By Eric Galen
Over the past several years, I’ve spent much more (non-billable) time than I should have trying to convince old-school label execs, independent artists, managers (both big and small) and others that the traditional rules don’t work any more in this new music business.
When trying to “break” a new artist independently, spending a large amount of money on radio, downplaying internet marketing and direct-to-fan communication and spending a lot on expensive videos rather than producing less-expensive but more interesting/innovative videos (e.g., the now famous OK Go treadmill video) are often bad moves. Top-down marketing just doesn’t work today, unless you’re a very young pop act signed to Disney/Hollywood. As my marketing friend would say, it’s all about “pull” rather than “push” marketing.
Most of the time that I preach the new music biz gospel, I get frustrated – it’s hard to convince the Old Guard that new music business models are worth exploring, that they are real, and that they are the future. Heck, it’s even hard to convince many young artists that the old rules don’t always apply.
I’ve often thought, “I wish I had a nice, healthy budget and carte blanche to put a small, bad-ass team together around a talented unsigned artist to create new music, photos, video(s), build an internet presence, put in place a sales and distribution infrastructure, and try to break the artist using best practices in the new music biz.”
Well, I asked, and I received. So now I’m here, amongst the rest of the MTT contributors, to share ideas on “best practices” to generate awareness, turn listeners into fans, and generate revenue for this new artist. We’ll document the entire process as a case study – it’s a blank slate, unlike the other projects I’ve been involved with in the past. No entrenched management, no stubborn label – no old school boundaries.
I expect our results to be transparent and measurable, and by sharing the successes and failures of this project we hope to add to the collective repository of new music business knowledge. We all need to establish best practices for this new music biz. I’ll share our plans, activities and results, and I’m hoping others can offer thoughts, suggestions, criticism, whatever. I’m excited to get started, and I look forward to the group’s input.
I suppose this is really an introduction to an ongoing conversation, rather than a single post… looking forward to everyone’s thoughts and input.
Written by Eric Galen for Music Think Tank
The Hit Music Academy | 2010
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