As the music industry continues to evolve, artists are presented with more and more great options for marketing and distributing their music online and through mobile devices. This abundance of choice has left many artists, managers and labels confused as to how to navigate these digital waters, and use digital tools together with classic strategies (like playing shows and selling merch) to succeed. Direct-to-fan campaigns are a big part of the new model, but before you can effectively engage in these strategies, you need to have a core group of fans that you can actually market to. It’s the classic get 1000 true fans and you will succeed concept, and while you don’t need 1000 fans right away, you do need at least a small group of loyal fans before direct-to-fan activities become viable.
Enter the Niche Music System. Created by Hagop Tchaparian, the Niche Music System is a strategy designed to help you succeed in the music business through the leveraging of music niches. The idea is to carve a small, local niche for your music in order build initial traction and then promote and rise up through that niche to grow and widen your reach. The logic behind this is that for every niche, there is already an existing audience that is pre-exposed to the sound of that niche. So while you may need to tweak your sound to fit into a specific niche, the Niche Music System provides you with a much easier way to build an initial following.
Hagop initially created the system to mirror the processes his own band (Symposium) went through to gain attention, build a core following, play for more people and make more money. Subsequently, he helped implement a similar system in his work with English electronic artist Hot Chip (pictured below) to help them build early traction, rise through their niche and ultimately get signed by DFA/EMI.
The Niche Music System has now been turned into a 12 week video/audio/PDF course designed to help you get people to care about your music and come out of obscurity. For a great intro to the course, you should take the time to check out the video below. While the course is normally $47/month (for three months), because you are an Evolving Music reader, you can get it for $27/month! To sign up and receive the discount, click here.