Kyle J. Kane - "You are the tollbooth operator between your audience & the content they experience. Don’t violate their trust." - Stereo Stickman

Kyle J. Kane “You are the tollbooth operator between your audience & the content they experience. Don’t violate their trust.”


This week we caught a chat with Kyle J. Kane of 180 South Group to find out more about the company, Kyle’s background in marketing, and how they can help you branch out and broaden your audience. Here’s how it went. 

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Hi Kyle, thanks for the interview. What can you tell us about 180 South Group?

180 South is a creative agency representing some of the worlds premier artists and brands. Through the monetization of intellectual property, from the production of original content to exciting and memorable live event experiences, we leverage our network and resources to develop innovative partnerships and global solutions for our clients.

How long have you been involved in music marketing, and what are the main changes you’ve observed or put into action in recent years?

I’ve been involved in branded entertainment & music marketing for almost 20 years; since my first internship at TVT Records in the year 2000. Just as with any other industry affected by disruptive technology, I’ve witnessed the industry turned in its head, crushed to near-death, quickly resuscitated, killed again, and now being revived and more alive than ever before. It’s a beautiful thing to see avenues and opportunities once only accessible to major label artists, finally open to anyone with a unique voice, some momentum, high quality content and a serious social footprint.

At 180 South, we’ve developed a robust development platform to replace the archaic and antiquated a&r systems, which include brand architecture, sound design, access to the best writers & producers, wellness programs, live shows, corporate partnerships, retail collaborations, and the best technology that helps to amplify our messaging. We look at what today’s artists need to succeed: it’s more than just label services, it’s a deeper integration into culture and lifestyle that’s required to resonate with today’s finicky consumers in a saturated world of music & entertainment.

What are some of your main achievements or accomplishments to date?

Well, others might say our achievements include producing (10) LIVE 2-hour broadcasts for CBS, bringing 20+ IP to market, procuring corporate partnerships between powerhouses like Samsung and Katy Perry, or winning the Corporate Culture Award alongside Russel Simmons and Ariana Huffington; but in my opinion, our greatest accomplishments include a 100% employee retention rate, achieving peace of mind after cut-throat decision making, and forcing rival competitors to collaborate without pissing anyone off.

What’s your best piece of advice for independent musicians and bands who want to build a larger audience?

Consider growing your audience like building a muscle in your body. Yes, repetition and consistency is key, so your audience feels like they can depend on you for a steady dose of content. However, the “diet” you’re feeding your audience is just as important. Feed your audience crap, and you won’t have the right proteins and minerals to build and sustain your “muscle”; feed your audience rich, meaningful content that they can engage with, and your audience will organically respond to your repetitions. Once you have that down, it’s time to look at the growth of your audience as a business, and associate every piece of engagement with a boost in your brand equity. You are the tollbooth operator between your audience and the content they experience. Don’t violate their trust even once, or you’ll have to start over.

So start early; make mistakes. No matter how many smart and experienced people you surround yourself with, there are some lessons you will need to learn on your own. And most importantly, do work that you care about. It’s easy to be numb to what you’re doing, especially in the digital world. It’s easy to chase money, and to be apathetic towards your path to financial independence. You want to look favorably on the work you’ve done, because as you grow older, the work you’ve done becomes the legacy you leave. And when your work is aligned with your passion, you can be content with the time you’ve allocated towards work, during this short life of ours.

Is there anything else we should know?

Yes, we are in the final stages of a strategic partnership for artist development with Manchester Atlantic, which we will announce in the coming months.

Oh, and one of the most incredible events I’ve ever been blessed to help produce is coming to Jacob Javits Center in New York City on December 14th & 15th. I hope everyone has an opportunity to experience this groundbreaking celebration!

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Find out more via the 180 South Group Website.

Rebecca Cullen

Founder & Editor

Founder, Editor, Musician & MA Songwriter