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“I’ve never seen an artist and label do a better job with social network one-to-one fan outreach."
—-Ben Kline, INgrooves SVP Global Sales & Mktg.
ROSTRUM’S MAC KNIFES THROUGH
INgrooves, Fontana Help Roll Out Pittsburgh Rapper with Huge Social Media Boost
His name is Mac Miller, and he’s about to become the surprise success story of the fourth quarter.

Born Malcolm McCormick, the son of a Christian architect father and Jewish mother photographer, the Pittsburgh-born rapper has elicited comparisons to Eminem while building an impressive following on social media that includes a combined 2.7 million Twitter, Facebook and MySpace followers. This year, Miller’s already put out two digitally released mixtapes and an EP, On and On and On Beyond, which has sold 60k on his hometown indie Rostrum label, home to fellow Steel City hip-hop icon Wiz Khalifa.

Miller’s YouTube channel TreeJTV has attracted almost 150 million views, with his most recent viral smash, “Donald Trump,” at 28 million views and counting. Trump himself acknowledged the song on Twitter when it reached 20 million views.

S.F.-based independent digital distributor INgrooves, which handles all of partial owner UMG’s product for that marketplace, will release Blue Slide Park, Miller’s upcoming full-length album, while using Ron Spaulding’s Fontana team to put out his physical debut. The new album hits Nov. 8, and insiders are predicting it to be in the race to become Fontana’s first-ever, six-figure #1 debut on the HITS album sales chart. Other releases that week include Now 40, Twilight: Breaking Dawn and Il Divo, while Adele is always a threat.

“I’ve never seen an artist and label do a better job with social network one-to-one fan outreach,” says INgrooves SVP Global Sales and Marketing Ben Kline. “Mac’s fans are beyond loyal.”

INgrooves has been Rostrum’s digital distributor since last year, then contracted Fontana to handle the physical end.

“This is already a success because it’s been done outside the traditional ways of setting up a record,” says Kline. “It’s being driven by everything Rostrum and Mac have done. We’re just trying not to screw it up, and to stay out of the way of the amazing story that they have built and are continuing to build.”

“The key to setting up this record has been patience,” adds Spaulding. “They haven’t rushed anything. They spent a lot of time touring him and building his social networks. He’s very active and in touch with his fans.”

The success of the set-up is in part due to the strong relationship between INgrooves and Fontana.

“I’m very lucky to have a great label manager, Rob Gross, as my day-to-day contact there,” says Kline. “He has been unbelievable. We work very closely with the sales team there to discuss the plan at brick-and-mortar and set up the co-op.”

But it’s Mac Miller’s plan for global domination that is fueling his discovery, as he recently told XXL: “My overall goal is to speak and connect with the world. I’m trying to have it where your hip-hop heads are listening, but so are those who like The Beatles, Led Zeppelin and the Sex Pistols.”

“He will raise a lot of eyebrows with his first week,” says Spaulding.

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