Mmmm, M&M. My favorite.

Music and Marketing.

Those 2 Ms go together better than chocolate and peanut butter, Siegfried and Roy, Jonas and Brothers..

Think about it . . .

If I told you I could give you a three-and-a-half minute marketing message that elicited an emotional response in its audience, you’d jump all over it, right?

Now, what if I told you that one message would be accompanied by twelve or so other messages of the same type, and that if they were high enough quality, those messages might be heard multiple times a day . . . for weeks!

Those are some super-sized impressions, no?

And what if I said that your audience would pay to listen to these messages?

As you can probably guess, I just described a cast recording, one of the greatest weapons in our marketing war chest.

Cast recordings, demos, etc. are the purest form of using content to market your production.  They don’t seem like advertising, but surprise, surprise, they are everything you dream about in an ad:  emotional, viral, and they encourage the audience that has seen your show to want to see it again, as well as inspire new audiences to want to see it for the first time.

They can even make some shows seem better than they were.

In one of the fastest turnarounds in musical history, Ghostlight Records had the 13 cast recording on the online shelves in only 4 weeks.  And in one day the album was #2 on the iTunes soundtrack charts and #38 in overall albums sold!

There is no print ad, no radio spot, no billboard, no nothing other than the show itself, that can drive our marketing message deeper into the hearts of our customers right now.

And for any musical, there is no better time to have your music out in the world than at the beginning of a run or even before your run begins – one of many reasons the British poperas of the 80s (Phantom, Les Miz, Saigon, etc.)  started out with such a bang here in the States is that the London recordings were already on a lot of people’s CD players before the shows arrived.

Are you doing a musical?  What sort of music do you have available that can help put your marketing hooks into the hearts of your fans?  Got a demo?  If not, get one.  (And while you’re at it, get a “name” singer to sing it – fans of the singer will become fans of the show.)

Is your music online?  Can it be downloaded?  Shared?

Like Etymology, it’s all about the roots.  When the root word of musical is music, what you do with that music is fortissimo important..

So, 13 got the recorded music out fast . . . what other type of music marketing could we do?  I’ve got an idea.  Stay ‘tuned’ (bad pun intended).

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Want that 13 recording?  Get it here.

  • Chris says:

    I’m seriously finding myself humming the music today. I love the soundtrack… it’s brilliant.
    I think you’re definitely leading the way in terms of fast turnarounds on CDs. Gypsy took months to get to the shelves… what was that!?! I was thinking the stars would be gone before the CD got in stores! I think it’ll definitely more and more normal in the future to have the cast recording coincide with the opening of the show (or just shortly thereafter). Hopefully anyway.

  • Brian Kuchta says:

    I think that using a cast album as a marketing tool is a great idea… as long as the music works as a whole and the musical itself is somewhat set in its story.
    Phantom, Les Miz, and Saigon were huge hits abroad, and the albums were loved in the US prior to their Broadway appearance. However, these shows were successful, tested products prior to coming to Broadway.
    There have been other shows that were not at all set in their stories or songs that released their cast/concept albums to the public prior to their Broadway runs and did not fair as well.
    Two shows come to mind in particular – “Jekyll & Hyde” and “Chess”.
    Both released cast albums prior to coming to Broadway. (Jekyll and Hyde actually had a concept and cast album.) Unfortunately, when each got to Broadway, they were significantly different than their albums in terms of both plot and music.
    According to Wikipedia, both Chess and Jekyll and Hyde lost significant investments in their Broadway runs.
    Maybe fans came to see what they had heard on the albums. Maybe what they ended up with was not what they expected. Or maybe they were just not good shows…
    My point being if you know you have a great show that is commercially viable, has some hummable music that people will want to listen to over and over again, and includes a solid story, then the cast album is fantastic as a marketing tool.
    However, if you are not 100% sure that your show is ready, even with Broadway stars singing on your album, you may just end up losing your shirt in the end.

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