By Athena Butler
When it comes to recorded music, today’s consumers enjoy a free ride and seem to have all the answers. Song sharing is there for the taking and, in any case, the old music sales model is archaic. But if out with the old and in with the new is stylish in music, the same is not true of music recordings.
For the business, it seems, free is good. However, the decline of recorded music sales has been catastrophic since 2001, when piracy became rampant and the single song Apple economy banished the album. Now, hope for the sector requires a giant leap of faith. In the meantime, the tough job of finding new ways to compensate for this loss of profits falls to the record companies. It may appear that artists are gaining more exposure as music changes hands often and easily. But is the moneymaking of old within the reach of the business?
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By Athena Butler
Payola, in one form or another, is as old as the music business:
Labels pay radio stations to broadcast their music, producers pay DJs to spin their records in the club, and promoters ask live bands to pay-to-play at their event.
And it’s always been a hot topic amongst musicians.
So if you’re an artist, should you ever have to pay-to-play?
Just got back from a music seminar down in Los Angeles. For those of you who haven’t been there in a while, it hasn’t changed much. It is still the home of some of the most talented people on the planet, it still takes an hour and a half to get anywhere, the sky is still grayish brown, and just like all industry towns, it’s better to be poor some place else.
The seminar was just like all seminars, you go searching for the golden ticket, and you leave with a shopping bag of glossy fliers and an overwhelming sense of bewilderment. Like Vegas, but without the hookers.
As the rise of mobile messaging apps take over the current mobile user population, the ways fans interact with music are changing. Historically, file-sharing takes place over the desktop computer through a P2P software such as BitTorrent. The user opens the music files into iTunes and they have expanded their music library for free.
Many mobile users are starting to figure out how to download music through mobile messaging applications and their smartphones. Transitioning from desktop file-sharing to mobile file-sharing will take a bit of time for users to catch up but the new Napster is already out there.
Your goal is to be a full time musician, right? Or maybe you already quit your day job and this is all you do. Guess what– you’re not just a musician, you’re a business, so start acting like one. It’s time to convert your Pinterest account to a business account, if you haven’t already. There are perks to having a business account over a personal account, like analytics tools and coming soon, promoted pins.
Why Pinterest? Pinterest gives you an opportunity to further build your brand image, show your fans what inspires you or what you find interesting, and helps drive traffic back to your other sites, like your webstore, newsletter signup, or other socials (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blog etc.) It’s a great place to build your lifestyle branding.
We all have those songs that make our spine tingle every time they come on. The moment they attached themselves to us like a parasite in our brains comes flooding back to us with the same effervescence as ever. Whether it is good or bad feelings it brings, the song is no longer just a song written by a band, it is a song written into your life. It is a trigger to inspire reflection and will forever hold this power over you.
Technically nostalgia is defined as, “A sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations” OR “the evocation of these feelings or tendencies.”
But that definition doesn’t mention magic. My definition would. My definition of musical nostalgia would mention some outer-body stuff. That inexplicable moment where everything else halts and fuzzy feelings collide with a strong melody, a good friends smile, and boom — something is burned inside you forever. But there’s a reason they don’t let me define things.
Do you sometimes feel that your band’s draw is languishing? Are you tired of seeing the same people at your shows and want to play to a new crowd, even in your hometown?
If you’re like most musicians, you know that you absolutely can do better, that you have more fans out there than who actually show up at at the venue, and despite always receiving positive feedback, you don’t know why more people aren’t showing up. Here are some tips on building some momentum back into your tour dates so you can increase your band’s draw:
1. Find a Different Angle for The Show: It’s easier to get more people to show up if it’s your band’s first show, when you’re releasing a new album, it’s a tour kick off, or when it’s your final gig. Obviously, it’s because your fans realize those as special occasions and want to be there.
MusicThinkTank.com takes great pride in being a renowned resource for all who comprise today’s music industry. We appreciate the conversations you start, the advice you share, the projects you promote, and the feedback you share and we want to encourage your continued efforts.
Thanks to our loyal readers and contributors, October was a great month for MusicThinkTank.com - so today, we’d like to share that success with you by highlighting October’s most popular posts. On behalf of MusicThinkTank.com, thank you for your support. We enjoy providing a unique platform where the music industry really can think out loud!
Laura Schneider, MusicThinkTank.com Community Manager
- Diana C. Herald | Autism Speaks Through Music – Dave Grohl Reaches Out
- Phosphene Productions | Promotion for the Independent Musician
- Fiona Zwieb | 5 Benefits of a Virtual Assistant – For Musicians
You know that image we all have in our heads about personal assistants? Only celebrities are busy (and rich) enough to have someone to keep them on track and book their first-class flights. Maybe you don’t see the need for an assistant - you are determined to be the DIY musician and actually believe it’s possible . But your life is feeling unbalanced, and you are finding yourself spending more time updating Facebook than working on your next album.
Hiring a personal assistant is costly for anyone, especially a musician getting their feet off the ground, but there is an option here for you - a virtual assistant. You could still be hurting yourself professionally, financially AND personally by not hiring a virtual assistant - want to know how?
Below are 5 benefits of getting a virtual assistant of your own.
On Thursday, Autism Speaks held their Third Annual Blue Jean Ball at Boulevard3 in Hollywood. The evening began with a star-studded blue carpet, including appearances from Joshua Jackson, Diane Kruger, J.K. Simons and Dave Grohl.
In a market saturated with the music of aspiring musicians and already well established acts it can be difficult for new acts to gain exposure. This begs the question, how does an artist stand out and get heard over the masses of music uploaded to the web each day? This guide was written as a follow-up of sorts to our blog “treating your band as a business” and also ties in with our online marketing crash course. The article will be split into two sections: the first pertaining to more traditional “physical” promotion techniques and the second focused on marketing your music online to listeners around the globe.
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(Updated Feb 25, 2014)