- Real Estate
- Food & Drink
- Things to Do
This article is sponsored by Play MPE. The platform has become the preferred digital distribution system for artists and record labels around the world
In 1998 a pre-mega-famous Radiohead starred in a documentary called Meeting People Is Easy, the inside joke being that’s not exactly true in the music industry. A film crew followed the band around the world as it worked to catch the attention of journalists, radio programmers, TV personalities and potential fans. The message was that getting noticed in the music business can be gruelling and frustrating work. The look that’s always on singer Thom Yorke’s face isn’t hard to read: there’s got to be a better way.
If only there’d been Play MPE.
Chances are excellent you’ve heard of the Vancouver-based company if you, or someone you know, works in the music biz. Play MPE has become the preferred digital distribution system for artists and record labels around the world.
From majors like Universal, Sony and Warner to heavy-hitting subsidiaries and indies like Def Jam, Epitaph and Broken Bow, labels have embraced the service to safely and securely deliver music. Independent artists have also turned to Play MPE to reach those who help make careers: journalists, radio programmers, music supervisors, bloggers and even the folks who pick the songs that play in retail stores and restaurants.
To understand how dominant Play MPE is in the industry – not only Canada, but the U.S., Europe and Australia – consider this: the platform has reached one billion distributions.
Here’s how it works. Back in Radiohead’s day, physical copies of an album, along with a glossy promotional photo and printed bio materials, would be sent to tastemakers.
Today everything’s digital. If you’re a label or artist, that means sending your record release info via email. And that’s only after figuring out who to contact so your email doesn’t sit unopened or trashed.
The Play MPE platform removes that guesswork for you with its Caster component. Through an easy step-by-step process, Caster can be used to create a comprehensive promo campaign where email recipients receive a one-stop package: promo images, biographical materials, metadata, and watermarked music files. Those files can then be instantly accessed – through stream or download – using Play MPE’s Player application.
Whether you’re a new-to-the-game artist, or an established label, Play MPE helps with tips like ensuring ISRC codes are included, and suggestions for distribution lists based on music genre, formats and territories to help users build an optimal and effective campaign.
Those lists are important. Sending an email is easy. Capturing the attention of someone getting hourly emails from countless other artists and labels isn’t. As a result, the business is often about who you know. And, because of its dominance and global reach, those in the industry know, and look for, the name Play MPE.
Caster campaigns can be set up to target carefully vetted tastemakers. Artists and labels can access meticulously compiled distribution lists to help decide where a release will be sent. That way your retro-gangster rap single doesn’t land in a gospel-radio inbox, and your hardcore-punk opus isn’t sent to an old-timey country blog.
Play MPE’s Caster shows who has streamed or downloaded an album or track, which is invaluable for follow-ups. After an initial email release campaign with Caster, there are an additional two free re-blasts, which can be salted with info such as tour dates, video links and, hopefully, universally glowing press quotes.
Play MPE’s success reflects the experience on the company’s team. Allan Benedict came to the platform after stints as a Chicago radio programmer and marketer for records by the high-wattage likes of David Bowie and Daft Punk.
“Caster is an incredible tool for both developing and established artists that gives you complete control over your release in a user-friendly interface,” Benedict says. “If you’re hoping to expand your reach into a new territory, you want to be on top of your assets, what your release looks like, and who’s receiving it and Caster provides just that opportunity. With reporting tools and detailed list management, you’ll know where you’re gaining traction and where you could still have some work to do to hit your goal.”
Play MPE team member Glenn Aure worked in radio programming in San Francisco before sliding into promotions with such labels as Epic, Def Jam and Warner.
“Play MPE has become the golden standard for many labels and artists to get their music out to radio and tastemakers,” he enthuses. “Their Caster system is a great tool to discover content at the touch of your fingertips. It’s easy to use and content continues to grow each and every day. If you’re not using Play MPE, you need to step up your promotional game now!”
Meeting people can be hard, as Radiohead once discovered. With Play MPE Caster, e-meeting them is not only easy, it’s a proven way to get the attention of industry insiders.