5 TED Talks That Anyone Working in Music Promotion Should Watch

TED Talks for Music Promotion

For years, TED Talks have proven to be a reliable source of knowledge, inspiration, and motivation. Surprisingly, TED Talks have scientific proof for being awesome. There are also TED Talks for music promotion professionals.

TED talks are not uncommon but let’s assume they are by giving the meaning of the acronym; “Technology, Entertainment, Design.”


While it is originally intended to cover just these three areas, the awesomeness of TED Talks has made it to extend to covering other areas and subjects. In any TED Talk, you’ll find a combination of wit, wisdom, experience, and insight by thought leaders.

As a music promotion professional, your industry falls into one of TED talks’ three original areas. Now for this article, this is what we did at Disctopia; we asked music promotion experts to share their favorite TED talks about the field. Indirectly, we ask the TED Talks for music promotion for those interested in the field.

In the end, we arrived at 5 TED Talks for music promotion anyone can watch and learn from.

1. How to Engineer a Viral Music Video- Adam Sadowsky

Let’s do a bit of an introduction to Adam Sadowsky. In 2010, there was this OK GO’s viral video titled “This Too Shall Pass.” As of today, the video has close to 67 million views on Youtube and still growing.

The team behind this video has Adam Sadowsky as the lead. What Adam talked about in this video is the art and science of engineering a viral music video. As a music promoter, a viral music video is one proven way of setting up indie artists for success.

If you are looking for your first viral music video as a music promoter, listening to this TED talk will give you a push.

2. The Art of Asking- Amanda Palmer

Amanda Palmer’s opinion carries tons of weight when it comes to talking about music promotion for indie artists. She went from being a street performer to establishing herself as a successful alt-rock artist.

In her TED Talk, Amanda built her thesis on music’s shareable nature, resulting from digitalization. She dwelt heavily on how indie artists can promote themselves by providing value through their art.

Amanda believes that music promotion should be a basis of value derived by the fans. When fans get value, providing financial support to an artist will become an obligation.


3. Branding From Birth: What’s in a Name?- Stacey Cohen

For someone that has spent close to three decades in branding and PR, Stacey is worth every attention you give her. Stacey didn’t focus on music promotion in her TED Talk. Still, every principle she talked about can be applied to running a successful music promotion.

She dwelt heavily on the importance of personal branding, asserting that it has become mandatory and should be a life-long mission. Every indie artist should have a personal brand that defines who they are.

As a music promoter, you should mandate it for every indie artist you work with to build a personal brand around themselves.


4. A Recipe For PR Success- Jerry Silfwer

As an indie artist, you have an audience, which should focus on your music promotion efforts. This also applies to music promotion professionals to help their clients locate their audience.

It’s not wise to be looking for a new set of listeners for your clients when you are yet to leave a meaningful mark on the existing audience. According to Jerry, when you target existing listeners, growing your brand will become easier.

They will share your brand message by word of mouth, which is quite effective.



5. Why Videos Go Viral- Kevin Allocca

As a music promoter, if you are yet to see any of your promoted artists’ work going viral, then you need a sit down with this TED Talk by Kevin Allocca. When he did this TED Talk, Kevin was the Trends Manager at Youtube.

In Kevin’s words, the audience determines what becomes popular now and not the executives at Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, or other content sharing platforms. What this implies is that anyone, just everyone, can viral with the right content.

You can become a viral music promoter just by getting it right with the content and artists you choose to promote.