I am 24 years old and have a marketing job, college education, cute girlfriend and parent’s rockin’ health insurance. So I guess I have absolutely no place to talk about how hard my life is or how difficult it is to get my music out there into the hands of people who would rather pirate the newest Taylor/Bieber/Gomez/Kanye/whatever record than download mine for free off of Bandcamp. But I guess I’m going to, because a lot of you reading this are probably in a similar position.
Entries in Internet (21)
When self-appointed guardians of the Internet and rights holders argue about the fall and the future of the music industry, you can put all of the talking points into two buckets:
Guardians of the Internet
Open, free, free culture, remix, sharing, do no evil, censorship, don’t break the Internet, innovation, value creation, music-will-be-like-water (don’t worry), scale, disintermediation, alternative income sources, patronage, greedy and shortsighted labels, etc..
Rights holders (artists, labels, publishers)
Copyrights, permissions, illegal sharing, stealing, royalties, negligible royalties, transfer of wealth, ad-supported sharing, free-loading, livable wages, the necessity of labels and publishers as investors, etc..
If you use the internet frequently, chances are that you’ve been noticing a few things on the rise: meme images or animated .gif’s, certain types of videos, infographics, etc.
Why not use these viral trends and put your own spin on it to create fun, engaging, easy-to-share content with your fans?
- Memes: Meme images have exploded online, especially in geek culture. These images have spread to billions, each with their own take of the images, from “Y U NO” guy to the ever so lovable Nyan cat. You can create your own memes for free using generator sites like weknowmemes.com and memegenerator.net. You can make it more personal fans by talking about specific points in your band’s history, favorite songs or themes, and also inviting them to create some of their own. Most meme websites also provide multiple examples of each image in case you don’t understand the logic behind that type of meme. Read a few, then create your own. Here are some that I made for my band, The Slants, that generated some great buzz from our fans:
The internet has a million ways to communicate, and a million ways to sell things, but it’s failing when it comes to creating fans. The reason for this is that there are very few fan experiences on the internet.
I’ve started to notice a trend. Radio doesn’t like the internet. Actually, most of the music industry doesn’t like the internet. The traditional music industry can’t do much about file sharing, loss of their brand, the flattening of recording technology, etc, but they can do something about radio and traditional media. They can use their power in both worlds to ignore nearly every music star the internet has created.
Mozilla, which makes the FireFox browser you might be reading this with, has a way to let regular webpages record audio and video and play them back with only a few lines of simple code rather than the more complicated Flash technology usually required for in-browser recording today.
This might sound like a wonky technical detail, but ultimately, it has big implications for people in general and music fans in particular.
Once web browsers can literally hear what you’re listening to (and see you, assuming you’ve given them permission, of course), they’ll be able to identify music playing in other programs or in the cafe where you’re sitting; record karaoke or more advanced audio projects directly onto the web; let you hear what your favorite artists are recording; and other fun stuff developers have yet to dream up.
For now, we must surrender the fantasy of ranting, finally, with our own actual voices, into the comments sections of columns with which we disagree — if only due to the early stage of this technology. Mozilla released an early, Mac-only, FireFox 3.5-only version of the Add-On on Thursday, which it’s calling Rainbow on Thursday, apparently so-named because it pairs so nicely with the term “cloud computing.”
With over 40 years of experience in the music and entertainment industry, T Bone Burnett surprised the Future of Music Coalition Policy Summit at Georgetown University when he said that the future of music is analog. This was shocking because most of the music industry conference has been focused on the Internet and digitization. David D has posted about T Bone Burnett’s concern about the quality of recorded music such as the MP3. What do you think about the quality of recorded music? Do you care more about convenience or about better quality? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
“To someone starting out at as an artist today, his advice would be “stay completely away from the Internet.” (Read on and watch the video)
Music is so spread out online these days. Why? And why do artists not get paid for all the free plays they give away on these websites? These are two huge questions that I’ve been studying, and the answers are well worth addressing.
Part of music being so spread out has to do with the fact that the internet is still fragmented itself. The web is still set up like our real world - you have “sites” with their own “addresses” and you have to physically go to them. This is part of the problem for sure, and it turns out that it is actually easily solvable. With the software, you can pretty much make up your own rules, which means you could make everything just come to the user instead, almost like the iphone model, where every app is in one spot waiting for you at all times. That’s another topic though.
The rest of the problem really seems to be about preference. There are hundreds of music sites out there, and certain fans, or fan-bases, like to stick to certain ones for certain reasons. It could be the difference in interfaces or the difference in people in the network, but it usually has to do with simple preference.
If there’s any doubt about the disarray and desperation afoot in the music business, just check out the Internet’s affect on the media business – music, print and broadcast – overall over the past decade. A recent article in the New York Times covers the waterfront on this issue quite well.
While the devastation of digital democracy vis-à-vis the Web made its first blitz through the belly of the music biz, the print media was next in line, and the battlefield there rivals Antietam.
Music biographies mesmerized me when I was a kid. Whether it was Glenn Miller or Elvis Presley, it was always the same fascinating formula: talent and tenacity leading to the precipice of success, with the artist always searching for that one elusive element to define his signature sound, to breakthrough. With Miller it was the addition of trombones. The proceedings always put me on the edge of my seat and the breakthroughs set me reeling. I guess it was in my blood.
It persists. The other night I watched two great documentary-style biopics on TV, one on Johnny Cash, another on Willie Nelson. Willie, as many of his fans may not realize, was actually a Nashville songwriter penning such classics as “Crazy,” which Patsy Cline etched into the music lexicon. Despite his preeminent status as a writer, Willie couldn’t get arrested as an artist in Music City. His quirky phrasing was way too off-beat for the 60s sound, which was infused with sweet strings and pop arrangements.
Towards a New Music Business Model And The New Thinking That Is Required.
“The future does not fit in the containers of the past.” – Rishad Tobaccowala
“..we are now in an era where spectatorial culture is giving way to participatory culture”. Henry Jenkins director, Comparative Media Studies Program at MIT.
I give thanks once again to Brian Zisk and his incredibly motivated crew for inviting me to speak at the upcoming SanFranMusicTech event on December 7th in San Francisco, and later at the SXSW Conference in Austin in March 2010. Brian is one of the organizers of SanFranMusicTech and is moderating the panel that I will be on at SXSW. [If you’ve never attended SanFranMusicTech I would encourage you to do so. It’s a wonderful, energetic mix of entrepreneurs, tech experts, musicians and thought leaders in the digital space. In other words it’s not just for musicians or techies…] The panel discussions will revolve around the premise of how, or if, musicians are using the tools available to them on the Social Web.
I have written this essay as a prelude to the upcoming panels, both to outline my views on the subject in advance, and also as a way to organize my thoughts and past essays into one place. The debate surrounding online music distribution still evokes passion from critics and supporters alike, the most vocal being musicians who believe that I am working to make music free online and therefore deny them income from CD sales. Nothing could be further from the truth, I simply argue that musicians need to monetize everything around their musical output and stop dreaming that CD sales will one day return to previous levels; where the 2009 equation means 100k is the new 1mm, 10k is the new 100k etc. I should point out for the record that I am focusing almost exclusively on non-mainstream, independent musicians. [Although there is no reason at all that mainstream, commercial artists shouldn’t be doing the same thing.]
So you have a show and you want to promote it. Many artists take this pretty simply. They post on their website, announce it on Myspace, share it on Facebook, sometimes list it on Craigslist and then maybe send it to a local music magazine. There is this idea that people will just make the effort to find out about you. Now in some cases that can be true, but with each gig and show it is much more effective to pull those that already know you, reach out to those that might be some what familiar with you and connect with people that have never heard of you before.
Email is an essential part of the fan relationship equation for artists, labels, and managers. While it is difficult to say the exact value of collecting any individual email address for musicians, marketers from other industries peg the generic value of getting an email at about $1 each. But it’s all about what you do with it once you are given the great responsibility of owning it. We have seen Artists generate as much as $10 per email address on their list, when used properly.
Email has some interesting attributes going for it, like:
In part ii of my 1,000 true fans series I chose to interview my friend Matthew Ebel. I have known Matthew for a few years because he runs in the same geeky podcasting circles that I proudly run in. Matthew is the type of artist I refer to in my book as a “Builder” meaning Matthew is constantly pushing his career forward using not only musical innovation but also technology.
What I find most striking about this interview is the fact that Matthew makes 26.3% of his net income from just 40 hard- core fans.
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(Updated January 13, 2016)