A Different Thought on the State of the Music Business?

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7,602
This is a segment of the music industry that a lot of people don't realize exists. I'm sure a lot of people never heard of most of the current bands I listen to, but they seem to have viable "small businesses" happening, putting out CDs, touring clubs & theaters, playing festivals, etc. Over 20 years ago, bands like Phish Ani DiFranco, and Dave Matthews and others across different genres did this, so the concept is nothing new and it's been happening since before the industry fell apart.

But simply throwing something on YT and hoping people find it is not a valid plan IMO. You need to get out there and play. For real. A lot. Well it helps to be good too. ;)

The YT thing only works if you have a gimmick like OK Go with the videos, or Pamplamoose with the creative takes on covers.
 

taez555

Member
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8,297
Jaron Lanier made a great point in his book You are not a Gadget,(well worth reading btw) about how a lot these new business models in Web 2.0 that are touted by many as the magic bullet that's going to save us all, although worked for some, are simply un-replicable. At least on a larger scale.

What happens is once you try to repeat it, the market becomes flooded.

A great example is that woman a few years ago who was deep in debt and setup a website asking for donations.

Well... low and behold, it gained lots of media attention, and people started donating to help her out.

So of course since it worked for her you saw a flood of copycats doing the same thing. And predictably they didn't enjoy the same success.

Pomplamoose is fabulous example of the musical version of this. It worked for them (no doubt talent played a HUGE part, they are insanely talented musicians), but is an un-replicable business model.

That's not to say there aren't lots of pieces of the puzzle that can't be borrowed and used to monetize a career. If anything it just sort of shows you that the secret to being successful(and by successful, I simply mean self-sustaining as a musician) is to not put all your eggs in one basket, create your own path, and do it like no one else has done it before.
 

fenderlead

Member
Messages
4,471
No matter what the internet makes possible or doesn't make possible, the arts are very dicey and the public is fickle, so no one really knows what might catch on and that part of it is still very similar to the one out of every 100 or whatever bands/artists taking off under the record company model and the other 99 not.

I just checked out some Daft Punk and the things I heard were just sort of generic funky dance stuff that I've heard done in a better way by so many past artists, and I would not have predicted they would take off but apparently they have.
 

rsm

Senior Member
Messages
14,081
Derivative work sounds new and fresh to people who have not heard the originals IMO. There are new business models that can successful, but not all succeed like any business venture, many if not most fail. It seems a number of successful entrepreneurs have experienced failure before their success. This is not unique to music as a small business IMO.

Marketing is a common need; getting visibility, getting the right person to say something good about what you are doing, etc. If you are one of the few who actually breakthrough, now you need to figure out how to stay relevant once the novelty wears off; how do you follow-up and not be a one or two hit wonder...

The Web 2.0 long tail may work for some niche players as well, and they could build a small but dedicated following that allows them to continue to create music.

As ever, only a small percent make it to the top earnings tiers. Making a living as an artist, no less getting financially wealthy as an artist, is still one of the most difficult career paths there is. IMO.
 
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7,602
I don't see how this is really a new business model. Sure, bands need to think more about being self-sufficient vs. getting the "big payday" from getting signed. But the basic premise of having good material and developing a following is the same as it ever was.

The only thing new is that the internet makes it easier to get your stuff out there. The problem is that everybody else is doing that too....

But the guy in the video wasn't talking about being a mega-hit making millions, he was talking about the potential of having a self-sustaining business. It never was, nor will be, easy but people do it.
 

Crowder

Dang Twangler
Messages
19,072
Once upon a time, people created music because they *had* to do it. It was in them and it had to come out. Maybe they didn't care whether they made any money at it or not. Then pop music exploded and there were people becoming wealthy and famous beyond their wildest dreams, which helped attract a more calculating, ruthless type of music product.

Anything that can expose me to more of the former and less of the latter is good by me.
 

speedemon

Member
Messages
2,623
"Derivative work sounds new and fresh to people who have not heard the originals IMO. There are new business models that can successful, but not all succeed like any business venture, many if not most fail.'

Bears repeating.


"It seems a number of successful entrepreneurs have experienced failure before their success. This is not unique to music as a small business IMO."

Is also a fact as well as your opinion.
 

levous

Member
Messages
793
Thanks for sharing. I'd like to point you to http://www.jonathancoulton.com/

I've been following his career for a couple of years and its inspiring. The bottoming is this: you can make a business out of your passion but it takes hard work and creative thinking and more hard work.

Along the way, just like any risky endeavor, people will tell you it's impossible, it will fail, you will regret quitting your day job. Just remember that those people are afraid of the possibility that they are wrong because they don't have the balls to take a leap of faith or the self discipline to grow a career. They'll even look at tangible examples of people who have been successful doing something similar and tell you it's a fluke, not replicatible, etc. I've learned to listen to only two kinds of people: people who believe in you and people who have already succeeded doing what you want to do. Everyone else is just full of hot air
 
Messages
7,602
Along the way, just like any risky endeavor, people will tell you it's impossible, it will fail, you will regret quitting your day job. Just remember that those people are afraid of the possibility that they are wrong because they don't have the balls to take a leap of faith or the self discipline to grow a career. They'll even look at tangible examples of people who have been successful doing something similar and tell you it's a fluke, not replicatible, etc. I've learned to listen to only two kinds of people: people who believe in you and people who have already succeeded doing what you want to do. Everyone else is just full of hot air
Love this, especially the bolded part, great advice for anyone! I'm going to steal that to share with my HS students. :)
 

taez555

Member
Messages
8,297
I've learned to listen to only two kinds of people: people who believe in you and people who have already succeeded doing what you want to do. Everyone else is just full of hot air
So basically you ignore the opinions of everyone on TGP? :)
 




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