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How much money does it take to launch a independent artists career?

This is a question that I get all the time. A lot of artists spend money without getting anything out of it. This is not a one dimensional question. There are a lot of different aspects that have to be taken into consideration. The first example I'm going to talk about is a artist that doesn't have any connections at all and he has no budget. Of course you have the lowest chance to succeed therefore you have to work the hardest. Most of your grind is trolling the internet trying to create a buzz around your music. That's just not good business. You have to remember that this is a business and it takes money to make money. In order to make quality music you have to either buy quality equipment or rent a quality studio. So no matter what your spending money on your business. Why wouldn't you spend your money on marketing your business? You have to spend money so if your not investing any money into your career then the music probably sucks anyway. So we are going to only talk about artists that have small budgets and then talk a little bit about major budgets.

How much money you spend as a independent artist depends on how many free connections you have. Do you have DJ's that will play your music for free. Do you have radio station connects? Do you have connections to get interviews in magazines or radio? Can you get major features for free? So how much money you spend depends on your current circle of connections. If you have no connections your going to have to spend money to network with the right people. Promoting a album is more expensive than promoting a single. Why? A album or EP has more songs so your going to have to put more money into getting those songs heard. Think about it, if you focus on promoting a single for a month it will be easier to get that song heard. Trying promoting 8 songs at the same time. How can you get people to listen to the whole album. So lets just focus on launching a single for a indie artist. If you are trying to get your single heard make sure its good. Get 10-15 people to give you an honest opinion of the song. Do they think its a song thats going to change the music game. A song has to be that powerful in order to make a hit. Fetty Wap is a hit making rapper that has everyone wanting to sound like him. He is currently working with Drake. He changed the game and made everyone want to sound like him. Music hits are that powerful. You definitely need one if thats the lane you want to be in. Do something different. Mix genres, try techno hip hop, or reggae hip hop etc.. be creative. Once you have that record that changes the game you need a audience. Then you have to get it to the DJ's, magazines, blogs and radio stations. This can be costly with no connections. Social media has become a big part in launching new music. Fetty wap launched his single on soundcloud and received over 100,000 views. Start with your social media and facebook and twitter ads. Spend your money on your social media. Once you feel like you have exhausted your social media then branch out and get your music to DJ's etc.. Here are a few tips to get that single off the ground.

- Use social media to your advantage facebook ads, twitter ads cost= $20.00-$1,000 a month
- Get blog support, email blogs and send your music out, no response pay posts= $50.00-$500.00 per post
- Try to reach out to DJ's, no response DJ blast costs= $150.00-$1,500 per email blast
- Email magazines about interviews, no response publicity campaigns= $400.00-$3,000 per month
- Reach out to internet radio, no response national and internet radio promotion campaigns= $$3,500 per month
- Reach out to promoters about shows, no response setting up your own events = $1,000-$8,000 per event

So keeping these key aspects of the artist budget in mind I would say to launch a successful run for a single would cost $15,000- $20,000. This would include all the key things from the list above. This would only be for a single not an album. You would probably have to double that for an album because you would be promoting up to 3-4 singles from that album. For an album launch for a indie artist I would say $40,000. These numbers are based on a artist with no connections. Of course this cost comes down depending on your own network. There are certain ways to avoid some costs, you can hit me personally for consulting.

Antoine King CEO of Spate Media
Available for consulting antoine@spatemag.com

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