Is Promo Timing Everything?

Back in the good old days of physical promo, I would be bursting with excitement come a Thursday or Friday as typically that’s when the largest deliveries of 12” promos and CDs would arrive from labels and PR companies around the world.

The reason they were scheduled to arrive then was pretty obvious - DJs preparing for their club sets and radio DJs would of course be putting together playlists for their shows which were typically broadcast over the weekend.

Labels were wise to the fact that landing a promo on someone's desk on a Monday could very well mean it might be overlooked by the end of the week due to the sheer volume of promos high profile DJs would receive on a weekly basis. Plus a lot of DJs, as we all know, hibernate at the start of the week - in recovery mode from a weekend of touring. With the huge expense involved in sending out physical promo, it was absolutely imperative that promos landed at just the right time. Miss your deadline and you miss out on a week’s worth of airplay and support.

So how does this all translate into the world of digital promotion? The music industry is now a 24/7 round-the-clock industry - it’s not just something we do at the weekends.

Somebody somewhere will be DJing, broadcasting, blogging, programming, touring all-day everyday around the world. So how important is it to find the right time to deliver your promo?

Thankfully, timing is nowhere near as critical a factor as it once was. We no longer have to rely on the postman to catch DJs before they set-off touring for the weekend. Recordings going missing in the post are a thing of the past (I’m looking at you Royal Mail postie)

On Inflyte, we can see this though our data analytics, the site simply never sleeps. 24 hours a day from over 150 countries around the world, somebody somewhere will be downloading a promo on our system - during our peak-time we’re gathering nearly 150 reactions per minute!

In the early days of digital promo, scheduling was a bit more important than it is now, because the only delivery medium was email. On Inflyte, we deliver to mobile, web dashboard and email. Over 40% of Inflyte users access their promos from their dashboard without even looking at their email, so behaviours are changing and more opportunities are being created for labels to get their content picked up.

So how do you work out the best time to send out promos when you are dealing with a truly global marketplace? The single most important bit of advice we can give is to understand who you are sending music to, know their habits and cater to them. You’ll be pleased to hear there’s a lot that Inflyte can do to help you along your way.

Here are a couple of pointers which may help you…

  1. Weekends - traditionally not the best time of the week as most DJs are touring. However we do still see a fair bit of activity, particular among our mobile users who are in transit or checking offline promos in the airport.

  2. Timezones - do you know where your contacts are based? If so, use Inflyte’s tags to Tag each one by country - that way you can help ensure you are delivering during daytime hours by scheduling your sends (watch out for an all-new auto-scheduler coming soon on Inflyte).

  3. Avoid Bank Holidays or any other seasonal holidays - don’t be that guy who sends a promo on Christmas Day.

  4. Experiment - try sending promos to different groups of contacts at different times of the week. Press people may be more receptive to checking promos at the beginning of the week than DJs.

  5. Use your Inflyte Activity Stream - your real-time activity stream provides a mountain of data and information on your contacts including when they’ve listened, reviewed, downloaded your music. Deep dive into a contact's activity stream and you may even spot patterns in terms of when they check their promos each week, which you can use to target them individually.

  6. Mobile changes everything - does it really matter when you send a promo if you can land it direct into someone's pocket via an app any time of day or night? Beats sitting in an inbox waiting for a response.

  7. It’s Friday! - No surprise that it’s STILL the busiest day of the week for people to check out their promos. Does this mean it’s the best time to send a promo? That’s still up for debate, but would certainly suggest that towards the end of the week has its advantages.

We analysed over 3.2 million promo deliveries. Below is a chart which shows you the when the most reactions are being collected on Inflyte - interpret that how you wish… times are UK GMT.

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