The music industry has to combat so many problems as the internet and file sharing have depleted sales. With iTunes and Rhapsody, they are trying to make music purchasing more convenient. Recently there has been a reemergence of an old marketing tactic that has the potential to bring the music industry back to its glory.
When hip-hop was relatively new (in the 80′s), the mixtape was the best way to get one’s music to the masses. Being that these cannot be sold due to sampling, the artists have complete creative freedom. A mixtape is an opportunity to showcase overall skills and give the people a chance to get to know them.
The new age of mixtapes have upwards to 20 to 30 songs on them. It used to be that only the subterranean music culture became aware of people like these. Kid Cudi is perhaps the shining example of popular one can become with the spread of this free medium. He has been producing videos, giving free concerts, and really putting himself out there all on a free mixtape. The public at large loves being able to take in an artist with “free samples”. Now that they have been able to see what the artists have to offer, they will buy their actual CD when produced.
Hip-hop is taking an old marketing tactic and bringing it back. I wasn’t aware the extent how popular this was becoming until I saw music videos for songs featured on J. Period’s mixtape, as well as Drake’s “Best I Ever Had” popularity on the radio and his album hasn’t even come out yet. The mixtape is taking word of mouth to a new level. If you have interest in music marketing, check out these artist as they lead by example.