New Marketing Trends

Marketing Ideas for Non-Profits and Libraries

The M Word helps librarians learn about marketing trends and ideas.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Marketing Digital Music? Make Your Own!

BoingBoing reports Iowa City Library has taken an amazingly innovative approach to bringing digital music to their customers. They are working  with local band to license the music directly from them.

"According to Senior Librarian John Hiett, this exciting new service model started with a common problem: the library needed a new way to deliver music to patrons. “CDs have high loss rates,” he says, “and many borrowers simply take them home and rip the music.” In order to keep things legal and reduce the amount of theft that plagues AV collections, the library began looking into digital options. The Local Music Project began to take shape when library director Susan Craig gave the project a budget and the Systems Department set up authentication software to ensure that Local Music Project albums can only be downloaded by cardholders.

Once the library’s lawyer drafted a license agreement, John ventured out into Iowa City’s music scene to sign bands and negotiate license fees. He usually paid $100 per album for a license that gives ICPL patrons the right to download and own local music. There are currently fifty-eight albums available on the Local Music Project page, and more on the way."  Full story

Branding is great too! 

Sometimes libraries can get a great idea but they forget what will appeal to their audience. Iowa City Library hit the mark with this campaign. Take a look at the graphics for the poster - it combines local and hip nicely. They followed through with web copy that has the same feel. 

"People come and go in a college town. Bands come and go. Playing in a small market like Iowa City too often means day jobs, lots of travel, or playing locally so often that people begin to take you for granted.Iowa City Public Library has loaned music for decades, CD's most recently, but vinyl before that. The market for these is shrinking though, and we've been looking for a new model. Here it is.If you have a library card and password and live in Iowa City or an area that contracts with us (Iowa City, rural Johnson County, Hills or University Heights) you can download this music. You own it forever. Put it on your phone. Play it at parties. Turn it up.

Local musicians have kindly (and bravely) leased us the right to offer it to you. You can thank them by going out to hear them play."

It's always nice to see a library that gets marketing like ICL. Nice work.

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