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Will the cavalry simply never arrive for some artists?
Old 26th November 2007
  #1
Gearslutz.com admin
 
Jules's Avatar
Will the cavalry simply never arrive for some artists?

I cant help thinking the internet slaps a big wet ironic paintbrush across the face of some musicians..

With the traditional label model - the "I am not so stupid, how hard can all this be?" type of musicians that got record deals would invariably end up with their heads spinning from all the events that would unfold that unbeknown to them, were ALWAYS going to be COMPLETELY out of their control. Press, merchandise, promotion, PR, gigs (to just skim the surface) - all controlled by 'professional' agents. The vibe was (is still) you write, record, perform, do the interviews and "WE" will' take care of all the rest for you.

Now, with the new internet empowered artist model, the "I am not so stupid, how hard can all this be?" type of musicians have all the control they could ever dream of - except they can end up with their heads TOTALLY spinning - as there is just SO DAMN MUCH to do...

What is that? A "be careful what you wish for, because you might get it" paradox?

Congratulations! You have now entered into a world of infinite micro management - welcome to your own endless nightmare!

I have read the (very valid) suggestions from our guests that musicians should if possible delegate, but I wager a lot of DIY artists simply cant find the manpower amongst their fan base, friends and family to go full tilt into the cyber battle for public recognition. Imagine it .. "dude, I like your band and all, but there is no way I am going to surf MySpace stealing friends for you for 8 hours a day"

or "OK I voted for your band with my 4 different email accounts but I feel kinda funny asking everyone I know to vote for you as well, I mean I like your band n' all but, you know, I don't want to irritate my friends" Etc...

Its a no brainer that artists can have a enormous level of enthusiasm for their own act / career / music - from running around at venues handing out fliers saying "come see us we are great!" to email mail shots stating the same.. But I would wager that many many artists simply fall short of being able to ever locate that manpower...

Instead of record deals do on line artists dream of "I wish I had 10 full time people to work, MySpace and Face book for me? (thats an insincere question from me as a friend of mine wishes precisely this)

Musician as PR mastermind?
Musician as PR campaign coordinator?
or is it..
Musician as totally overloaded multi-tasking basket case?

There seems to be a lot of 'Er... now what do I do" out there!
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Old 27th November 2007
  #2
Gear Guru
 
henryrobinett's Avatar
That's what I realized ages ago, before the paradigm sifted, when I owned my own label and got WW distribution and opened the label up to other artists for their own WW distribution as a DIY model when people still bought CDs and needed Tower and Virgins, Sam Goodys and Best Buys.

I had the choice then to either be an artist or a Label. In order for me to do either reasonably well I had to make a choice. Both were full time. I had a blast BEING a label, but I didn't like ME doing it. In other words I had to become someone else, -- someone who was great at making cold calls, bull****ting, all day on the phone, at the post office, spending, spending, spending, spending. I wasn't writing or practicing my instrument. I had adopted a friendly but very aggressive attitude, which was OK, but it wasn't the me I enjoyed being.

I began to actually long for those days of arguing with Record execs.
Old 27th November 2007
  #3
soulstudios
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jules View Post
Now, with the new internet empowered artist model, the "I am not so stupid, how hard can all this be?" type of musicians have all the control they could ever dream of - except they can end up with their heads TOTALLY spinning - as there is just SO DAMN MUCH to do...

What is that? A "be careful what you wish for, because you might get it" paradox?
Yep - I'd agree with that - build the website, resource the other fifteen websites, make a video, word-of-mouth, go crazy. In that order. At some point you may even have the opportunity (*gasp*) for some music-making activities. Lucky you!
Old 27th November 2007
  #4
Gear nut
 

Even in the movie School of Rock there was an agent, security guy, pr guy, etc. The model hasn't changed and I doubt that it will. The artists just think that they can do it themselves. Whether they can or not...
Old 27th November 2007
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jules View Post
I cant help thinking the internet slaps a big wet ironic paintbrush across the face of some musicians..
I love that quote...

Quote:
Musician as PR mastermind?
Musician as PR campaign coordinator?
or is it..
Musician as totally overloaded multi-tasking basket case?

There seems to be a lot of 'Er... now what do I do" out there!
Great points, Jules. It's been asked before (for dozens of years), but... when will musicians be able to be musicians rather than mediocre PR campaign coordinators? The internet "democratization" has simply created another opportunity for musicians to get swept into kinds of work they're not well suited nor well experienced at doing. A few individuals make a few bucks at it, which becomes "proof" of the "democratization," while the hoardes of musicians for whom this strategy produced no payoff simply generate more revenue for News Corp/FOX.

That said, I've noticed that myspace can be useful for certain kinds of artists trying to book tours of underground venues. A lot of venues and promoters are somewhat easy to find on myspace, so that simplifies one aspect of work.

Another thing I'll throw out there:

Myspace (or bebo or any music-focused social networking site) makes it possible for anyone to get access to random sonic barrages from millions of unknown struggling artists from all over the world. Does it actually increase consumer enjoyment of music, or rather oversaturate and overload the poor consumers, for whom everything becomes a huge audible blur? I'm getting the sense that a major effect of myspace, for many consumer-users, is to sort of desensitize individuals towards feeling music. It cheapens music's value, rendering it more irrelevant. I'm not convinced that myspace is healthy in the long run for the music sector.
Old 27th November 2007
  #6
Gear addict
 
Orren's Avatar
 

Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jules View Post
Instead of record deals do on line artists dream of "I wish I had 10 full time people to work...for me?
..pretty much!

Orren
Old 27th November 2007
  #7
Lives for gear
 
joaquin's Avatar
 

Hello.
I believe that as an Artist in charge of your own "campaign", one should start with the smallest valuable Market. You can always get WW distribution, but the Hart and the seed should expand from Home, to your closest circle of Friends, to your City, (I'm talking about performing artists), or the place you decide to embrace. There's only so much matter that your Full Focused Energy can handle. Lighter strokes tend to dissolve in to nothingness.
I believe, that if you want to do Your own label thing, Discipline should be your best ally. Do your best for as many as healthy possible hours of development your persona can sustain, for at least a year, and I believe that by then, you'll have the appropriate partners to delegate. Never live the Music, for it's the Muse who shall guide you through the Storm.
OK. ....I'm trying to convince myself.
Old 28th November 2007
  #8
Mindreader
 
BevvyB's Avatar
 

Do you need to sell any products at all to stay afloat?

Could anyone answer this question?

In the new world of 'everyone can be in a band and release something', the 'pay as you go' model is very similar to the many rubbish bands I'm sure we've all been in where some bright spark (the uncle playing manager etc) decides that spending a few hundred bucks on t-shirts is a really good move.

Except now, every band, after they realise that no one is coming to their myspace page, realises that they need to 'release something'

So they go to one of the 'new model' vendors (hi guys) who will take a few copies of your CD, stick you on itunes, etc - but it's a pay to play scenario, you pay for the service per track or album

If even 10 percent of all the bands on myspace decide to do this (and also then go on to sell exactly nothing at all), that is a huge amount of money up front.

So it could seem that the 'bread and butter' money for these online distribution companies is in fact the hobbyist/never going to make it/any old band.

Actually, I would imagine that 95% of revenue comes from bands and artists that are never going to sell anything. This is the perfect model - there are many huge companies who's best client is the one who doesn't use the service. Gym membership anyone?

So the question is to the guys here, how much of your revenue comes from actual sales, as compared to registrations? To truly judge the state of music is to see how SALES of independent artists are doing, as opposed to how many artists are living the dream by sending over some mp3's that will never be marketed and will never sell, but for a few dollars, can make them feel part of something.

Even if you sold NO UNITS of all your artists, would you still be in business making a healthy profit?

I am not attacking anyone here. I'm just interested in the 'new model' from the inside out.
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