I was reading a New Rockstar Philosophy blog post this morning and it got me thinking.
The post was suggesting that major web media could theoretically perform the role previously performed by the major record labels. They are well-placed to get your band exposure, and have pockets filled with gold, in the same sort of way that the majors used to.
At the same time, there are a number of blog posts and tweets out today questioning whether downloading is dead, and suggesting that people can’t even be bothered to steal music anymore, let alone buy it!
What’s a band to do?
One popular movement for bands trying to support themselves is to get corporate sponsorship. You’ve got an audience (i.e. a market) and so all you have to do is find the companies selling the products or services that would appeal to your audience and suggest they sponsor you. Having their logo at the start of your Youtube vids could be attractive to a company, provided you are getting enough plays. (OK Go talk about their approach to this here).
For many bands, this would feel fine, provided the product or service is a good fit.
For others, particularly those committed to keeping their music truly independent, this might feel a bit too much like rubbing shoulders with the bad guys. (I am not making a value judgement one way or the other here by the way).
One way to keep a little distance between you and the market, while still getting paid, might be to see yourself as a content provider.
The internet would look pretty empty without all the content constantly churning through it. You are part of that - a valuable part, as companies like Spotify and Pandora know only too well - so how can you turn that into decent amounts of money?
I’ll leave that as an open question for now - something to mull over. Ideas are welcome - please comment! I’m just going to give one idea, because it will hopefully encourage you to understand the potential benefits of having a PROPER website:
Turn your band’s website into a money earner
That’s right. If you are raising your profile successfully, you have people coming to your website. If you have people coming to your website, and you know your audience, you can sell advertising space, review products, and all that jazz that professional bloggers do to make money on their websites.
I’ll write more on this in another post, but for now, get your thinking caps on, and leave your ideas in a comment!