How Do Street Teams Operate?

What Is a Street Team?

Street teams help with the promotion and marketing of an artist, a label, or a music genre. Using word-of-mouth advertising supported with flyers, CDs, and other means, street teams spread the word to increase the artist’s exposure. In street teaming, where the target audience is reached through the target audience itself, fans of similar music taste may discover new artists, support their favorite artist’s journey, and take a step into the music industry.

A Great First Step

One of the hardest parts about getting into the music industry is getting into music industry. You need to have experience and street teams in the past and the present have fulfilled the role of gaining experience in the music industry. What street teams do has changed over the years but what stayed the same is that it is all about community – spreading the word about an artist or genre of music that people are passionate about talking to their community. Consequently, street teams are a great first step to starting in the music industry.

Street Teams Then & Street Teams Now

How Did It Start?

The idea of a street team started with hip-hop and rap communities hitting the streets to tell people about their records. It became a bigger field as individual record labels started to have street teams. Eventually, it became more specialized and more formal, and other genres of music that came from this DIY ethos like punk and its sub-genres picked it up.

Myspace Days

In those days, as we call it “Myspace days”, it was all about people’s favorite record label. Street team members would help promote the artists that were on their favorite label by signing up on their website. Labels would send out posters or sample CDs or any number of things. Street teamers’ job was to spread their word by going to shows in town, telling their friends about the new releases from that label.   

Independent Street Teams

After a while, independent street teams (street teams for hire) showed up and offered more specialized service as they created the teams of people who are the most informed about where music is happening in their city, people who are “the go-to people” in their music community. Additionally, people who get the street team work done are started to get paid real money instead of being rewarded with things like free concert tickets and exclusive merch. 

Contemporary Approach of Street Teams

Nowadays, the music industry started to shift more into internet-facing marketing and street teams are also shifting away from physical to online. Now, instead of labels spending tons of money sending out CDs just to promote an album, it is more about creating once in a lifetime experience allowing people to go in and experience the brand or an album in a way that they wouldn’t be able to do from their homes. 

Join a street team – The Syndicate 

If you live in the US and would like to join the street team of The Syndicate, go to http://go2.thesyn.com/join/ and fill out the application. You don’t have to have a ton of experience – what matters is that you have a passion for music and pop culture, and you want to learn more.

How does it work?

Once you’re on the street team, they will send out emails to everybody on the team whenever they have something that’s happening – not just in your area but anywhere. Something that a lot of the people in The Syndicate team do is they travel for big events like South By So What?! and get to meet each other and network.

Tips:

  • This is an industry all about who you know and who knows you.
  • You can learn a lot from listening to other people do their job so this is something that could be adapted to working in a venue. If you are going to a show and you are interested in learning about what a certain person does or what a certain position entails situate yourself near this person and just try to listen. If you hear terminology that you don’t recognize look it up on your phone and try and figure it out.
  • When a door opens, make sure to walk through.
  • If you are looking for a street team in your area, check out the venues, check out the promoters check out whoever is local. If you see posters up chances are it’s not the owner of the company going around and hanging them up, it’s probably street team members doing that job.
  • Remember: Stickers are not a common promotion means for a show because they become vandalism pretty quick. 

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