November 17, 2019

Essay #2: Why an electronic press kit (EPK) is so important for independent artists


In the age of social media, influencers, and followers, what do artists really need other than a large digital following? It seems that with all the services built to promote and build up likes and subscribers, there aren't that many other avenues for artists to grow in terms of their digital following. Networks such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook are the primary means nowadays, yet their algorithms have not been very artist or business-friendly. They have now become known to hold back most artist or business posts to just a fraction of those who are interested in their work. This archaic design is targeted to your Facebook page and business, promising increased impressions for "sponsored" posts, and is predatory at best when an artist's reach used to simply mean those who like their page. When it comes to public visibility, what most artists need to understand now more than ever is the ever-growing importance of electronic press kits, or EPKs.

What makes an electronic press kit so important for independent artists?

As artists become more dependent on social accounts to increase their visibility, they have the added obstacle of their "actual reach", this now being only a fraction of what they've been capable of in the past with networks such as Facebook. Independent artists that need this boost in quality promotion would benefit the most with press services and an EPK.

Many blogs offer a version of these services by "posting artist content", but few take steps above and beyond a traditional post and actually form insightful, detailed, and carefully considered words in the form of articles the way that AirdriftSignals Music Magazine does. This can be witnessed by just scrolling through our many entries of articles. Whether it is an interview, such as the one done with New York rapper Thomas Coppola, a full album review, like B. Dvine's The Process of Illumination, or a press release for a single or music video, such as those by Cuban Pete or Paranormal Adam.

A lot of blog publications will post a YouTube link or a Bandcamp single with fewer words than a simple tweet. This is hardly a satisfying product to an artist who is vying to get some thoughtful feedback with their music. These forms of "press" also risk getting lost in the ether of infinitely expanding timelines and news feeds, and this is where another benefit befalls the artists who have received the unique and specialized writing services of AirdriftSignals: a quality-written and tangible product, and real, unlimited, global reach.

As a business-minded owner myself, in charge of my own artist brand, a long-running radio program (which was designed to promote independent artists from the very start), and now an online music magazine (which will be growing into a team of passionate staff writers), I have witnessed the potential of a worldwide reach with multiple platforms, and the phrase "it isn't what it used to be" is ironically already able to be applied to networks such as Facebook and others because of their reach restrictions and their push for owners to pay them advertising fees. The same day that I personally announced this magazine's expansion, I have experienced a significant spike in global traffic, page views, and article views, that is increasing by the day. Now, there are over a thousand page visits by the day, and articles further back in the AirdriftSignals archives that are also being read by new subscribers. Besides the United States, there has been a spike in readership in countries such as France, Canada, and the United Kingdom, and regions such as Russia and South Africa.

An unexplainable phenomena

What is beautiful about this magazine's design is the ever-growing global readership and the unlimited, unrestricted, capability for its content to spread, unlike that of social networks. To say that your music could reach over a thousand (and growing) people daily is a huge benefit to those who are just starting out, and even those who are well-established can only gain from this process. As the artists whom I have mentioned (and those I have not) received these writing services, so too will they come to realize that getting their music articles in an up-and-coming, specialized, and growing music magazine will only continue to benefit them for years to come as readership increases globally. This makes thoughtful and impressive music articles for independent artists stand above and beyond what other promotional services, such as like-pushers, and marketers, who claim to "increase followers", have to offer. What marketers and most artists need to realize now is that the value in such an endeavor is decreasing over time, while actual, quality press articles leave a tangible product and a powerful marketing tool in artists' hands, which ultimately stands the test of time.