One Big Hairy Music Prediction for 2011

Like or not it’s that time of the year when you look back, check in and see where you have been and where you are heading. With this annual check in comes an almost endless list of Top 10 pontifications for the year ahead; many good, many funny and many just plain wrong.

For this reason, and to decrease my odds of predicting the year ahead, I’m offering One Big Hairy Prediction For 2011. I would even go as far to say it’s less of a prediction and more of an observation of the prior year.

My Big Hairy Prediction for 2011 is that bands and artists will discover and unlock the value of collaborative social marketing and promotion.The basis of my BHP is that bands and artists have historically been the early adaptors of new technology and behaviors that directly benefit them. Bands are also innately collaborative. Think about touring: nobody plays a show by themselves. Bands were using the social web via MySpace before Facebook existed and viral marketing, which brands are just starting to see the value of, has been used by bands and artists for over 30 years ( street teams then digital street teams ..etc) as a highly effective way to generate buzz.

To clarify my BHP I think I would like to provide a definition of Collaborative Promotion:

Collaborative Promotion is the process of reaching new fans by cross promoting with other artists to reach their fans.

You are now saying to yourself why the hell did I read this dude’s BHP? Cross-promotion has been going on in the music business since Diana Ross introduced Michael Jackson or Eminem introduced 50 Cent.

You are right for thinking this BTW, but that’s not the part which is new or what my BHP is. You can cross-promote on Facbook, Twitter, MySpace, mobile devices, in real life, and via touring currently but it is hard to do.

Think about this. I’m a band and I think the best way get new people to check out my music is to get bands who sound like me to recommend my music to their fans.

How could I do this in 2009? a) search my local venues, b) check out Myspace music for similar bands  c) pester my manager or label..etc.

Now, once you find a band that is a good fit, you have to work out the collaboration. Who will do what, for who and for how much. In the past cross promotion has been very effective, but laborious and a inconsistently used tool.

Everyone knows cross promotion is a great way to reach new fans, but why does it only happen when there is a ton at stake, or when the bands involved are already strongly tied together?

Now move forward to 2010 being that I’m the CEO and co-founder of www.headliner.fm I don’t think I need to mention what company is making collaborative promotion easier and more effective.

What did not exist until 2010 was a platform which allows bands of any size to execute scalable, repeatable, collaborative promotions.

My BHP  for 2011 is that Collaborative Promotion will change the game for bands and artists like digital distribution, social media, online ticketing and online merch have done already. It will be the final disintermediation of the of the old music model: production, sales, and now the final leg promotion and marketing will be in reach and accessible for all bands.

The best part of my BHP is that all bands of every size will benefit from collaborative promotion directly. This is awesome if you ask me.

2010 was an amazing year for Headliner. I would like to thank all of the bands and artists for checking us out as well as my friends, family and co-workers. I look forward to 2011 with great enthusiasm and with a mission to make the online music scene better for all bands and artists.

I would like to hear your  thoughts about my BHP as well as how Headliner is working out for you in your are a band or artist.