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« Musicians Take Note: 3D Is Not Just For Movies! | Main | CTRL - How Much Are You Willing To Give Up? »
Monday
Feb142011

Your Band Is Building a Name For Itself. So Where's The Money?

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!

Padma Gillen is a signed independent musician with two albums released. He also runs PROPER Band Websites - providing professional websites for musicians and bands and home of the PROPER blog.

References (1)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.

Reader Comments (3)

One of the big things your article points towards is the truth is we already are content providers that are earning money FOR mega-corporations. Having your music on sites like MySpace or Facebook or YouTube or whoever else feeds them money in exchange for your content. While I'm not sure that the monetized through advertisement band blog format will actually bring much revenue for the average band, it is a good idea for us all to get a little back on track towards helping ourselves. Especially as the MySpace/Facebook/Twitter shifts have showed us all that trusting some other website to keep in touch with your fans can end with no connection to your fans.

February 14 | Unregistered CommenterBrian John Mitchell

No doubt artists and bands should be content providers, utilizing the pro bloggers income streams mentioned in your article. I also believe that while downloads, as a viable income may be in question, they can definitely supplement your income.

If in theory, piracy is bred by the inability to easily obtain legal music, selling downloads, direct to fan, off your site, is a must. Services such as DPD and PayPal for digital goods make it cheap & easy to offer downloads without sending fans elsewhere to find your music..

February 14 | Registered CommenterWicked D Harrison

"know your audience" This is the truth.
If you aren't giving your audience what they want then you might as well be selling dog do from an ice cream van.
Generally when you have something that people want then that will drive a value.

February 16 | Unregistered CommenterLoon

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