Bob Baker's The Buzz Factor
Music marketing tips and self-promotion ideas for independent songwriters, musicians and bands.
Music marketing ideas for DIY artists, managers, promoters and music biz pros
October 25, 2007
Shocking News About the Music Industry
"It's a big mistake to equate the major labels and their plastic disc business with the industry as a whole. Indeed, when you stand back and look at all of music, things don't look so bad at all."
His research indicates that every part of the music industry, except the sale of compact discs, is up. Here are his stats:
- Concerts and merchandise: UP (+4%)
- Digital tracks: UP (+46%)
- Ringtones: UP (+86% last year, but probably just single-digit percent this year)
- Licensing for commercials, TV shows, movies and videogames: UP (Warner Music saw licensing grow by about $20 million over the past year)
- Even vinyl singles (think DJs): UP (more than doubled in the UK)
- And, if you include the iPod in the music industry, as I'd argue a fair-minded analysis would: UP, UP, UP! (+31% this year)
I don't particularly agree with Chris Anderson's "most music will soon be free" prediction. If you have an audience that truly gets value from your music, they will pay for it.
I do embrace the notion that music should be free in the sense of unencumbered and "free" to flow digitally where the marketplace takes it. But that doesn't mean all music should be free (as in no cost) just because it can circulate that way.
YES, you should give away some of your music to create awareness and build a fan base (or all of it, if that's what you want to do). And NO, you shouldn't waste your time with digital rights management (DRM) and suing people who share your files for free.
BUT don't make the mistake of thinking that no one buys music anymore. If you make music that matters to your fan base, and if you establish bonds with your audience, they will reward you with money. And there's nothing wrong with that!
Coming Nov. 12 to Los Angeles: Gilli Moon and I will co-present a workshop called "How to Build a Successful Career in Music (and the Arts)." Get more details and reserve your seat here.
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What About Bob?
Bob Baker is an author, speaker, teacher, indie musician and former music magazine editor dedicated to showing musicians of all kinds how to get exposure, connect with fans, sell more music, and increase their incomes.
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