More Than Decent

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Published on March 29, 2017, at 8:14 a.m.
by Josh Downey.

Electronic dance music has taken the world by storm. You hear it everywhere: on the radio, in stores, online, etc. At the forefront of the electronic dance music movement stands one independent label, Mad Decent.

Mad Decent is an independent record label based out of Los Angeles. Founded in 2006 and masterminded by Diplo and Paul Devro, the independent brand has made a huge impact on the music industry. Mad Decent has fostered some of music’s biggest, current stars, including DJ Snake, Major Lazer and Diplo.

The Mad Decent brand relies heavily on social media and owned media to spread its music rather than paid advertising like its major label counterparts. Mad Decent brought us the infamous viral videos of the Harlem Shake dance in 2013. The videos were a huge hit on YouTube. University of Alabama students attempted to make a Harlem Shake video, but the attempt was shut down for being too hectic on the Quad.

Mad Decent mainly promotes its new music through its artists’ and its label’s social media pages. The big artists have loyal followings that spread news as soon as it is released. Together, all artists on the roster support each other’s music by retweeting or sharing it, creating a web of music constantly being pushed to new listeners. Listeners of one artist may not know of another until it is promoted by the artist they are a fan of. This strategy creates a loyal fan base of the Mad Decent brand and allows music enthusiasts to find the music they really want to hear.

In 2008, Mad Decent launched another unique strategy: hosting block parties around the country. The Mad Decent Block Party events have been hosted in more than 30 different cities in multiple different countries.

Photo by Mikey Wally

In 2015, Bud Light teamed up with Mad Decent to create unique beer cans in support of the traveling block parties. The partnership garnered a lot of attention for both Bud Light and Mad Decent and ended up producing over 200,000 cans for festival goers and beer drinkers.

Mad Decent exemplifies the power of social and owned media today. The brand started from the ground up and built heavily on social media and strong partnerships. The use of owned media has led to attention on social media, which, in turn, has led to viral videos, some of the top songs in the world and a partnership with one of the leaders in the beer industry. All of this success is achieved without paid advertising. Now, we can all agree that is more than decent.

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