And above all. Pursue generosity. Not just because it will add meaning to your life — though it will do that — but because your future is going to be built on great ideas and in the future you are entering, great ideas HAVE to be given away. They do. The world is more interconnected than ever. The rules of what you give and what you hold on to have changed forever. If you hold on to your best ideas, maybe you can for a moment grab some short-term personal commercial gain. But if you let them roam free, they can spread like wildfire, earning you a global reputation. They can be reshaped and improved by others. They can achieve impact and influence in the world far greater than if you were to champion them alone. If we’ve discovered anything at TED these past few years, it’s that radical openness pays. We gave away our talks on the web, and far from killing demand for the conference, it massively increased it, turning TED from something which reached 800 people once a year to something which reached half a million people every day. We gave away our brand in the form of TEDx, and far from diluting TED, it democratized it, and multiplied its footprint a thousand fold.
So what happened here? The artist took time to develop a relationship with me. Once I knew the artist better, once they had made a deeper connection with me by making me laugh and responding to me personally a few times, they no longer felt like just another one of the thousands of other artists out there. They stood out from the pack because they took time to get to know me and I felt like I was a part of their world. Now I wanted to support their career.
Great post about the importance of developing relationships rather than just throwing free downloads at everyone.
I can’t believe I have to point this out, but there are plenty of artists making music and using unique and creative promotional techniques to sell it directly to fans (say it with me, won’t you?): Trent Reznor, Radiohead, Amanda Palmer, Paul and Storm, Marian Call, OK Go, MC Frontalot, MC Lars, the list goes on and on and gets larger every day. We are successful to varying degrees and we have different ways of doing things, some of us came from labels, went to labels, or eschewed labels entirely, but we are all participating in the same basic re-jiggering of the spreadsheet. I obviously don’t know the details of everyone’s business, but I’m guessing that we have this one thing in common: we’ve all decided that it’s fine with us if we reach fewer people as long as we reach them more directly. The revolution in the music industry (which has already happened by the way) is one of efficiency, and it means that success is now possible on a much smaller scale. Nobody has to sell out Madison Square Garden anymore to make a living.
And that is the point. That is what’s inarguably different today because of the internet. We now have an entirely new set of contexts and they come with a whole new set of tools that give us cheap and easy access to all of them–niche has gone mainstream.
Read the whole post, it makes a lot of great points. Also, love the line “That’s like saying the Beatles won the British Invasion lottery.”
Audience research has found that incontinent tweeters who use social-media sites to enter into daily communication with their fans are shortening their shelf life.
The survey of 1,500 magazine readers by Bauer Media, which owns Q and Kerrang! magazines, said: “In this social-media age, it’s all too easy to follow your musical icons on a minute-by-minute basis.” This new accessibility is producing exhaustion with tweet-happy stars. “There’s a consensus within the industry that this ease of access is leading to artists losing appeal more quickly,” Bauer said.
Would have like to see the actual data – what questions did they ask? Is this perception of what would happen or evidence that it really does happen?
The defense of participatory culture and the critique of media ownership are two sides of the same coin — two flanks in a battle to democratize and diversify media in this country. One starts with a focus on agency (participatory culture), the other with a focus on structure (media concentration); one starts with an emphasis on the new world we are trying to build, while the other focuses on the system we are trying to dismantle; one is focused on what we are fighting for and the other what we are fighting against.
Hello, my name is Daniel and I make songs. You can see my stuff by typing “Dan Bull” into YouTube. I’ve decided to find out what my music is really worth so I’m sticking myself on eBay. The winning bidder will receive:One song on any topic of your choice, written, performed and produced by Dan Bull. Duration: 2.30 – 3.30 approx. I will liaise with you via e-mail if there any specific details you wish to include in the song. You will be free to use and redistribute this song in any way you wish, however I reserve the right to do the same. The song will be delivered to you in MP3 format within 14 days of the winning bid.
Get bidding now, because this may never happen again. Love from Dan 🙂 x
There are definitely musicians for whom I’d bid on a custom song. Definitely.
So that was one thing that our manager told me right when we started. We were playing arena tours opening for Fall Out Boy, and she said “Every single night, as soon as you’re offstage, have your techs take care of all the equipment onstage. You go right to the merch table and sign for an hour at least and just like start meeting people.” And it’s been interesting, because some of the people who are coming to my shows now are people I met four years ago, and a lot of it has to do with like that handshake, that personal connection, the one joke that connected each other, that kind of thing. And they know I feel the same way. Like, you know, if I meet someone and feel a connection with them, I’m more inclined to support them. I’m more inclined to follow their work in the future. I’m more inclined to kind of keep up with them.
And we always did it in a very genuine way. It was never like ?”Oh, let’s go to the table and sign so we can sell a bunch of stuff.” You know, it wasn’t– we were kind of kids when we started, and we just thought like “Oh, cool, we get to meet people from all over the place. This is so fun.” And that’s something I still do now, is just like every night going out, signing autographs if people want them, taking pictures, telling anecdotes, just talking to people.
And I think that’s one thing too– in being a musician, we travel so much when we’re touring that we kind of have to have a sense of purpose as a traveler other than just our musical career, because otherwise it’s just– you know, it’s too much work. So my kind of sense of purpose as a traveler is talking to people from all these different cities and sharing stories and learning as much as I can about different parts of the country and different parts of the world. So that’s the first one, just actually shaking hands, meeting someone in-person.
Getting to meet people is one of the major things that makes being a musician worth it for so many I’ve talked to. And it also helps with the money thing. Imagine that.