The Billboard Charts are the Industry’s Favorite. Here’s Why the Billboard Chart is Important To Your Career.
First Week Sales
One of the GREAT lessons I learned from Mike Mowery (learn EVERYTHING you can from him – he’s a fountain of knowledge that doesn’t even recognize his knowledge is fountaining), is the concept of the first-week sales. We really need to term it.
So, the industry loves data. They love to see Facebook likes and Spotify streams. They like monthly listener counts and Instagram followers and YouTube streams… because it’s objective data. It’s difficult to fake (well). For the longest time, the industry was based on hunches. And how well the artist could convince a label / manager / booking agent / promoter of their bullsh*t.
And when one of these execs got hoodwinked by a band, convinced they had a following that actually didn’t exist, they lost money. And if the industry hates one thing more than NOT making money, it’s LOSING money.
So one of the great things about the internet is the objective data. Tthe PROOF the following exists. A following the industry believes they can monetize.
Why Billboard Matters
But even BEFORE all this internet malarkey, the industry loved Billboard. Billboard represented the closest thing to objective data it could get at the time. And when Soundscan came along, it was even better. So the OLD people in the industry LOVE Billboard. They STILL love it. To young and old, the billboard chart is important. In the US, Billboard represents the cream of all the objective data. And their efforts to collect all the data from all these various sources to create an objective, final tally of each artist’s popularity in a given week, still has merit. I’m unsure if there is anyone else out there even TRYING to compete with them on this.
So, getting the industry’s attention can happen in a number of ways. You can put the number of Monthly Spotify Listeners in an email subject line for example, or fit Facebook followers into the elevator pitch. But NEXT LEVEL industry attention gathering is about getting on to Billboard’s charts. This is why the billboard chart is important.
How Things Have Changed
What’s especially cool about this is the internet has ALSO democratized access. Putting the right kinds of efforts into a release with a modest following can get a Top 200 placement on Billboard. Without a record label. Without a PR agent. Without a ton of major media coverage.
And when an independent artist is able to make the Billboard charts on their OWN…
It’s a great way to convince a record label that with just a little more expertise, a little more access, and a little more professional attention, the artist could do much, much more. They could actually make the label money.
This is also true of media (“why should we cover them?” “because their top 100 on Billboard and we don’t know who they are but TONS OF PEOPLE OUT THERE DO!”), promoters, attorneys, booking agents… everyone. The Billboard charting validates the work the independent artist has put in and is objective evidence of their audience – AND THEIR POTENTIAL.
What It Takes To Get On the Charts
To get on Billboard’s charts takes a concerted, organized, and strategic effort to concentrate all of the possible sales and streams into a very small window of time. MIKE IS AN EXPERT AT THIS.
The album release is the best possible time to make this happen. This is because the anticipation built in the audience WILL result in the best opportunity to get those sales and streams in a single week. Other triggers are possible – placement in a TV or movie being the only examples I can think of off-hand – but the release is the one an independent artist can plan for and execute.
Release It Right was designed to build that anticipation and focus those sales and streams in a concerted, organized, and strategic way.