Katy PerryApart from writing a great song and putting together an impressive album and filled with the best producers and writer, marketing is the most important when it comes to selling a record. I can be argued that it is the most important part because as we all know there has been some crappy music out lately that has gotten the right marketing and has become some of the biggest hits we know.

With the decline in music sales marketing is more valuable than ever. Marketing allow people to be aware of the music. Awareness is very important, who will know it exist without showing people it exist? No one! This year has been full with some excellent marketing and many of them has led to excellent album sales and #1 singles. Check out the best from 2013 below in the Forbes article written by Liv Buli.

It’s not enough to just release an album these days. 2013 has been a year laden with innovative big-scale releases, surrounded by carefully orchestrated marketing campaigns. From JAY Z to Katy Perry, artists and their teams have been challenging traditional methods for promoting an album release, and these efforts have been rewarded.

Hova ruffled a few feathers in the industry when he teamed up with Samsung and offered more than one million of their mobile users the opportunity to download Magna Carta Holy Grail a few days before the official release. The strategy was successful; not only did this move challenge the RIAA to rethink certification, allowing JAY Z to go platinum before he’d even dropped the album, but the widespread debate in the press served as great publicity. The deal worked to Samsung’s advantage as well, the brand saw a social lift as a result of a series of promotional videos released on their official YouTube channel.

Justin Timberlake’s comeback release after six years was clearly going to be a big splash, but an online countdown had fans at the edge of their seat, just waiting to get their hands on content. When part 1 of the 20/20 Experience was released in March, Timberlake sold through the roof, and his partnership with retailing giant Target TGT -2.2% helped keep buzz alive through to the release of Part 2 by way of surprise concerts and exclusive content.

Katy Perry created social media havoc announcing her album on a golden truck, and encouraging fans to tweet photos if they spotted the semi, with promise of a retweet. She engaged fans online once again, when she partnered with Pepsi and MTV , and allowed fans to vote for one of two tracks off Prism to be released early on iTunes.

But in the home stretch it was Beyoncé that took the prize for most innovative of 2013. Not only did she she break the norm by not marketing her release in the least, but the album is also unique in that it is simultaneously a visual experience. Beyoncé recorded a music video for each of the tracks of the album, as well as three bonus videos, and released the audio/visual compilation in its entirety for sale, with no option to purchase individual tracks. The strategy led to Mrs. Carter breaking iTunes records, selling more than 800,000 albums in the first three days.

The push this year to come up with really creative ways to release an album is a trend that will only keep growing. As the music industry adjusts to a new, increasingly digital world, as streaming services capture a bigger share of the US market (don’t forget that Beats, YouTube and Deezer are all expected to get in the game in early 2014), artists are focusing on social media, windowing, and brand partnerships to equip themselves for a shifting landscape.

In a time of decreasing sales, artists are seeking to create a complete experience for their fans to satisfy the demand for more, and are often relying on the vast opportunities within social media to do so – engaging with, and understanding their fans. Artists with the vast reach of Beyoncé can afford to release their music exclusively through one outlet, as a tool to drive sales and exposure. And while brand partnerships have typically been the purview of mega artists, this is likely to change as more and more brands are looking to be on the cutting edge in music, and strive to discover and develop up-and-coming talent.

While the space remains highly fragmented; payment models and advertisement opportunities are still being ironed out, it seems uncertainty in the music industry is spawning innovation. This can only be a good thing, for both artists and fans alike.

Courtesy of Forbes.com