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
June 16, 2009
The Future of Digital Music for Indie Artists
MySpace just laid off 30% of its workforce. Twitter and Facebook are on a steady rise -- for now. Streaming remote music sites like Spotify (currently available only in Europe) are gaining a lot of traction. And Richard Branson's Virgin Media just launched a new music download subscription service.
It's enough to make your iPhone spin out of control and careen into your Amazon Kindle :-)
People are confused. Musicians want answers. Self-promoters need to know the best way to invest their limited time and money. Industry veterans plead for the roller coaster ride to just stop already!
Here's the truth ...
There are no answers!
There are no rules, no strict guidelines, no risk-free road maps to widespread fame.
That sucks, doesn't it? Well, it can. But you have another choice:
Have some fun with it!
Experiment. Try stuff. For instance, be the first artist to [do something outrageous] using [the latest hot social site or app]. Fill in the brackets with different combinations till you find a winner.
Let your imagination wander and ask lots of "What if ..." questions. Then get busy creating your own little mad scientist music marketing laboratory.
While the technology and tools change constantly, some things remain important no matter what:
- Understanding who you are as an artist
- Knowing the type of person most likely to enjoy your music and identity
- Communicating who you are and what you play clearly and quickly
- Putting yourself in a position to be discovered by your ideal fans
- Being accessible to fans and having a direct conversation with them
- Building relationships with people over time
- Making enticing offers to purchase your for-sale music products and services
So let go of your need for certainty. Don't be so tight-assed about needing to know all the answers.
Again ... Experiment. Try stuff. And pay attention to the results you get from your efforts. Then simply do more of what works and less of what doesn't.
Here's the conclusion reached in a music industry report published last year called "Meet the Millennials":
In summary: technological advancement will promote further diversification in the music industry, in terms of business models, content and mechanisms for artist/fan interaction.
No single approach is 'the next big thing,' and experimentation is strongly encouraged. No one can afford to wait for proof of concept when the next big innovation is always just around the corner.
Millennials [young people who have grown up in the digital age] are constantly experimenting with and evaluating their experience as consumers. We suggest the music business does the same.
Sounds like great advice to me!
What do you think?
If you don't own it yet, check out Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook, the classic guide to indie music promotion. Revised and updated, with four new chapters on Internet and Web 2.0 music marketing. Get more tips like these when you subscribe to my free Buzz Factor ezine — the longest running music career tips email newsletter on the planet. Since 1995. Learn more about the free subscription 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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