Almost eight weeks ago, [here] Magazine ran an article on a music group called Under Pressure Music (or UPM for short). Now it isn’t often that we would run a follow-up article on the same band, unless they have got some major news to report.
UPM consists of only two members, one of whom lives in Moncton, the other in Stratford, Ontario. Using the internet, they fire off songs to one another for completion and have worked in this manner for the past while. In fact, the two friends and band mates have not been in the same room in the past decade.
Intriguing, isn’t it?
UPM has garnered massive airplay via their Reverbnation website located at www.reverbnation.com/underpressure. To date, they have amassed over 115,000 plays of their songs, which tend to straddle many genres of music rather than sticking to just one.
The band’s latest fortune and good news comes with thanks to Microsoft. They were asked to forward an e-mail to ten of their friends for the chance to get $2,500 from Bill Gates himself. If you didn’t already know, that last statement is a joke.
In all seriousness though, their newest stroke of luck does in fact come from Microsoft. Not long ago, the software giant reached out to the influential music websites Reverbnation and Myspace to gauge their interest in running a pilot program to examine the feasibility of helping influence the way that music is distributed across the web.
Visitors to www.myspace.com/windows will discover that UPM are one of 1,000 artists whose songs are available for download. And it is not strictly limited to independent artists:
UPM is kept company by other bands such as The Lemonheads, The Soundtrack Of Our Lives, and Bif Naked.
“Based on numbers from our Reverbnation site, we’ve been told to expect upwards of 50,000 downloads of our song ‘Too Late’,” UPM member Doug Biggar explains. “And even with 1,000 songs to choose from across the globe, we’ve been lucky enough to sit among the Top 100 of all genre popularity polls. The key to an opportunity like this is to really promote the hell out of yourselves.”
Biggar explains that this promotion has been given a soft launch, meaning Microsoft have let the bands shoulder the responsibility of the promotion to date.
“We believe that they are just letting the artists do the initial marketing around this to see how much interest is being driven to the site. Once they have been able to get a sampling of the traffic, interest and downloads being driven to the site, Microsoft are then supposed to be launching ads to help promote this even more.
“It was hinted to us that Microsoft are gearing for what they hope will be serious competition for Apple’s iTunes and want to give exposure to independent bands in a way that was just not possible before,” Biggar says, acknowledging that the final product model may differ greatly from what is currently being offered to consumers.
Regardless of what’s to come with the future of this promotion, being given the opportunity to be involved with the initial launch was indeed no small feat for any of the groups involved.
Another thing that is for certain is that the benefits which Under Pressure Music stands to gain from this promotional push are huge. Even if the band scores a modest 10,000 downloads of their track, that many more people are then acquainted with what UPM have to offer their fans.
“¦And I would say that is just about all any band can ask for in today’s ever changing musical landscape.”