A Marketing Approach to Music

Founded in Boston in 2004, Market Monkeys is an integrated marketing company, established to provide intuitive business-based solutions to music, media, entertainment, and performing arts marketing challenges. Our unique backgrounds in brand advertising, digital media & analytics, eCommerce and local market planning, enable us to offer musicians the best of both worlds – the level of professionalism of a really big company with the hands-on, real-world perspective of folks who value the importance of each and every fan.

Market Monkeys offers services musicians need to plan, promote, sell and grow.

The business is modeled as a marketing company in order to provide the flexibility to work with musicians at various stages in career development, and take advantage of new technology and emerging partnerships in an ever-changing music industry landscape.

Some artists come to Market Monkeys with managers, publicists, booking agents, and street team volunteers already in place. Others are developing any or all of these areas of their businesses. Important distinction – Market Monkeys challenges entrepreneurial songwriters and performers to embrace their ventures as managers of their own careers. We encourage artists to indulge in the parts of that business that are fulfilling for them, and delegate the activities that divert their attention from what they must do to attain their own, self-defined success goals.

A Monkey’s Approach to Marketing
The thing that’s different about Market Monkeys from other music companies is that we break the rules. Sure, we pay attention. We stay up on how everybody in “the industry” does things… But then we swing from our own branches. We work within an industry designed to homogenize music, streamline artist development, and prescribe the public with packaged goods that garner mainstream appeal. We believe there is no formula for success. Each artist we work with has their own unique definition of success, and we help them achieve goals built around that vision.

We pride ourselves on being sincere to who we are, faithful to our ideas, and passionate about the work. We’re doing what we do best — making music and sharing it with people who appreciate true, authentic entertainment that inspires.

The Monkeys Involved

Michelle Conceison, MBAFounding Manager

Nashville TN: a Monkey since 1995
Michelle Conceison is the founder of music marketing and management company Market Monkeys. A veteran of ad agencies in Boston, Chicago, New York and San Francisco, before music Conceison worked with major brands including AT&T, Bank of America, General Motors, Sirius/XM, and Musician’s Friend (Guitar Center). She bought some of the first keywords Google sold in 1999 while working in San Francisco. Later, as Vice President Director of Media, Conceison built and led Search practices at leading agencies Arnold/MPG/Media Contacts and Digitas in Boston and Starcom Worldwide in Chicago. She managed teams through startup, consolidation and rampant growth that formed the Search and Social Media landscape, and has been involved in many innovations that shaped the industry as it is today. Conceison first applied her marketing skills in music after stumbling upon Boston singer-songwriter Rachel McCartney busking in the Davis Square, Somerville MBTA subway station the very next day after performing at Somerville Theater across the street. A friendship and partnership kindled in 2001, and led to Conceison managing McCartney – providing her with an array of services.  In 2003, while in business school, Conceison wrote a business plan.  A year later she founded the company.  An enhanced version of that plan won the Silverman Business Plan Competition in 2006, providing initial funding for the company to have its first presence at a national music conference – Folk Alliance International.  She hasn’t looked back since.  Market Monkeys now manages Canadian duo Fortunate Ones, Nashville string band Della Mae, North Carolina songwriter Sarah Siskind, and English guitarist/songwriter John Smith  – and handles marketing projects for many clients. (see list here)  Music industry veterans and newbies alike call on Conceison for input on how to leverage new media, to learn best practices in social fan engagement, and to get their music into new ears worldwide.  She is a past President of the Board of Directors of Folk Alliance International, having served 3 terms (9 years) – and a 2017 winner of their “Spirit of Folk” Award. She has been selected to the 2019 class of Leadership Bluegrass. She has mentored and spoken on music industry panels at Folk Alliance, Americana Music Week, East Coast Music Week, Folk Music Ontario, and ASCAP Expo.  She is a professor of management, marketing and concert touring & promotion at Middle Tennessee State University.

Neil PearsonManagement and Market Development, Europe

Shrewsbury England: a Monkey since 2018
Neil is a freelance creative producer, project manager and artist-development specialist working both in the UK and internationally in the singer/songwriter, folk, and wider roots genres. With over 18 years in the industry, past work includes being the national artists’ development manager for folk artists England; part of the team that programmed and delivered Shrewsbury Folk Festival, and the programmer of Cecil Sharp House.  He is a creative producer on projects including Martin Simpson & Dom Flemons’ duo project, Sound Journeys, a Canadian songwriting train residency with British Underground, Harbourfront Centre & British Council Canada, Sweet Liberties, a commission with Parliament to celebrate the UK Parliamentary Anniversaries, Folk Nations Kolkata with British Council India, The Elizabethan Session, Darwin Song Project, The Cecil Sharp Project and Shake the Chains.  Working with a range of development agencies, in recent years he has delivered seven creative projects with reciprocal international touring elements between English and Canadian artists introducing each artist to new foreign markets. He programmes a venue in his home town of Shrewsbury, works with all English artists at Folk Alliance International (and programmes the UK room at the event), delivers artist development sessions for a range of organisations in the UK, and works individually with a range of artists on specific areas of development.  Neil brings all of his diverse experience to his work with our team, supporting the artists we manage and promote in England and across Europe.

Ali SperryMerchandising, eCommerce Fulfillment and Communications

Nashville TN: a Monkey since 2018
Market Monkeys is Ali’s first official foray into the music industry side of things, but she has been managing herself as an artist and writer for the past seven years and is enjoying the process of integrating her own first-hand experience and knowledge with the expertise of the MM team. Ali studied musical theater at Syracuse University and moved to Nashville in 2009 when met with the opportunity to join an all-girl country band. After a couple years with the band and the beginnings of building her own community of friends and musicians in Nashville, she set forth on a solo career and has since released two full length albums and an EP. She’s toured both solo and with a band and knows intimately the challenges and exultations that life as an artist can offer. When not monkey-ing or music-making, Ali is also a yoga instructor and teaches both privately and at several locations in Nashville. She lives in Madison, TN with her husband, drummer Jamie Dick.

Molly Nagel DriessenMarketing Operations & Tour Logistics

Valencia Spain: a Monkey since 2014
Record label survivor, music-lover, artist booster and jill-of-many-trades

Molly Nagel Driessen began her music industry career with the venerated indie Sugar Hill Records – in over 12 years there she moved from mailroom to publicist to project manager, eventually managing their Nashville office and staff. Working with artists from Nickel Creek to Dolly Parton, Doc Watson to Sarah Jarosz, she developed a deep appreciation for and knowledge of Folk, Bluegrass and Americana music and the artists who work so hard to make a name for themselves in that space. In 2011 she relocated to her hometown of Asheville NC, where she worked with Music Allies and went on to start Little Engine Project Management to assist independent artists in a range of marketing services. When her husband (accomplished fiddle player Casey Driessen) accepted a position with Berklee College of Music based in Valencia Spain, she eagerly accepted the opportunity to immerse herself in the Spanish lifestyle – jamon, vino, playa and all. She began working with Market Monkeys prior to her transatlantic move in 2014, and has continued to support Market Monkeys artists on the road with tour planning services and marketing support.

Jodi SinatraGraphic Design & Stuff That Looks Cool

Boston MA: a Monkey since 2001


Katie Phillips — Strategic Planning and Fan Engagement [2017-2019]

Kimber Ludiker — Management Services [2017-2019]

Katie Keller — Management Services [2019]

Holly Lowman — Management Services [2015-2019]

Marie Burgard-Menefee [2018]

BJ Mansuetti — Marketing & Media Planning [2011-2015]

Rachel Klein — Publicity & Radio Promotion [2010-2012]

Darlington Howland — Project Management & Event Planning [2009-2012]

Kate Gilbert — Web Development [2009-2016]

Darrell Anderson — Radio Relations [2008-2010]

Kellie Lin Knott — Email Marketing [2007-2008]

Katie Wells — Tour Logistics [2004-2009]