Over the past week we’ve been profiling some of the incredibly diverse labels using TuneCore to distribute their artists’ music to the digital stores. Today we’re featuring an interview with Travis Yetton of sensibility music, which comprises the artists Joy Williams and The Civil Wars. Yetton, who handles marketing and brand management for the label, gives some great insight on marketing new releases, and why developing momentum lies in the artists’ hands.
Can you describe your label (genre, number of artists signed, how long you’ve been operating, etc…) ?
How did you get your label up and running?
In 2008, sensibility released the One of Those Days – EP by Joy Williams. As there were only a small number of physical copies created, the focus of the release was digital, and TuneCore was a major part of that release.
What does TuneCore provide for you as a label?
TuneCore is an integral part of every release strategy for us. Not only is it affordable, but it puts our label in control of each artist’s digital presence.
How do you use the monthly sales information in your account?
A major part of the sales information is used for accounting purposes – as a label with several artists, we need to be able to split up all income and distribute it appropriately. We also use the sales information to keep track of our marketing initiatives, searching retroactively for spikes whenever big press or TV pushes occur.
Are the weekly trending reports in your account of value to you?
At the time of a big release, or a significant appearance (TV, press, etc), we will use the weekly trend reports to look for activity across digital retail. If the reports show a large change, then we can use that information in real time. Watching the trends is an important way for us to plan future promotions.
When one of your artists has a new release coming out, what do you do to promote the release, and what do you expect the artist to do?
It really depends on the size of the artist at the time of the release. Typically, we’ll look into a press campaign leading up to the release, put the band on the road for at least a few months before the album comes out. Leaving a trail of content (videos, songs, etc) to build anticipation with fans is always involved. We’ll also look into the ways we can get coverage through the various retailers (iTunes, Amazon, etc). Every little bit helps.
What are the most important tips you would give to a DIY artist trying to achieve his/her goals (whether it be getting signed to a label or not)?
Don’t wait for someone to come to you before getting to work. It’s entirely doable to make your own music, put it out, get on the road, build up steam… It takes a lot of sweat equity, but too many artists think that the key to developing a story—developing momentum—lies in someone else’s hands. That might be true for a few artists, but for most, you are responsible for getting this thing off the ground. Take ownership of your career, be patient and make smart choices.
See the TuneCore team celebrating Barton Hollow’s gold status!
On Wednesday, October 24th, check back for our interview with Mark Orr of LAB Records.