Indie Rapper Tops Sales Charts By Connecting With Fans, Using Free Music
from the oh-look-at-that... dept
Miller sold about 150,000 copies of his debut album last week and became the first indie artist to debut at the top of Billboard in well over a decade. And he did so without having a single playing on the radio (another thing that old-timers insist is a "must.") While he had some help from truly indie label Rostrum, he also worked with INgrooves and Fontana for distribution, and apparently it all worked well enough. But, of course, the real key was the internet. The NY Times points out that Miller is one of a generation of hip hop artists recognizing that "free music is an investment that pays off." Shocking. If only there had been sites arguing that for the better part of a decade... But I digress.
But the driving force behind Miller's success on the sales charts is that he's really connecting with fans. His Twitter feed has 1.2 million followers and his Facebook feed has 1.5 million fans. His YouTube channel apparently has something crazy like 176 million views. But it's not just about the numbers, but the connection. Miller has continued to tour and perform live as a way of building up his fanbase, but also interacts with them online in a variety of ways.
I'm sure, as with every artist success story we highlight around here, our usual critics will come up with all sorts of reasons why Miller is "an exception." But one by one, all of the "must haves" that the old guard insists are necessary are being shown to be total myths. Embracing the internet works. Treating the internet as a problem, doesn't.