Mike Hough is a 20 year old up and coming R&B/Soul singer who was born and raised in East London, Essex. Mike Hough first made an appearance on YouTube and gained recognition by covering well known songs by artists such as Chris Brown, Stevie Wonder, Robin Thicke, Musiq Soulchild and more. He then later made an appearance on national TV on one of Britain’s most viewed shows, ‘X-Factor’. Unfortunately, he was turned down because Simon thought he wasn’t ready.<br />Mike Hough is one of the youngest UK artists to sing Soul music, which shows that he is bringing something different to the UK music scene. Mike Hough himself said that he would compare himself to artists such as Chris Brown and bands such as Coldplay. These two artists create two very different types of music, with Chris Brown singing R&B/Pop music and Coldplay singing alternative rock music. Mike Hough bring elements from both genre’s to create his own unique sound and to cater for a wider audience.<br />If Mike Hough was signed to a label, it would be Jive Records, which is a smaller record label owned by Sony Music Entertainment. Mike Hough has a similar sound to those artists already signed by Jive Records, and so he would fit in perfectly.<br />
PRIMARY TARGET AUDIENCE<br />Mike Hough would most likely cater for a niche audience that listen to R&B or Soul music. I think that Mike Hough’s primary target audience would pre dominantly be an urban group of young females in between the ages of 14 – 25. The reason I say this is because the youth of today, in particularly females listen to young male R&B singers such as Chris brown and Trey Songz, who sing songs mainly about love and relationships. Mike Hough is similar to these two artists in the sense that his songs are also about love and relationships. Young females may also find Mike Hough attractive, which is a bonus and may help to broaden his fan base. I believe that the ethnicity of the target audience wouldn’t necessarily be specific. I think that his target audience would be varied. I say this because Mike Hough is a white male, so white females may feel that they can identify him, and may feel that they can relate to the lyrics in his songs and so they listen to his music, or they may just generally like his music. Black females, or females of a mixed heritage may listen to Mike Hough because they might be into R&B and Soul, they might feel that they can relate to the lyrics in the song or they may just find him attractive.<br />EXISTING MEDIA CONSUMPTION:<br /><ul><li>Websites – Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr etc: Young females generally tend to use social networking sites at least twice a week. They ‘like’ celebrity fan pages on Facebook, follow celebrities on Twitter, and stream pictures of celebrities and music on Tumblr.
Mobile phone – Blackberry, iPhones, Smart phones: The majority of young females nowadays will have a smart phone, allowing them to download apps. Apps such as Spotify, YouTube and Vevo enable young females to stream music and watch music videos on their phones.
Magazine-Heat magazine, NOW magazine: Many females tend to read magazines that containing celebrity gossip and interviews. Heat magazine and NOW magazine are two examples.</li></li></ul><li>SECONDARY TARGET AUDIENCE<br />I think that Mike Hough’s secondary target audience would pre dominantly be a group of males in between the ages of 20-40. The reason I say this is because they may have grown up around soul music as children. Motown is a record label founded in the early 60’s which consisted of recording artists such as Marvin Gaye, The Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross etc. These artists all sang soul music, as well as other genres. Hearing Mike Hough cover songs such as Stevie Wonder’s ‘Superstition’ may be like a ‘blast from the past’ for people who grew up in the 70’s, in particularly men because they can identify with the male artists. By covering songs that were recorded before Mike’s time, he has increased his chances significantly of broadening his fan base, because it means that many people, old and young, can listen to the songs they like in in today’s day and age. Men in their early 20’s may feel as if they can identify with Mike Hough because of the similarities in age and life experiences, and may therefore feel that they can relate to the lyrics in the song.<br />http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSdqD3L-EPU)<br />(Mike Hough’s cover to Stevie Wonder’s ‘Superstition’: <br />
ADVERTISING<br />We could use a mixture of online and real life advertising techniques to broaden the target audience. One way in which we will try to reach a wider target audience would be to put huge posters up on billboards in busy areas, such as high streets and motorways so that pedestrians passing by and drivers are drawn to the advertisement. The areas in which we would put these billboards would be urban areas and cities, such as Greater London, Manchester, Birmingham, Essex etc. In order to do this, we would need to contact and come to some sort of agreement with a company who specialise in advertising, such as JCDecaux. However, there are issues with using billboards, as they have been known to be the cause of road accidents in the past. We feel that using billboards would broaden Mike Hough’s target audience significantly because thousands and thousands of different people will come across this advertisement on a daily basis. Another way in which we would broaden both Mike Hough’s primary and secondary target audiences would be to use advertising techniques such as putting banners up of popular social networking sites and web 2.0 sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr etc. YouTube is a video-sharing site used by thousands, if not, millions of people daily. Many people in today’s day and age use YouTube to listen to music and to watch music videos via Vevo. If we successfully managed to convince YouTube to put up a banner on the homepage promoting Mike Hough and his single ‘Hero’, this may help to extend his fan base considerably. Also, If we could get Twitter to advertise Mike Hough on a celebrity like Chris Brown’s Twitter page, with the permission from either Chris Brown or his agency, this would increase his target audience dramatically. Both artists have similar elements, and so fans of Chris Brown, in particularly young females may take their time out to listen to Mike Hough’s music. Video’s of Mike Hough singing could also be posted on his Facebook fan page for others to freely view.<br />We could also put some A3 posters up outside shops like Topshop, La Senza and Primark to grab female attention!<br />
PUBLICITY<br />Public appearances in magazines, interviews, on radio or at concerts and gigs should also help to boost Mike Hough’s popularity. If we could get Mike Hough to do a question and answer, or an interview about his personality, his journey in his music career and how he has developed as an artist in an article in a magazine, I feel that it would helpful in the sense that people will want to find out more about him. The majority of females tend to read magazines with contain celebrity gossip and interviews, so if any females are interested in R&B or soul, or just happen to find Mike Hough attractive or like his personality, they may search the internet or look on iTunes for his music. <br />We could also boost Mike Hough’s publicity by getting him to feature as a guest on a reality TV show such as ‘The Only Way Is Essex’. This is a programme mostly watched by young white females in between the ages of 16-20, because of the cast involved, and the audience’s ability to identify with them. This would be suitable for Mike since he’s an Essex boy, and his target audience falls within that category. This would give the public a chance to decide whether or not they like Mike Hough for who he actually is, so it is a bit of a risk because it could go either way depending on how he acts whilst he is being filmed. <br />Also, If we could get Mike Hough to open up a concert for a big star like Trey Songz, this will help to increase his reputation. Because Trey Songz and Mike Hough have a similar target audience, the audience at the concert may show an interest in Mike Hough’s music because he is like other artists.<br />
PROMOTION<br />One way in which we could promote Mike Hough’s music would be to set up a free competition in a Heat magazine or NOW magazine, giving away iPods to 10 winners. The iPods will have Mike Hough’s music pre-installed on them, so that the winners who receive the iPods will have the opportunity to listen to his music. The reason we would want to include a free competition in magazines which contain celebrity gossip and interviews is because it will allow us to reach Mike Hough’s target audience in a different way. <br />Another way in which we could promote Mike Hough with the help of the general public, would be to post an exclusive unseen music video by a well known artist on Facebook. However, we will put a lock on the video so that it cannot be viewed by anyone until they have shared Mike Hough’s fan page with at least 15 friends on Facebook.<br />