Take a Tip From Capitol Records
Capitol Records used a
strategy which put the only daughter of the
King of Rock, Elvis Presley on top of the
world, and now Lisa Marie Presley is
destined to follow the road to success.
She signed her first recording contract with
Java Records in 1998 and the record was
release only five years later by Capitol
(who bought Java), and only after she
re-recorded her songs to have a product that
was worth putting on the market.
You could argue that, just by using her
surname, or the riches she inherited would
be enough to make success in any place on
Earth. So why was she only famous as a
singer after she was contracted by Capitol?
The difference that Capitol made was in how
they treated her. Capitol treated Maria as
an unknown artist, which at that time as a
singer was her reality, and made her start
everything from zero, doing all the ground
Capitol used the following
marketing equation for her first album "To
Whom it May Concern":
both cases the end results (sales) were
"Show / Research + Recording + Promotion =
From the second album, "Now What" they
did the reverse:
"Promotion + Recording + Show
/ PROMOTION = Success"
Let's look at this strategy a
Show / Research – The first step is to
discover which songs are accepted more by
the public. Recording only those songs is a
lot safer than recording the songs elected
by your band because of artistic
interpretation or because the message is
politically correct. The artist / band
should avoid influencing the content on
their first album as much as possible and
let the public select the music.
Recording – Now, with a list of songs
preferred by the public in hand, the artist
/ band should look for a studio with good
recording equipment (size is not quality) to
record and develop the "product", the album.
This stage should not be hurried!
It's a lot better to leave the studio after
several months with a perfect product than
to leave after a week with a recording full
of errors and strange noises. If finance is
the problem, do the recording in stages. A
serious band will still be together during
the months to come.
Promotion – With the show and album
prepared, the time has arrived for you to
promote the release of your album to your
target public, using the available channels.
Promotion – With the success of the first
album, the promotion of the second album
should be done using the same channels as
the first and opening up space in other
new channels. The promotion of the second
album should occur at the inicial stages of
your new project creating an air of
expectation in your target public.
Recording – This time you will have a little
more freedom to record songs that you like,
based on the songs and sounds that the
Show / PROMOTION – Your show
now has another objective. It's to
consolidate your public and promote your new
album. This means that you should play some
songs from your first album and then draw
your publics' attention to the songs of your
For the third and other albums simply repeat
the second equation.
Steve Allen is consultant and music
Author of "Marketing Your Music – Success
Strategies", "Personal Management in the
Music Industry" and "Street Teams – Expand
your Fan Base"
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