This is another one of those sporadic public service announcements, yet please bear with me, valuable information follows. We have been offering banner ads on Nextbop since January, which have been quite successful at first with independent artists and small labels. We’ve published campaigns for Daniel Rosenboom, Glenn Zaleski, Matt Stevens via Whirlwind Recordings, Rez Abbasi, Tomoko Omura and an extended campaign for the SFJAZZ Collective. There’s nothing that pleases me more than seeing banners on the site promoting relevant and targeted content instead of generalized large corporations. Yet recently, partly due to the increase hours I’ve had to commit to my day job, I have been unable to book our banners. I’ve emailed every artist, label, headphone and speaker company, online music service, musical instrument company and the likes you can think of, yet to no avail. Most just don’t reply and others claim they don’t have a budget for ads. This brings me to my first interrogation: why haven’t most labels and artists’ marketing strategies, specifically within the jazz industry, evolved to capitalize on this new facet of modern life, namely the internet?
Let’s face it, jazz is mostly old-fashioned in its way of thinking and this seems to extend to its marketing tactics. There is plenty of money being budgeted for publicists yet this is where most stop their marketing spending. Don’t get me wrong, publicist are vital, especially the good ones, yet I find them slightly reactive instead of proactive. They write a press release and send it with the album to magazines, radio stations and websites. And then they wait… Some might write a follow-up email but even then, let me tell you first hand, you can’t imagine the number of emails and press releases we receive in a day, so your message essentially gets lost in a crowd. I’m ballparking, but let’s say Nextbop receives 25 albums a day (which isn’t an exaggeration), how do YOU stand out? And let’s face it, we don’t have time to listen to 25 albums a day so we are forced to pick and choose. So in my own personal opinion, publicists are useful yet slightly limited in effectiveness due to the sheer volume of music, aka competition, being pushed to the various medias.
Projects with larger marketing budgets then seem to favor print ads next. Again, nothing wrong with magazines, but I can’t name a single one of my peers that reads print magazines so my guess is that they target a much older demographic. Again, nothing wrong with that, but you might want to broaden your scope especially if you’re a more progressive band. Teens and adults now spend 3 to 4 hours a DAY online. I can’t imagine there are many people who read magazines 3 to 4 hours a day. You can’t deny that. Yet online advertising in the jazz industry seems largely underutilized. When I look at our competitors, it seems we aren’t the only ones having a hard time selling banners. AllAboutJazz mostly features Google banners like the ones on this site at the moment with some ads coming from Amazon. REVIVE music has 2 leaderboards which also are Google banners. Then we arrive at Downbeat and JazzTimes. They do have a significant amount of jazz-related banners (they do have the advantage of being able to upsell online ads to the people mentioned above interested in their print ads) yet aside from ECM who has chosen to have a strong presence on JazzTimes, the banners are for festivals and musicians I’ve never heard about.
All this to say, Nextbop offers banner ads which you should think about next time you’re planning the marketing campaign for your new album, your upcoming festival or even your crowdfunding project. We don’t have time to listen to all the music we are sent, but you can still have a predominant presence on the website for a small fee. You’re on the website right now so we assume you know what we’re all about. If you think our progressive readers are a good fit for your music, then why not target them? Our audience if evergrowing but we currently receive over 6,000 unique visitors a month and we get over 15,000 pageviews. We also have 6,150 Facebook fans and 8,550 Twitter followers. From our Facebook statistics we can deduct that 76% of our readership is male and 37% between the ages of 18 and 34. The vast majority of our readers are from North America although we also have a decent amount of traffic coming from Europe and Japan. In addition to banner ads, you also have the possibility of sending a sponsored newsletter to our 1,150 email subscribers. Our average opening rate for newsletters is currently of 34%. And all this for cheaper than you imagine. Banner ads are more or less $100 a month, although we charge per impression so you can tailor your campaign to your budget, and sponsored newsletters are roughly $180, so less than $0.50 per opened email. If you are interested in any of this feel free to get in touch directly with me at the email address at the top of the post and know that buying ads will in the end finance a better website, journalists and content so you’re investing in a stronger jazz ecosystem. Looking forward to hearing from you!
Sébastien Hélary co-founded Nextbop in 2009 with the objective of introducing modern jazz music to a younger generation of fans. Aside from music, his other main obsession is food and he is the proud chef and co-owner of a little restaurant in Brittany, France.