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?