Early in 2022, we made some bold predictions about music PR and promotion for the year ahead. We highlighted some artists that we could see building momentum towards a release, picked some trends – and gave a nod to the rise of digital PR for music.
So, what did we get right, and who’s really going the extra mile with dance music PR right now? Let’s get into it.
Our predictions; what did we get right?
There’s still a lot of 2022 left to go – but we did get a few things right early on.
Just as we thought, albums really are cool again! Not only in digital streaming formats, but as CDs. That’s right, CD sales are up for the first time since 2004, meaning vinyl isn’t the only cool physical format in town anymore.
We didn’t see that one coming, but we do have an inkling as to why; 90s culture is Gen Z’s biggest fashion inspiration at the moment, and CDs fit into that aesthetic perfectly. It’s very interesting to see fashion’s circular nature. Some of us are old enough to remember the 60s fashion resurgence – and lived through the “second 80s” that still admittedly feels recent.
Maybe some EDM producers should release a limited run of CDs, if they’re in the right scene – but be wary of fashions like this; because what’s hip today is totally square tomorrow.
Releases that made the news
Well, just as we predicted, Bastille released their album to glowing reception after months of hype and promotion. And tracks from RuPaul’s MAMARU were played extensively through the course of Drag Race season 14, just as expected.
But one high-profile release was notably absent; Sinead O’Connor’s strongly anticipated return, No Veteran Dies Alone. Tragically, Sinead’s teenage son passed away in the month the album was due to drop.
O’Connor retired from music immediately, stating “there will never be anything to sing about again”.
We’re so sad to hear of Sinead’s loss, and her withdrawal from music. Perhaps with time to heal, she’ll be ready to show the world what she recorded – but we just can’t imagine that’s even on her radar right now.
The best EDM promotion we’ve seen so far
Music promotion in 2022 is heavily digital, which makes perfect sense, as that’s the platform we’ve all adopted. But just “doing digital” doesn’t mean success is guaranteed; in fact, it’s noisy as hell out there – and doing anything of value is hard to see among all that noise. Standing out isn’t easy, but some artists and their promo teams have done incredibly well.
Surprisingly, the best stuff we’ve seen hasn’t been solely digital; it’s been a mix of performance, collaboration, and digital “firsts”.
Swedish House Mafia – Paradise Again
Bafflingly, Paradise Again is Swedish House Mafia’s first studio album, after an illustrious career of collaborations, singles and legendary DJ sets.
Promotion of the record was peaking during Coachella, as the trio and their huge collaboration with The Weeknd took to the stage in lieu of Ye (the artist formerly known as Kanye West).
Backing this massive new visibility for the group, the album’s track listing was revealed to the press; star-studded with guest artists like A$AP Rocky, Ty Dolla Sign, Sting – and of course, The Weeknd.
The group landed a spot on Zane Lowe’s huge Apple Music podcast, off the back of becoming the first act ever to appear on a Spotify live stream event.
This all happened in the space of about one week.
And what a week it was for the Swedish supergroup and their PR team!
Music PR trends; what’s hot right now?
As ever, music promotion on TikTok remains a staple. It’s hotter than ever, and new crazes, trends and hits are a daily occurrence.
That’s great, if you get a hit. But then… What happens when you’re not the flavour of the week anymore?
You’ve got to play the long game, too, and diversify your music PR. By all means – keep it digital – just don’t just focus on social media alone. Branch out, with these promotion channels:
An effective trend we’re seeing is artists as podcast guests. You might not get an interview with Zane Lowe until you’re a world famous act, but the abundance of podcasts out there means you’ll easily find a guest opportunity if you ask around, especially niche dance and EDM podcasts.
The beauty of landing a podcast spot is that, if you have music released on streaming platforms, you’ve got the listener right where you want them – and can plug your release effectively.
Live performances and collaborations
Live work and collaboration are now transitioning from trends into ”must-haves” for music promotion.
You don’t have to be Swedish House Mafia to nail it, either.
Find the equivalent act to The Weeknd in your local scene, or do a remote collaboration with someone you’ve got in your network who you admire. Put yourself out there and ask… The worst you’ll get is a “no”.
EDM production isn’t a “live” artform, so to speak. Getting that authentic live music experience can be harder for EDM artists.
Collaborating with a live performer gives you the opportunity to reach a new audience, and puts your work on the radar of other artists. It also gives you live performance experience, and an insight into how that side of music works – which is really valuable if you have yet to take to a stage.
Urban Rebel – PR for EDM producers and dance music
We work with the most exciting emerging talent and established acts, delivering effective promotional strategies and PR for EDM producers.