I'm an afp/dresden dolls fan. Not her biggest ever fan, or anything like that. Just a fan.
I first heard Coin Operated Boy on the radio. I loved it. Probably chalk one up to the record company for getting it there. But I think they also get paid for permission to have any of their songs on the radio, if not per song.
Looked it up on youtube, loved the video. Perhaps the record company had something to do with the video. I don't think we can assume either way.
Then I heard of Amanda Palmer, solo artist, on Neil Gaiman's blog. Nothing to do with the record company. He liked her music, was interested in working with her on a book. I looked what she had put on youtube. Liked what I heard. I believe that was all her, not the record company. I eventually realised she was the same person as the Dresden Dolls woman.
Bought a DD album in a shop. The one that was released before she signed with Roadrunner (I only learnt that today, from the comment above). I imagine they had something to do with getting in the shop, but they had nothing to do with the creation.
I heard through social media (don't specifically remember where), not ads, that she was coming to my city. At the gig, I bought the solo album, WKAP, and one from one of the support acts, Zoe Keating (@zoecello). As described above, the record company had little, if anything, to do with the creation of the album. I presume they were involved in the manufacture. I put money in the hat for the dancers.
I heard about her next gig here through social media again, probably Neil Gaiman's blog. Never saw or heard any ads. I took too long to organise a group to go, so the tickets sold out before I got any. But, through NG's blog & twitter, and afp's twitter, I heard about a free event between the two of them (initially just him & I was going to go to it already before she joined in). That event turned from a simple reading of something of NG's to a Who Killed Amanda Palmer event, where he read stories he'd written for the book, she showed photos from it and sang. 500 people at it, many who had probably never heard her before. This was organised between the two of them and the bookshop it was in. Nothing to do with the record company.
Youtube: I've previously embeded videos in my blog, which possibly introduced more people to her. Recently, I tried finding the Coin Operated Boy video to introduce a friend. Couldn't find it. I've since discovered that Google have taken down Warner videos because Warner pissed them off, looking for more money. So it seems to me that the record company are not only not promoting enough, but are actually getting in the way of promoting.
The Rebellyon: Anonymous Coward@47, and anyone else who thinks the label was right to want to cut the video, have you seen it? Please point out to me the frames that make it "unmarketable". In terms of promotion and marketing, let's give this to both of them. I doubt those couple of frames made any difference to the marketability, but the controversy certainly got her some publicity.
And now, here's more people hearing of her, some of whom may like her & end up buying something. That's because she wrote a blog post, not the label.
So who's promoting her? I know I'm just one person, but in my experience, a little bit the record company, a lot AFP, and a lot people who like her.
And it's not just AFP. I heard of Olga Nunes through Neil Gaiman too. As soon as she's selling music, I'm buying some. I'll know, because I follow her on twitter. I heard of Imogen Heap through Zoe Keating & both their twitter accounts. The next album I buy will probably be hers. I would have one already, but I'm weird and like to buy CDs in shops, and haven't seen one yet. Someday, I'd like to have a Lisa Snelling sculpture. Heard of her through NG's blog too. I bought Dave McKean stamps, which I heard about through NG. That's all through blogs, twitter and personal connections. No traditional advertising.
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