As 2009 draws to a close it seems only natural to reflect on the events of the year and provide insight into arguments from both sides of the fence. The fall of the music industry has been happening for over ten years, however this year has seen an influx in the amount of musicians, and industry professionals participants that have been effected by the crisis. Whether you’ve lost your prized music biz job or realized that a label deal is pointless, we’ve all recently changed our concept of reality. When Myspace was en vogue we saw the same phenomenon of over crowding that we are seeing in the How To space. This time Wordpress and Twitter may be responsible for allowing anyone with a laptop and cut-n-paste skills to profess their views on How To Survive the New Music Industry.
On December 7, Bruce Houghton of Hypebot, a highly respected and religiously read music industry news blog, released his own Music Industry 2009 Wrap Up. Here is an excerpt from his guest post for About.com.
Three Favorite Things:
1. The post label, post ego direct Artist and Fan Relationship – Nothing is more fun, fragile and valuable.
2. I’m an influencer not because Billboard prints my articles, but because I do.
3. Leonard Cohen - OK…So he’s been around for 70+ years. I finally got to see him live in 2009 and now I can’t get enough
At first glance, I felt underwhelmed by his account of last year’s events. As I processed the post a bit more I began to understand its simple poignancy. Artists and Fans have the power. Anyone can be an influencer. Mr. Cohen, well…he goes without saying. Sometimes I have to marinate on certain things for awhile before I recognize their true value.
Immediately following, but unrelated to Bruce’s post, I stumbled across, “Music 2.0 Is Full of Sheep” by Moe Arora of MakingTheMogul.com, posted on December 8th. I should preference this by saying that Moe is one of the main reasons as to why I started my own blog. He was a complete stranger to me last year, but I have grown to know him very well through the words on his blog. Here is some of what he had to say.
When I originally launched this blog, it was to discuss topics involving the music industry and chronicle a few of my experiences in it. While I did that for a while, it forced me to stay current on industry news so I would have new content to discuss & post…As I kept up to date on everything, I became increasingly annoyed with what I kept hearing on every blog, newsletter and in every conference seminar and general discussion….I know a few of my peers are going to hate me for saying this, but the truth is, most advice about Music 2.0 and “succeeding in today’s music business” is bullshit.
Although I applaud Moe for speaking his truth about the DIY market, I feel that this commentary is a bit of a cop out. Sure, there is a ton of bullshit in cyberspace about the music business. Always has been. What I find to be even more true is that what you focus on, in Moe’s case, bullshit EXPANDS. Its very possible to get lost in the sea of how to blogs and quasi professionals who benefit from telling you what to do to become successful. However, there are quite a few blogs that speak the truth very concisely. Maybe he should focus on something else in the new year.
Then on 12/10 I read, “What If We Are All Wrong”, Chris Dalley’s post on MTT Open. His band Lockehart prides themselves on one thing and one thing only, good quality music. Here is what he had to say.
Every blog I read or music site I visit (tells you to) learn to market yourself blah blah blah. Do this…it’ll work. Don’t do that…it wont work. Learn how to capture your audience with great twitter post…. you get my drift? I think I’ve (only) read one post recently that had anything to do with the actual music!!!
If the title of this post is true, Chris provides an awesome benchmark for all of us. Purposely focusing your time and effort on the actual process of writing, composing, recording and performing the very best music you can possibly make is the best formula to follow in 2010. You’ll see the expansion of your creative ability, progression of your catalog and the quality of opportunities rise once you concentrate on what is really at stake…MUSIC.