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Mabbo
(@mabbo)
A Night To ReMember
Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 202
30/09/2019 5:40 pm  
Posted by: @jenny-stokes
Posted by: @mabbo

..."When people pay YOU for being YOU, that is when you make money. Till then, we are all in that little "look at me" boat. Trying to get and keep attention.

MAB

...and then there are the torrent sites where people seek you out but aren't willing to pay for the pleasure.  {sigh}

When I look at our sales versus how many downloads we've had this week on torrent sites, it's depressing. So much for nurturing a niche.  {sigh}

The million dollar question is how do you get people to move from wanting to hear your music to wanting to buy your music? I think the answer is probably "you don't."  {sigh}

Jen, that is actually IS the question of this era. In everything, you have to look at audiences overall. It's my contention that two basic things have happened. That music, and in fact, all entertainment has moved from the foreground of people's lives, to the BACK GROUND of people's lives, so the importance of all of it has diminished, while at the same time, the SUPPLY of what people get for entertainment, has grown in enormous levels. They get whatever they want, whenever they want, endlessly and FOR FREE. I have said for years that I think the era of "paid entertainment" is more or less retreating into history.

You can go back to the days of the "court jesters, minstrels, artists's sculptors, of eras gone by, where none were ever paid unless they got patronage from a king or the Church. Now, you have to seek out "patronage" through crowd funding, Social networking efforts, or some other way, such as funding yourself. 
There are and always will be, the people who do break through, mostly now through viral marketing or reality television, who do make money for what they do. But it is fewer and fewer in between and actually even in most of those avenues, it is more likely to find someone who "used to be...." than anyone actually "Is." It is easy to find a person who was "The season 12 10th runner up on The Voice" and that is the claim to fame. 

How to do it? If I could tell you how to do that, I'd be doing it. I'm lucky that I've been able to keep my own niche for many years and I continue to do enough things that keep it going on. In my own case, when the artist window closed due to age, I morphed into the songwriter, till that window closed due to the money in songs themselves winding down, and then into the teaching thing. But who knows how long that goes? We always have to reinvent ourselves. AS long as I'm interesting I guess, I'll be asked to do things, and if they don[t find me interesting I won't. I just don't blame everybody else. I look at the life cycles of this, and realize it all ebbs and flows. 

Do what you do because you love it and find your own victories where you can. For me, it's about winning every fan a little at a time. And accepting that some times, no matter what you do it might not be enough. For most of the general public, they couldn't care less. It's up to you to find those that do care.

MAB

Marc-Alan Barnette


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Mabbo
(@mabbo)
A Night To ReMember
Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 202
02/10/2019 9:48 am  

Jenny asked:
...and then there are the torrent sites where people seek you out but aren't willing to pay for the pleasure.  {sigh}
When I look at our sales versus how many downloads we've had this week on torrent sites, it's depressing. So much for nurturing a niche.  {sigh}
The million dollar question is how do you get people to move from wanting to hear your music to wanting to buy your music? I think the answer is probably "you don't."  {sigh}

 

Jenny, I have been thinking about your question a couple of days, because it is something I get all the time. How do you get those downloads/streams/etc, to translate into "SALES." It is the same question everyone is dealing with and it is true, sometimes you can't. That's just a sad fact of life. As much as well love what we do and feel driven to SHARE it with adoring fans, sometimes we just don't do what people want. A lot of resturants  and other businesses start out with the same attitudes. "JUST WAIT TILL PEOPLE TASTE OR EXPERIENCE WHAT WE DO!!!" And then people do taste or experience it and they JUST DON'T LIKE IT. Can't force anyone to like what you do. But there are things you can do to INCREASE THE LEVEL OF YOUR ODDS. 

But in your case, I don't exactly know what to tell you. Now correct me if I'm wrong but didn't you say you only do things via the Internet? I may be wrong and if I am let me know. But if that is  what you are doing, I'm not sure that is ever going to totally work. While the digital age is among us and many use the Internet to their great advantage, if you peel back the layers of careers and approach,  you will find that ALMOST ALL have SOME LIVE PRESENCE. The Internet is one tool, but it is only one. And people who get those hundreds of millions of streams yet very little actual money have found out that it is not the all encompassing tool that it is played up to be. 

If you look at the biggest Internet music stars (not the reality stars) you find they had a large LIVE following in addition to Internet followings. Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, etc. always had a live componant before during and after their internet successes.

While we are all connected digitally, we are actually driven farther apart in real life. So it is the people who STAND OUT IN PERSON that are rising above. Right now in America, we are more divided politically than ever. And it is that way around the world. But when you are in a political race, you don't stay at home and just blog of vlog to reach your voters. You are out there all the time, shaking hands and kissing babies. It's the only way to actually win. 

In music, we are all politicians now. "VOTE FOR ME....VOTE FOR MY SONGS." The average budget now for a major label release is $4.5 million dollars. A huge amount of that, about 3/4s are getting those artists IN FRONT OF AUDIENCES. If that was not so important, major labels would not spend a majority of money on promotion. They would let their artists do everything by Internet, and just spend money promoting more artists. Unfortunately that just doesn't happen.

One of the biggest hits right now is "OLD TOWN ROAD." It's a song by a rap artists out of Atlanta Ga. named Lil Nas X. (I have no idea how they come up with these rap names) It was a small viral thing until it was adopted and taken over by a huge American country star, Billy Ray Cyrus. Billy Ray had his run back in the 90's But has been in the limelight for the past ten years by his daughter MILEY CYRUS who is an international pop star. And he is still a country icon here. So when he came on board, the song became ENORMOUS and has been number one like 19 weeks. Both of those guys have a live componant.

We have shows like AMERICAN (UK, AUSTRALIAN IDOL) etc, so the fans can see their favorites LIVE. And that is why those shows are so huge in the culture. Even with that, the live exposure doesn't guarantee you success. It is just another part of it. 
We don't have "Lyrics OR Music OR production in songs. You have them ALL. And VIDEOS. And PROMOTION. Internet is just one more part of the puzzle.

So I don't really know what to tell you. One of the problems that so many songwriters asking "where their internet money is" is that in many of the cases people don't LISTEN to full songs. And you are not going to be paid a lot of money on people that listen to ten seconds of an intro and then move on. Algorhythms. They know when full songs are listened to. And for people finding someone RANDOMLY? With a BILLION SONGS  A MONTH? How does that physically happen?

So that is my answer for you. In many ways, you DON'T. But you can find your own niche and if you approach it internet only, you will take that as far as it lets you take it. I'm sorry I don't have a more encouraging answer for you, but that is how I see it. Others may have other opinions and I could be proven wrong. Of course, I'm the one thinking that ARTIFICIAL INTELLEGENCE is going to take over within 10-15 years any way and will get rid of musicians and artists once and for all. AI doesn't have to be paid, So that might take care of all of it.

As always, I wish you well and hope you find what you are looking for.
MAB

Marc-Alan Barnette


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