Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The song remains the same

Changing with the industry:

When I was a kid we would camp out at the local record stores for HOURS to be first in line for tickets and the recordings of our favorite artists.

The internet and how people consume media- has transformed business industries and our daily lives.  The recording industry has undoubtedly seen the biggest transformation within the entertainment industry.

 Major labels have gone under, artists and industry pro’s are scrambling to figure out how to revamp the way they do business, and the way those  businesses are monetized.

Berkeley College of Music’s Development center compiled a study of industry related salaries, which shows the reality of the working musician and music industry professionals.  Keep in mind with the high influx of freelance professionals in many of these fields, most in these fields  will attest to it being very difficult to achieve a full years salary in today’s market.

Music makers traditionally have been looking at music from where it is sold,
at shows, from the trunk of your car, or digital retailers like iTunes, CD Baby, etc.. 
Many artists find themselves in the eternal cycle of creating  CD’s and selling them. 
Have you considered changing your view point to:

Where music is used:
Here you start to see much broader applications and audiences for your music, as well as career options you might not have considered. 
Today, multi million dollar studios are being replaced by “home-desktop” studio’s the music creator pool has grown exponentially, and not always in a good way.
Hundreds of thousands of micro-entrepreneurs have popped up on the entertainment landscape. Getting quality music heard above the noise is much more of a challenge.  Despite how much the industry changes,

Key point remains the same:

1) You still must have great songs & performance.

2) Having excellent communication skills, being punctual, and having a positive attitude so people WANT to work with you. 

3) Demonstrating your “business” is healthy & growing- this shows potential investors, like managers, agents, merchandising , & promoters why they should do business with you.

4) Having a business development team helping you with roles like-Branding, Strategy, Social Networking, SEO (search engine optimization) and Content distribution move you above the noise. 
The big  difference is in a Indie landscape the artists are footing the bill up front vs. the labels who for decades acted as the bank extending “credit” to artists  who then had to re-coop the costs.

Creative fan engagement:

Today you know the mega stars that have used this strategy successfully, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber are a couple, but they represent the top 3% of the market, how about the emerging successes of bands  like OK-Go, Yeah Yeah Yeah’s , & Arcade Fire- who brilliantly utilized technology in their video wilderness downtown, for many music listeners the HTML5 interface gave them their first interaction with Arcade fire.  In 5 minutes, the band took viewers back to their HOME, think home and apple pie, people LOVED it.  Of course  being 1st to market with that incredible fan engagement tool resulted in industry acknowledgement by sending them home with a  Grammy.

  Using technology in creative ways to create fan engagement are critical to the success of any artist.

What unique way are you using a business strategy to engage your fans and grow your business?  I would love to hear about it in your comments below.


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