alt-j (∆) marketing plan
- press kit
- explanation sheet
Infectious Records (UK)
-Pat Carr (General Manager)
-Connie Meade (Sales/Marketing)
-Mike Ajayi (International Relations/A&R
Tel: +44 (0)207 292 3900
47a Frith Street, London
Warner Music Group (US)
For Press Requests:
Big Hassle Media
For Tour Press Requests:
Big Hassle Media
Social Media Manager
Expand into United States music market
Sell over 75,000 units
Gain a top 10 Alternative Album within the United States
Establish a viable fan base for a future North American tour
Releasing An Awesome Wave by alt-j to the United States Market. The album peaked on the UK Top 100 Charts at 13. They have been nominated for 3 Brit Awards.
“the band [was] described as “Nick Drake meets Gangsta Rap,” and they were likened to Wild Beasts, ‘In Rainbows’ era Radiohead, The xx and Anthony & The Johnsons – acts acclaimed for their ability to create the kind of patient, sophisticated, intricate music that alt-J (∆) do.”
– Quality Musicianship
– Popularity of similar style artists
– Have a huge UK following
– Unique sound
– Quality and Relatable Lyrics
-Relatively Unknown in the United States
– Heavy Marketing in main metropolitans, ex. Los Angeles, New York City, Miami, Boston, Las Vegas
– Heavy Marketing includes radio ads, magazine promotion, social media
– Also major focus on colleges/university, with guerrilla marketing as the main form of reach
– Synchronization with popular television shows, & CD Reviews
– A test tour, go to 4 or 5, cities within the United States (main metropolitans)
A critical demographic that needs to be highlighted is AGE. The lyrical content of this album is inappropriate to children and might be seen as improper by the older generation. Marketing should be focused on individuals in the 16-30 age range. This means for synchronization, the album should be in television shows like Grey’s Anatomy, Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, Rookie Blue, etc.
This album is very gender neutral, with lyrics from the perspective of both men and women. This album should be evenly marketed to all genders.
We should not focus on one particular race, as alt-j (∆) though an alternative rock band, is a melting pot of genres. They utilize sounds and beats displayed in hip hop as well as melodies seen in soul/R&B, even though they use musical elements of classic rock and grunge genres.
Due to the age range of listeners expected, the income of our listeners will be quite variable. Obviously, those of a younger age will have little to no disposable income and will be reliant on their parent’s income, while those older will more likely than not have a budget for entertainment. As long as the album costs between $7-$15 and concert tickets between $25-40, people will invest in alt-j no matter how old they are.
We would love to say that we can market in all geographical regions, but because this is An Awesome Wave’s United States release specific locations need to be focused on.
Los Angeles– the city with the biggest music industry, many avenues for marketing and promotion as many music publications are located here, there are many famous venues, and its a great location for introducing new artists.
Many other west coast regions follow the patterns seen in Los Angeles. If a band is well liked in LA (ex. The Neighbourhood), that information spreads to adjacent regions through social media and word of mouth (WOM).
Los Angeles is also the main home of the television and film industry, so collaborations for synchronization will be more attainable.
Los Angeles has great radio stations in which promotion of the album will be easily possible, KIIS 102.7 (top 40) and KROC 98.7. KROC should be focused on more than KIIS as it is more willing to play new or unknown music to its audience.
Los Angeles has a large college presences with University of California Los Angeles, University of Southern California and many other schools in close range.
New York City – the first destination visited by most European artists, UK artists like Adele, Emeli Sandé, and Bastille have had sold out shows on their first visits to the United States. It’s a perfect place for exhibition shows.
New York City is also the point of reference for east coast states. Many artists have had their start in NYC and developed great careers from there ( ex. Lady Gaga, Jay-Z, Vampire Weekend, The Ramones)
There also many major publications and media outlets located here, such as Pitchfork, The Fader and the New York Times.
New York City has many college and universities in close proximity including Fordham University, New York University, and Columbia University. Colleges are always a critical point because college students are more willing to listen to new music.
Boston – One of the largest college towns in the United States, with major universities like Boston University, Boston College, Harvard University and many others.
Boston is also a critical point as it is a large metropolitan city that many artists visit. It has some major publications such as the Boston Herald. This town will be highlighted only for marketing purposes. We will not be doing shows here in Boston.
Las Vegas – This location is great because most of the people here are not from Las Vegas, but rather are just visiting. Since they are from other places, people can share alt-j back home. Thus creating WOM through social media and in person. Like Boston, Las Vegas will just be a focus point for marketing and promotion for right now.
Each of the four location will have a billboard and advertising in their major newspaper.
alt-j has to take a completely different approach to the US Market. In the UK, they got listeners on their soundcloud without a hint of marketing or promotion. Knowledge of the band spread almost completely by WOM. For the US Market it has to be a team collaboration. Everyone effectively working together to meet the goals established earlier in this marketing plan. We want the team at Big Hassle Media, to began our transition into the North American market. How we would do this is develop a connection with all the big music media outlets like Pitchfork, Spin, The Fader & Billboard. Connecting with these publications will be key in developing an audience for and interest in alt-j. As evidence has shown many bands have had their big break with a CD review by one of these publications. We have to look at alt-j as a new band when it comes to North America so this initial publicity is very important.
We will also initially focus on New York City and Los Angeles to reach traditional media. Big Hassle Media will be sending out press kits to the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, and as said before The Fader Magazine, Spin Magazine and Billboard. We don’t want to be too expansive in how many publications we reach out to simply because we don’t want to waste time in areas we won’t be received. We will place ads in The Fader and Spin, but will push for album reviews in all of them. Hopefully, this will develop a chain reaction in which other small publications will take the time out to do album reviews as well. We will also pay for a 2-week long ad to run on pitchfork.com as their website banner. This ad will begin a week before the US release.
For this to happen, Big Hassle Media will get in contact with:
Erica Cane – Journalist for Spin Magazine (Alternative & Indie Rock)
Adam Hannigan – Copy Editor and Journalist at Fader (Album Reviews)
Gloria Smith – Sales for pitchfork.com
Lewis Adams – Album Review writer for pitchfork
Gavin Thompson – Billboard concert review/ album review writer
In Los Angeles, we will only focus on one radio station which is 81.7 KROQ. This station has a widespread range with listeners who we can turn into fans. The station is very well known for playing new quality songs by new alternative/rock bands. This is a station that can dictate the fans of the alternative/rock genre. We will pay for a 30-second radio spot as listening to the radio while commuting is something that still regularly happens in the Los Angeles.
Television is one of the most prominent ways in which products and services connect with consumers. We must take advantage of this as we know most artist currently don’t make money off of CD sales. However, the best way to make up for that is synchronization, placing alt-j songs within popular shows. It will be a great way to expand the audience as well as make royalties off of it. We will be developing relationships with music supervisors of major television shows and will also be sending out An Awesome Wave. Nick Ashton of Media Relations will be heading this. He will be researching key music supervisors who would likely play the song or pass it along to someone who would. The band has not had any relations with a music supervisor within the United States and thus these will be relationships that have to be nurtured/developed.
In addition, Nick will be contacting late night television talk shows with hosts like Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel. It will be a great way for a national audience to see the band play live. Fallon and Kimmel have both welcomed new artists like Tyler the Creator, Earl Sweatshirt and Bastille, to their stages. This is something we really want to push for. It will be great for the band and a way for American listeners to put a face on the brand.
We will be forming a street team to promote alt-j (∆) across college campuses in are specifically chosen states and later expanding. College students seem to be the most willing to promote new artists, so we need to take the time out to emphasize this. Adam Laskey will be heading College Promotions. He will make this an internship in which students can get school credit. This way we don’t have to pay them but they will have some incentive.
We will have a large social media presence headed by Jason McDonald. We will broaden the scope of the band’s tumblr, twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Everything will be updated on a daily bases with hopes of updating multiple times a day. We will hold contests and maintain an interaction with the fans. This will be critical in nurturing our North American audience and making the band more personable. Jason will also be running a social media competition for a fan to win the chance of being a VIP guest of either the New York City or Los Angeles shows. The winner will get 2 tickets to the show plus airfare to travel to the show. The competition will be called Fly Today to See alt-j.
Our booking agent Jasmine Hunter, will be promoting us to all of the major music festivals for the spring season following the release of the album in North America. We want to develop an audience through being physically seen as well. So, she will be booking shows in Los Angeles and New York, specifically the venues of the El Rey theater (LA) and the Bowery Ballroom (NYC).
Warner Music Group will be handling our US. distribution and thus have attained space allocation for the album in Target and on Amazon. They will also be handling relations with iTunes. The immediate team will not be handling this.
All employees will relay the happenings of their department to Derek York, the manager of alt-j (∆).
10/9 – Website update
10/10 – Send out press kits to major publications – Big Hassle Media
10/13 – Release “Fitzpleasure” single to US Market
10/12 – Begin Fly Today to See alt-j (∆) Competition
10/13 – Put up billboards in LA, NYC, Boston & NYC.
10/14 – Place ads in NYT, LAT, Boston Herald & Las Vegas Sun
10/15 – Begin search for student representatives – Adam Laskey
10/17 – Launch Ad in Spin Magazine – Big Hassle Media
10/20 – Launch Ad in Fader Magazine – Big Hassle Media
10/21 – Make final selections for student representatives – Adam Laskey
10/22 – Launch LA Radio spot on KROQ
10/24 – Band travels to USA
10/28 – Release music video for Fitzpleasure
10/31 – Interview with publications (Spin, Pitchfork, etc) – Big Hassle Media
11/1 – Winners of the Fly Today to See alt-j Competition Announced
11/6 – Show at the Bowery Ballroom in NY – Jasmine Hunter
11/7 – Update required from Nick Ashton on synchronization
11/12 – Album Pre-Sale goes up on iTunes
11/19 – Show at the El Rey in LA – Jasmine Hunter
11/22 – Pitchfork.com Ad runs
11/23 – Release Second Single “Breezeblocks”
11/27 – Launch CD Pre-Sale Package (T-shirt, Poster & CD)
11/29 – US Album Release (Target, Amazon) – Warner Music Group
alt-j has sold about 100,000 units in the UK/EU. These units were priced at £12 each. First, to calculate their possible budget I will convert £12 into dollars, which is $19.12. With an estimate of $12.50 being recouped by the label, $7.50 will be reapplied to the band for marketing, promotion and show preparation. The rest of the $19.12 which is 6.62 will be given to the band, producers, and other miscellaneous fees.
Since $7.50 will be reapplied to the band by Infectious Record. A total of $750,000 ($7.50* Units sold in UK/EU) will be allotted for the budget.
$2000 Press Kit
$1000 Website Update
$19878 Website Pitchfork Ad
$ 23,890 Billboards in LA, NYC, Boston, Las Vegas
$ 2200 1/4 ad pages in NYT, LAT, Boston Herald & Las Vegas Sun
$11000 Advertising (Fader & Spin both half page ads at $5500 each)
$15000 for marketing tools for college student street teams
$ 9456 Public Relations
$ 1500 30-Second Radio Spot for KROQ
$ 30000 Show set-ups in LA & NYC (equipment, booking, staging, etc.)
$12000 Travel (to New York from the UK, and later to Los Angeles for the quartet)
$25000 Staff pay for 2 Months (Social Media, Student Rep. Team, Booking Agent, Media Relations, etc.)
$ 1000 Round trip airfare for two for the Fly Today to See Alt-j Competition
What shall be included in the Press Kit?
BIOGRAPHY (Written by Big Hassle Media)
An Awesome Wave
alt-J (∆)’s name takes a little explaining. Pronounced “alt-J”, the delta sign is created when you hold down the alt key on your computer keyboard and punch ‘J’ on a Mac computer. The symbol has a deeper meaning for the band, as guitarist/bassist Gwil Sainsbury notes, “in mathematical equations it’s used to show change,” and the band’s relatively new name came at a turning point in their lives.
Gwil, Joe Newman [guitar/vocals], Gus Unger-Hamilton [keyboards] and Thom Green [drums] met at Leeds University in 2007. Gus studied English Literature; the other three Fine Art. In their second year of studies, Joe played Gwil a handful of his own songs inspired by his guitar-playing dad and hallucinogens, and the pair began recording in their dorm rooms with Gwil acting as producer on Garageband.
Needless to say, the response to Joe’s hushed falsetto yelps and Gwil’s rudimentary sampling skills was good. When Thom was played the tracks he joined the band straight away. “I hadn’t heard anything like it,” he says. “It was music I was looking for, I just didn’t know I was. I just loved it.”
Gus completed the band’s lineup and together – first as Daljit Dhaliwal and then as Films – the four friends spent the next two years playing around town, developing a precise and unique brand of alt. pop that draws on poignant folk verses, crushing synths, smart hip hop syncopations and tight vocal harmonies. They dropped the moniker of Films in 2007, largely to avoid confusing the band with Californian punk troupe The Films. alt-J (∆) gave them a unique name to go with the unique ‘folk-step’ that they now concoct in the basement of a terrace house in Cambridgeshire.
Admiration and favorable comparisons have come thick and fast for alt-J (∆). Before the release of their instantly sold out debut single on Loud And Quiet last October, the band were described as “Nick Drake meets Gangsta Rap,” and they were likened to Wild Beasts, ‘In Rainbows’ era Radiohead, The xx and Anthony & The Johnsons – acts acclaimed for their ability to create the kind of patient, sophisticated, intricate music that alt-J (∆) do.
An early demo of the skittish, euphoric ‘Breezeblocks’ gained healthy radio play without even being released and alt-J (∆)’s Soundcloud generated over 70,000 plays in its first 6 months with little to no promotion.
From Joe’s high soul cry and Thom’s refusal to drum with cymbals (he started with saucepans because he couldn’t fit a full drum kit in Gwil’s bedroom where the band first practiced), to the sparse guitars and Gus’ delicate key clunks on songs like ‘Bloodflood’, a neat sound-bite for ∆’s music is yet to be coined, and perhaps never will be. And by challenging what constitutes folk, hip hop, indie and pop music, the band have quickly found themselves in the studio at the beginning of 2012, recording their debut album for Infectious Music with long-time producer Charlie Andrew (Micachu & The Shapes, Eugene McGuinness).
Veering wildly from psychedelic avant pop to skeletal folktronica, the finished album promises to trade in understated beauty one minute and epic oddities the next, just as you’d expect from a debut album that tackles everything from love to bullfighting to the heroic life of 1930s war photographer Gerda Taro, crushed by a tank on the frontline. Other tracks are inspired by cinema, including ‘Matilda’ (about Natalie Portman’s character in Luc Besson’s Leon) and the Good The Bad And The Ugly-referencing ‘Tessellate’.
We will have a new press release every time something critical happens such as a new tour, the release of a new single, the premiere of a new music video, and the release of a new album.
(alt + j on a mac = ∆)
The triangle is a critical part in alt-j’s peripherals.
We will have an Electronic Press Kit that includes everything mentioned before. However, there will be a slight difference because it is electronic. The EPK will include a personalized video from the band. It will contain important information like how they started, what were their goals when they began, what do they see in their future, and so forth. The EPK will also have all press releases in video form announced by the band members (individually or together).
This marketing plan is a little unique in that this band is not new and not without fans. It is just relatively unknown within the United States. I have written this in the perspective that this will just be the planning for their initial 2 months in the US, making it possible to change or defer plans once we recognize how the band is being received by the US Market. I also want to note that I wrote this as if the band has not reached the US yet, however, they have and are starting their US tour.
I took care to follow avenues in which promotion will be relatively economical even though we do have an expansive budget from our popularity in the UK. I want to focus on particular regions that can have the ability to provide a large audience (ex. NYC & LA). We want everything we do to be a critical part in expanding the alt-j brand. I believe a critical key in broadening the amount of people who know of alt-j (∆), is to develop relationships with music supervisors. Once the music gets in a show or commercial people tend to get curious and usually end up researching the song. Synchronization will give alt-j a way to reach the national audience without implementing a nationwide marketing plan or dishing out money.
We want to hit college campuses hard with our presence because they are the most willing demographic group to listen to new music and its a great way for WOM because most college students are not from the city in which their school is in. This means they will be telling their friends from home and thus spreading the word. The social media of the band has to run efficiently because fans like to build a relationship with their favorite bands now and alt-j needs to be accessible to do that. I want the band to be marketed in any fashion it can be without it being drastically expensive. Working with the magazines gives us a substantial return whether it is through an ad or a CD Review.