Earlier this month Promo Hutt launched a pre-release subscription service that allows music fans to gain early access to music by label. The project has its roots in the electronic music scene and the early participating labels reflect those roots. Promo Hutt has found a way to monetize a system set up for allowing professional dj's and reviewers early access to music by broadening the audience to superfans.
Promo Hutt launches in an interesting niche. Currently early access to upcoming releases filters through different systems depending on the genre's typical marketing modes. Radio, media and dj's tend to be the biggest early recipients. To a large degree Promo Hutt is taking the early release system and opening it up to fans to create both revenue and early buzz.
An Introduction to Promo Hutt
Promo Hutt is based in London and so pricing is in pounds starting at £6.99 for one release per month up to £12.99 for four releases per month.
Subscribers receive their audio tracks by email or via a web interface as 320kps MP3 downloads.
So far Promo Hutt features mostly electronic and dance labels. Label-based subscriptions may well work better in electronic music than in other areas. In all cases it would be a matter of whether or not a label has the kind of brand that attracts listeners to its acts as a group which is not always the case.
For more on the Promo Hutt perspective, see this interview with Chris Gorsuch.
My Favorite Robot label owner Jared Simms focused on the superfan element in discussing his participation:
"Using Promo Hutt will help us get to know these tastemakers better by allowing them to comment on new releases, letting them know when their favourite artists are coming to town – as well as offering them exclusive merchandise."
Promo Hutt is definitely an experiment worth watching.
Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch/@crowdfundingm) also blogs at Flux Research and Crowdfunding For Musicians. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.