10 Questions with ... Amanda Alexandrakis
August 15, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
South Beach Marketing & Promotion 2001 to present
1) Since we last spoke to you, South Beach Marketing & Promotion has expanded into several International markets! How did this expansion come about, and what are the new markets where you are presently talking to radio?
For years, it has been a personal goal of mine to work internationally. South Beach Marketing & Promotion (SBMP) launched into Australia three years ago and it has been very rewarding for us. In February of this year, we launched in Europe and the United Kingdom.
We initially chose Australia first because (A) There is less of a language barrier (2) They already had an infrastructure in place that easily allowed us to release tracks and (3) The US dollar and the AU dollar were almost equal in value, making it less expensive for promotion in Australia than in Europe, or the UK.
The expansion into Europe/UK was challenging. The EU markets include: Scandinavia, Benelux, GAS, Spain, Italy and France. The UK includes England, Scotland, Whales and Ireland. The logistics are extremely difficult but with the technology available online, it makes things a little easier. We chose the markets based on different variables such as touring popularity, areas where radio was receptive to both indie & major artists, and the demand for new music.
2) What are some of the similarities that you find with the various audiences around the world? How are they different?
While the music business has similar characteristics worldwide, we find that Australia and Europe are very similar. They tend to spend more time researching the artists. They take the time to visit artist websites, Facebook pages, Youtube videos, etc. Singles are welcome in Australia but we find that servicing an entire album in Europe works better (at least for indie artists). Stations want to believe in the artists they play on the radio. If they like it, they'll play it. If they don't, it's rare you can talk them into it. International radio is a bit more organic than here in the US. In Australia, 52% of the population listens to community radio. How cool is that!?
3) How do you cover all of this territory? What is a typical day like for you?
My days start at 8a, and I rarely stop before midnight. If I allow it, I literally could be on the phone for 24 hours. The EU is early for us, AU is late. Luckily, we built a team and we now have representatives in the UK and in Australia. I still call radio but now I oversee the campaigns and leave the everyday calling to my local reps. There are days where I lose track at how many people in various countries I talk to. I recently booked (in a span of a few hours) 19 bands in six different time zones over a 48 hour radio station promotion in Australia (where the market was 30 minutes behind the Sidney time zone). It gets tricky, but I admit it's a lot of fun too! I'm lucky that I've made a lot of friends and I enjoy what I do very much.
4) What do you do to inspire your staff for success? How do they motivate you?
I have a fantastic team! Not only do I personally like each member but I chose them because they are motivated, hard working and knowledgeable. We all get along and we are all friends. It is wonderful to work with people you actually like! :)
5) What do you feel is the most important issue facing record labels in the current business environment?
I hear the most complaints about the lack of sales. Labels need to focus on more artist development and less short term decision making.
6) As music purchases have migrated to the Internet, the music industry has transformed back into a "singles business." How can record companies persuade consumers to buy the entire album of their favorite artist?
I think there is population of people that still like to hold a physical CD. They like to look at the artwork and pop a CD in the player. We have gone so far with technology, yet most artwork is boring and plain and looks the same as when CDs came out. Be different and make the album art unique. While we embrace online technology, why not push the envelope when it comes to artwork? People are also into vinyl again. Limited editions are cool.
7) What creative ideas are you using to promote your new artists?
I created this beautiful e-card that is very user-friendly so we can market music to radio globally. So far, it's been a great success and stations love it.
8) What was the most unique marketing campaign you've ever been a part of?
By far it's the David Lynch Foundation Music charity label. The album, "Music That Changes The World" is a compilation disc with 18 major artists and we are promoting it in the UK, Europe, Australia and USA. It's a charity record label. It's a massive project and one of the most challenging, yet rewarding projects I can imagine. It's an honor to be involved.
9) How do you feel about the new royalty rate increases for Internet and terrestrial radio?
I'm torn. Artists have to make money but the stations need to stay in business and many are struggling to do so. I had one internet station tell me he would play our music if we paid him the fees. Uh, NO!
10) How would you compare the challenges and/or the advantages between working at an independent label versus a major label?
I've always worked for, or as an indie. I find that by doing so, I've worn a lot of hats and have worked in many areas of the industry that I couldn't do working for a major. Of course, the majors have the money, so that would have been nice...but I tell myself I built character doing it the hard way!
1) What led you to a career in the music business? Who are some of your earliest mentors who gave you a shot in the business? Who is your best friend in the business?
I had a momentary lapse in judgement and I have been paying for it all my life! Actually, my first mentor was Frankie LaRocka (RIP). He was very kind & supportive to me when I was very green in the industry. My best friend in the business would be Mark Strickland! :)
2) What's one thing that would surprise many people to learn about you?
That I don't go to concerts that often.
3) What is the biggest thrill about breaking new music to the masses?
Hearing it on the radio when you don't expect to!
4) What do you do in your spare time?
Tubing the river. My favorite place in the world is playing in a Rocky Mountain river. I love living in Colorado. It is my happy place.
5) What is the one truth that has held constant throughout your career?
Actually, I have a few: "Don't make decisions based on short term solutions." "Your word is golden." "If you put in the effort, you will see results."