How to promote music online – practical examples and theory

A Guest Post by Bas Grasmayer

To the readers of the Make It In Music blog, I would like to present my paper looking into some of the best practices of the online promotion of new music releases.

The paper identifies trends at play in the online practices of music promotion, looks at five different case studies and draws some observations and conclusions based on these case studies.

With the great, and some times not so great, examples set by Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails, DangerMouse & Sparklehorse, Mos Def and Groove Armada, the paper aims to show very simply what works well when promoting music on the web and what does not.

Are you familiar with the phrase ‘freemium’ yet? Where you give something away for free, only to give yourself more opportunities to sell your premium content (fan packs, high quality versions, bundled packages, etc.).

Something else the paper discusses is that when you give something away, you should really give it away. So no DRM (copy protection), no sub-par quality versions (anything below 128 or 192 kbps), or other things which might actually disappoint people expecting to be delighted.

Without further ado, I present to you my paper about the online promotion of new musical content, click the link to download: Online Promotion of New Musical Content by Bas Grasmayer

This article was written by Bas Grasmayer, an International Communication Management student at INHOLLAND University Amsterdam, The Netherlands. He’s currently writing his thesis about successfully using the web for monetizing music and wrote this paper as a side-project.

As part of his studies, he’s completed an internship with the Bulgarian National Radio in Sofia with excellent results, studied new media and PR at Yeditepe University in Istanbul, Turkey for a semester and has combined two of his biggest loves, new media and music, into one research objective for his thesis, which will be finished and made public somewhere within the next few months.

Bas regularly tweets about innovation in the music industry on Twitter:

Bas’ contact info can be found on his blog:

You can also find him on LinkedIn, FriendFeed and Facebook. Be sure to check out his Google Reader shared items for many more interesting articles about the music industry and web 2.0!



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Tweets that mention How to promote music online - practical examples and theory | Make It In Music -- - September 23, 2009 Reply

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by MakeItInMusic and MakeItInMusic. MakeItInMusic said: This is a big post. Guest writer looks at how to promote music online. Download the pdf. Our most wide ranging post yet […]

How to promote music online - practical examples and theory | Make … | Today Headlines - September 23, 2009 Reply

[…] thesis about successfully using the web for monetizing music and … See original here: How to promote music online – practical examples and theory | Make … Share […]

findcolleges - September 23, 2009 Reply

Keep working ,great job!

Bas - September 23, 2009 Reply

Hey look, these guys blogged about you and I 🙂

Reception of my paper about online promotion of new music | - September 30, 2009 Reply

[…] was also posted to the great Make It In Music blog, as a guestpost. Students of the music business course at the NYU were given this paper to read. Someone is even […]

Dialashop - June 15, 2010 Reply

I think it giving free songs away is one thing, but converting them to paid users is very hard. I find it hard enough trying to attract listeners. I think premium packs only works on bands/artists with popularity due to gigs or radioplay or tvplay.

FroBot - July 31, 2010 Reply

I detailed 30+ music promotion websites w/ reviews. All for promoting music. It was a 5 day experiment.

Hope this helps!!!


    Ian - July 31, 2010 Reply

    FroBot – that is a brilliant piece. I’ll highlight it to our readers.

    Have you seen any noticeable results yet?


FroBot - August 18, 2010 Reply

Hey man! I would say that it has now put my website at about +30 extra hits on weekdays, and about 100 on weekends. After all, if every website only drove 1 person per day, that is 33+ hits, but a few are driving more than that. And, also, my general google ranking of my main page has gone way up since I have many backlinks….and, there are some really weird websites like DJtube…who seem to lack activity…yet, their webpages update daily (and accidentally find mine everyday since its not update much). So a google search of FROBOT seems to find that website as number 2. Kind of weird. There are also some places on these websites to blog….and, I am finding, people are more interested in reading a blog about music that actually listening to music….so I am driving tons of traffic to my blogs from these websites (which in turn is getting me listeners). Im still analyzing it…but since summer came…its a lot of DJing and beach parties all over japan!

Ian - August 18, 2010 Reply


Thanks very much for dropping by and updating us on what has worked for you.

All that linking and profile building was worth it.


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ashleywatson - February 3, 2011 Reply

Thanks for the tutorial on online music promotion…. i think internet is the best to promote and to streamline your business.

Coby Brown - July 30, 2011 Reply

I found this article really useful as well with some alternative ideas to music promotion online – it’s not as simple as a lot of people think it is!

    Ian - August 1, 2011 Reply

    Coby – That’s a good piece. I don’t agree with the whole approach – as I say here, an artist’s own site is key – but it has some good points.

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