Music premieres have been all the rage in the music blogosphere for the past five years, but is offering a premiere really in your best interest?
Let me back up a minute and define what a premiere is exactly. A premiere or exclusive is when you offer content such as a video, single or album stream to a music blog before anyone else. You are basically telling the blog they can post the content before any other media outlet.
Is it really in your best interest to do this though?
Premieres are a great way to bring a music blog on board who wouldn’t cover you otherwise. We use this method all the time with blogs where we know we couldn’t get coverage without that premiere. But premieres have also become more elusive at the larger outlets like Stereogum and many have taken them off the table altogether. Back in the day premieres were one of the best ways to create leverage, because there wasn’t the competition to secure a premiere. When it was offered, it really was exclusive for the outlet because they weren’t receiving the high number of premiere offers they are now.
Now, not only are publicists trying to secure exclusives, so are bands which only increases the intensity. And now it’s not only the high profile outlets premiering content, but outlets of all shapes and sizes.
A premiere can often hold you back if you don’t have a strong strategy. You can spend weeks trying to secure it on a blog that simply wouldn’t give you the time of day. It can upset your release schedule. It can be downright discouraging when you get no after no for music you wholeheartedly believe in. You can be limiting opportunities at a host of music blogs who would be interested in covering your music, while you’ve spent the entire time focusing on that elusive premiere. Your music can be amazing, but a premiere often boils down to prioritizing the bands’ music blogs already know and the ones they know readers already care about.
The premiere seems like a great idea to ensure coverage, no matter where it’s going, but you need to dig deeper. What kind of impact will that outlet have? Will they influence other outlets to cover your music? Are they truly passionate about your music and willing to champion you?
Will offering a premiere be the only way you will see coverage? That’s doubtful. Although tougher when you are a DIY band working on your own publicity, if you have a great publicist who knows how to target the media who’d be interested in covering you, then you’ll most likely receive coverage without the aid of the premiere. This doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be offered, but they should be focused on the outlets who wouldn’t cover you without it or are really passionate about the music, otherwise, you could ultimately limit the success and listenership.
At the same time, if you are an unknown band with limited social followers it’s unlikely an outlet at the caliber of Stereogum will pick you up. If a music blog who has a great readership or following of their own shows interest in running a premiere, it’s almost always in your benefit to accept the offer. As mentioned earlier, those offers don’t come easily and you often won’t get a second chance. You have to be realistic about the stage you are in your career and where your music is most viable among media outlets.
Green Light Go: Make a wish list of who you’d like to premiere your next single. Then take a closer look at the outlet to determine if it’s in your best interest.
Sharing is Caring: Know someone releasing a single, album, EP or video? Send them this article to develop a great strategy for the release.
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Want to know if your band is media friendly? Get access to our media audit checklist to ensure that your media presence is a good match for your music and will help elevate your appeal to music outlets.