Whether they ever choose to regain some of their former financial stature and growth, record companies, majors and indies alike, along with unsigned and unknown independent artists, too, must cultivate and create, as quickly as possible, a SINGLE new digital marketplace. Here competition will flourish and some semblance of reasonable choice and control over the discovery of new artists with original new music will be exercised by whatever is left of the music listening mainstream audience. In this brave new world, record companies will need to collaborate and combine forces with each other and with independent artists at large. They will need to move quickly to consolidate into one place a dynamic customer base made up of the depleting record companies’ sales bases along with the ever increasing independent artist fan bases. The passionate members of the music listening public will ultimately choose to gather in this one place and make quick decisions about new music and new artists.
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Entries in digital ecology (3)
This contribution is by Bas Grasmayer (@Spartz), head of online communication at official.fm, a d.i.y. platform for music creators and content owners. Be remarkable, be easy to discover, turn your fanbase into a party, connect, listen. Those were the final words of my article when I introduced my thesis’ main theory of the ecosystem of fans on hypebot back in March. Being a perfectionist, I’ve been waiting with the public release of my thesis until I felt that the layout matched the content. I teamed up with a wonderful designer called Ryan Van Etten, who built an amazing site for this thesis, which you can visit at http://basbasbas.com/thesis (and the entire thing is available in its entirety for free).
In ‘Chaos We Can Stand: Attitudes Toward Technology and Their Impact on the New Digital Ecology’, a recent post on Music Think Tank, Kyle Bylin discusses the collapse of the record industry, with reference to Clay Shirky’s ideas about a new digital ecology and “cognitive surplus”.
Fundamentally, this is a transition from a situation of controlled scarcity of creative ‘product’ from a few major players to a flood of creative material as the previous barriers to entry have been demolished. As internet use replaces television watching, and freely available online tools enable learning, creativity, sharing and collaboration, people are shifting from being passive consumers to active participants and creators.
Suddenly there is a surplus of ideas, an abundance of creative content. One of the overwhelming problems faced by musicians today is the difficulty of ‘standing out’ and being heard above the noise, not drowned out by the herd.
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(Updated June 17)