Former UK chart topping artist Sandi Thom hit the UK headlines last week due to a ‘bridge burning’ four letter social media meltdown criticising the apathy of UK radio to her forthcoming single. You can watch it here.
Let’s address the marketing issues raised by this whole affair.
Your Need To Be On A Radio Playlist To Be A Success
Thom’s argument was that radio is essential to her commercial success as a musician. She seems to receive little radio play and her last album which was released in 2013 has sold only 435 copies in the UK to date (source The Guardian). Is a lack of radio play responsible for her dearth of sales? I have never been on a radio playlist and the album my band released in 2013 sold more than 435 in its first week! So, clearly she has that wrong.
Radio is important to a DIY artist yes, but it is merely one part of a marketing mix. Radio is great at creating awareness for your music but then the baton is passed onto you as an artist to turn that initial audience into your fans. This is where social media and your marketing skills come into play. Yes, radio is great but I’d argue that your ability to market yourself in a way which engages your fanbase if much more important in the long run.
All Publicity Is Good Publicity, Isn’t It?
The video was quickly removed by Thom but was ‘re-upped’ and the story quickly went viral giving Thom a flurry of national press/media/radio interviews. You could argue that whilst her initial actions might not have been a ‘stunt’ the subsequent media reaction has turned it into one. So, posting this video and creating a ‘furore’ is a good thing, right? Well, I’d say not. It can be argued that her current media obscurity is due to a ‘stunt’ behind her initial chart topping success (read all about that incident in an earlier post on this blog).
I believe that negativity should be avoided on social media (read my earlier blog about that here). Avoid stunts or negative actions which could be viewed by other people as a stunt. They might have an initial benefit but they will harm your career in the long run.
Got any questions about this post or how you can better market yourself?