Independent Music Label research project Hungry Audio
About: Hungry Audio have these artists signed to them: Sennen The Telescopes Master Solo Mia Vigar The Papertiger sound My Favourite The Walk Off The Aprons Stuff/The Fuses The Sadtowns Hungry Audio promotes these artists as well helps them to produce records, Although none of these artists are so famous they are in the charts the label has defiantly worked to make these artist more famous. However some artists on the label, for example The Telescopes already had a fan base established when they joined the label. Although some of these artists are based around Norwich like the Label is, some aren’t Hungry Audio purposefully signed non-local artists when in started up so as not to gain a reputation as a small local label. This has worked well for them as currently they have product placement in the form of song synchronisation in the American TV Drama One Tree Hill, also they have attracted a fan base for their band Sennen in Asia. Hungry Audio also has a radio show on the local station Future Radio, this plays a mix of songs from various artists and it has quite a few tracks in the playlist which are by musicians with Hungry Audio, this serves well to promote the label and the band. Adrian Cook, head of Hungry Audio is a Presenter for the Hungry Audio radio programme.
Ownership Hungry Audio unlike Sony do not practise vertical integration as they do not have the resources to support running other companies, nor the interest or expertise to keep any integrated companies running efficiently. In short they cannot afford to dramatically increase the size and activities of the company and even if they did it would probably not be very successful as their expertise is within the music industry and they probably could not make a successful distribution company. Unlike Sony who can afford to push millions of pounds into one of their companies if it’s failing to keep it as a competitor in the market, they can also afford to employ experts to work for them, and have the experience of gradually expanding over the years whereas Hungry Audio has not. It is more effective for hungry audio to pay a Public Relations Agency a fee to promote their artists, than to attempt to promote them solely on their own. This is cheaper than setting up their own in-house PR sector to manage public relations of their artists, also a PR agency will be experienced and therefore will probably promote artists better than the Label could do by itself. This having been said Hungry Audio are growing and re-structuring to open up a sister label and publishing firm, however have no intention of expanding further, and feel this re-structuring of the company better suits how they operate. The company is based in Norwich although has a wide range of artists not just local ones, often using London based PR agencies. It was started in 2004 by Adrian Cook, Stewart Nash, Rob Childerhouse, Chris Bourn and Alan Southgate. The label has ten artist under them, although are open to being sent demo tapes, inviting people to on their website.
Marketing: Hungry Audio do a lot of online marketing using their website and MySpace. Their website links to MySpace pages for all their musicians and also links to any of their websites, as well as links to YouTube videos they have put up for their musicians. It also has a news feed on it’s main page which shows and links to reviews of any releases by their musicians and also any mentions in the news they also promote any gigs their artists have upcoming. Hungry Audio Radio show on Future Radio plays songs by musicians with the label, the show is run by members of Hungry Audio allowing them to mention any releases or events upcoming for any of their artists. The label uses a London based Public Relations Firm which also help market their Artists, A member of the Label also works as a music journalist for a magazine this helps to gain publicity for musicians with the label. Hungry Audio have also worked hard to gain product placement in the form of song synchronisation on TV, they have also created strong relationships with Games companies who are looking for music to use in games. Hungry Audio have recently had success marketing their band Sennen in Asia, this is a market that the band would have struggled to reach without the help of their label increasing their popularity and album sales. The Label also links their webpage to their Twitter feed which posts any information about the Labels activity.
Production: Hungry Audio Produce CD’s, they also occasionally make Vinyl's for some of their releases although this is much less common. The music is also available for download off the internet from iTunes, you can also download a lot of the music from the label off other sites such as Napster. They also allow streaming of some music from MySpace, YouTube (for music videos) and there is also a jukebox on the website that has a collection of music from different Hungry Audio musicians. Hungry Audio does not sell merchandise, only music, they do not get as involved with organising gigs for their bands as it is not their expertise, the contracts they have are tied to albums, they do not have any rights over live sales, however were any of their artists to sign to another label, Hungry Audio would still own the albums released under them and be able to profit by selling the back catalogue.
Example on Hungry Audio website of how they mention and link to reviews and Gigs of musicians signed to the label.
Distribution and Exchange The label sell the Albums and Vinyl releases by their musicians from their website using PayPal, Some of the CDs are available in HMV but only for their more well known artists such as Sennen, they are also available from Tesco (slightly cheaper) or to buy as downloadable mp3s from Tesco.com. They have also gotten Physical CDs in some shops in other countries where they have tried to market their bands. All the music by their artists is available to buy on iTunes, there are links to their website to iTunes to allow ease of doing so. They take advantage of Digital Distribution over the internet as it is the cheapest way to distribute their songs, it also involves much less fees as they do not have to produce packaging. The market effectively use new media technologies such as Twitter to increase popularity as well as heavy use of iTunes and MySpace as well as several other social networking sites and online music stores. However not all of their Musicians have their own websites aside from on MySpace, and not all are sold in major shops such as HMV and Tesco.
Here is a rough example illustrating roughly where artists with hungry audio would be on a long tail graph in relation to each other. I have based this graph on MySpace plays. Long Tail Graph for Hungry Audio Musicians MySpace Plays