Music Business Goes 'Upfront' -- Whatever That Now Means

Amid the nervousness of the TV advertising market -- as well as the current troubling U.S. stock market -- media businesses are looking to borrow some of TV’s marketing tactics.

Recently the iHeartSummit, the big radio group, offered up two-day showcase by record companies, managers and artists including Justin Bieber, for some 100 key influencers. Another upfront-like effort was a daylong presentation of the Universal Music Group’s current projects.

The first obvious question: What took the music industry so long?

A short answer might be hubris. For a long time, music labels didn't need marketing help. As a matter of fact, some early music events were not only closed to potential partners -- but to the press as well.

When you are dealing with “art,” sometimes  commerce can get in the way.  Now, of course, much has changed.



Still, TV networks have been charming advertisers/marketers for about 50 years through various upfront events showing off their TV programming wares.

And TV companies can also be full of hubris. But not as much recently.

For three years in a row, recent upfront markets, and the scatter markets that follow, have been lackluster -- if not declining.

Over the last few years, digital media companies have been getting into the act with their version of an upfront.“Newfronts” haven’t exactly lit the world on fire -- especially when it comes to those near-term big media deals.

For the music industry, opening up the store is good news -- though some might say it’s too late.

Still, anything attached to the word “upfront” can be a lightning rod for media platforms. Perhaps the always embattled music business needs a different kind of spark.

1 comment about "Music Business Goes 'Upfront' -- Whatever That Now Means".
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  1. Bob Moran from Self-employed, December 16, 2015 at 6:23 p.m.

    Do not confuse the term “mainstream” with “exposure”; every artist has extraordinary talent that should be seen. Whether you’re a punk rock band from Wisconsin or a hip hop artist from LA, great music shouldn’t be denied from the people.  Whenever you create music and share it, what matters the most is, who sees it. Web n’ Retail can take control over your music marketing campaign so that all you have to do is just keep producing the same quality of music.


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