Bob Baker's Indie Music Promotion Blog

Music marketing ideas for DIY artists, managers, promoters and music biz pros

April 19, 2006

The Hunted Become the Hunters

You know the story. There are huge cultural and economic shifts taking place in the music business. Just read the news stories to get up to speed.

One of the biggest changes involves the evolution of the tech-savvy, modern music consumer. Here's what I mean:

Old-School Music Business

Back in the day, record labels would determine who the ideal audience was for a given act. Then they would hunt down those specific types of fans via targeted radio stations, magazines, concert venues, retail outlets, etc.

Years ago, music consumers had limited ways of gaining access to new music, so they relied on commercial, programmed media sources to filter new artists to them. Some adventurous fans made the extra effort to dig for new music via "alternative" sources such as fanzines, college radio stations, mix tapes, etc. But most people weren't willing to work that hard to discover fresh sounds.

So music consumers were mostly prey -- reactive to the efforts major labels made to track down fans and feed them the latest music.

New-School Music Landscape

Today music fans are in control. They rely less and less on programmed, spoon-fed media sources and are finding it easier than ever to discover new music on their own. Using an iPod, MySpace, satellite radio, Internet downloads, podcasts, TiVo and more ... members of the digital generation are determining what they want to hear, when they want to hear it, and how.

Consumers who in the past were primarily hunted down by the music industry system have now become proactive hunters, empowered to choose the music that's best suited for them. This shift has thrown the creation, promotion and distribution of music into a tailspin.

As an indie artist, what should you do in this environment?

You should still understand who your ideal fan is and actively seek them out. Simultaneously, you need to put yourself in the best position to be "discovered." Not by a record label A&R rep, but by a curious music fan in search of his or her new favorite song or artist.

What can you do to be "captured" by the new music hunters?

Note: The idea for this blog post came while listening to the Future of Music podcast. Check it out.


P.S. has become a major player in this cultural music shift. To make sure you make the most of MySpace Music Marketing, visit this page.

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