Artist Promos: Worth It Or Waste Of Time?

If there is one thing that is true about the music industry and its inner workings, it’s this: promos are key.

Let me explain.

A “promo”, by definition, is short for a promotional recording. It’s typically a track or video that is released for free by an artist to promote a recording that is either just released or soon-to-be released. Over the years as the music industry has grown and as producers have begun to work with, share and explore each other’s musical productions, promos have become increasingly more dominant among artists.

However, they have developed what seems to be quite the love/hate relationship with many DJs and producers that are constantly searching for new tunes. One of the latest examples is BUTCH, a German artist who spoke out against the troubles many producers can align with when it comes to listening to them.

The comments section within the Facebook post tell an even deeper story and shine a light on the various points of views that exist around the usefulness and importance of promos. For example, one Facebook user claims that you have to listen in order to “give people a chance” – and Butch’s response? He says he “supports artist by buying”.

It is important to note that Butch clarifies that there is a difference between demos and promos. In response to a comment from a Facebook user on the post, he writes:

“There is difference between demos and promos. I keep listening demos, but I’m not keen to listen 1000 promos a day”

This opens the door to an interesting conversation. If you give up dedicating time to explore promos on a regular basis, it’s almost as if you are completely shutting out any new artists who are trying to make their music known without being signed to a particular label. There are so many talented musicians that are now trying to make a name for themselves by using the online world to their advantage as best as possible, and many may be overlooked as a simple result of a missed promo. But if you find frustration because there are too many promos you find yourself trying to dig through, you’re losing precious time searching for music that you will love and use – and music you may purchase that will, in turn, support the artist who made it.

Consider the amount of information that is uploaded to the Internet every single day – and the amount of promos from unknown artists that are released and sent via email or social media blast. Sure, this can absolutely be overwhelming. But ask yourself this: how many key tracks – tracks that could be “the next big thing” – are you missing by not reviewing the promos that someone takes the time to send you?

Let us leave you with this question, then: which side do you sit on? Do you believe that the potential opportunity to find a diamond in the rough is worth sifting through promos? Or do you find them not worth the time spent?