Gary Vaynerchuk On Music Marketing Success: Talks Phish and Grateful Dead

Gary Vaynerchuk On Music Marketing Success: Talks Phish and Grateful Dead

If you don’t know who Gary Vaynerchuck is, you’re going to.


The mainstream doesn’t know yet, but we can guarantee they will.  For the record, he’s a best-selling author and entrepreneur who took over his families wine business out of college and built 3 million in revenue to over 60 million by utilizing savvy web marketing strategies and YouTube videos to publish daily wine videos. After 19 months of working on his videos five days a week, and zero people caring, he was able to build leverage and unique notoriety which spawned his $100 Million company Vayner Media.  His online web series, The #AskGaryVee Show, has become a magnet for audiences seeking unfiltered, candid, and awe-inspiring insights into social media, marketing, and brand building.

In This Episode Of #AskGaryVee (Watch Below):

“What advice would Gary Vaynerchuck have for musicians in the 21st Century?”

1. Be Wherever People In Your Genre Of Music Are


Not geographically, but regarding what corners of the internet your audience lives in. You don’t need to be in a central hub such as New York, LA, or Denver; you just need to utilize your digital real estate.  If your audience is 25 and younger and you’re not on Soundcloud, Instagram, and Snapchat, you’re not maximizing your market share.  He states the youth markets as being an essential and ‘over-indexing’ play, meaning that they are a great audience because they sort and sift through more music and more data without being lost in the mayhem.

2. You Need To Be Putting Out Content Everywhere


Once you build a catalog of material, with a depth that reaches across diverse channels, you can create leverage.  He doesn’t bother using the notion of selling music a hot route, and because we all dismissed that a long time ago. There will always be live shows, brands willing to pay for music, and merchandise yet these are just standard practice.  The music industry has been turned upside down in the past few years, and it’s going to take time for the new school of artists to figure out how to succeed where the industry as a whole has stumbled. You don’t need to know how yet; you just need to pretend you do.

3. Grateful Dead or Phish; You Need To Build A Community



It’s not good enough just to put out a song, distribute it, and get it on every platform.  Bands like the Grateful Dead and Phish are zero percent known for their record sales, yet still their incredible live shows represent just a fraction of their iconic reality. Their most powerful asset was, and still is, transcending their music into a lifestyle; a lifestyle that people believe in so deeply that they would follow it to the end of the earth and still buy a t-shirt. Pop music is often accredited to ‘sucking the bag’ because its plays to fleeting and shallow cultural sediments that focus on one-sized fit all tactics. Being an iconic band means building meaningful music and culture that lasts a lifetime (we’re not sure in which order), and if you’re timelessly relevant, you rewrite the history books forever.

4. Understand The Long Tail



Vaynerchuk references ‘The Long-Tail’ which is a reference to Chris Anderson’s book of the same name. It establishes the ways in which the democratization of production, publishing, and consumption via the Internet has tipped the scales in favor of DIY culture. It has created a “longer tail” or “shelf life” of accessibility and discovery which is no longer limited by shelf space, radio plays, the music industry, or mainstream culture. Industries of deep tradition such as country now struggle to define and monetize success based upon scaling ‘hits’ which no longer siphons the sales and massive profits to A&R, distribution companies, and record labels that it once did. Ronald Regan coined the enthusiasm for the top infrastructure raking in the cheese off the backs of working artists through the moniker “trickle down economics”. Thanks for the trickle, Ron.

5. Decide If You Want to Make it, Or If You Want to Crush It


Many artists would be ecstatic to make 40K a year by monetizing their art or channels, I definitely would.  When in the past they needed to do meaningless life-sucking tasks just to get by, artists can now do what they do best: get creative. Most artists would prefer to simply release their art and see what happens, but Vaynerchuk makes it apparent that those who truly want to make big money need to care about their audience.

Gary Vee On The Music Industry

“There are fewer people now at the top…there are very few people making gazillions of dollars just selling music. What’s happened is that the internet has created a longer tail, and so there’s a lot more people right now making thousands, and tens of thousands, and hundreds of thousands…if you’re an artist, and musicians are, you just want to be able to do your art. Do you know how many people are happy making $41,000 a year which they can because of modern technology, whether through Ad sense or a TV show]”

6. The Connection Is The Game


In the current state of things that means opening your life beyond your workstation and giving people what they all want from their favorite artists: to genuinely know who they are. There are no immediate successes, and the reality is that fanbases are built two eyes at a time.

“If you want to really crush it, and still play your music? Well then you’re gonna have to care about the audience, one by one by one by one. You’re gonna have to do things for you audience.  What I mean by that is that you have to keep delivering them behind the scenes footage, you have to keep making that connection, and keep taking away that velvet rope.  That connection is the game.”

Watch The Full Episode