Careers in music industry marketing and promotions focus on the image and media presence of artists and musicians.

It seems like musicians in the public eye always have something in the works - tours, media appearances, music videos, online interactions, and of course hit singles that pop up everywhere. What's not always visible is the nonstop work of the marketing and promotion teams who contribute to these activities, often designing them strategically for the best audience response and financial return. This is the realm of creative directors, marketing managers, publicity personnel, and promotions teams.

These days, a lot of work in music marketing boils down to exposure, production, and branding. Broadly speaking, music marketing teams are responsible for artist-specific branding that accompanies new releases. They work closely with an artist's professional representation and publicity team, finding the most successful niche for that artist's work in the commercial market. Sometimes this crosses over into production, which can include recording sessions, mixing and editing, music videos, photoshoots, promotional videos, and even interactive media campaigns. Another crucial aspect of an artist's public image is airplay - a promotions team is responsible for keeping an artist in rotation with various broadcasting services so that more listeners can be exposed to their music.

Work in music marketing and promotions may include...

  • Planning and running media campaigns
  • Getting stations and services to play or promote an artist's songs
  • Developing strategies for clients
  • Targeting specific regions or demographics for exposure
  • Coordinating events, shows, and promotional content

Marketing agencies and public relations firms employ a large number of marketing and promotional workers who may work with musical artists in some capacity. The marketing departments of performance organizations and music companies also hire professionals to work in these fields, making decisions based on a prospective employee's client portfolio, sample work, and successes to date. Some marketing and promotion professionals get their start in firms that work with an array of clients and eventually narrow their focus to music; others know from the start that they want to work with artists in the music industry and focus on doing outstanding work that gets them noticed by the right people.

It's common to find professionals in this area with undergraduate degrees in marketing, communications, digital media, or arts management. Music business programs in particular can offer industry-specific guidance to those looking to enter the music world. It's important for promotions and marketing professionals to have a balanced skillset; they should be comfortable talking to others in negotiation and pitch scenarios, as well as coming up with different ways to get an artist press and airtime.

If you're a strategic thinker and people person who wants to have a hand in the perception of public figures, consider going into music industry marketing and promotions.

The Recording Academy represents the voices of performers, songwriters, producers, engineers, and all musical professionals.

The Music Business Association (Music Biz) is the only membership organization that unites players from all segments of the global music industry into a collective voice to promote overall growth throughout the industry.