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How Music PR Works feat. Jon from Two Story Melody

Ever wonder how PR works for music, when you should use it, and how it helps? Jon Anderson from Two Story Melody runs a music review blog and has also done a lot of work in the world of PR and music marketing. In this episode we talk about all that and more.

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Important Points:

Jon talks about how visibility and awareness have pros and cons: receiving exciting opportunities and receiving dozens of unremarkable materials to sift through.

Andrew and Jon discuss the pros and cons of SubmitHub and Musosoup: Musosoup is pricier due to platform fees and curator offers, while SubmitHub emphasizes quality curators. Start-up artists can use SubmitHub, Musosoup, and Groover for DIY PR.

Jon highlights how PR helps musicians engage with their audience and allows media, bloggers, and podcasters to tell their stories from a unique perspective. TikTok and reels drive traffic, but storytelling is key for both. PR boosts a musician and artist’s credibility when pitching to other blogs, podcasts, etc. People can easily Google you to see what others think. On the frequency of doing PR, he advised listeners to do it only when there are significant changes in their craft.

Jon talks about how TikTok can be unpredictable; one video can go viral regardless of follower count. They cautioned listeners against working with companies offering TikTok’s growth services since new fans’ demographics may not match artist targets.

Podcast Outline:

[00:10] Jon Anderson shares how his music blog, Two Story Melody opened up opportunities to start his PR company, Two Story Media – Jon

[01:30] Even though he will not end up as a music artist, Jon knew he’ll be working in the music industry – Jon

[02:20] In need of a creative outlet from his B2B marketing work, Jon started the music blog Two Story Melody – Jon

[04:42] Jon shares his experience using SubmitHub in curating music from artists, spending around 40–60 submissions per day – Jon

[05:35] Initially, Jon was amazed by the amount of opportunities coming in through his blog and how it became overwhelming overtime – Jon

[06:40] With so much music being submitted over curation platforms, Andrew and Jon discussed the pros and cons of SubmitHub, Musosoup, and Groover – Jon and Andrew

[08:50] Jon details that SubmitHub’s free and cost-efficient platform works better for musicians compared to Musosoup’s paid platform – Jon

[10:29] Andrew discussed his experience and interactions with curators at Musosoup, highlighting the lack of genuine interest in his album – Andrew

[13:20] Andrew and Jon advised that artists should filter genuine interest in their music rather than spending on curators with false enthusiasm – Jon and Andrew

[14:10] Jon defines what PR is like for artists: being featured in blogs, podcasts, and in some instances in traditional media – Jon

[15:58] Jon shares his thoughts on how PR helps musicians in telling their story at a deeper level – Jon

[18:22] According to Jon, PR can boost your credibility as a musician or artist – Jon

[19:01] Jon shares ideas on how start-up artists can DIY their own PR- Jon

[19:50] Jon recommends that musicians do PR every so often when there are significant and relevant changes in their craft – Jon

[20:46] Andrew affirmed Jon’s thoughts that many artists make mistakes of spending too much money on PR but not really translating to new fans – Andrew

[21:58] Big music media outlets only feature click-worthy and traffic-driving artists and stories – Jon 

[23:20] Andrew and Jon discussed their experience with monetizing their blogs with Google Display Ads, and both agreed that it isn’t very profitable – Jon and Andrew

[26:49] According to Jon, PR involves a lot of relationships, especially for PR agencies with existing connections to the media – Jon

[29:35] Jon believes that PR is a tool for engagement and conversion, while short-form videos (reels) or TikTok help drive traffic – Jon

[32:51] Jon discussed how TikTok could be erratic since one video can go viral regardless of the creator’s following – Jon

[33:26] Andrew and Jon tackled how there are so many new apps coming out for Gen Z audiences

[36:08] Jon emphasized that SubmitHub is a great option to start with if artists want to be featured on Spotify playlists.

[39:52] Jon shared how he reviewed playlisting companies like Omari MC Spotify promotion and Indie Music Academy Organic Playlist Promotion – Jon 

[42:53] Some TikTok growth marketing promotion services work but do not guarantee that the following profiles closely match artist targets – Jon

[44:00] Moonstrive Media, according to Jon, used SEO-based playlists, helping listeners find the kind of music they’re looking for based on the music’s text description – Jon

[46:47] Andrew clarified that he is not completely against the use of playlisting for promotion. He encouraged listeners to try other channels for long-term goals. 

[49:43] Jon and Andrew elaborated on scams from dubious playlists companies and how it has slowed down in the last two-three years – Andrew and Jon

[52:23] Jon shared that he is currently working on an engagement campaign within his current audiences to build his community – Jon

[55:15] Building templates can be helpful to make your emails campaign more efficient – Jon

[1:01] Andrew talks about why it’s important that artists understand their core values, so they can stay on-brand when crafting email campaigns – Andrew

[1:09] Andrew and Jon talk about how to do playlisting work for specific genres – Jon and Andrew

[1:12] Jon shared how he successfully pitched music to playlist editorials on Spotify

[1:17] Andrew and Jon talked about a Netflix miniseries called The Playlist. A fictionalized story of Spotify – Andrew and Jon

[1:26] Andrew and Jon discussed how streaming platforms make money and pay artists – Andrew and Jon 

[1:29] Andrew talked about monetization of content, detailing how his ecosystem of content contributes to his income streams – Andrew 

[01:34] Andrew and Jon talked about tour bus house shows for start-up musicians –Andrew and Jon

[01:39] Andrew and Jon talked about their personal experiences attending live musical events and Broadway show – Andrew and Jon 

Wise Words:  

[06:41] There’s just so much music being released every day, and you can’t blog about everything you like because you would have a team of like 10,000 people just writing music for you all the time if that was the case, which is not practical.- Andrew

[15:58] I’m actually not super gung-ho on PR as an incredible marketing tool. I think PR has a really specific use. I think it really does a couple of things. It helps you to tell your story as an artist… [16:15] just giving somebody else the chance to write what you’re about and to talk about a song, talk about your backstory; kind of helps to shape the story. And doing that gives you something to share with your fans so that your fans, your existing fans, can engage more deeply with your story.- Jon

[19:01] I would actually recommend that if you’re just starting out as an artist that you do some PR, but that you do it by yourself on platforms like SubmitHub, or Musosoup, or Groover.- Jon

[19:25] That way, when people find you, and they Google your name, they’re like, ‘Oh, this is a legitimate artist. Like, Other people like them and have written about them’.- Jon

[29:35] I would put PR in more of the conversion stage, like if you have a funnel. You have, like, traffic generation, which, I think, is the question you’re asking. And then you have, like, engagement conversion, and then you have further monetization of your audience. But in terms of the top of the funnel, like bringing new ears and eyes to your music, I think that the biggest plays right now are short-form video content.- Jon

[1:05] That’s how I think of TikTok. It’s like if you have the right perspective on it, you view it as a hook into something deeper; it can be good, but if it’s all there is, then it’s pretty unhealthy for you.- Jon

Resources Mentioned:

  • Two Story Melody Website – link
  • SubmitHub – link
  • Musosoup – link
  • Groover – link

Learn More:

If you enjoyed this interview check out this one I did with Matt Pelosi (from Cyber PR) where we discuss music promotion strategies.