So, if you were an indie artist/band, or the producer or agent, mom or dad of one, or whatever relationship to them, and you're tasked with developing a strategy or a strategic plan to build a successful plan for everything that happens between the time the mastered copy is handed to you by your favorite mastering engineer, and the next 24 months, what would you do?
But here's the trick... This is Bizarro world now. Think of it this way... You're George Costanza on Seinfeld. And it's "Opposite Day." Remember the episode where George figures out that everything he's ever done in his life till this point hasn't worked for him? So what does he do? He figures out that whatever his gut feeling is, it's wrong, so eh does the exact opposite thing, and EVERYTHING he does turns out to be the right thing to do. And amazingly, it happens! Everything works out. He gets a job, gets the most beautiful and wonderful girl, etc.
So, my rules on this post are, you have to tell me the opposite of what you see new artist doing. This is meant to be humorous, but at the same time, critical and EDUCATIONAL FOR ARTISTS, MANAGERS & PRODUCERS, MOM's & DAD's, etc, so they can LEARN from the mistakes that new artists (and old ones) and bands are making as they are taking the huge investments they are making (and others on their behalf) and don't waste their time, talent and money on foolish ideas of tweeting, facebooking, etc thinking if they only do what they see Taylor doing, it'll work for them too. Meanwhile, those folks who have invested months, $$$ and years in them, just have to sit back and shake their heads as we watch them spin and toil for no damn good reason, until they figure out on their own what they're doing is useless, simply because they think they're smarter because they're the internet generation.
So I'll start off the first post. Please join me. Offer as many ideas as you wish, but please remember the rules. Tell us how to do things that are OPPOSITE of what the typical indie artist/band are doing it these days. Detailed or quick. Serious or Funny. I'd even prefer that people argue their points like crazy. Attack what I say and what others say. Defend what you've said too! Agree with someone who's attacked what you've said if what they said makes sense even. I don't care. Let's make this one live. We need an industry of creative arts that will survive and thrive.
1. Don't post demos of your songs. Only put up finished MASTERS of songs. People don't want to hear demos. Especially don't post unfinished recordings of what will be masters, especially when your producer has instructed you to not do this, and you've done it anyway. It ruins the "surprise" element of the music.
2. You might even consider not posting the masters of the songs. You might consider only posting parts of the masters, so people are forced to buy the rest of the song in order to listen to it. (producers might be an exception to this, since they are showcasing their work to get more work, but for an artist, this is a big one).
The idea here is that you want to SELL your music, not give it away. STOP GIVING AWAY MUSIC!
There are far too many variables in the entertainment industry to say this business model works or that one doesn't work. What works for one may not work for others. If I were counseling a new artist I'd make the analogy that it's like trying to throw a ball - you need all five fingers to make it go where you want it to....you can throw the ball with two but not super accurately. So for a new artist - assuming they have a great song - great recording and super photography/EPK kit ....I'd suggest finding a way to fund a.) the right publicist b:) the right radio and promotions leader c:) the right management team, d:) the right entertainment attorney and e:) the right agent who can showcase the artist in proper venue and occasion for career advancement. This does not all come without a cost....those who think they can break onto the scene with social media alone are probably looking at a 99.5 percent chance of failure to achieve their intended goal. Radio is a must, without major record label distribution and/or enough independent promotion to heavily saturate Radio - you're stuck in the download - take whatever gig comes my way syndrome. Recent studio showed that out of all the songs and artists on I-Tunes only 150 are selling significant product to support their career - wouldn't you know it - they all are getting RADIO AIRPLAY and are all on major record labels or distributed by Record Labels. - My friends it takes very deep pockets to break out independent of the major record labels - it can be done - given the proper direction, proper artist and of course - enough funding to make it happen. My Take - Eddie Reasoner / www.nashangelesmusic.com
Very true, Eddie. 1. Radio is essential to really hit it. I still believe this is true. At some point, Radio has to be involved. 2. You said that there's a 99.5% failure rate for internet marketing alone. Agree 100%. Except that the failure rate is even closer to 100%, I'd bet. 3. I agree there's not one formula. If there's one that works for one person, don't expect it to work again for another. BUT, I still feel there are fundamentals that significantly increase one's chances of climbing beyond hearing crickets chirp in response to their every tweet about their precious album that everyone should now pay attention to (according to them). First would be playing out. Second would be radio. Third would be Sync or the pursuit of it. Fourth would be working your butt off at everything you do. No particular order. All very important.
NO surprise on the iTunes study. The problem is, people see successes that are touted as "indie successes" with stories of artists or bands that made it without the machine. But then you find out, they're connected kids of industry insiders or they have tons of money to spend to pay for radio and they work their butts off. Or all of the above, most often.
All businesses look for a reason to toss out the least qualified candidates even among those who are highly qualified. The music industry is no different. If there's 100 people applying for one job, and all 100 of them are highly talented, then it's just a matter of finding the slightest faults and failures of the 99, and then the lucky 1 is usually just a tick off from the others, right?
Maximum exposure via internet has it's merits but, a drop in the bucket looks like all the rest of the drops in the bucket. People can't see the show and feel the unique character of the artist, and are listening to very low fidelity through laptop speakers which doesn't capture the magic of music. However, the live performance can direct fans to a website, social media, email list for news, schedule, merch and more. I takes a lot of money and patience to play live anywhere and everywhere available, so that people can experience fully who and what the artist is about, but it's still the way to get noticed, build a fan base, and research the markets first hand to see if what the artist has, is what enough people want. It's what the artist is going to be doing anyway if they get signed, so it's great bootcamp. So somebody tell me where I'm going wrong with this old fashion idea.