In the vast landscape of the music industry, where dreams are often sold but seldom realized, there exists a narrative that many artists are familiar with: the system is rigged. For decades, tales of artists being taken advantage of, not owning their masters, and ending up penniless despite massive hits have been rife. But in the age of streaming, social media, and digital marketing, a new player emerged on the scene, challenging the status quo and exposing the industry’s vulnerabilities: Chad Focus.
In a revealing interview on the “No Labels Necessary” podcast, Chad Focus delved deep into the intricacies of the music business, sharing his blueprint for success and the pitfalls that led to his downfall.
Gaming the System
“I got over 200 records in BMI… every day is 3,000 streams or below… if I can do 600,000 streams a day times 30 days in a month, I know how to do my 18 million streams,” Chad Focus explained. His strategy was clear: understand the limits, play within them, but maximize every opportunity. By diversifying his music portfolio and ensuring he stayed below the radar, he was able to generate significant revenue without drawing undue attention.
However, it wasn’t just about streaming. Chad Focus had a keen understanding of the broader music ecosystem. “I was one of the early guys that was out here inflating the concert tickets,” he revealed. By manipulating concert ticket sales, he could create an illusion of demand, driving up prices and ensuring packed venues.
During his revealing session on the “No Labels Necessary” podcast, he delved deeper into the intricacies of his ticket sales strategy, shedding light on a method that was both shrewd and resourceful. He confessed to being one of the pioneers in artificially inflating concert ticket sales. But how did he achieve this? Chad would buy large quantities of his own concert tickets, creating the illusion of high demand and dwindling supply. Once these tickets were in his possession, he would strategically resell them on platforms like StubHub, Ticketmaster Resale, and Vivid Seats, often at inflated prices due to the perceived scarcity he had created.
But Chad’s strategy wasn’t solely about making a profit from resales. He also understood the power of influential marketing. By giving away free tickets to local influencers, bloggers, and even radio hosts, he ensured that there was a buzz around his concerts. These individuals, with their wide reach and influence, would promote the event, talk about it, and create anticipation. This not only drove genuine ticket sales but also positioned Chad Focus as an artist in high demand. The dual strategy of reselling tickets at higher prices and leveraging influencer marketing allowed him to maximize his profits and solidify his brand in the competitive music industry.
The Billboard Strategy
Chad’s approach to marketing was unorthodox but effective. “For me to have the biggest billboard in New York City… this wasn’t a digital billboard, this was vinyl,” he said. By dominating prime advertising real estate in one of the world’s most influential cities, he ensured his brand was front and center. This visibility, combined with strategic relationships with DJs and media outlets, allowed him to bypass traditional gatekeepers.
Chad Focus was deeply involved in the intricacies of the music industry, understanding the nuances of media-based DJs, the importance of networking, and the value of branding. He mentions affiliating with media-based DJs and ensuring his records were played in the right places. He also speaks about the significance of collaborating with established artists like T-Pain to gain industry recognition.
Chad’s approach was multifaceted, involving not just music production but also strategic marketing, networking, and understanding industry metrics. He emphasizes the importance of owning one’s work, from publishing to one’s masters, and the potential revenue streams that can be generated from such ownership.
But every strategy has its vulnerabilities. Chad Focus’s Achilles’ heel was his lack of a corporate identity. Without the protection of an LLC or similar entity, he was personally liable for his business dealings. This oversight would prove costly.
“Rap artist Chad Focus sentenced to more than two years in federal prison for wire fraud and conspiracy,” read the headlines. The narrative was clear: he had gamed the system, and now he was paying the price. The industry, it seemed, was not ready for someone to expose its flaws so brazenly.
The Aftermath and Redemption
Today, Chad Focus is on a mission. “I was more concerned with becoming rich and successful than actually becoming famous,” he shared. Despite the setbacks, his spirit remains unbroken. He continues to share his insights, hoping to educate the next generation of artists about the pitfalls of the industry.
His story serves as a cautionary tale but also as a beacon of hope. In an industry notorious for its opacity and gatekeeping, Chad Focus managed to carve out a niche for himself. His journey underscores the importance of not just understanding the system but also protecting oneself within it.
As the music industry continues to evolve, stories like Chad Focus’s will serve as a reminder of the power of innovation, the importance of self-preservation, and the eternal dance between the establishment and those who dare to challenge it.
Quotes sourced from Chad Focus’s interview on the “No Labels Necessary” podcast.