When it comes to promoting your music, a listening party can go a long way in helping you grow your community base and increasing general awareness, A fun event for fans to come together and celebrate your, the only downside to listening parties it that - historically - they have often been relatively expensive endeavors. Here, we look at alternative method where you can host multiple listening parties for under a $100.
Guest post by James Shotwell of Haulix
Listening parties can engage fans, grow your community, and raise awareness about your next release like nothing else in music.
There is no promotional event as incredible as a listening party. For an hour or more, fans gather together to experience the latest release from their favorite artist. The energy and excitement in these gatherings are electric. Everyone there is present because the artist’s catalog does something for them that nothing else in music or beyond can duplicate. Listening parties are a celebration of music’s power to move people, and you deserve to have them for your next release.
But there is a problem. Historically speaking, listening parties are often considered an expensive affair. You have to rent a space, be it a bar or venue, promote the event, create and distribute marketing materials, and perhaps pay for refreshments. Fans have often had to pay for the experience as well, be it through tickets or drinks.
We have a solution. For less than $100, you can plan and execute numerous listening parties all over the world on the same night. We can walk you through everything you need, but it’s up to you to find an audience. The plan below will only work if you have devoted fans who want to see you succeed. If you have those, then follow these steps to create an event no one will forget:
First off, you need to communicate with your fans. Whether this is accomplished through a newsletter or private Facebook group for key followers doesn’t really matter. Tell your audience you are seeking devoted fans willing and able to host small get together for your upcoming release. The only requirements they need to meet are a location for the event, the ability to host the event when you plan for it to take place, a computer, and speakers capable of playing music loud enough for everyone to hear your music. Be selective with your choices. The fans you choose will be representing you and your music for the duration of the event.
Next, you need a Haulix account. Haulix is the industry standard for music promotion, and right now they are offering one month of service free to everyone who signs up. Visit the Haulix website, pick a plan that works for you (we recommend Beast Mode to begin), and complete your registration. Haulix is the platform you will use to discreetly share your new music with listening party hosts. The service also allows you to control the number of times the music can be played, when people have access to music, and more.
Once your Haulix account is activated, you will need to add your music to the service. Log in to your account and click the Promos tab at the top of the screen. Create a new promo with the music you plan to share through your listening parties. Be sure to add artwork, release information, and any other details you feel fans should know.
After your music is uploaded, begin creating introduction clips for your listening parties. Audio or video introductions are acceptable, but video content adds a personal touch. You may even want to make different videos for each event. That allows you the opportunity to specifically address each crowd by mentioning their cities or states, which again, helps create a connection with those in attendance. You can add the videos to your Haulix promo or upload them to YouTube (leaving them unlisted).
With all your materials complete, deliver the videos and event details to each listening party host with personalized messaging that reinforces dates, times, and any other particulars. Then you need to use Haulix to invite your hosts to engage with the materials you uploaded. You can find a step-by-step guide for sharing music on Haulix using the company’s help site.
After the event, be sure to send thank you notes to the hosts and any attendees. Personalize the messages to ensure people know you appreciate the work and time they dedicated to promoting your work. You should also consider revoking access to the materials through Haulix to ensure the album or single does not leak in advance of its release.
James Shotwell is the Director of Customer Engagement at Haulix and host of the company's podcast, Inside Music. He is also a public speaker known for promoting careers in the entertainment industry, as well as an entertainment journalist with over a decade of experience. His bylines include Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, Nu Sound, and Under The Gun Review, among other popular outlets.