Album covers

Album and single covers are an important way of marketing music.

In physical copies of an album or a single, an insert is included that gives extra information about the artist.

Illustration showing album cover conventions

An album or single cover can help create the star image in the same way as a music video

The back cover usually contains the names of the songs on the album or single - this is important as it may be the popularity of certain singles which encourages someone to buy it.

Official band website codes and conventions

Another important platform used by record companies to market music is the internet, where official sites exist to promote albums, singles and artists.

The typical codes and conventions of offical band or artist websites are:

  • Design: this can reflect the genre of music in its colours, features and iconography.
  • Information: this will be news about concert dates, press releases and exclusive features on the artist that can only be found on the official website
  • Multimedia content: this includes footage of the band or artist in concert, interviews and photo galleries. There will also be links to social media platforms such as official Twitter and Facebook pages.
  • Online shop: visitors to the site will be able to buy merchandise including t-shirts, posters, and other memorabilia
  • Industry links: these will normally be to the record company and merchandisers' websites.

Aside from official sites, artists can benefit from online promotion via fan sites.

Fan sites will differ from site to site, depending on what aspect of the band or artist they want to focus on.

Often they have low production values and are more about the fan than the artist.

Social media

Social media has become a very important marketing tool for the music industry, not only via the official social media accounts of bands and artists, but also indirectly via fans using social media to share comments on the music they love.

Media texts can be shared so quickly on social media that one person posting a newly released video can see it go viral in a matter of hours.

Unsigned bands or artists that do not yet have record deals can also attract the attention of record companies via social media, as was the case for the Arctic Monkeys.

Illustration showing Ben Taylor in London

Ben Taylor's music journey

Ben is an aspiring musician