Great way to showcase your music! Then you can have a sustainable and ongoing economic relationship with them. Are they any more or less important than, say, a decade ago? Return to Book Page. Tuesday, March 4th in Technique.
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Over the last few months Andrew Dubber, on his site New Music Strategies , has compiled a list of things you must know about music online. He deals with changing realities in the music industry, and the strategies indie labels though the advice applies to the major labels too and artists will need to succeed in the face of these changes.
Among his topics: The long tail, the importance of opinion leaders, and the overriding value of a great web site. Let them hear it, keep it, live with it. And then bring them back as a fan. Do you recommend outright that musicians make full songs available on their web sites, rather than second teasers? Should they put their whole catalog online for free? Andrew Dubber: I think you should give it all away — but not for the reasons you might expect.
That never makes me any friends, but hear me out. I recommend they recognise that their recordings are not the totality of their economic value.
Recordings are idealised performances that show musicians in their best light. These are the best promotional tools available. It could as easily be the other way around. The record industry has convinced the world that it is the music industry. The major labels claiming to be the music industry is like the lions claiming to be the zoo. Music business is a wild and interesting place where all sorts of different people can make all sorts of different money in all sorts of different ways.
But to get the punters in, you need to let them hear the music, live with it, learn to love it and become fans. Then you can have a sustainable and ongoing economic relationship with them. Now you can press copies, give away a million copies and sell the thousand. HT: So is there any value in keeping some content behind a paywall, available to people who pay a premium or subscription fee?
Doing it without considering the alternatives is the mistake. Will the successful artist of the future be as much SEO and web master as entertainer?
Music business is overwhelmingly local, despite the few massive hits at a global level. And local music business makes its money by clustering. Local businesses who all do complementary creative things, all working together, paying each other, growing the local scene, co-promoting gigs and festivals, releasing compilations, linking to each other and using each others professional services.
Throw other creative professionals into the mix: documentary makers who need scores, games developers looking for theme music, local radio, website designers. Everyone in an organic, creative ecology. Everyone makes money when everyone else makes money. In order for that to work and this is my point here , everyone needs to know the value of what everyone else does — and they need to know what those services are and how they work. Getting a grasp of Search Engine Optimisation lets an independent musician just starting out get a bit of a leg up into the new music economy — but once they have a bit of cash to spend, they know how valuable that is, and what to ask their local web developer for.
Likewise, musicians should be educating other media professionals about the competitive edge that commissioned music services provide. HT: That strikes me as novel and important: Not only do we musicians need to convince others that our music is good, now we also have to convince them that it has applications they may not have considered? Will we become service providers more than entertainers? I reckon if you sat down with a piece of paper for 10 minutes, you could come up with dozens of ways to make money from music.
The digital environment means there are more independent film makers than ever before, there are computer games and digital art installations… there are even websites with their own commissioned soundtracks. The list is pretty much endless, once you get going. People get that intuitively, I think. But actually, internet technologies pull back the curtain a bit and start to put things back in their proper perspective. I can be a professional musician and have a sustainable income for the rest of my life as a result of doing what I love — and it can happen without even recording a single song.
Anything could happen. How would you recommend they spend that money? Who are they? What do they represent? What is their look, their values, their logo, their font seriously , their story? These things make it easy for everything else to line up. You need to stand out. Websites are great, but a tight band goes a long way. HT: So even though you say bands should now focus a lot of their energy on online promotion, live performances are still important.
Are they any more or less important than, say, a decade ago? More important. And less important. Statistically, more money is being spent on attending live gigs now than at any other time in history. Equally, the technology exists to have a perfectly successful career and never see another human being. I think everyone thought that the internet meant they were no longer constrained by geography. Would you recommend an artist post unpolished or unmastered work?
How about works in progress? AD: Publish everything. Scraps of ideas. Works in progress. A song that has just sprung fully formed into the air is a wonderful thing, but even more precious is the work you have seen being crafted from scratch.
Metaphorically, of course. Seeing a deer in the forest is kinda cool. Watching it being born, taking its first steps and growing up is a different experience all together. And you can choose how much of yourself you want to reveal.
The web makes you the gatekeeper. You get to decide what stays in the story and what gets cut. This is how you manage perception. But invite people in. People like to belong.
HT: You touch on the long tail a few times. Indie artists ARE the long tail. But to leverage the long tail, you need to cooperate rather than compete. If you only promote your own stuff, then the chances of people finding you are remote. If you hang out in the sorts of places where bands like yours are enjoyed, then the chances of being stumbled upon are much, much higher.
Of course, you still have to stand out in order to be memorable — but getting in the game is a great idea. HT: The eBook is fairly comprehensive. There are probably another Chances are, that might end up as its own e-book as well. So — lots to carry on with then.
ANDREW DUBBER 20 THINGS PDF
Sagal Is this a vindication or a damnation of the theory put forward by various authors — such as Steve Lawson, Dave Kusek, Cory Doctorow, and Andrew Dubber himself, on page 94 — that the cultural industries can be sustained by the power of patronage, and closer artist-consumer relationships? Saturday, May 31st in Articles for Beginners. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. If you only promote your own stuff, then the chances of thinngs finding you are remote. Navigation First time here? And you can choose how much of yourself you want to reveal.
Andrew Dubber’s 20 things you must know
Tojajind Watching it being born, taking its first steps and growing up is a different experience all together. Chances are, that might end up as its own e-book as well. He is the co-author of a book about new technologies for broadcasters in developing nations, commissioned by UNESCO, and has been a member of the steering committee for the Radio Studies Network. For free download go here: Is this a vindication or a damnation of the theory put forward by various authors — such as Steve Lawson, Dave Kusek, Thins Doctorow, and Andrew Dubber himself, on page 94 — that the cultural industries can be sustained by the power of patronage, and closer artist-consumer relationships?