Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Five Rules Of Modern Music Business

1.) Nothing is EVER the fans fault: If you’re not selling music, sell something else. If nobody comes to your shows, make sure more people know about them. If everyone in town knows you have a show, stop sucking.

2.) You can’t sell digital music: If you put a price on it, they’ll steal it. The person that buys it is a person that genuinely wants to contribute to your success, but is only a small percentage of your fan base. CD’s can be sold because they are a tangible object and people can relate an emotion or an experience to a CD. Same with vinyl, t-shirts, stickers, or the bumper on the band tour van. It’s worth something to people. A computer file isn’t.

3.) You are always presenting and representing: You should have an elevator pitch about your band or business memorized at all times, CD’s and stickers in your backpack or laptop bag, you should always listen to anyone who wants to speak to you, and you should always be kind, friendly, and responsive. You may not know who you’re talking to and you never know what people may become. You should also have a proper EPK and hard copy press kit, photos, music, past press features, and schedule in the arsenal.

4.) Your success is your responsibility: Don’t expect things to just happen. You know how all those big stars got those lucky breaks, when they just happened to be playing a show at a shitty bar where a top A&R rep was having a drink? That only happened because that band decided to take a gig at a shitty bar at six o’clock on a Wednesday night. The harder you work, the luckier you get. Your career is a path, and you don’t get to one checkpoint without reaching the one behind it first.

5.) Be Humble: Every band has a list of other bands that suck. Tear that list up right now. Every single musician out there has achieved SOMETHING or you wouldn’t know about them. Chances are, the bands you’re hating on have achieved something you haven’t. So talk less and observe more. Network. Think of Nickelback; as much as they suck, they’ve sold exponentially more records than you have. They didn’t buy all those albums themselves.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Is Music Piracy Hurting Artists?

I sat on the computer today and watched a complete argument unfold on Facebook over music piracy. One person had the stance that people need to stop pirating and start buying, and that piracy is the reason music is so shitty. The other person took the stance that piracy has virtually no effect on the artists income.

Here’s my opinion based on both knowledge and assumption.

Piracy doesn’t do shit to anybody but the labels, and labels are the very thing that people complain about when they’re not bitching about piracy. If you took percentage of sales taken by labels, managers, PR, booking agents, and the other random job titles that can be done by a smaller team if not the artists themselves, and redistributed to the actual musicians and producers, they would be making money from albums. But never in the history of big business music has an artist relied on album sales to live. They have NEVER made any money from albums sold. They made money and continue to make money from live performances, merchandise, use licenses, books, reality shows, and other random ventures you can pursue once famous.

Granted, a label put the advertising out there for the fame in exchange for the money from albums sold. But artists can do the same publicity themselves if labels can’t meet demand.

Here’s my first rule of working in the music business: NOTHING is EVER the fans fault.
If they want to pirate music, find another way to make money.
If they aren’t coming to your shows, figure out a way to bring them.
If you have tried everything and still no fans, then realize that you suck and change yourself. If you really didn’t care about money and fame then you wouldn’t care that nobody wanted to support you.

A record label getting mad that people pirate music is irresponsible. It is a labels responsibility to use creativity and initiative to find a new product or a new way to market an old product that will create revenue. If a business starts bitching about its customers, it doesn’t deserve to be in business.

So there’s my opinion on that.