of Record Industry Professionals promotes career
advancement, education and good will among record executives.

 

X