Bob Baker's Indie Music Promotion Blog

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

April 14, 2010

Don't Cater to Average: Your Fans Will Support You

It's easy to get depressed when you see research numbers like this, as reported by Billboard several weeks ago:

According to data released this week by Nielsen, recorded music has a 3.7% share of U.S. household entertainment expenses.

Recorded music gets less of a household's entertainment spending than video games, movies, sports and reading material. Each year for the last decade, music spending has dropped as consumers spend less on CDs.

Many artists and music companies respond to this news by slashing prices, giving away even more of their creative output, and catering to the lowest common denominator.

My advice: Remember, these figures are averages. They include people who never spend money on music, people who spend a little, and music enthusiasts who spend thousands of dollars a year on CDs, music downloads, and concert tickets.

If you create a business model that caters only to the average, you're doing a disservice to yourself and your fans!

Sure, there are plenty of music consumers out there looking mainly for freebies and bargain prices. But there are also plenty of people who spend way more than 3.7% of their entertainment budget on music.

There are people who love to support the indie acts they enjoy. There are lots of people who aren't squeamish about spending a good chunk of change on stuff that will add pleasure to their lives.

And I'll bet some of those people are on your mailing list or in your audience right now.

Give them an opportunity to support you! Don't play small by catering to averages.

You're not an average musician, are you? And neither are the people who make up your fanbase.


P.S. This rant was inspired by this post from Seth Godin.


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.

Or just sign up using this quick and easy form:

Your First Name
Your Primary Email

Your email address will not be shared. Unsubscribe at any time.

Connect with

posted by Unknown @ 10:15 AM   3 comments


At Apr 17, 2010, 1:30:00 PM, Anonymous J said...

This is a perfect way for musicians to implement Seth Godin's advice from his book Linchpin.

If you keep doing things the old way, by trying to produce the cheapest product, then you're just racing to the bottom of the barrel.

Artists are the lifeblood of society and don't need to devalue their art. What they need to do is focus on creating GREAT! art, not just "okay" or even "pretty good" art.

At Apr 21, 2010, 4:50:00 AM, Anonymous Shaun Letang said...

I totally agree! Going round I see way to many people giving out masses of free music and in turn under selling themselves. This isn't the way to get your music career moving. Hopefully with the right guidance people will wise up to this and stop giving all the free loaders what they want.

At Apr 21, 2010, 2:50:00 PM, Anonymous Tom Mack said...

This is really good point. Statistics about large populations can be so misleading, and depressing.
I always to try to remind myself that the "Big Old World" that news reporters generally talk about, really doesn't exist, at least doesn't exist in the sense that it really isn't relevant to most people. The only "World" that matters to most people are their loved ones, their co-workers or business partners, their customers and fans, their teachers, mentors, students, and mentees. I try to remember to focus on my "Little World," and, and to see this little world as actually Gigantic (to me), and, to quote the title of a current novel, "Let The Great World Spin."


Post a Comment

<< Home