One of my posts for the Daily Rind Blog was entitled the 3 P’s of marketing.
Recently a student at a French University (where I had been invited to give a presentation sharing my outlook on “The Impact of Internet on the Evolution of Musical Consumption”) who had obviously been paying attention asked why I had only quoted 3 P’s out of the 4 that were the standard in marketing schools–Pricing, Placement, Promotion, & Product.
I had been waiting for someone to ask this question. The answer is that in my opinion for music, the word Product is inappropriate. An object like a chair can objectively be a good, comfortable chair or not–like the one I’m sitting in now, a pale imitation of a chair actually intent on ruining my spinal column.
Music however is “good” or “bad” to the ear of each listener, depending on various contexts.
So my own personal fourth P to include along with the mantra of marketing is Passion–the smiles on people’s faces at a concert…whether the guitarist is exactly in line with the bassist or not and even if the singer is hitting those incredible high notes slightly out of tune. It is the connection of people’s living experience to music.
It’s a passion for music that is communicative, viral in the only real positive and contagious sense of the word, linked and embedded in our lives as no other cultural activity really is. This passion is one we all share within The Orchard–help monetize music and thereby help perpetuate it. This goal is second to none…except maybe to help the labels that actually produce the work by the artists that we share with the world.
So, we decided that we should highlight this shared passion each month in the Daily Rind and reunite our various efforts within a specific framework–The Cherry-Pick. Each month, we will encourage one chosen label (around anniversaries, special occasions, etc.) to use their intimate knowledge of their catalogue and audience to reward their fans through special offers, playlists, giveaways, and other exclusive opportunities.
We’ve started this month with Fierce Panda, and here is their answer to the big question:
When the activity of producing music is going through such perilous but exciting times, why do they do it?
“I think you’ve nailed the answer with those two key words–’perilous’ and ‘exciting’. It may seem like a traumatic time for record companies at the moment but for independent labels it’s always been a perilous existence – one crazy stab at success could rupture the casually constructed financial pipeline for a small organization, and has frequently done so over the past 30 years. But whether wallowing in feast or staring at famine it’s never ever less than head-achingly exciting running a label which relies upon the spirit of new bands, which I guess is why we continue to do it in the face of all logic and reason. After all, being a record company boss is not exactly a childhood dream – like any other eight year old in the olden days I wanted to be a pilot or a fireman or Gerd Muller or perhaps Gerd Muller being a flying fireman, but there you go. One minute you’re sitting in a pub on Tottenham Court Road planning a one-off release called ‘Shagging In The Streets’ (it’s been said before and we’ll say it again–you do not call your label something as fruitbatty as fierce panda if you plan to be around longer than fifteen seconds). The next minute you are celebrating turning seventeen years old with your 67th album release and 232nd single release and you realize you have spent so long standing around in the back rooms of rum drinking houses watching new sensations like Freddie & The Fretblankets while talking about the nails being hammered into the music industry’s coffin that you have become completely, totally, hopelessly incapable of doing anything else. Congratulations! You are now an independent record company mogul.”
-Simon Williams, Fierce Panda Founder