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Marketing music on the web

di Redazione FGB [1], 11 Dicembre 2007

Without a doubt the internet has changed the face of the music industry, creating commercial and marketing opportunities for musicians and record companies.
One interesting example of innovative thinking comes from the British rock group Marillion. Through their site [2] they take responsibility for and manage every aspect of their career. They have their own record company ‘Racket Records' and promote their own tours. Unremarkable in itself, but it is the scale and their relationship with the fans that makes the whole thing extraordinary. They have created a network of web clubs to spread information among their fans. They write in a familial way and are evidently very attached to their fan base. When the band is ready to write and release an album, (they are about to record album number 15), they ask their fans to pre-buy their copy so that they can use the money for the recording, pressing and promotional costs incurred. In return they produce a limited edition available only as pre-sale. This allows them to budget without relying on external help.
They also fund their tours and merchandising in the same way. In 1997 their fans raised $60 000 to pay for a US tour. In 2001 they sold 17 000 copies of an album that had not yet been recorded. This is not a small scale niche market however, their initial pressing of each disc is 100 000 and in their career they have sold over 15 million albums and entered the UK album charts in April 2007 with their last album ‘Somewhere else' and the singles chart in June of the same year with ‘Thank you, whoever you are'.
As they say on their site, ‘not bad for a group with no major record company support'.
See Wikipedia [3] for a full history and discography.

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  1. 1] /schedabiografica/Redazione FGB
  2. 2] http://www.marillion.com
  3. 3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marillion
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