Re-Thinking Your Music Career

I’ve been to a few local live bands that I can say have amazing talent.  You know the local ones that you’re positive they will go somewhere with their career?  But then comes the hard part. How do you get to the next level?  How do you consistently get paid for playing music? You must re-think your industry.

When you ask the majority of up and coming artists they reply, “oh we have a CD coming out soon, I sure hope you’ll buy it!”  I want to be supportive but I also want to be realistic.  I haven’t purchased a CD IN TEN YEARS!  Why are they still making CD’s?  I know there are exceptions to the rule and some CD’s still sell but have they ever thought about researching their own market before?  Ever tried to understand how others in their situation have grown their own music business? I can guarantee you it did not happen by selling CD’s.

In Chris Anderson’s book Free: The Future of a Radical New Price it explains that if the price to duplicate something is relatively free (as in a music file) then eventually it will be free. Young musicians needs to understand this and adapt accordingly. You’re going to reach exponentially more people by offering a free download than by trying to charge for a CD. The difficult part is putting monetary gain second and your fans first.

I’m not saying most artists are money hungry, they just need to understand their industry better.  They need to have a following, groupies, a tribe on their side that wants to tell the World about their music then give them to tools to do so.  Enabling this group to spread their music as well as finding innovative ways to make money not by selling CD’s is the new way to re-think your music career.

It’s been almost three years since Radiohead shook up the music scene with a “name your own price” album which turned out to be their most successful in history (including two Grammy awards).  It is difficult to compare yourself to Radiohead, but doing something innovative on a large scale is much more difficult then changing your band’s marketing strategy right now.

So, how would you market your band if you had one?

2 replies
  1. Sean Stefan
    Sean Stefan says:

    We must have been on the same wavelength today because my post is on giving your best stuff away for free and selling souvenirs around it to monetize. Artists should want as many people to hear their music as possible, so they should want to give it away. The monetizing comes when you get enough people to hear your music and like it enough to pay to come to your live shows and buy any merch that you can slap your band’s logo on.
    .-= Sean Stefan´s last blog ..Selling Souveniers the Seth Godin Way =-.

  2. Corbin
    Corbin says:

    Funny you wrote this as Justin and me have been discussing ways to stand out once we finish an album. One of those ways was by trying out the free model. I think the main reason so many small bands still want to make a cd is just to give their fans something to take home from the show. However the turnover on shirts and things like that is way greater than trying to make up the expenses of recording an EP or an Album and getting a few thousand albums burned, printed, designed, etc.

    Big thanks for confirming that thought of ours!
    .-= Corbin´s last blog ..Happy New Years! Au Revoir 2009! =-.

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