Better, Braver World
Article by David Nevue
Music Biz Academy
Back to Internet Music Promotion 101
opportunities are available
musicians today as opposed to,
say, ten years ago? That was
the question posed to Music
Biz Academy founder David Nevue
in this interview for Henry
Hutton, Internet Media Director
How have you seen the landscape for musicians change in the
last 10 years?
Ten years ago, the only way for an independent artist to gain
exposure on a large scale was to endlessly pursue, and hope for, that
one-in-a-million major label recording contract.
For an unestablished artist, it was pretty near impossible to find
new fans for your music beyond what you could bring in doing live shows.
As for those artists/bands who *did* manage to 'get signed,' they
were (and still are) at the mercy of their record companies. Most
'signed' acts never made any money, and while some found fame, that
only lasted a moment before (in most cases) the artist disappeared into obscurity.
forward ten years to today, and
you'll see a much different
landscape. The Internet has turned the recording industry upside down.
Artists don't need a major label deal to find success. In fact, it's preferable *not*
to have one. Many artists who *are* signed are looking for the first opportunity
to get out of their
contracts. Check out this article for a
recent example. For artists more interested in doing their 'art' for a
living than finding fame on
television, the Internet has
created an enormous opportunity.
What would you say are the greatest opportunities for bands?
Using the Internet, independent artists and bands can have literally
*thousands* of people listening to their music all over the world
every single day.
As for distribution, opportunities abound. One up-and-coming example is FaveStreet (http://music.favestreet.com), which helps
Indie artists sell their CDs in dozens of online record
stores right alongside established (major label) artists. Very soon, independent
artists who members of CDBaby.com
will be able to distribute their music through Apple's iTunes
store as well as Listen.com's Rhapsody service.
The cool thing is, virtually
*any* artist with quality music
to offer can get exposure for
their music online. Every single
person (or band) has an equal
seat at the table. It really
comes down to whether or not
the artist in question has the
tenacity and knowledge to make
with the know-how can create
quite a buzz for their music
online, to the point that people
will be coming to them, asking
permission to use their music
in films or other projects.
I have two or three people a
month coming to me requesting
use of my music. Every one of
those is one more opportunity
to take my music *beyond* the
Internet, and into the real
What are the greatest challenges?
I suppose the greatest challenge is that, in a manner of speaking, on
the Internet competition is even stiffer than it is in the real
world. An artist's web site is competing with not only with the web
sites of other artists, but virtually every other web
site out there.
The thing is, even though there are thousands of other artist web
sites to compete with, *most* artists don't have clue how to promote
their music on the Internet. They just put up a web page and hope for
the best. So in a very real sense, the independent artist who is
armed with the 'knowledge' of how to promote online has an advantage
over the others.
What are your thoughts regarding the decline in industry CD
There are many factors contributing to that, I believe. It's not just
file-swapping and piracy bringing down CD sales - though that has had
an obvious effect - it's a poor industry image, a lack of quality
music, and an industry that is, generally speaking, not creating a
product customers feel is worth spending money on.
We're also seeing a shift in how music-buying consumers expect to do
business. The old model is simply outdated. For the longest time, it has felt like the recording industry has been trying to *force* the
consumer to stay in the 20th century, in effect saying, "Do it this
way or no way at all." But as we have seen, you can't stop a
determined music-lover with easy-to-use technology at their disposal.
There's a lot of money to be made online for the company that creates
a music service consumers feel is worth paying for. For the moment,
it looks like that might be Apple with their iTunes music store. But
even Apple is only scratching the surface of what will eventually
evolve into the the new, digital music industry.
What about the latest attempt by the RIAA to go after a broader
group of P2P file sharers?
I can't blame the the RIAA for doing what they are doing. They are
desperate to find some way to discourage piracy, and they've tried
just about everything else. I don't think the lawsuits will have a
serious long-term effect, though. People who want to steal will find
a way to steal. For the rest, if you provide an alternative that is
perceived as 'valuable,' I believe the average joe (or jane) will be
willing to pay for it.
is the founder of The
Music Biz Academy. He is also a professional pianist,
recording artist, full-time Internet musician, and author of the book, "How to Promote Your Music Successfully on the Internet."
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