Behind a bevy of hits and successful careers lies a low-profile distributor whose name is rarely mentioned. Now, Play MPE is expanding awareness of its specialized network into the indie community.
While garnering none of the spotlight – by design – Play MPE’s ‘Caster’ is delivering music for the world’s largest record labels on a daily basis. But Play MPE also allows indies to ‘get on a level playing field with majors without the major label budgets,’ regardless of artist size. The company says artists can do far more to grow their profile and increase revenue by properly connecting to the global market.
Indie artists and labels now represent a significant chunk of the music landscape, and Play MPE is one of several companies aiming to super-serve this class. By allowing access to the same music promotion tool used by major labels, management agencies, and top promoters, Play MPE says indies stand a better chance of being heard and taken seriously. Just recently, Play MPE joined forces with DMN to further expand its footprint.
With a client roster that includes mega players like Universal Music Group, Warner, Sony, BMG, Atlantic, Big Machine, and more, the Vancouver-based company delivers music in 100+ countries worldwide, including the US, Canada, Australia, Europe, South Africa, and the ever-expanding Latin market.
Fred Vandenberg, CEO of Play MPE, says that the key to progress for mega labels is an ecosystem that sustains their growth, adding, “Efficiency is everything, so we streamlined the music promotion business. This tool has everything from bulk metadata entry, distribution list management, impact and take-down dates, access and permissions, to secure sharing.”
Play MPE’s Caster is a professional promotion tool that propels music promotion campaigns to verified decision makers in radio, media, music supervision, A&R, curation, and more around the world.
Because of this targeted approach, the company believes its platform helps users cover more ground efficiently and economically — in multiple markets, all packaged in one distribution campaign. The platform is designed to upgrade older methods of reaching out to business decision-makers — including mailing CDs that ended up in dusty storerooms or, more recently, pushing cold emails with attachments and links destined to be marked as spam.
Play MPE says they have the numbers to prove their platform enables growth. During the last two years, the company reported 47,805 average active recipients — counted as recipients who downloaded, streamed, or clicked release links in emails. It also facilitated 365,703 releases since January 2008.
Play MPE clarifies that it’s not a promotion company but rather a tool for targeted music promotion. The company aims to empower indies and artists to promote their music using the same platform that major labels and mega artists use on a daily basis. By providing a tool to package and present releases professionally, Play MPE facilitates a broader reach for artists internationally.
With Play MPE, artists can streamline their efforts to reach decision-makers across pop, alternative, jazz, hip-hop, metal, Christian, classical, and country.
With one distribution campaign, Play MPE enables users to target verified tastemakers across six continents, servicing all music genres and radio formats, including niche sub-genres in the Latin market. Play MPE empowers with options that help users make an impact — via its verified community of recipients in radio, media, music supervision, and various music curators in territories that artists are planning to tour.
With curated format lists, Play MPE can assist indie record labels and artists by providing distribution channels with active recipients. According to Play MPE, these lists are constantly updated so recipients can access all the content they need.
With 6,400 active tastemakers every month and 5.5 million songs in play, Play MPE appears to have cracked the code to a music industry essential — arranging and managing promotion efficiently and securely.
Getting music to tastemakers is a significant part of a campaign. According to Play MPE, “You don’t have to do the legwork to reach these decision-makers in radio, media, music supervision, and curation.”
To that point, many tastemakers do not accept unsolicited content. And with the amount of music crossing hands, tastemakers don’t have the time to chase down missing information or request correct music files. With that in mind, Play MPE presents your music on the discovery app that tastemakers use daily.
Independent artists on the quest to identify breakout markets for global expansion are usually driving blind to some degree. While planning showcases, festivals, or booking tours, knowing the right people is only half the battle. Play MPE believes that artists often underestimate the time and effort that a DIY campaign requires.
According to the company, having access to specific data that reveals which stations are getting airplay can allow artists to better plan radio visits around a tour or showcase. It can also help artists arrange interviews and performances that suit these targeted audiences.
Most indies believe basing their planning on streaming engagement is the answer, but that’s only one piece of the strategic puzzle. Play MPE states that it’s crucial to know who’s engaging with promotion campaigns and keep an eye on click-through rates of promo emails. These insights, alongside streaming and download numbers, can allow artists to gauge who’s interested in turning that initial stream into airplay, a sync placement, press coverage, or more.
Essentially, Play MPE can guarantee clean and secure music delivery via the most effective channels used by majors. But it can’t guarantee results.
So while Play MPE provides the tool to help music promotion campaigns reach farther and be more readily received, campaign success still comes down to the song, story, and strategy.
As an overall campaign strategy, indie artists must continue running playlisting and social and video campaigns to bolster numbers. They must also secure festival spots and plan tours to support sustainable momentum.
Vandenberg believes artists have the power to choose between a weekend blip of hype or longer-term impact that drives more impressive revenue, adding, “Every battle is won before it begins.”