The Best of Record Company Technique
image credit: Ivan Zuber
Have you ever noticed in the music industry that after an artists leaves a label and finds success at another label, that their previous label will release Best of… collections or Unreleased collections?
Record companies have utilized a variety of techniques to package recordings of songs with which they hold the rights. One of these techniques is the aggregating of successful content in Best of…, Essential, Previously Unreleased, etc. This technique arose from recording artists parting ways with labels and finding success elsewhere. Rather than leave recordings sitting in archives, executives saw a way to re-package their archives and use the new interest in the artist’s new recordings to sell the repackaged recordings.
It’s a simple technique you can use with your own content to draw on a spike in interest in you and your company.
Record companies have not gotten everything right with their medium, but when it comes to repackaging content, they have excelled in utilizing their archives.
Let’s take a look at a few examples of aggregating archived content in the recording industry and move onto ways you can use this technique to utilize your own archived content.
Examples of The Best of Record Company Technique
After going through label shifts and changes and falling off the top of the charts for nearly a decade, Tracy Lawrence made a comeback in 2006 with his own label Rocky Comfort and made it all the way to number one the week of June 23rd, 2007 with Find Out Who Your Friends Are (Released August 21st, 2006).
The album, For the Love, was released in January 2007 and saw modest success on the sales charts.
The label who controlled the rights to the songs with which Lawrence had immense success with in the ‘90s released The Very Best of Tracy Lawrence on July 10, 2007 through their subsidiary, Rhino Entertainment (two weeks after Find Out Who Your Friends Are reached the top of the country charts).
After going through a nasty divorce with Mercury Nashville that saw Toby Keith verbally taunt his former record company in public, Keith found success with a new label, DreamWorks (eventually swallowed by Universal, which lead to Keith venturing out on his own with Show Dog Nashville).
At DreamWorks, Keith found new success releasing several commercially successful albums beginning in 1999 and running through 2005.
After Keith’s resurgence, his former label released 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection in 2003 and saw the collection of Keith hits reach gold status (500,000 copies shipped to retail outlets).
Jimmy Buffett recorded two albums for the Barnaby label in 1970 and 1971. The first was released and sold a few hundred copies initially while the second never saw the light of day until 1976 when Buffett broke out on the ABC Dunhill record label with A White Sport Coat and a Pink Crustacean and Living & Dying in ¾ Time. His major breakthrough came in 1977 with Margaretville.
As the legend goes…the master recordings of Buffett’s second album, High Cumberland Jubilee, were lost according to the executives at Barnaby. The recordings were finally found and released after Buffett begin seeing success on his new label.
You may recognize Big Kenny as one half of the duo Big & Rich.
Prior to his success with the hit making, trendsetting duo, Big Kenny was signed to Hollywood Records in 1999 in Los Angeles. While in Los Angeles, Big Kenny recorded his debut solo album, Live a Little. However, the album was repeatedly shelved and saw no initial release date.
A few years after leaving Hollywood records, Big Kenny partnered up with John Rich, formerly the bassist and occasional lead singer of the band Lonestar. The two found huge success with their debut, Horse of a Different Color.
Shortly after Big Kenny’s success with Big & Rich his solo album was released on Hollywood Records.
Using the Technique for Your Content
The lesson to learn from the techniques of the record companies is that archived content does not have to sit on the shelf and collect dust – archives can be repacked and put out once you gain attention on the Web with other content.
While you don’t have to necessarily wait for a big change like switching record labels, there are a few things you can do with the archives of, for example, your blog, if you find that a particular post gains attention or if you start seeing an uptick in traffic.
1| Related posts
If you write a blog post that catches on with readers, you could update that post with Related posts… or a new post If you liked the post ’10 Things Outfitting Clients Need for Their Trip’ You Might Also Like…
You could also include archives in your next email newsletter with the heading If you liked last week’s post, check out these related posts…
You could post a few of your archives on Twitter mentioning your new popular post.
2| Best of Series
Record companies love putting out Greatest Hits or Best of packages because it aggregates the most relevant recordings of fans’ favorite music artists. If you find that you’re getting on a roll with a few posts, put together some of your best posts and show them to your newer readers who may not have discovered your archives.
3| Personalize landing pages
Think about the places your new readers find you. One of those places might be Twitter. Each Friday you might get a few new followers as a result of your friends and peers suggesting you as a quality person to follow on Twitter. Your new followers may click on the link in your profile to find out more information about you. Why not customize a page with some of your relevant blog posts aggregated and ready for them to discover for the first time?
Here is my own example:
I remembered that I needed to create the page after I got a couple new people following me on Twitter who asked about archives and blog posts I could suggest they read.
Sometimes it takes a recording artist a little while to find their audience and voice in the music industry. It may even take a change of labels for an established artist to rejuvenate their career.
Smart label executives don’t simply let the quality content of the past sit on the shelf to collect dust. When a former artist finds success elsewhere they are quick to capitalize on the success by finding ways to put out archived content for the enjoyment of the artists audience – new and old.
Don’t let your archives sit on the shelf. You worked hard and put time into writing those posts and just because you didn’t have the audience when writing those posts it doesn’t mean that people don’t want to read them.
Find ways to introduce your growing audience to your archives and you’ll see that your growing audience will continue sharing your new and old posts with their friends on the Web. You’ll also see your traffic and time spent on your Website increase as your archives bring in more page views and more reading time.
Keep writing that blog content and eventually I’d love to read your Essential Blog Posts by…
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