Sell More Music & Segment

Sell More Music & Segment

5th August 2015
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Before we get in to market segmentation, I have a quick story to share.

One member of my mailing list emailed me a few weeks ago with a story. He is a music producer, trying to sell instrumentals online and he has A LOT of business problems.

Anyway, he was telling me how he offers three genres of instrumentals for licensing. He then told me how he markets all three genres to exactly the same audience, yet only manages to sell a few $20 beats here and there.

He wants to quit. I explained to him why he shouldn’t with one simple word.


But before I delve deeper, I just want to say that I’m going to save the issues I have with his pricing strategy for another time. Second of all and more importantly, if you’re making any mistakes and you feel like quitting, I want to tell you that it’s okay.

Everyone makes mistakes when they are starting out. Your ambition takes over and you are in a rush to make that first sale and you attempt ANY questionable promotional strategy recommended by “Big Booty Beatz”.

And some of you guys really do take some sleazy advice, but it’s fine. You’re in rehab now.

Before you even take your first steps in promotion, I want you to sit down, grab a pen and paper and…


“Alright! I’ll segment! But, what the Hell is it?” I hear you cry.


An Introduction to Segmentation

Market segmentation is the process of dividing (segmenting) a market in to smaller groups. The groups are then made up of customers who all share similar characteristics. Why?

Customers have various needs, various budgets, various locations, etc.

And let’s face it, not every business or product is going to be able to answer the needs of every single segment of a market, and this is EXACTLY why we have niche markets.

(If you’d like to read the benefits and drawbacks of niche markets, click here.)

Segmentation is about being SPECIFIC.

Furthermore, the benefits to segmenting markets are vast and the opportunities are virtually endless. Think about this for a second…

I’m a huge fan of Swansea City, who are a Premier League football team (or if you’re American – soccer).

Imagine if I segmented a part of my mailing list to find Swansea City or general Premier League fans, and sent that segment a Swansea City shirt. Quite an expensive marketing campaign, but this would turn some of those readers in to avid fans of Internal Affairs (and that’s really important to me).

Additionally, if my reader (the producer I mentioned at the beginning) focused on the segments which targeted the specific genres he sold (instead of targeting artists generally) he wouldn’t be struggling to get people to buy his beats for $20.


He’d have a better understanding of his clientele, and could promote his beats in a more valuable and meaningful way.

Just to play with another example (because I like examples), imagine if one of the genres he sold was R&B and the other was West Coast Hip Hop. He would not be selling those instrumentals to the same people…

R&B instrumentals would attract singers while the West Coast Hip Hop instrumentals would attract rappers, probably on the West Coast.

To push the example even further, his marketing campaign could target both segments individually. He could write two blog posts. One about the best studio microphones for singers, the second could be about the best microphones for rappers.

He could then promote those posts on Facebook, and the blog post targeting rappers could be promoted specifically towards rappers on the West Coast. Do you see how valuable it is!?

You better say “Yes”.

Anyway, let’s get in to…

The Four Bases

We now know why to segment, but how do we do it?

Well, there are four main bases to segmenting a market and they are geographic, demographic/firmographic, psychographic and behaviouristic.

Geographic is associated with the location of the customer. Therefore, you’d consider the region they are located, whether it was urban or rural and the population density of that region… You might even want to think about the weather and climate, if you plan to tour there!

Now, demographic and firmographic are virtually the same things. Demographic is focused on consumers (who your fans are) and firmographic is focused on businesses (the artists you work with/produce for, companies you license music to, etc.). These two areas cover a wide range of variables including the age of the consumer or business, the consumer’s gender, the size of the customer’s family, their occupation, income, education and religion.

Psychographic covers the lifestyle elements of your customer. Therefore, you’d consider what their hobbies, opinions, other interests and even social class are.

And finally, the behavioural variables include brand loyalty, the benefits the customer wants to receive from buying from you, their usage rate (how much they’ll listen to your album, or attend gigs), and their readiness to purchase.

That really was jam-packed full of information, but I told you to sit back and grab a pen and paper!

One Last Thing

I have a few requests.

  1. I noticed a lot of you have been slacking a lot when I’ve asked you to comment (and when I say a lot, I mean A LOT)… I want you to take an extra two minutes of your time to write a comment telling me your first thoughts on how you’ll be using segmentation in the future. Let me know if you want me to expand on any of the points I make. I’ll be happy to… And remember, if you don’t comment, I know who you are!
  2. If you know anyone in the music industry who is struggling with defining their audience, I want you to send them this link. Remember how I gave the example of giving value to my readers by buying them a Swansea City shirt? Use this blog post as a Swansea shirt, and send it to a friend of yours.

Now, this really is the last thing. If you’re new around here, why not subscribe to my mailing list? You can do so below. It’s FREE!

Thank you for reading,



  1. Arthur D, Progressive House/Electro House Music Producer 8th August 2015 2:05 pm

    Hmm? Sounds as if my man put all his eggs into one basket. Also quitting before you even started? Not a good look. Dude… work alone I say lol. This is why I throw on my blinders and stick to one genre. Trying to market to more than one demographic is another job title all itself. Also how will people categorize you? Approcahing them by saying “I’m an EDM artist” or “I make everything” will not help your situation at all. They are going to need specifics. I hate going on a soundcloud page and not understanding what a person is trying to be. If you’re experimenting a heads up would be nice. ARE YOU A music hobbyist? Telling folks that would also help. “I make everything”. What does that mean?

    Wow on the psychographic bit. You spoke on this before with the whole wanting to know what music listeners spend money on outside of music. This one is probably going to end up being my fave. Music is probably way at the bottom of that totem pole for most people but it’s there. I honestly feel they would want to support what they like way more if you enhanced their situation. Helpful tips on how to lead a better existence and enjoy your life would benefit the world at large. why line your pockets with cash and not give it back somehow? You just got a pepsi deal worth millions. How about sharing that with Pepsi employees? Instant fan without even trying. Fans are worth more than money.

    • Jordan Brace
      Jordan Brace 9th August 2015 9:05 am

      Some very good points. An important point to make is that even you, have two segments… Fans but also artists, so it’s important to think of the two segments separately.

      Your point about fans being worth more than money is VERY true. It’s very similar to my point about giving out Swans shirts to try and turn readers in to avid fans of Internal Affairs. “Small” gestures go a LONG way.


  2. William 8th September 2015 3:06 am

    The article is great, but I have one question. How do you go about learning this info about your customers? Send them a survey? Do a focus group? I think tons of customers wouldn’t bother filling out a survey. I know I always pass on filling out extra info when I’m asked to by websites. I’m always just trying to get to a specific end product, and a survey popping up would just annoy me. I don’t even like having to do the verify my email step when signing up at places. lol 🙂 – Major thanks if you get around to answering my question btw.

    • Jordan Brace
      Jordan Brace 10th September 2015 4:25 pm

      Hi William,

      Sorry for the delayed response. I have taken the month of September off for family and some rest (although, my nephews were running me ragged last weekend).

      To answer your question broadly: Whatever way is suitable for you.

      To be more specific: There are plenty of avenues you can take.

      Sometimes, defining your segment is as simple as just defining yourself. And THAT is always the first step I recommend taking before anything else. Figure out who you are, and how you consume the (style/genre of) music you make. After all, you’re your number 1 fan, right?

      I use a lot of secondary sources when I want to find more information about a segment. By that I mean, I consume plenty of information that is out there about the segment (a range of articles from websites i.e. Billboard, and any blogs already in that segment, etc).

      I also use a thing on Facebook called Graph Search which is something I will get in to in a future post, as I know I’ve recommended it to a lot of people who have no idea how to set it up or use it effectively.

      The only time I use primary research (I.e. Surveys and focus groups) is when I haven’t been able to find the answers I was looking for through secondary means.

      Don’t look too deeply in to figuring out everything about your market and figuring out all your planning, etc. Sometimes, you just need to say “Hey, I only know 60% of what I wanted to. It’s time to take a leap of faith, otherwise I’ll never do it.”

      Hope that answers your question and thanks for commenting.


    • Arthur D 10th September 2015 8:11 pm

      Actually filling iut surveys are exactly what you should do if you want a service that you use to be even greater. Not saying anything is just like saying there’s nothing to be fixed when clearly therected is. Lol I get tired of signing up for stuff to because it’s going to be one more email to read. Luckily these days mostly everything is tied in with one of your social media accounts making it a faster way to go about things. It can be annoying sometimes having to sign for something new but it’s not like we have a choice. It’s all apart of being in the matrix lol.


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