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Nick Cave Shows How Much Support It Takes To Be An Indie Success

Push-the-sky-awayNick Cave started March on a high note. His new album with The Bad Seeds, "Push The Sky Away", gave him his first no. 1 at home in Australia and his highest chart placing in the States. But achieving that on his own label required a lot of support with Kobalt's Label Services leading the charge. Plus, he's got a way cool Spotify app that offers a unique look at his back catalog.

Recent discussions of the word "indie" made it pretty clear that a lot of young artists, and maybe some older ones as well, have no idea how complicated it is to successfully release and sell a record album. The web helps, the web hurts, but it's always been a lot of work to chart.

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds latest release, "Push The Sky Away", charted on the Billboard 200 at no. 29, their highest placement in the States to date.

Perhaps more importantly, the album became Cave's first no. 1 in Australia, his homeland.

"Push The Sky Away" was released on Cave's own Bad Seed Ltd. The Bad Seeds' previous releases were on EMI's Mute but, after the sale of EMI to Universal, it seems they did some paperwork and created a label that has no real web presence of its own. In addition to whatever team composes Bad Seed Ltd., they began working with Kobalt's new Label Services division where they got a great deal of support.

Nick Cave Charted With Extensive Help from Kobalt Label Services

In one of those rare press releases that shares real information, Kobalt broke down what they did for "Push The Sky Away":

"Push The Sky Away was released simultaneously in more than 30 markets worldwide by KLS’ own in-house digital distribution platform (AWAL) and in partnership with KLS’ global network of physical distribution and marketing partners..."

"For the Direct to Consumer campaign, KLS worked closely with the band’s e-commerce partner Sandbag for sales via https://www.nickcave.com."

"As part of the launch strategy for the album, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds performed the album in its entirety at intimate shows in London, Paris, Berlin and LA. The Los Angeles show held Feb. 21 at Fonda Theatre was webcast globally by Lovelive in partnership with Rockfeedback and YouTube, and promoted by media partners Pitchfork, The Guardian and Spotify. More than 100,000 people viewed the performance stream."

Apparently the partners all did a great job. The album went to no. 1 not only in Australia but also in Austria, Belgium, Holland, Denmark, New Zealand and Portugal. It also charted strongly in many other nations.

Of course Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds were putting in work and that continues with lots of touring ahead.

Creative Back Catalog Marketing via Spotify Playlists

But another nice piece of the puzzle that supports not only the new release but Cave's back catalog is a new Spotify app with some unique elements.

The app organizes playlists around "their dominating moods as defined by Nick":

Sex, Comic, Heart Break, Blasphemy, Confessional, Murder and Mayhem, Classic, Love, Spiritual, Super Dark

As if that weren't enough, a wide range of artists are contributing "Nick Cave Inspired" playlists. Participating artists include:

Lou Reed, Dave Gahan, Martin Gore, Devendra Banhardt, Flea, Shane MacGowan, Jarvis Cocker, Keaton Henson, Cate Blanchett, Mary Anne Hobbs

The app was developed with Nick Cave categorizing the tracks and additional support from Kobal Label Services and Retrofuzz.

It's really well done. Check it out.

Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch/@crowdfundingm) also blogs at All World Dance: Videos and maintains Music Biz Blogs. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.

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