Piggybacking on the Holidays

by Randy Chertkow and Jason Feehan

File under: Marketing Your Music


Every year around this time, we are amazed at how powerful the piggybacking strategy is. You see, every December the sales of one of our band’s 20 albums spikes, although we don’t spend a single minute or dollar marketing it.

The album is called Santa Doesn’t Like You and it’s our band’s answer to the traditional holiday album. With songs like “Co-ed Naked Drunk Christmas Shopping,” “Smokin’ The Mistletoe,” and “Tippin’ Over the Christmas Tree" the songs are a perfect fit for the holidays, although with a twisted “un-holiday” view of the season. Back in 2002, when we released it, we promoted it heavily -- mostly locally in Chicago, but also nationally when the syndicated Doctor Demento show played the title track, “Santa Doesn’t Like You”.

But then we stopped. As all bands do, we focused on the next big thing -- our live show, the next album, TheSongOfTheDay.com, books and yet...here we are 12 years later and Santa Doesn’t Like You continues to sell year after year like clockwork.


Simple: we piggybacked on the holidays (using the Piggybacking strategy that we talked about in the EM article Masterclass: Nine $0 Music Marketing Strategies.) What we found is that there's a huge amount of marketing that other people are doing that we end up benefiting from. Around this time each year, people, being in the holiday mood, end up searching for music and terms that pull up our album in some way or another.

For instance, one of the album’s strengths is the name of the songs. The song titles naturally come up in searches for "Christmas," "Santa," and "Mistletoe" when people are looking for the old standards. At first this happened on iTunes, but now it happens on streaming platforms as well like Spotify. The song titles are intriguing enough and come up in searches to make people want to at least sample the songs. And once we've got them listening, a sale is much more likely.

You can do this as well. The piggybacking lesson is much bigger than just holidays, but there’s certainly a lesson here.

Not every musician likes to write holiday music, but if you can and are willing, consider putting your own stamp on the holiday and leverage what the season can do to help you sell your music.


#holidays #marketing #strategy

Photo Credit: Beatnik Turtle Productions & Dave Zortea

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