Local is out – welcome the Scene

Become big in your hometown first – it’s a term often used by advisors to prepare bands for getting in contact with record companies. For years A&R managers would see local popularity as an indication for commercial quality. While a local following is still worth fighting for, things have changed in the digital age: they have shifted from “local” to “scene”.

With the ability to reach fans in all parts of the world we no longer have to solely rely on a local following. Moreover, while a local audience naturally consists of people with diverse musical tastes, the internet provides the chance of targeting our very specific market niche, a scene with avid fans of exactly our style of music.

I play in a Hair Metal band. Now this may not be everyone’s favorite type of music around town, which makes it quite difficult to get fans of Hip Hop, Country or Techno to come to our shows. On the internet, however, there exists a rich scene with Hair Metal websites, magazines, communities, mailorder shops, radio stations and, of course, fans. That’s where we promote ourselves.

Even for A&Rs and record labels this scene oriented approach proves useful as it shows a band’s acceptance in exactly the same market niche a label might promote and sell their music later on. While you should never ignore a local presence, the scene approach will definitely let you reach more fans – especially “targeted” fans.

So go out and find your market niche – your scene – and get the word out.

– Julian Angel

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About MusicBizMadness

Julian Angel is a chart-noted songwriter and film musician with Hollywood credits. He has successfully released six (physical) records by himself. MusicBiz Madness started as a business conference in Germany and keeps sharing hands-on advice for musicians and people in the music industry.
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