10 Best Music Marketing Campaigns

We explore some of the most inspirational music marketing campaigns…



An effective marketing campaign can be the difference between success and failure when releasing music. 

With the digital world increasingly surrounding everything around us, music lovers have more choice than ever when it comes to listening to new music.

As a music fan, this is brilliant - but as a music maker or music industry professional looking to get an artist heard, this busy landscape can mean there are more challenges to overcome than ever before.


What are Music Marketing Strategies?

From posting animated track snippets to putting together an effective electronic press kit, there are myriad different music marketing strategies pursued by our favourite bands.

A marketing budget will often dictate what approach might be taken with independent artists and emerging artists often needing to be more inventive than bands signed with major labels.

An effective music marketing campaign will see a band use everything from YouTube ads to album artwork to gain press coverage around an upcoming release or global tour. 

How to Learn the Latest Music Marketing Ideas

To respond to this new world, we’ve launched a new course aimed at equipping marketing professionals with the skills to succeed in music marketing.

If you're looking for some more music marketing inspiration outside of studying a course, then we've put together some essential tips below.

Look to Your Musical Heroes

Aside from honing these skills via lectures or lessons, it is also well worth looking to your favourite artists or record labels for inspiration. 

Although these kinds of ideas cannot usually be repeated, you may well discover some new tricks or gain some inspiration to get you excited about the sort of lateral thinking you can deploy to stand out from the crowd.

From hosting music festivals to landing exclusives on streaming services like Apple Music, the options out there are many when it comes to winning over new fans. Be as original and as creative as you like. 

Create a Music Video ... or Visual Content

According to the Visual Teaching Alliance, 90 percent of the information the human brain receives is visual, which it processes 60,000 times faster than text. This is perhaps why visual content, particularly video content, usually performs well on social media posts.

By posting music videos, or a snippet of a music video, then you're more likely to make someone stop scrolling and take a look at your post.

This is why 54 percent of marketers believe that video is the most valuable content type for achieving social media marketing goals. 


Use your Music Industry Network

Utilise your effective communication skills to establish and develop an extensive network of music industry contacts.

How do you do this? Well you can start by contacting fellow music industry professionals via social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram. You can start connections like this, then meet up in person once the time is right to cement a relationship.

Alternatively, offer your services or facilitate opportunities for collaborating to kick-start these partnerships. If they can be mutually beneficial, then they will be worth their weight in gold.

Music Marketing Inspiration

Here, we explore some of the most exciting music marketing campaigns out there for marketing inspiration…

Beyonce | ‘Renaissance’  


Beyonce is perhaps the biggest megastar in contemporary music. As befits her status as the 'Queen of Pop', her marketing tactics continually raise the bar for how artists interact with audiences and grow their following. 

In 2013, she changed the game with her self-titled fifth record. Many artists have followed her lead and releasing a surprise album is now a common tactic. 

Then in 2016, she released 'Lemonade' on Tidal for the music and HBO for a visual album, something few stars of her stature had tried before. 

‘Renaissance’, released earlier in 2022, has again set the path for others to follow. The story is multi-faceted as indeed Beyonce is an artist.

From working with a plethora of brilliant, cutting edge producers (A.G. Cook and Honey Dijon - we’re looking at you) to the tracks themselves and the musical splash it caused (she’s 'saving' house music, according to the media narrative), this release positions Beyonce as a cultural centre around which everything else orbits.

The album cover is as out there as some of the music - and suggests that now Beyonce can do whatever she wants. Rather than taking over the pop universe, she is now a universe in herself that we are all in awe of...

Stormzy | 'This is What I Mean' and Adidas


As an artist and creative, Stormzy, like Beyonce, is writing his own rulebook with his music marketing strategy. While his musical roots are in the abrasive rhymes and beats of UK grime, he’s launched his own Merky Books publishing house and launched a scholarship at Cambridge University.

Like Beyonce, he turns his hand to any method and all platforms are all up for grabs to fuel a powerful marketing strategy. 

His new record, ‘This is What I Mean’, has seen Stormzy using heavyweight promotional tactics somewhat removed from his early career. Its release has been propelled by a high-profile BBC interview with Louis Theroux, and an online video where Stormzy plays the record to the inspirational and inspired producer, Rick Rubin.

Alongside the record, Stormzy has long-been associated with Adidas and features in the brand's ‘Impossible Is Nothing’ recent World Cup 2022 campaign. 

The ‘Family Reunion’ film follows Stormzy as he unites with a number of football heroes including Lionel Messi, Jude Bellingham and more.

Radiohead | 'Kid A'

As we all know, the online world dominates all aspects of our lives.

However, back when Radiohead’s ‘Kid A’ was being teased at the end of the nineties, the internet and streaming services did not exist in the way they do now. 

Getting music heard was very much about the physical format and marketing strategy rather than anything digital. 

Radiohead, who feature ICMP alumnus Ed O'Brien on guitar, have always been known as future-facing and their decision to market the album entirely online made it the first album to be promoted like this. 

Not only did they overhaul how albums were marketed, Radiohead also changed the way albums were bought with their 2007 album 'In Rainbows'.

This was self-released and fans had the option to purchase online and pay whatever they wanted - even nothing.

The record went on to sell three million copies across all formats...

Lewis Capaldi 


Scottish singer songwriter Lewis Capaldi is one of our biggest stars - not only for his music but also the way his marketing emphasises his self-deprecating sense of humour. 

To promote his new music, ‘Forget Me’, released in September 2022, the acclaimed singer songwriter posed in his underwear for a series of massive billboard ads in cities around the world. 

Lyrics to Lewis’ new track appeared alongside the image: ‘I’m not ready to find out you know how to forget me,’ along with his name.’

Announcing the unique promotional ads, he wrote on Twitter, said: "Took my clothes off and traumatised the general public all in the name of shameless self promotion."

By including the not-so-glamorous moments, his social media platforms and accompanying music video both show how he's just as normal as you or me. 

Clean Bandit | Club Bandit House Party

Clean Bandit, featuring ICMP alumnus Luke Patterson on drums, have enjoyed plenty of success, demonstrated by a willingness to innovate and utilise a variety of strategies to promote their music to win over new fans. 

During the pandemic lockdowns, the band chose to live stream DJ sets on YouTube which featured guest vocalists in addition to having the full band alongside themselves during these performances.

These Club Bandit House Party live streams were more than just performances to a camera with an array of shots and footage from a variety of angles, including drone footage.

Teased by social media posts, this manifested itself into the House Party Against Hunger virtual event with international advocacy organisation, Global Citizen. 

At the same time, this marketing ingenuity has been offset by the promotional misfire of the Microsoft Cortana ad. A slightly awkward visual experience for band and audience to say the least…



Back in 2016, six-piece horror-punk band Creeper managed to create an online buzz for their core fans and existing fans through a brilliantly managed marketing campaign.

After playing Reading and Leeds festivals the previous year, every Creeper-affiliated social media profile was deleted and the band members were reported ‘missing.’

A new website simultaneously appeared tying their disappearance to the unsolved case of missing paranormal detective James Scythe.

Clues were left across the internet and social media. Back in reality, the British quartet created buzz culminating in the announcement of the release of the album 'Eternity, in Your Arms'.

In an interview with Portsmouth.co.uk, Creeper frontman Will Gould said:  "We were looking at how other bands have marketed their records, and what we found was a lot of tacky oversharing online. You can find out what breakfast cereal your favourite singer likes, for goodness sake."

"Half of the mystique of those older records is that you didn’t know everything about those artists. We felt that by going missing we were making more noise than by saying nothing at all."

Spotify Wrapped 


Spotify is one of the music industry's leading streaming services. In its Spotify Wrapped campaign, it has cornered the music industry's digital advertising at the end of year to become an annual tradition.

Initially, this started as a way of Spotify users showing their year in review around the mid-2010s and what they had listened to on the platform.

Now, it's grown into an important music industry event with both users and artists proudly displaying their stats from the start of December.

For the music streaming platform, Wrapped is a key way of going viral on social media at a time of year when it is notoriously challenging to do so amid a deluge of festive content.

According to the company, there were over 60 million shares from 90 million users in 2020, a huge win for any music marketer.

Spotify is always setting the bar for music marketers to follow. Their 'Found Them First' campaign was an innovative way of giving users a chance to show how they had discovered a musical artist before anyone else. 

Wu-Tang Clan | 'Once Upon a Time in Shaolin'


US hip hop group the Wu-Tang Clan can lay claim to releasing the most expensive piece of music ever made, their album 'Once Upon a Time in Shaolin'.

Their seventh studio record was recorded in secret in New York, and limited to just one copy as a double CD. It was stored in a secret vault in Marrakech in Morocco, then auctioned. The buyer was not allowed to commercially exploit the album until 2103.

The marketing strategy to limit the record to this one copy was part of a response to what the group had seen as the negative impact of the digital music world on their music.

Writing on their website. Wu-Tang producers Rza and Cilvaringz said: "The music industry is in crisis. The intrinsic value of music has been reduced to zero. Contemporary art is worth millions by virtue of its exclusivity ... By adopting a 400 year old Renaissance-style approach to music, offering it as a commissioned commodity and allowing it to take a similar trajectory from creation to exhibition to sale ... we hope to inspire and intensify urgent debates about the future of music."

Aphex Twin | 'Syro'


Released in 2014, 'Syro' was electronic music producer Aphex Twin's first record under this guise since 2001.

At this point in his career, Aphex had already retreated from the limelight he'd inadvertently stepped into via hit tracks such as 'Windowlicker' and 'Come to Daddy'.

For an innovative artist, more comfortable working in the shadows, the marketing strategy was very much aligned with these values. The 'Syro' promotional campaign began when a blimp with the Aphex logo was seen over London, then Aphex-styled graffiti was spotted in New York and other US locations.

Then the Aphex Twitter account posted a link which could only be viewed on the deep web. On being accessed, this featured album information such as the title and track listing although confusingly this these track titles were thought to be coded messages that had to be deciphered.

Prince | 'Hit N'Run' 

The Purple enigma that is Prince happened across a genius marketing strategy for his Hit N'Run tour of the UK, US and Europe.

In 2014, Prince was due to release his new record, 'Hit N'Run'. Rather than organise a conventional tour with a run of dates, the artist decided to embark on a run of guerilla gigs where the location and venue of the show would only be revealed on the day itself.

The idea was that nearly all of the promotion for the shows was undertaken through Twitter on social media, with 3RDEYEGIRL’s official feed and Prince’s manager Kiran Sharma tweeting mentions of the shows then waiting for the die-hard Prince audience to do the rest through reshares and online excitement.

These shows were aimed at avoiding traditional marketing methods and build a closer connection with fans based solely around Prince's skills as an incredible performer - a tactic that paid off hugely. 

Future of Music Marketing

As we've seen from the above, there are plenty of inspirational examples of music marketing strategies out there that have helped artists achieve even greater success.

Excitingly, technology has opened up even more opportunities than before with social media, an artist YouTube channel or Spotify playlists providing musical talent with a range of channels to tell a person's story as an artist. As an artist, you need to do your research and get as creative as you can. Good luck!

Beyonce (Lead image) Photo credit: Carlijn Jacobs / Parkwood Entertainment 

Deep dive into the evolving world of music marketing

Our CIM accredited Music Marketing degree, that sits within our School of Music Business,  will help you gain a richly detailed understanding of digital marketing fundamentals and specialisms. You'll become a master of online content — someone who knows how to reach and influence people through multiple digital platforms.

To completely immerse yourself in your creative career, chat with our friendly Admissions Team via email enquiries@icmp.ac.uk or give them a call on 020 7328 0222.

Music Marketing
by ICMP staff writer
November 27, 2022
Back to Blog Home