Monday, April 29, 2013
It's A New Day
There continues to be an on going debate about the fate of the music industry. It's all about the old way of business versus the new. We are now living in the digital age where people consume music and all products, for that matter, in a completely different way. The old music industry was a members only game that used money and influence to force the buying public into purchasing music. When I say force I mean if you wanted to buy a single you liked you had to wait until the full album came out and most times the single would be the only really great song on the album but it was the only way to get the song you wanted. Even radio airplay would force you, in a kind of subliminal way, to like music you really didn't care for. Well that has all changed. The Internet has leveled the playing field but it seems that most of us traditional musicians that make our living producing and playing music have not quite gotten the memo. We have to understand that it is a new day and this is really to our benefit. Most of us are still looking for record deals. The record deal is dead. We have to become Internet savvy by understanding how to market our music via social sites and other web marketing tools. Selling something is all about the distribution and in the past you had to make a deal with one of the big labels for use of their distribution network. Well now the Internet puts the world at our fingertips, but we have to be willing to do the work. I've been dealing with a lot of traditional music lately such as blues, jazz, rock & roll and Americana and most of these artists are great self promoters and make quite a great living playing shows but they are loosing their shirts trying to supply radio stations and reviewers with product. These stations and reviewers are STILL requesting hard copies which costs tons of money in shipping not to mention the money you loose by giving away a piece of product when you can just send them a digital file of your music and press kit at no cost. I mean most of these stations have to convert the music into mp3s anyway so why make us spend extra money shipping them product that they don't really need anyway. It is vital that these people join the digital age, if not, we will continue to see a decline in the traditional music markets because everyone else in pop, hip/hop, r&b etc... is using facebook, twitter, YouTube, sound cloud, reverbnation, instagram, LinkedIn and the list goes on and on. We have to use this technology to make things easier and less expensive for ALL of us, radio and other media people included. Now this brings me to CD sales. We keep hearing that the Cd is dead and downloads are the new king. Well not quite yet BUT, it's not far off. You can check the following link from the Huffington Post for the latest figures for 2012 sales at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/09/music-sales-2012-digital-physical_n_2440380.html. CD sales were still the largest percent of the market share but they were down substantially from the preceding year and digital sales where up quite a bit from the preceding year. The writing is clearly on the wall. The CD will eventually go the way of the 8track and cassettes tape formats. In life and art change is inevitable, those that can adapt will win and those that can't will just be left penniless lamenting the "good old days". It's a new day and the future is NOW! Do your research and most of all JUST MAKE GREAT MUSIC! With this great new technology has come even more distractions so if you are going to win fans, your music has to be great to hold their attention and make them want to share it with their friends. Welcome to the new music biz. It's what you choose to make of it. Enjoy the journey.
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