Distracting Signals



Distracting signals may affect the case in many different contexts. This article reviews two easy-to-understand situations.

An artist promotion in its technical sense is a set of independent and interrelated measures aimed at the artist’s career enhancement. Each endeavor seeks some external outcome, for example, better streaming results, social media following, additional live performances, not to mention the business aspirations – increase in active and passive income. The better the artist performs in these forums, the better the management can be seen to have done.

When approached from the technical point of view, it doesn’t matter what the popularity results are. It is important that the steps are taken wisely. When this is done, it gives the artist’s music a chance.

I was thinking about approaching the artist promotion and related measures with precedence in mind. Bringing along some proactive points  worth considering. Our focus is in time that precedes the potential successes. The cause-and-effect relationship is not always as clear as it seem. Although the success can be seen as a result of some distinctive measure, it wouldn’t probably be possible without the prior observations and interventions in the content, or the order of presentation elsewhere. These preconditions and their establishment are of our interest now.

You are probably familiar with the individual steps being taken to promote an artist. There are guides that illustrate how to best position your music on streaming services. What’s there to keep in mind. You must have read at least one book about how an artist is best at getting followers. Or the stories how to approach the music supervisors – in the hope your music will be found on the movie or on an ad behind the brand we all know. These placements and their plug-ins are the outer side of the matter.

Modern promotion emphasizes its instrumentality. Streaming services and other social media platforms have their own preferences how the artist-related information is best provided. The idea, on the other side, is to find the triggers that, when properly set, will produce the desired results. As social media and its platforms are constantly developing new functions for how the promotion can be implemented, the choice can cause problems. When there are many opportunities, it is difficult to choose where to be active and how.

The Point

The problem is usually related to the temporary effect and inconsistency. Communication reaches audience yes, but offers no grip. It easily begins to create hooks and tricks to get the audience interested in your subject matter. In order to achieve the desired results, such raptures often need to be repeated. It easily becomes a story based on something that really is meant to be an effect. Literally, it becomes a constant call-to-action, at least in disguise.

The call-to-action is a delicate matter and should not be thought as a mere technical performance. The artist is communicating in many different forums today with many different audiences. Consider an artist urging people on Facebook to follow their site – directly or indirectly. For this purpose, a paid campaign shall be made. The number of followers increases, but they are involved mainly by their own obedience. After seeing the proposal, they have clicked the Like-button. Once again, technically the operation is correct. In order to gain engagements, the artist has to pay attention to the message it conveys. If somewhere else on social media there are discrepancies or mixed claims about the artist and artist’s career or the promotion rides mainly on external accomplishments, we can be dealing with distracting signals. These disturbing signals are not only followed by the public, but also by the media and the industry.

If these distracting signals stay alive, they can complicate many potential operations. Before the artist’s story is sufficiently established,  any external achievement should be treated with reservations. Ironically, while success is something that is commonly sought, it is not always the most sensible topic to bring up. If the artist makes a claim to their current success, they are also exposed to the cyclical fluctuations of the claim. Success is never constant and it takes time for the story to reach a level where those fluctuations no longer matter.

When it comes to persuasive factors, they must never be left thin. If the audience is enticed to follow the artist on the basis of prevailing popularity, it must have muscles. One hit doesn’t create the foundation that could be trusted to leave a mark on people’s minds.

If the artist’s song gains widespread popularity and the promotion is largely based on the reasons and backgrounds why the song became hit, growing expectations for the next single will probably be higher. Now you should remember Google. All this information will recorded within the algorithms of Google and other search engines. It will probably gain high rankings on the search rankings too. If the new song is deviating from the past production, problems can arise at least from two reasons.

If the success does not follow the artist, the only mark left on the artist may easily be this former success. Indeed, the new production may not stand out because of that past success. If the audience still plays that artist’s biggest hit instead of their other production, the new production won’t get the attention it would require to be succeed.

Of course, this is not quite so unambiguous. In some situations success claims are justified and even advisable. Sometimes is enough for a reason to start following the artist. The question is what follows. I’m trying to say is that before the story has been rooted as it should, one should always leave the back gates. To the places to get the attention elsewhere if something goes wrong. At this point it is usually the artist’s story from which to draw that content. Promotion should never be based on mere external factors, although there is a great temptation to do it so today. Namely, the external factors are never in your own hands, even though it may seem at some particular moment.

All kind of anticipation is the thing that seeks to avoid these inconsistencies. It is not irrelevant in which order the things about the artist are told or brought out. If the artist starts a campaign around some themes relevant to the present, but things already found on Google contradict this message – we are in a collision course. This is something that should be taken into account at the earliest possible stage. The success claims are used as an example in this article. There are also other interfering signals. One of such can be any factor whose effectiveness is capable of disrupting the natural narrative of an artist’s story.

There could have been more pages to the subject, but I think the point came clear. This topic came to mind as I was preparing for the upcoming fall’s lectures. You can read more about the subject from The Essence of the Music Business Trilogy – especially from its parts, Philosophy and Strategy.

UPDATE: More information around the topic can be found in this book.

This book talks about distracting signals too