The Label Machine Podcast #13 – Josh Hedglin (Ingrooves, Beatport)

Podcast

On this episode our host Nick Sadler sits down with Josh Hedglin, Label & Business Development Manager at Ingrooves Music Group and a former Senior Account Manager at Beatport.

With several years of music management and marketing under his belt, Josh is devoted to helping independent artists and labels launch effective music releases and reach wider audiences. A forward-thinking expert who always keeps a finger on the pulse of the latest music industry trends and technologies, Josh is now sharing his extensive knowledge and know-how in the course of nearly an hour and a half!

Join us for an incredibly detailed discussion on digital service providers, music marketing, releasing strategy, physical vs. digital distribution and much more.

NICK SADLER: Welcome to The Label Machine series where we discuss with successful industry professionals how artists and record labels market and sell music. My name is Nick Sadler, and today's guest is Josh Hedglin. Josh is a label and business development manager at Ingrooves Music Group, one of the leading global music distribution and marketing companies operating in the music industry space. He previously worked as a senior account manager at Beatport, which is one of the most popular digital service providers of electronic music for DJs and producers, and is one of the few people I can genuinely say, has his finger on the pulse when it comes to the latest and music industry knowledge. Josh, how are you today?

JOSH HEDGLIN: I am very very good. Thank you for having me on. Pleasure to be here to speak with you today about all things music, marketing and future.

NS: Awesome. So I guess let's start with the company at the right with just talk about like what Ingrooves does a company in a and a rundown of your main activities there.

JH: So I guess best just give you an idea of where and Ingrooves is, the headquarters of the company is based in Encino, California. And we have offices now in over 20 plus territories. So covering the globe from Japan, Australia, Southeast Asia, India now, all over Europe. We were acquired by UMG fully in 2019. And, but are still operating as independent, fully functioning and making decisions on our own, and serving independent labels and artists with our suite of technology. And I like to call it the forward looking technology plus the strategic marketing expertise and relationships that you need to succeed in the modern music market that we're finding ourselves in now. So yeah, pretty global company. My job is working both with accounts, labels on a day to day basis, helping them navigate the Ingrooves system and all it has to offer but as well, mainly my goal and focus is to help labels become really strong strategic marketing partners with me. And that we can you know, strategize how to push not only releases forward, but artists and labels overarching. We take a global approach to music at Ingrooves, which helps my labels in that I can touch someone in the UK, if there's, you know, a market for this music in the UK, and they can give me advice or suggestions on PR companies or things of that nature. So we're able to function in some ways, I guess like a global company, but it's it feels quite local. You have this still strong inter community about us. On the other side of my work is focused on bringing in new clients. I'm also the ex-US leader of our dance and electronic department. So I help. We have an internal department that was just formed this year, we have one that focuses on R&B, hip hop, and reggae. And my group, we focus on the dance and electronic clients that we have and most of the people that I'm working with are dance and electronic clients. So we you know, not only focused on helping them address strategic marketing issues and questions that they have about it because it can function a bit differently obviously, than a Drake marketing campaign or, you know, a large pop star or hip hop artists. So helping them navigate that and as well keeping the dialogue fresh and up to date with our accounts team so we can provide them, you know, with the best knowledge about. It's like when you talk with someone that understands and knows the dance and electronic music and the history of it all, and they present a product to you, what they say, and what they speak kind of reflects that tone. So you can place it like that. So we try to give our accounts team because we, as I said, we're very global, and we have people pitching the music all around the world. So if it's relevant in the UK, the accounts team that handles all of the different DSPs, and there's four or five of them in the UK now will pitch the content. So we try to, you know, provide them with the best, most educated information. And then as well try to guide internal dialogues on, you know, benchmarking for our specific niche area, best practices. So, you know, coming up with monthly zoom calls for our clients where we can cover, you know, these questions that come up about DSPs, maybe one month, we'll cover Beatport, one month will cover Spotify, one month, we'll cover SoundCloud just depending on the need and what clients want, but just be there as a resource for our clients in that respect. And then as well guide any kind of tech solutions that may be better tailored to our clients.

NS: A comprehensive, comprehensive description. At the beginning, you mentioned so you, you mentioned you work with record labels. So those are I guess, you know, your clients? Yeah, what would you and especially you're saying helping them out on the marketing side? What would you say? is the difference between having a record label as a client as to difference to just having a single artist as a client? Like, what are the main differences? And especially when it comes to marketing? Like, are you, you know, focused on marketing, just the label? Or is it just, you know, the means you're focusing on a range of artists under that label?

JH: It can really depend on this, good question. But we work with both a single we have clients that are just one artist doing their own stuff, like for example, a big artists that we work with out of the US, GRiZ, he is self releasing on his own label all of his own music. So all of our work related to him is focused on helping him expand not only on DSPs, but you know, the engagement side as well, the non-monetized platforms, your social media, and then your newer platforms as well, like TikTok, so helping him come up with ideas for those type of, the full comprehensive plan. And obviously, that changes when it comes to it being a label, you know, you help them kind of focus on using their their biggest asset that they have as a label, which is I think, your catalog, you know, that's your goal, and that's your weight, and what you have to basically continue your revenue stream. And if you work it correctly, and grow it, it can be as I said, you know, that's your goal. So helping them push both their catalogue forward, and their new releases, obviously, but you know, sometimes they want they come to us, and they say, we have these two or three artists that we want to focus on for the next two years, or, you know, there's what it's an artist-led label that also releases other people's music. But, you know, for example, we work with Scuba, who does Hotflush Recordings, but he also runs several other labels under his umbrella, and obviously, we focus a lot of our attention on helping him not only increase the consumption on DSPs, but as well, getting on to, getting engagement across all platforms.

NS: Gotcha. You mentioned the artist GRiZ that you are helping him do non-monetized I guess marketing side of things. What like what does that, what does that look like specifically? When you say your how, like you coming up with a marketing plan for, you know, how a single is going to be doing on TikTok? Or is it a technical side like, what does it sort of look like for it from the artist point of view?

JH: It can be a bit of both really because it's it just depends on the service that we're is required by us. We're not necessarily going to create assets for a label or artists, but we definitely we sit down with them and strategize a proper plan, marketing plan, or for a product and how they can accomplish, you know, not just like, okay, yeah, radio and promo is one thing, but then you also have to have the other side of it. And that's the marketing plan and how you're driving people, what assets are you using, you know, DSPs want to see this laid out. And I think this is like one of the common missteps that labels and artists are making nowadays, as they leave this part out. And then they just think that marketing plan is that as a playlist, I'm going to get on a playlist on Spotify. And that's just what I'm going to do. And that's, you know, that's not going to work, you're not going to create a sustained audience for an extended period of time, which is how you create a career as an artist or label, you know. So, to bring it back to your question here, it's really just depends on what the what they need, you know, we can help them obviously, with the technical side of getting the music to TikTok. And if there's any issues with the sound or helping them get their TikTok profile verified, and then get the sounds tab on all of that technical side, yes, we can assist with that, but also sit down with them. And okay, this is the product, this is your, you know, your creative campaign, we don't want to take that also away from the artists because they should have a creative concept when they come with a release or a campaign, like, what's the main, what's your idea behind it, and then we can come at it from all the angles that they need, you know, you can do this and this on this platform. And you can do this and this on this platform, just trying to come up with solutions for the creative things that they want to accomplish, and then help them gauge it after the fact with, you know, using data and stats to see if it's working or not.

NS: Gotcha. So you helping them put together a marketing plan, let's say if they've got a single coming out. And you know, ideally, they've come to you at least 12 weeks in advance, you're saying you're going to sit down and go right what's how are we going to make the most of this across all the different marketing, spokes that are available to you and advise them on that. And is that just, you know, literally sitting down on a zoom call discussing throwing in, like sharing a document and just spelling out everything that you're going to do is it sort of as simple as that or…?

JH: It's more labor-led, and that we you know, we have asked them to come to us with some sort of ideas upfront about what they want to do. And then we kind of help them round it off from our experience doing these things and seeing what works, what doesn't, you know.

NS: So very, so very key here is to, you want to be ensuring for your releases, you've you've got a detailed well thought out marketing plan. And then you know, if you're if you're with Ingrooves, you take that to you guys. And you can say yeah, this is going to work, you should do this, we can focus on this tech side of it. I guess something else you mentioned earlier was benchmarking, what is benchmarking?

JH: So we take you know, obviously, what you want to see if what you're doing in marketing is connecting with your fan base, we’re not just throwing money down a hole, which sometimes it can feel like, especially when you're doing adverts on social media and the like you're just no basically paying for clicks. And this can seem very, very inefficient, or you know, let's say you do an outdoor advertising campaign, and you want to see if it's working or not. So helping you as well come up with ways to benchmark that whether it's, you know, if you're doing a TikTok campaign for following the data and seeing how it correlates to consumption on Spotify, for example, because that is there, they are a platform that does directly, one of the only ones that actually does directly affect consumption on other platforms, Spotify. So all of this stuff is very, very, I think, essential for labels in the modern market that we find ourselves into really, really pinpoint their budgets and see what works, see what doesn't and, and instead of, you know, just kind of doing the same old thing over and over again, here's a release up, then when that's after four to six weeks, that cycle is over and then you have another release. Now looking at like the longer cycles that releases can have where it's you know, more in the eight to 12 weeks zone, or you can still be talking about a release in your socials or in your marketing in one way or another, and it's a good thing to do. So yeah, it's in this way, you know, can be, we try to help our labels navigate that. Benchmarking is one way to do it.

NS: Gotcha. I remember what I want to say about the, about the marketing plan when we're discussing it, which was, you were saying that the DSPs like to see that there is, I think, I think there's, there's, I guess that there's a marketing plan that there's a thought out, like, how are you going to get this happening? How, how much influence does it have when you go to them? And they say, hey, they're going to be doing this, they're gonna be doing this, there's a music video, then they're doing a TikTok campaign stuff? Does in your experience, does that really help sway the DSPs get behind it?

JH: I think even more so is when you're when your marketing plan is specific for them. So you're what how are you like, that's what they really want to see, obviously, videos, and all of these other bits of the marketing plan are quite important. But the most important thing for, say, a Spotify or an Apple, they want to know how you're driving traffic to them. In what way and specifically then. So if you it's kind of goes against the modern way of I guess doing it when people just throw the fan link out there. And they're like, you know, with whatever DSP you use, it's on the link. Yep. Um, but they want to know, most of the time how you're driving traffic to them, you know?

NS: So would your advice be to, perhaps, within your marketing campaign, have a, you know, how we're marketing to Apple Music, how we're going to be marketing to Spotify, how we're going to be marking to Amazon, and then you can take that to each of those DSPs. And then, and then they're like, well, cool, how you doing? Well, we're gonna do this TikTok thing, and then we're gonna actually send it off to the Amazon, and they're gonna go, oh, wow, okay, cool. Get behind this.

JH: There's a really good caveat to this though. And I think this is really what labor like as well, we try to drive home and the best practices. guidance that we give our labels and artists is that you need to utilize the real estate that every DSP gives you because it's different on each DSP. So how you would speak to the fan base and how they consume music on those DSPs is also a little bit different, which gives you that opportunity to make these demarcations in your marketing, you know what I mean? So on Spotify, for example, most people are consuming lists of some sort. So if you have a release, and the artists has their own playlist, obviously, what's more interesting thing for you to do is talk about the artists putting that track in their first position in their artists-led playlist, and they're going to promote that playlist both as their artists pic and on socials. With a bit of a boost, like that speaks to Spotify directly, and also speaks to the Spotify consumer, they can make the connection that it's, you know, yep, that's what it is. Same for Apple. Same for Beatport, like you would on Beatport. The marketing should be directed at DJs. So you can talk about like DJ charts, or how it's doing in the Beatport chart, those are the most like direct lines of text that should be in any kind of Beatport post. And if you post the Beatport link by itself, in some way or another, obviously, you can use like a Bitly Beatport link, so it's shorter, and you can track whatever is going on it. But it clears the clutter of that like of fan links, I find fan links quite good. You know, there's still quite effective, but you should still also then have marketing plans that include doing posts that go directly to, you know, whatever DSPs you want to focus on. And this can also vary by territory. You know, some, for example, here in Germany, Amazon is quite strong. As the number two DSP over Spotify, and then and then Amazon as opposed to I think in the US.

NS: Wow!

JH: That's Apple. So just depends. Yeah, German music market is a strange one, kind of like Japan and that like to up until 2018, the second half of 2018. So people are still buying more CDs than they were streaming. And so that was the first time no 2019 h1 was the first time that any sort of digital format overtook physical here. And digital like downloads never overtook physical as a format here. So now streaming is number one. And then, and then all of those people that were buying CDs on Amazon Humans are kind of like trust. They just stick in your path in this way. As consumers, they were buying CDs on Amazon and then naturally just went to prime memberships and music. Natural progression.

NS: What is Germany? Am I right in saying it's the second largest music market after America?

JH: We'll be sure we always flip flop between Japan and the US. Yeah.

NS: In the top five, always?

JH: Yeah, always will. And we'll we'll have after this year, I think and with the return of live music, I think we grew by 8% last year. And I also what's very interesting about this stat that, you know, streaming finally overtook physical and is that the market penetration of streaming here is still not, you know, it's not a mature market in that respect. So you still have, I think it's like, around 35% market penetration for streaming. So whereas countries, you know, like Sweden, where it's like 90%. It's quite an experiment, and everybody has already a streaming membership, this isn't really, it's slowly becoming the norm here. So once we get up into, you know, the 60-70% range, it'll be interesting to see how big the market is, then when people are locked into that. That 10 bucks spend every month.

NS: Yeah, a lot of potential. What? You know, it always mystifies me, I don't know if that's quite right word when you know, CDs are still selling. I mean, I personally don't know anyone with the CD player, or perhaps right, apart from DJs, right, I met CDJ, but even now they're moving on to, you know, mp3 sticks. But like, Is it a more? Is it as an older market that are buying these CDs? And that, you know, they're just got more money? And that's what's supporting the market? Like, what's your, what's your theory on the who buys CDs?

JH: I think now, it's become like, super fans a bit like vinyl in that respect. Like, for example, we do, we do some really big Kpop acts of Korea, out of our Korea office. And they do massive numbers in physical, massive, like 10,000 units, I think in Germany alone, and then sparser around the UK, but massive numbers, and it's, you know, they have super fans that just want to have this. What you get now is these designed products, it's not just like a CD and a jewel case with a book, but actual nicely designed product. And I think, you know, what, what they did here in Germany and for charting is there used to be this rule that, you know, you couldn't give away with a product, something that was worth more than double the price of the product. So basically, you couldn't do chart manipulation, like giveaway a Mercedes, when you buy a CD. So much, you know, all these buyers can't do that. But they change that now to where you can, you know, basically give almost any value you want when you buy a physical product. So brings this idea of having the product is for like the superfan because I'm a vinyl buyer myself. And if I really liked the label, I'll both add their stuff to my collections on Spotify to my lists, but I'll also buy the record just because I want to support the label. And I'm Yeah, and that's that's what it means to me is that I still like to have a piece of it in some way. And I feel like that's my way to contribute to it.

NS: Now, I agree, there's a couple of labels on exactly the same and I just buy the vinyl, because I want to support the label and I want to be honest, and everyone they sign as great. I, I also think maybe with CDs, why I wonder if this is going to happen or if it's already happening, that there'll be this younger generation that's I guess how we approached vinyl, you know, they can buy these cheap CD player units. And it's sort of like cool and retro for them. And you know, if you grown up with streaming now having a CD player and then you know going and going to the ops shop and buying like, you know, hits of the 80s and 90s on CD is kind of novelty and then also obviously, you can buy your like, you know, whatever band you're into their latest CD and player because you know CD is a format is still an amazing format and it's still a way of you know, hey, I'm going to put on something and it's it's got its I guess it shows people I'm into something when they come around to your house like it's a social kind of thing which you don't get with Spotify. Like, no one goes around me having a dinner party and goes, I can overlook your Spotify, let's see what you're into. Someone can go over and look at your CD rack and go, I didn't know you're a fan of, you know, KY records or whatever. And, and you know that it's it's a kind of a cultural thing as well. So I'm wondering if we're going to CDs are going to sort of keep growing in that area as well, I guess we'll see.

JH: Yeah. Yeah.

"you need to utilize the real estate that every DSP gives you because it's different on each DSP."

NS: So, um, you were at Beatport, I just thought I'd go back to a little bit of like, your music where you kind of worked in the music industry and stuff. You were at Beatport? Must have been incredible. What why, what the? Why did you make the jump to Ingrooves?

JH: I just at that point, I saw that Ingrooves was doing a lot of really forward thinking stuff, tech wise, that I felt I wanted to be a part of. And so when the opportunity jumped up, I just kind of had to, had to go for it. Especially in terms of like, the advertising tech that we're, you know, having rolled out in the past month or so called
Smart Audience, which is like, just super forward thinking. And I think, you know, this, this mixture between both technology, but also utilizing the human aspect of it as well, because I don't, I don't think like that technology is going to be to get philosophical, technology is not going to save humanity fully, you know, we still do that side. So it's, but there is good tech out there that can help us make decisions or do smarter, make smarter marketing choices in that respect. And when it comes to spending money as a label or an artist. So that really is something that I was like, okay, part of that because my brain was already functioning that way at Beatport. And towards the end, I was helping on a couple projects that were focused on helping them build a more kind of more robust analytics system for labels and artists that was, so I was already thinking in this respect, like how, how can we better present this information to our labels, and so they can utilize it and use it to their advantage? Because that's, that's also what you know, I think overwhelms a lot of labels and artists in the beginning is I have all this data. What do I do with it?

NS: Yeah, yeah, I agree. I mean, I also remember just people saying, hey, we'll can do all this analytics for you. And I say, Yeah, but what are you gonna do with the analytics? Like, it's all great having all these reports, but unless you know what to do with them? You know, they're just a bunch of numbers on a piece of paper. You just mentioned, smart audience. Is it? Like, is it something you can talk about?

JH: Yeah so smart audience is a kind of advertising tool that we created that. So as I think I mentioned earlier, what I find is, the current situation with social media advertising is that you know, you throw a bunch of money into the app, or, and you're basically paying for clicks. And it's hard to really gauge what the consumption you gain out of throwing money in that this click and then hoping that they click on the fan link. And then so it's thrice removed. In some ways it becomes really, yeah. And that's Facebook's goal and Instagram’s goal is that once they get the click that you know, that they're good to go, job done, right. If you think about it, their advertising campaign, it works.

NS: But are you talking about having a conversion pixel? Because you talking about having it where if you make it your objective and Facebook that someone listens to a song on Spotify, and then use you know, use something like ToneDen? Or maybe this is what the smart audience does, that registers the user has done that, and then you tune your audience to make that conversion again and again, and a find an audience like that? Yes. Because I think if you're doing that, which I know, is a slightly more advanced, you know, you have to have a little bit more of an understanding. I think that's a smart way of using Facebook advertising. Does, is it approaching it from that point of view?

JH: Yeah, but it starts from the beginning. So we would take say, a track and bounce said track’s data against what is essentially the largest pool of data and music because we are also allowed Universal’s data being a Universal-owned company. Bounce all that data off of each other, using a couple of algorithms and then create a target audience means that, you know, is two times from our AP studies two times more likely to stream your track. So then the spend becomes not so much about getting someone to just like the post that you did on Facebook, which is what essentially outside of, you know, tracking pixels, but in the end, the cost benefit analysis that we've done against a, you know, A/B testing against normal Facebook ads versus what our smart audience tool comes up with is two times more likely to get you a stream on average. So it's focused more on consumption from the get-go. And it sits within, you know, our technology, half of our system called dispatch, which is kind of the workspace area.

NS: Yep.

JH: I think in that respect it it. It's really good for labels, they can be really precise in what they're doing in their targeting. Focus on specific DSPs if they want by adjusting their fan links, okay, I want to go and I want to go hard in France, and I want to find an audience that's going to get me where I want to go on Deezer. Because I feel like I want to get some more marketing support on Deezer. And the only way that that really is going to make sense for Deezer is if I get some more consumption, so focusing that specific energy, that marketing spend on consumption is, I think, beyond the powerful tool, you know, yeah. Now that lightened up from the get-go, and you know, all right, from jump, I can, you know, somewhat rely on this, to drive things and get the algorithmic wheels turning on the DSPs, then…

NS: And not only that, you can then be going to these and saying, here, like, we're using smart audience here, this is the plan. This is, like you said, the marketing plan that we're going to be doing to drive it and then they're going to go awesome, and you're like, yeah, and we're gonna spend X amount of money on it, they're gonna go, Okay, we're totally going to feature them, like, I guess it makes everybody's job just a lot easier.

JH: And I think also what it does is drive, like it the the tool is not just finding someone who's going to like stream the track once it's seeking out people who are who are would be a quality an active listener, as we like to separate it, there's, you know, we find that there's two types of listeners on online platforms, passive listeners, so they're consuming stuff in lists, editorial lists, third party playlists. That's all passive listening. And really, it's good for consumption numbers. But when you look at it, it's almost like it's a hollow stream in some respects, because the DSPs don't they discount that? In a certain respect? That's, you know, if it's an editorialist for Spotify, it's like, okay, that's, that's something we gave you. That's a bonus. What do you have? Do you have people active, listeners that are coming to your profile, or streaming from your artists lead lists… and that's how they can judge whether you have an actual market on their platform or not. And that's why I say it's really crucial that you utilize all the real estate that the DSPs give you, because if you're utilizing all that real estate, then you will have people actively engaged with your profile. And that, that's how you get the marketing opportunities, you got to do the legwork. And I think sometimes that gets forgotten a lot as well in the modern world is like playlist is the hit, you know, I'm gonna get on one list and on the hit, that does happen sometimes, but let's say like 99.9 the rest of the time, you got to be out there grinding as a label or an artist and that takes, you know, one to two years to build up your market on the DSP as an artist just starting out. I guess that can be daunting, but it also can be very exhilarating, because you know, it gives you an opportunity to try things out, see what works, see what doesn't. And see where your fan base actually sits, on what territories, what DSP’s. And then you can “Okay, I'm not doing so well on Apple in the UK, what can I do to change that?”

NS: Yeah. Would you? Would you say then, that probably one of the key metrics, artists and labels should focus on would be the Spotify? How many followers you've got on Spotify?

JH: That's very crucial. Yes.

NS: Like more so than how many playlists you're on? Because what yeah, exactly what you're saying is that it's how, I guess you can't lie about that as well. Like, I think you can buy Facebook likes you can't buy Facebook likes but you can kind of like pretty cheaply get pennies, do like you know, a focused campaign on just India, you know, just to get your kind of likes up and everybody knows you can do that. Whereas, you can't do that on Spotify Really? Can you, can't sort of, but you can fake Spotify streams, because if you use like a playlisting bot and things like that, so and I guess more people are aware of that.

JH: They also did a big housecleaning, I think, what was it like a year or so ago, where they, they'll go through and wipe followers, if they find them to be fake, they'll just wipe it off. As well, as you know, streams, obviously, it still does, the stream farming does still go on, in some respects, but I don't, I think it is very important to have followers, like if you're, say, you get on your first release, you get on tons of big lists, you're on new music Friday and all over the world, and then, you know, your monthly listeners balloons up to over, you know, two, 3 million, you're still not converting those people to actual fans that are following you. And then you know, as time goes on, you see your second release gets lists, but not so many. And then your third release, maybe you get one release, or one list. And then after that, you know, two years later, because you didn't do the work of like, creating a campaign to actually get people to follow you. You know, not just say, Oh, go stream my track, but also, hey, follow me on Spotify, having that running in the background on your socials that like a low tone, once a week as like a repetitive thing, as you're doing going on. then at some point, you know, it becomes unattractive for the DSPs to work with you because it you know, thank you everything you didn't do anything asked you now, they can move on to someone else.

NS: That is putting the effort in and and I guess as well, it's not, it's not just the DSPs, it's, if you want to get a booking agent, right? Where they get, they're going to go straight away, like you know how many how many people are following on Spotify, like, are great, you know, if you've got a solid number, then they know, they come back here and book you and people are gonna turn up to your show. You know, we Everyone talks a lot about Spotify, and what you can do on Spotify. And you know, right now we're talking about, you know, make sure you focus on building your Spotify followers up. What about Apple Music? What is what are sort of some of the things you can focus on there? If you really wanted to, I guess drive the algorithms or, you know, be seen in a positive light from the, you know, Apple Music DSP.

JH: Yeah, pre-save, pre-ad campaign is, is quite big for them, they like to see this integrated into your marketing, so pushing the release before it comes out. Specifically for them. Good. They're also obviously because it's part of their company. When you have a campaign ongoing, they like to utilize Shazam data. Like, you have a strong radio campaign going on or something like that, or you club your track as a hit of the club circuits or something. And you have strong Shazam data. This is something that's always worked quite well.

NS: Interesting. So I guess you're so you want to make sure you're doing a marketing campaign, maybe a radio campaign or maybe a DJ campaign, because you know, that's going to make your Spotify or your Shazam data look good, which is going to help out your Apple campaign.

JH: Correct. Correct. And so definitely though, you know, pre-release, you should have some action going towards Apple in the search. there obviously right now for the dance electronic music community pushing their live sets and mixes section. They obviously did this licensing agreement with Boiler Room where they were allowed to put up all their mixes and then they're paying out you know, the respective rights holders.

NS: Gotcha. Just so talk through what that is on Apple Music for any DJs out there.

JH: They did this licensing agreements with what basically Boiler Room that they were able to put up all of their mixes and then the of the rights holders from the tracks that are played within the mix will get credited and paid out.

NS: So I what I mean is this now if I'm a label and I release dance music, is this available to me? Can I do this on Apple Music now? Or are they is this just something that sort of testing and might come later?

JH: It's it's, it's something that they're testing out right now.

NS: So if I, if I'm a massive, if I'm Fool's Gold, maybe and I'm listening, and I could probably approach him and say, hey, I want to do the same thing, boy Yeah. Yeah, right. Okay. And the rest and the rest of us watch this space, I guess.

JH: Yeah.

NS: So, yeah, going back to Spotify, I wanted to ask you, is there a difference between a Spotify, Spotify listeners in different countries from a value point of view, like as a as a, as a streaming, as a stream, from a listener in India have the same value as a stream in the US from a? Well, first of all, from just purely a monetary point of view? If you have a million streams just in India, are you going to get the same payout in your account as a million streams from the US?

JH: The short answer, yes. The side note that I did want to say to this, though, is that it is what value is, yeah, the value is not monetary, in what you're getting from what they're giving you. You know, there's tons of different things that I can bring up from, like trigger cities, and in certain areas around the world, there's, there's certain, you know, for example, some there's some trigger cities in Switzerland that seemed to when it pops off in these cities, for certain Latin artists that we work with, the track is then usually going quite viral and globally successful as well. So there's instances of this, which can be explained by you know, various different things, the culture in the city or certain populations, what have you. But I always the value that I find in it is the marketing data that you get that you know, what you can then sift through and make decisions on. Obviously, like, you're getting a million streams in India, then you should be thinking about, okay, how do I? How do I a) like, how do I market this better in India? Because if you're getting a million streams there, and you're doing nothing, congratulations, but b) like, how can you tailor your marketing even more so to be more successful, but then how do you then try to translate what you what's happening in it to other places as well.

NS: Gotcha.

JH: So row of data that's so much value, and what that gives you that that there's not monetary, outside of the revenue that you do get, which is the same, but, you know, obviously, marketing campaign in India is going to be a lot cheaper than running a full on US marketing campaign. Gotcha. It really allows you to be quite strategic with your budget. And I think that's quite important in the modern music world, understanding where your, where your market is. And not only exploiting that, but then making good financial decisions when you want to, you know, take chances.

NS: Gotcha. And so you and are you finding, so a couple of questions off the back of that, are you finding that artists that are getting the best value out of their marketing spend? Are they looking at a week by week basis? Hey, for instance, you know, we've just noticed in Minnesota in the US, it's going the singles going crazy. So let's now see how you know, using your smart audience, let's go and actually just focus 80% of our marketing spend over the next two weeks, just there to get the most out of it. Like, is that is that kind of the ideal situation that I should be looking at?

JH: Yeah, outside. And then as well, not just like, as I said, earlier, not just our tech or our tools, but also thinking about other ways that you can actively drive the marketing campaign in Minnesota, if you know, you're able to be quick enough on it, like, Yeah, get a QR campaign out there on the streets, to connect with people. There's, you know, so many different ways that you can creatively come up with ideas that are outside of just the advertising part. And that's what I mean by a complete marketing campaign is like, gotcha, oh, just focus on only the advertising. That's a big part of it, as well. But like, what else are you doing interesting to connect with your fan base around a release or something's going really well or it should priority? He should have more, more invested in it. Then just like, you know, I have this marketing budget spending, smart audience, it's going to give me this like, you know, I'm going to have people out on the streets handing out No matter code, yeah, QR codes, there's something

NS: I guess yeah. What some what some examples, popular examples you've seen? You mentioned putting QR codes up. You know, if you've got a street team that could go and post those up What? What are some other things that you, you could, you know, you've seen work?

JH: Outdoor campaigns work really well, here in Germany, I find, especially in the media cities living in Berlin, it's like you always see posters from music of some sort with a QR code. So I think those kind of more traditional ones work quite well. GRiZ is a good example, was doing his own coffee send-outs for a bit. And then now I believe he's changing it to CBD oil. And wow. But, you know, we've seen I've seen an interesting one here in Berlin, that was done by the techno group FJAAK, we don't do them. But I definitely liked the campaign, I thought it was really like for their brand and what they do, they had Rolling Papers printed up. And so they just handed out Rolling Papers that had their brand on it. And this is, you know, this type of stuff that may have seen it. Yeah. But it's, it works. You know, yeah, you connect in with your fan base and make more of a connection than just here's my music, consume it.

NS: So you you, I guess you mentioned two things there as well, like, you know, coffee, CBD, Rolling Papers, they all I guess, merchandise products, you know, and non-traditional merchandise products. So it's not like a CD or vinyl or t shirt. Would you say that, like, you know, if you're, you're not just starting out, you're sort of an intermediary artist, that's, that's going to become pretty essential for a way to connect to the audience, especially when there's so much streaming.

JH: Yeah. But again, you should just really tailor it to what your idea is, for the project you're working with, like, have a complete idea, like an art director almost. And then, you know, that's as we as a company or me as my job is to help you kind of realize that, tell you what you would need to do to realize it. So it can be like, obviously, you need the advertising bit. But then if you want to do outdoor stuff, that's cool. Or maybe you want to focus on creating a really interesting TikTok campaign, let's say you're acoustic, you're an acoustic singer. And you want to create an acoustic challenge on TikTok to go along with what you're doing. And that's what you want to focus your time and your energy on and making sure that that is 100% perfect. And all of the, the advertising and marketing around that is successful as well. So it just really be tailored to what you want to do as an artist and not so you know, Oh, God, I need to do this, this and this, and this and this,

NS: Pick one thing and do it really well.

JH: Yeah, exactly, are focused on, you know, finding the things that you are good at, and that, you know, your fan base understands you as, that you're not going to come across as like, you know, fake for doing it. Oh, they'll understand it, and they'll connect with it. And then you can expand on that.

NS: Yeah, yeah, I do agree. I mean, I've always tried, definitely with an album, but with singles is come up with at least one marketing… I don't wanna say I want to say gimmick, but not gimmick because gimmick makes it sound cheap. But you know, one unique marketing idea very specific to that single, and that you can just focus on and get everybody behind it as well. I do think that's really powerful. You mentioned trigger cities, for people that don't know what a trigger city is, can you just give us a quick description?

JH: So these would be cities that don't necessarily have massive populations in them, but they have really engaged, dedicated streamers within them. And so they can cause a track within days to really go viral, whether it's with like 100,000 streams in one day. And that could be, you know, with average streams per user at three, four to five streams per user in that day. So really engaged, active streamers that push something up to the point of it, then falling into this algorithmic level, to where it's then starting to get tons more suggestions. And as well, the editorial staff then really starts to take notice of it as a track. You know, Spotify is, is a music company, but they're also a data company. So understanding that and I guess speaking to them in that language, so like, for example, when we re-pitch content, then we have something that's doing well down the line, when we re-pitch something, we have certain parameters that we set out for our labels and artists to understand what is going to actually make Spotify take notice of pitch, and that, you know, falls between the 70% active streams over a certain period of time with a certain percentage of growth over that period of time. And then it becomes something that's repitchable, and it's, to be honest, not it happens, but it's not as often as people would think even when you see consumption numbers going up, you think I let me contact my distributor and make sure they're pushing this and sometimes that's actually the wrong situation in that respect from what would be for us to go back to Spotify and try to push something that doesn't warrant re-pitch. In that respect, just based on consumption, maybe all of those plays are passive listens, coming from one of Spotify editorialists.

NS: Gotcha. So you do need to look at the data and how they trigger cities and things like that, to make that re-pitching decision.

JH: Yes, correct. So a trigger trigger city would be in a large number of this active engaged streams that pushes a track up into many more suggestive lists. And then it just takes off.

NS: Gotcha. One quick question on Beatport. The two week exclusives. So this is where you say, you've got a track coming out? You're going to go I'm going to get to make it available on Beatport for two weeks before it's available anywhere else? Is that still a thing? Like to Beatport? Do Beatport still look at that? Or, you know…

JH: Yes! Yeah, yeah, I, it's quite important thing for them. So they have the two, two different models. Now I guess of it, you have the exclusive side. And then they also have the hype chart, which is kind of another way to get yourself noticed, by buy them and also have another opportunity at charting. But I think what's most important to understand about exclusivity for them is the higher price point. And this is, you know, that's their bread and butter, that's how they survive as a, as a company is via these exclusive products, it's I what I find quite commendable of them is that they actually request that things are up on streaming sites same time. So you're able to have something up as a Beatport download exclusive is what they call it now two weeks exclusive. But you can also have it up on Spotify, Apple Music, same time, just not available for download on those sites.

NS: Ah, that's interesting. Gotcha. Okay,

JH: I just don't quite, it makes it it takes the burden off of labels. Because, you know, Spotify, for example, is quite big on parody, they have to have it. And if it's not there, they've been known to remove editorial support because of it, you know, they want something Well, basically, like if it's if they if you can hear the track publicly, and the consumer can't go to Spotify, and find set track, that's consumer is not going to blame the label, they're going to blame Spotify and Spotify doesn't like that.

NS: Gotcha. Yeah, and also, you know, like you, you know, we all have like limited budgets. And if you're an out, something's coming out, not all your audience necessarily, is going to be downloading music on Beatport. So you do want to be able to maximize your marketing and say, Hey, release day and your Spotify listeners can listen, oh, that's, that's really good to know. I didn't actually realize it.

JH: Yeah, it's, it's a good point. And I think also with exclusivity, it should be viewed as a long term net for a label, because again, it's the higher price point that you should be focusing on and not so much what Beatport gives you. And if you do this over an extended period of time, your revenue per release on Beatport will go up, and then eventually the featuring will take care of itself. Because, you know, they also as I said, they gotta, they gotta feed themselves. So their business and they're just higher price point is something that is a, is a key for them. And also, as I said, as a, as a label, you're only benefiting from it. If you're not going to lose any of the anything from it just being on the streaming sites. That's fine. You know, I think the iTunes download market is so, so minimal nowadays that you can basically wait the two weeks and be fine. And then have it up on iTunes and wherever else for download. Because if you're a dance label, you know, let's say seven percent if you have catalog 70% of your revenue is coming from Spotify, which is about what the average of the labels that I'm working with 75% Spotify, 30% Beatport, or 20%, Beatport, and then types of things, everything else. So if you're focused if you if you haven't looking at it in terms of like that, you know, that's still a decent chunk of revenue and Beatport grew over the past year, if you didn't read any of the results from the IMS Business Report, they did well, you know, consecutively over the past couple of years.

NS: It's really interesting, because I would have thought it would be less because peep DJs are DJing less so they're buying less tracks to go and DJ.

JH: It's more that there is more people sitting at home bored off the gourd. And you know…

NS: Hobbyist DJs basically going you know what, I'm going to start I'm going to use that time to be like, start DJing again, basically.

JH: Yeah, cuz to be honest, I don't know very many touring DJs that are actually paying for an download with so much music on Beatport. no, it's more than it's mainly that those bedroom and bar DJs

NS: The “prosumer.”

JH: Yes, exactly. So, you know, and that's why I think also having these direct posts going to be part quite essential, because then you can just speak directly to them, you almost don't even need to sponsor them. To be honest, because if you're speaking, you know, you're talking about some, let's say, you have a massive track out, techno track out and Richie harden puts it in his Beatport chart, you know, obviously, you're going to go and you're going to post that on your socials. And that already is separating what that marketing what that posts who it's for know, there's people that are reading that know instantly, whether that it's something that's speaking to them they're interested to do or not. So, and again, it should be viewed as a long term benefit for you as a label, because you're getting a higher price point. Which, you know, if some people are still paying what 1.99 you have, for 1.99 euros for a track, I think it's about 1.99 pounds, too, right. So…

NS: Yeah. What’s that in streams, like 1000s of streams really?

JH: Yeah, so to get that same amount, it can be, you know, it's still a nice chunk of revenue. And I think doing the exclusivity gives you that extra padding on the on the side of it also does help down the line with featuring, I mean, if you look at their homepage and go through the first slide of new release tiles, and most of the banners, you'll see that little green exclusive bar, there's a reason for that.

"with exclusivity, it should be viewed as a long term net for a label, because again, it's the higher price point that you should be focusing on..."

NS: Yeah. Okay, so that's definitely still work 100%. What? So new artists and new labels that you start dealing with? What challenges do you see for them when they're breaking into the music industry today?

JH: I think a lot of the times, it's really like getting a bit either a getting very overwhelmed by the amount, as I said earlier, the amount of work that you have to actually put in or overwhelmed with, yeah, not the longevity, but the value of it as well. Because it can be a lot like, on your day to day to think about, I have all of these different DSPs. So I've, my best advice is always like, you know, in the beginning, let's we'll pick four or five DSPs that you really want to grow in and territories that you want to grow in, and how can we get there, and this is a process of one to two years, don't think that it's going to happen overnight. And also definitely don't just rely on editorial support, you got to create your own markets out there on these DSPs. And once you do that the rest of this stuff will take care of itself. It's for me more like really best practices and that are tested into a level of actuarial science. You know, we're almost sure that this will happen if you do this. And you know, if you do this over an extended period of time, eventually you'll see the results that you want to see.

NS: Gotcha. So you want to make sure you're looking at the long term picture of at least two years. And within that make a plan. It's a very specific plan. Yeah. What are the DSPs and territories you want to focus on and plan that over two years?

JH: Yeah, and you know, obviously have specific marketing plans for every release, but you should have, in this overarching plan, how you're going to push the artist, you know, how are you going to engage with their fan base and grow their fan base. And this, you know, as I said, means follow campaigns on Spotify or Deezer, or, you know, what have you Harding on Apple? Things like that, that that will only help grow and benefit the artist in the long run. To create the markets that the artists can then speak to their fan base.

NS: And I guess leading on from that question, is there any rookie mistakes or common problems you see over and over again?

JH: A lot of it is really, like, reliance too much on the music and not so much on the marketing plan.

NS: What do you mean by that? You're just like, hey, we've made the best.

JH: And that's great. You know, and a lot of the times, yeah, I listened to it. And I'm like, this is amazing, but you need to have a marketing plan to go with it. So that's really quite important in the modern world, you know, you can't, can't just go in reliance on the music, because there's tons of other people out there that also have great music that also have these marketing plans put together. Like the game was way more professional, it's not so much more of this old school mentality where you can just, you know, get a good manager and they can scream and yell as loud at everyone as possible. Like that's going to actually nowadays get you pushed to the back of the line. At least from my experience working with the Spotify team in Germany, the louder that you get, or the more pushy you get, the less response you're gonna get. Interesting. And it's more about the marketing plan you have together, do you have the are you hitting the data benchmarks that they want to see, to make something attractable for featuring for them?

NS: Gotcha. So I guess if you're, you know, if you're an artist, or even a label, I mean, I guess from an artist point of view, you know, in your we're going to spend, even if you're a band, say we're going to spend five grand on recording the album, we're going to spend 200 hours, putting it all together. And then you say, oh, cool, like, how much are you spending on marketing? And how much time we spend on marketing? They're like, well, not much. What you're really saying is like, should be comparable. Like, it's just as important. Like, if you're going to be spending that much time and effort on getting the song right, you need to be doing something similar in the marketing, otherwise, it's going to go nowhere.

JH: Yeah, I think what, what an interesting way to put it is like what, you know, the success that the majors do get is is really based on them putting together these marketing plans and the budget to go behind it to do exactly that. So like if a label thinks about it, from that perspective, an independent label or an independent artists not saying you have to put in the same budget that Universal puts in a Drake album or what have you, but just understanding it from that perspective, like having a marketing plan and a budget. And you know, having your ducks in a row professionally, is what you need to have in the modern music world.

NS: What would you say to an artist, that's like a year, but that's just selling out? Like, you know, I'm I just want to like focus on the music.

JH: That's also I guess, one route to go. And there has been success. But I said from my from our approach, I think it's incumbent company more, we're looking at it almost from like actuarial science perspective, and that like, okay, we see that if you do all of these things, we are seeing our clients that are doing these things, getting the best results out of them. And, you know, we want to help all of our clients get there. So helping them understand that and shape their practices to that is my main goal.

NS: Yeah, I was just sort of playing devil's advocate as well, like, all the artists I know, that have had success, totally understand that and totally get it. And if you're listening, like, yeah, marketing is just key in the modern music world, and you can't escape it if you want to have that success. And I think the great thing about it is that, you know, if you do approach it from like, you're sort of saying a bit of a scientific view, you're more likely to be able to engineer your success, which isn't great, you know, follow the steps do the work, and you can have all your dreams come true, really.

JH: And I think even more so. Don't think of it as a sellout, like, but what about you as an artist or creative? What do you want to say to the world? You can say that and how you market yourself using different assets or what have you, if you just want to save, you know, capitalism is horrible, you know, delve into the world. Yeah, as the world, you know, it's like, Okay, well, you can also do that very loud and very engagingly. You know what I mean, and that can help sell records. So understanding that harnessing it, that's why I say like, having a whole overarching idea and concept when you come into something both for the artists but for the release, and how you want to approach it helps wholeheartedly when you're creating these marketing plans, and then helping to create the assets and everything. So, yeah, it's, it's quite important. And as I said, you know, there's an exception for everything. I think we all know that. This is what Karl Popper said, makes science. So that's that that is the point there is people that just go out there released music, and they become superstars just because they released some music. But this is not the norm.

NS: No, that's an outlier. And people like to romanticize those and focus on them, but they're just right place right time, pure luck. A lot of those 99% of those cases.

JH: With your spin ups and the like, and the democratization of basically music. There's so much saturation out there now that, you know, anyone can release a record and get it on Spotify. So how do you make yours rise to the top? How do you connect with the fanbase? And to set DSPs, that takes work and it takes over an extended period of time, it's not just a couple posts, when you first start out, and then getting frustrated, Spotify is not giving me anything, I think if you just focus on doing what you should be doing as a label, or an artist, which is promoting, you know, yourself, all of that stuff, takes care of itself down the line, that editorial lists, the support, getting all these other ducks in a row first, is the most important thing to do.

NS: Yeah. And I just before we get on to it, just the sort of final questions is, I, you know, would you say then, you know, the modern day artists needs to invest in themselves, they need to make sure they've got budget, like, you can't just be like, well, we'll just do this for free and upload, like pictures on social media and Instagram following of 10,000 people, you need to make sure you put money aside to market.

JH: Yeah, I would say so. And it doesn't have to be massive amounts. Again, you know, you maybe you only have 1,000k budget for your whole year. But you know, strategically spread that out into not only released campaigns, but as I said, these overarching campaigns that are focused on followers and engagement, maybe you want to grow your Instagram followers, because you want to have a larger reach on the platform. When you do smart audience efforts. These types of things are also important, you know, so have a purpose when you do it. But definitely, it's important to have a budget, they're available to us. And that doesn't just necessarily mean you know, PR marketing.

NS: Across the board. I mean, you probably touched on it, but record sales were you finding royalties are coming from, from the major platforms, Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, and I think you sort of mentioned different territories, I guess, you know, where is it working in the US, Europe and UK?

JH: I mean, US, obviously, US, UK and Germany, Spotify is still the biggest. You know, but I think also you have to pick then about YouTube, and their reach globally as a platform. They're by far the, you know, largest music platform in the world with the just the user base that they have. So this is also becoming much more of a bigger player, but in terms of revenue, streams, Spotify, still the king, and then it depends territory wise, in Europe, as I said, Amazon's quite strong here. Deezer are quite strong and French should be in a French company. Strong in Brazil, Apple is quite strong in the US. And we've seen also it's quite strong in the hip hop market. So we have a lot of hip hop coming through in the us from our US teams, and we do quite well. There. But yeah, it really just depends. And as I think, what what, what, what, what's a good point to take from that is? what I said earlier is this, this type of data is what's really the value in it. Not only that, you know, you get the revenue from the streams, but you can really tailor what you're doing. Marketing wise, based on that, like, okay, I want to, like, I want to focus on Amazon and Germany's my number three territory overall, in streams and consumption. Let me, let me really drill down do some German adverts, German native language adverts that are pointing just to Amazon to see if I can stoke some consumption there and connect with a fan base.

NS: Oh, that's good. This. Yeah, that's interesting. So I normally are Spotify, or what have you been finding works with getting on Spotify playlists? But I feel we've sort of covered that off a lot earlier on with what you were saying about, you know, making sure you've got a marketing campaign. Is there anything else you would add to that?

JH: For I think, to be as, as precise as you can with the, with your, what you put into the short description, I think it's 500 characters that they do give you in the pitch now, as well as genre classification. But, you know, I think it's always going to go back to this mode. overarching thing is, like, your fan base and your followers on the platform, and are you engaged with them? And if you can show them that, that you've been doing that over a period of time, then that's, they're more likely to feature you.

NS: Yep. Gotcha. So focus on getting people engaging with you on your Spotify profile, I guess, clicking on your pictures that you upload there, clicking on your playlists, and following you on Spotify.

JH: Here's a good example of an engagement strategy that was aimed at Spotify by one of our artists. And he went on tour in the US. And he did came, like, on Instagram, basically said that every show that he did take pictures, hashtag this, send me the shots, I'll check the shots at the end of, you know, the end of every day and the next city. And I'll post one new picture in my Spotify for Artists pictures every day, during the tour. So of course, everybody that was at that show, would then go take a look. And obviously they're there. They're going to stream his music as well. Yeah, type of engagement strategy, as we said, you're utilizing 100% of the real estate that the DSP is giving you to use in a creative way that will drive consumption, that type of marketing campaign, like present that to Spotify, and you know, yeah, they can't really argue with that. That's driving people to their platform.

NS: Yeah, exactly. So any touring artists out there, jack that idea, it's great.

JH: I've seen a couple artists do it with Canvas videos, like send us your canvas missions, the winner will pick it and post it on release day as the canvas video, these type of things, you know, where they may seem not so important. When you first look at it, like all Canvas video, that's interesting. It's something cool to watch on your phone. While you're, you know, traveling and listening to music or whatever. But having an engaging strategy out. Yeah, let's do it. Let's do a contest where the fan base actually gets to submit. So engaging.

NS: Yeah, that's another great idea that you can jack… but yeah, just examples of thinking outside the square and like you said, using the real estate, blogs, are they still relevant? Yeah, I

JH: Yeah, blogs and generally PR is still in one way or another relevant to get the word out there about your releases. And I think this is important in terms of like, actually moving the needle and in terms of consumption, that's can really, that's really hit or miss, especially with all you know, premieres. They're like a dime a dozen nowadays. So it's good that people know that the records coming out, but more than likely, it's not going to equal consumption for you certain activities and marketing? Well, but I think, generally… No, in that respect, if your aim is just consumption, if you want to get the word out there about your record, yes, that's still quite important. And that can bring artists to another level. You know, for example, here in Germany, when we pitched to the DSPs, they really want to know what you're doing here in Germany. And that can be a PR campaign, German radio, or obviously, all of these other bits targeted toward the German market in some way or another, or you're going to do an outdoor campaign and in the media cities in Germany, so generally, I think, yes, still important. But if your main goal is consumption from it, I think you can be disappointed sometimes.

NS: Gotcha. With, I guess, I guess, PR, do you use external companies? I guess you do, depending on the campaign, really.

JH: It’s really wise as well. You know, what campaign I have going on right now we have seven different PR companies working in different territories.

NS: So you want to go to America territory, you want to go get an American company, you got someone in Germany, German…

JH: We have someone in Brazil, we have someone in France. And they're also quite specific, in their focus as a company to you know, they're focused on the dance and indie electronica space, and they were selected specifically for this reason, because the artists wanted to make a dent in this specific area and be placed. It's about placement, you know?

NS: Yeah. Again, it's going back to what you're saying about making sure you're to plan, what DSPs and territories you're focused on. Because if you know that, then you know, okay, cool. We're going to do something in Mexico on Beatport. will then we go to the PR company in Mexico, who's focused on that, and that's who we speak to. Gotcha. It's all tying itself together.

JH: It’s like a video game if you think about it, but then once you do think about it like that it gets it becomes really fun. Because when you start to do it successfully, and you're like, yeah, this this works, you know, you got to the final level of Donkey Kong.

NS: Um, I guess we've talked a lot about paid advertising as well. Social media, like these days, what are you finding is getting the best response, you know, between YouTube, SoundCloud, Tik, Tok, Instagram, what like, is specifically in the sort of last six months, do you think it'd be working for your artists?

JH: I think, you know, obviously, when you have a release, you have to put the fan link up there in some respect or another and get that out there. On Facebook, I typically find that things that keep people inside of that beast. Facebook likes those things a lot more. So pictures or videos that are native Facebook videos also now exists. So delivering videos to Facebook, his music videos to Facebook is possible. Also, it's the same for engagement platforms, like the think about the real estate that they offer you and what you can utilize to do that. Utilize within that space, you know, Instagram reels, okay? Is them trying to make themselves like so much more like TikTok or even just comprehending and understanding what TikTok is, how can I utilize it as, as a record label or an artist? You know, I think when I try to explain, first off to techno artists that they need to start getting on TikTok and they're like, what lipsync? What, like, so much more out there that you can do on that platform? That's not just about doing lip sync stuff? Yeah. Pickup can be quite fast on on there as well. So, you know, it was just understanding what the platforms each platform can and can't do. And coming up with some good ideas to utilize on those to get the most out of them. So yeah, some ways still, it's effective. I think just throwing my as I said earlier, throwing money at this black hole for clicks sometimes can be quite frustrating, obviously, in certain respects. So making content that fits to also the best utilization of the platform is important. As I said, like videos and fake videos or pics on Facebook.

NS: Yeah, to do it in the native format as well, rather than...

JH: Yeah, you don't even need those because you're not gonna, you're not gonna get driven, driven down by the algorithm, because you're posting a link that takes people out of Facebook, you know. So that type of strategy where you're like, Alright, I'm going to do three or four native posts, and then one post that goes out. So keep three, three or four posts that keep people in Facebook, and then you have one post going out that you boost and then you're not, you know, you're not constantly being your scorecard, or whatever is not getting downgraded algorithmically, so that your posts…

NS: Because you're constantly saying, hey, go check out my like, check on Spotify, go check out my check on Spotify. And it's like nothing.

JH: They want to keep you inside there too, man!

NS: Yeah. Gotcha. So, alright, so final question is, what does the future hold? I guess, for you, I guess, but you and for Ingrooves. You know, what, what's what's coming in the next 12 months or two years, from a tech point of view?

JH: I think the expansion of the dance and electronic department and how we can better utilize our tools, our talents, and our team to help our dance electronic labels is something that I'm personally going to be quite focused on. You know, obviously, because it affects a lot of my direct clients. But also, it's just something that I'm very passionate about. And I feel like there's a large misunderstanding about the way that it works in the electronic music industry. But you know, what do you mean by that? I mean, more, I mean, just the streaming world, in general, and all of this marketing stuff that we've talked about, and trying to break them out of this traditional cycle of like, here's my release, here's my release, here's my release. Here's the next release. Here it is, here it is, here it is, here it is. or these are this old school mentality where it's like, you know, people yelling on the phone, why am I not on this list, and blah, blah, blah, getting people to think in terms of like, what data is how to utilize it best to create a data story around your content around your artists, to present them in the best way, so that we can present that to DSPs. But also, on the flip side, for you to utilize each platform to communicate with your fan base, the best way possible, that you're making a connection, because that's really what it's about making that connection as an artist, the fan? And, and how do you best do that? Yeah, that's kind of, you know, when the download when downloads did kind of take a tank, at least on iTunes, and that whole market washed away. And obviously, we saw the vinyl industry washed away, get oversaturated. And now it is what it is, there's still this big misunderstanding about data in the way that it functions and what catalog means, in, you know, some labels that I talked to when we bring them on board. And they still think that Beatport it's their biggest source of revenue. And then we go through the numbers, and they're just shocked. Like what you have, you know, 15 years of catalog that's gold on Spotify, or any streaming platform, because it's they're readily available. And if you…

NS: …start making some playlists around it, and…

JH: …yeah, do some marketing campaigns around, and you only get to help yourself even more and like, connect with your fan base and draw some attention to your content.

NS: Gotcha. Or Josh, thank you for your time. That was ridiculously insightful. Loads of little cool ideas as well. People can jack which I thought was quite nice. Yeah, thank you for being on the podcast with us today.

JH: My pleasure. Definitely a pleasure. And yeah. Hopefully, there were some good ideas for some listeners to take from that and, you know, get to work on it. Really.

NS: Yeah. Awesome, man. Thank you.

JH: Yeah. Cheers. Bye, bye.

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