Bribing DJs to Play Your Music: Is it a Good Idea?

In our last blog post, we mentioned that one of the ways in which you can take your music career to the next level is by paying DJs to play your music frequently. As expected, that suggestion has aroused a great deal of controversy among readers, with some strongly feeling that it is not a good idea. Against that background, we have decided to tackle that issue on its own – as we try to figure out whether or not it is a good idea to bribe DJs for them to be playing your music more frequently.

Here is the truth of the matter: whether bribing DJs to play your music more frequently is a good idea or not depends on the context you are operating within. It more specifically depends on what is considered ‘best practice’ within the market you are operating. You see, there are some markets where musicians routinely bribe DJs for them to play their music more frequently. It is treated casually – you know, just the way a new GM dealer could pay an established dealer for the latter to teach him how to use the GMGlobalConnect portal. In such a market, if you decide not bribe the DJs,  chances are that they will not give a lot of airplay to your music (even if it is truly good music). They could even start giving negative reviews to your music, and generally cricizing it. Therefore your music career will fail to take off, simply because you decided not to give money to the influential DJs.

On the other hand, there are markets where bribing DJs is frowned upon. In such markets, the DJ could even out you, for attempting to bribe him to play your music more. Within that context, it is assumed that if you have to bribe DJs to play your music, then it is not good music. If you are operating in such a market, then, by all means, you should not even consider giving an inducement for a DJ to play your music more.

4 Ways to Take Your Music Career to the Next Level

If you wish to take your music career to the next level of success, you need to consider doing the following things:

  1. Produce truly good music, consistently: This has to be the starting point in all this. You will never succeed in your music career if you keep on coming up with mediocre music. You need to listen deeply to the music (by other musicians) that is considered to be ‘good’, and understand what differentiates it from mediocre music. Then you need to ensure that all the hits that you come up with in the future have all the characteristics of ‘good’ music. Only then you would be on track towards attain true success in your music career.
  2. Organize live concerts: The idea here is for you to bond with your fans, which is another important cog in the music success gear wheel. Even if you don’t make a great deal of money from the live performance gigs, it would give you a chance to interact directly with fans, and to create life-long memories in the fans’ minds.
  3. Introduce your music to radio DJs: The objective here is to have your music start enjoying a lot of airplay. That would potentially help you connect with certain fans that you wouldn’t be able to connect with in any other way.
  4. Pay DJs to play your music frequently: This is admittedly controversial. But if you are in a market where people pay DJs to have their music played frequently, then you too should do it. It is not as expensive as you think. If, for instance, you have 50 or 100 bucks in your prepaid card (as confirmed through the PrepaidCardStatus portal) you can use the money to incentivize an upcoming DJ. The deal would be for the DJ to start playing your music more frequently. That is definitely better than spending all that money on booze. If yours is truly good music (see tip 1 above) and DJs start playing it more frequently, you would be well on your way towards becoming the next music star.

Understanding the Music Production Process

The music production process usually starts with the composition of a song. So a musician gets inspiration for a song, and he proceeds to write it. There are some musicians who start with the melody (that is, by composing the melody) before proceeding to write the lyrics. There are others who start with the lyrics, before proceeding to compose a melody to go with the lyrics. There are some who will just take another melody that was composed by someone else before, and fit their lyrics in it. All in all, the first step is to compose the song.

Having composed the song, the next step is to compose the instrumental backup for it. The melody usually guides the instrumental backup. The idea is usually to make the instruments produce sounds that match with the song’s melody. There are studio artists who usually help other musicians with this aspect of music composition. But some accomplished musicians will insist on doing their own instrumentation. There is also the option of using computer-generated beats. These have made the music recording process easier. I mean, with a program like Fruity Loops, the music beats generation process has become has easy as the check mybalancenow process (which Target gift cardholders use to view their gift cards’ balances).

Once the instrumental backups have been composed, the next step is to actually record the music. So the musician, together with his team/band/choir proceeds to the music studio, to record the new song. Nowadays, thanks to ‘track’ recording technologies, it is possible to record different instruments/voices separately, and then put them together or combine them later.

Once the master copy of the song has been recorded, the next step is to produce copies of it for distribution to the targeted audience. This is also when the ‘promotion’ starts – the idea being to get the targeted audience to know (and love) the new song. The promotion may entail getting DJs to start playing the new song. It may also entail giving the song to radio stations and encouraging them to play it. If it is a good song, it soon becomes popular and that potentially translates into quite a fortune for the people who produced it…

Would it be a Good Idea for L Brands to Play Music in its Stores?

I have been wondering whether it would be a good idea for clothes retailers like L Brands to be playing music in their stores. So this would be a question of having speakers all over the stores, from which music would be blaring. Or alternatively opting for the ‘piped music’ approach, commonly used in high-end restaurants – where subtle music would be relayed to the customers in all corners of the stores.

I am of the view that if clothes retailers like L Brands were to start playing music in their stores, their sales would soar. That is because the customers who are exposed to nice music would tend to stay in the stores for longer. And the longer a customer stays in a store, the higher their chances of ending up buying something there. You could even have people who would be visiting the music stores with the sole intention of listening to the music (at a subconscious level), but eventually end up buying some stuff for themselves or for their loved ones.

Further, if clothes retailers like L Brands were to start playing music in their stores, they would greatly improve their employees’ morale. That is important because, as we all know, the success of a big company like L Brands depends, to some considerable extent, on how well its employees are motivated. And whereas other formal aces limited brands etm associates resources may be effective at motivating the employees, informal things like music can go even further in enhancing motivation.

Of course the idea (of playing music in L Brands and other clothes retailing stores) would come with some cost. Considerable investments would have to be made in the procurement of music playing equipment. And the retailers would also probably have to pay royalties to the musicians whose works they play. So what would be necessary here is a cost-benefit analysis – where the cost of playing music in the L Brands stores is compared to the associated benefits.

Are L Brands Employees Allowed to Play Music at Work?

For the last 10 years that I have been shopping at L Brands, never once have I found an employee (of L Brands) playing music at work. This is remarkable to me, because most of the people who work at L Brands seem to be members of generations X and Y. And those are people to whom music is an integral part of life. They are the sorts of people who, you know, always have headphones plugged to their ears. They are the sorts of people who tend to get so engrossed in music that they come to treat all other things as distractions! At L Brands though, you find that most of the employees belong to those generations – yet you won’t find them playing music at work. How do you explain this?

One theory, according to me, is that there could be a rule explicitly barring the L Brands employees from playing music at work. This is just a theory, of course.

Another theory is that the onboarding training given to the L Brands employees discourages them from playing music at work. I also understand that besides the onboarding training, the L Brands employees are given ‘refresher’ training on an ongoing basis – some of it in the form of aces limited brands memos. All the management has to do is issue one such memo, discouraging the employees from playing music at work, and the culture of not playing music at work would take root henceforth.

Yet another theory is that the L Brands employees are simply so committed to their work that they feel no need to play music at work. As in, the work is so stimulating and so psychologically rewarding that the need to play music at work doesn’t arise. This could be true, because in most of the other places where you find employees playing music at work, it is usually due to boredom.