Bruce Houghton wrote a nice post on his ever entertaining Hypebot blog some time ago about the 10 major milestones in modern music marketing. It's hard to argue with any of these, and they all are certainly milestones in some way, shape or form. I've added my comments in italics afterwards where appropriate.
In no particular order:
1. Seth Godin writes "Permission Marketing" way back in 1999 pointing the way towards a new era of artist and fan relationships. I personally thought that his book "Tribes: We Need You To Lead Us" is more of the milestone, but Permission Marketing certainly ranks right up there.
2. CD Baby offers indie and d.i.y. artists a home to reach a wider audience on the net.
3. The Arctic Monkeys parlay internet pre-release buzz into the fastest selling debut album in UK history.
4. OK GO proves the power of YouTube with an ultra-low budget "treadmill" video "Here We Go Again."
5. TuneCore tears down the last barriers to distribution offering low flat fee no strings attached access to the worlds top digital stores.
6. Radiohead releases "In Rainbows" asking fans to pay want they want for the download.
7. Trent Reznor grosses $1.6 million in first week sales by offering fans options from $5 to a $300 limited edition package of his latest Nine Inch Nails release "Ghosts". Whether it's calculated or just an inherent feel for Internet marketing, Trent is the master and deserves to be on any top 10 list.
8. Jill Sobule asks fans for help recording her new album raises more than $80,000. Pretty good considering she was only looking for $75k and could've raised more had she not cut the offering off.
9. David Byrne & Brian Eno release a new collaboration via Topspin. While more evolutionary than revolutionary, this was one of the first well planned and executed releases that took full advantage of modern music marketing techniques with impressive results.
10. Amanda Palmer made $19,000 in 10 hours on Twitter proving the music marketing potantial of micro-blogging platform.