This might sound crazy, but today I want to compare Toys R' Us to marketing your music. Yesterday Toys R' Us announced that it'd be closing or selling all of its stores in the U.S. I've been thinking for a long time about a post relating to the toy store. In today's post I want to focus on musicians and bands, and how they can use this news to spur ideas for the marketing of their own music.
When I was a kid my parents would take me to Toys R' Us, and I'd really want a game for my NES or Genesis. You'd enter the store, walk to the video game aisle, and see if the game you wanted had tickets under its display image. If the ticket slot was empty you had to wait until the store re-stocked the game, but if there were tickets there, you'd take one and go up to a window inside of a big glass room where an associate would take your ticket and give you the game you wanted.
When the games were out of stock it was dissapointing, but when they were in stock it was one of the most exciting feelings in the world - and its something that I feel like we're missing right now with online music sales or streaming services. With the ability to get nearly every album in the world for $9.99 a month, how does an album really become special?
With services like Patreon and others, musicians are able to offer different perks to their patrons. I've thought about running a Patreon for the site, and its something I'm really considering for 2018 and beyond.
What Toys R' Us and game manufacturers did right was create a sense of urgency and special-ness behind getting games. With music, whether you're releasing behind the scenes videos, tabs to your songs, amp patches, or something else, it makes the entire album experience that much more special.
Subscription services have taken over in a major way, from Netflix and Hulu, to Apple Music and Spotify, food subscription boxes, and many more. It's not a weird thing to ask for any type of help for the music that you create. To put that into perspective, look at someone like Amanda Palmer. She wrote an entire book on getting over the weird feeling of asking for help. She now makes over $40,000 per thing she puts out. How cool is that?
Misha from Periphery did an interview the other day and mentioned that he wasn't making much money with the band, which was why he had to diversify his income. With signature products, merch and more he was able to make a living.
Old stores that were part of our childhood might be closing, and new ideas are taking over, but there will always be something to learn from each and every experience.