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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Internet and the Musician. By Jerry W. Henry


To truly understand the Internet one needs to read The Long Tail by Chris Anderson. After reading his book, I realized that all things before the Internet were time sensitive. As long as something was a “hit” there was space for it. Once it was not popular there was no space for it. Then came the Internet that made everything available, popular and unpopular alike. Everything had a space.

Before the Internet, in the day of splicing audiotape and duplicating cassettes, we were spending big bucks to get popular enough in hopes of a national distribution deal. It was an expensive proposition from the recording studio to final product. If not promoted properly the cassettes would end up in some musician’s closet forever. Quoting from The Long Tail; ‘the computer and ability for self publishing, whether it’s books, typing in a word processor, recording with a microphone, you didn’t have to go to a studio anymore to record your audio books; video is possible….’

A record label has to sell their products in high numbers in order to profit. We with computers became entrepreneurs. We could now record and had worldwide distribution virtually free. We became part of the long tail. Our music became our niche.

What we do with our niche is the difference between success and failure for our music. Great music sells itself. (You can quote me on that.) But if you have great music and no way of telling the world or a poor attempt at telling the world, you have failed your music.

106 comments:

  1. Mick Adams Singer, songwriter at Micky Blue Eyes and Big Daddy Williams

    My opinion on the article is that it's spot on. It's gone from the days when the record companies were in control to where the young artists now actually have more control. I miss a lot of how the industry used to be but I don't miss the fact that we don't have to bow down and/or be handcuffed or ripped off by the major labels. The internet has totally changed the way that almost every musician does business now. For better or for worse, that's just the way of the world.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't speak on the record companies. I've managed my own music for over 20 years, learning as I go. My thoughts are 'no one knows you like you do ... and YOU are the best product you know'. YOU know your music, your lyrical message, YOUR personality, YOUR EVERYTHING. Take charge of your destiny. And most of all be proud of what you have accomplished, without others controlling the heights you can climb ... up the ladder of YOUR success. Don't forget to pat yourself on the back for your achievements. Good Luck

      Delete
  2. Cleve Baker Host/Producer "Confessing the Blues" Radio Syndicate

    I Do Agree.....

    ReplyDelete
  3. Neil Alexander Independent Music Professional

    I absolutely agree. In fact, this new Paradigm is recognized by quite a lot of people. I recommend reading articles by Steve Lawson (UK musician/writer, http://www.stevelawson.net/ - a good friend and a great mind), he goes into details
    as to how/why it works, and what you can do.

    It's a whole new business model - and I for one am very grateful. :)
    - Neil A

    ReplyDelete
  4. Steve Bogard President National Songwriters Association (NSAI)

    True -- but really obvious and old news.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Robbi Cohn Dead Images: Grateful Dead/Music Photograper/Journalist

    yep...I agree...the down side is, photographically speaking, two fold...first...everyone thinks if it's on the web, it's not only free but belongs to EVERYONE...and, second...there are millions of "pros" out there now...forget composition and technique...in some small (or large) fashion, this dilutes the pool...one can only hope that the cream still rises to the top...when film went the way of the dinosaur, it changed the complexion of photographic art forever...

    ReplyDelete
  6. Chris Dair Solo Guitarist and Composer

    Hi Jerry

    A very clear description of just how the supply chain has changed, how the world of music has become a free for all market place. What concerns me is the element of time that is still sensitive within this environment because there is unfortunately now 'oceans' of very poor to mediocre music creating a sludge through which everyone has to wade. That is what stilI causes the doors to remain closed, if you're not known you can't be worth listening to. I do agree that great music will sell itself, and great music will survive, but only if it can be heard.

    Best wishes to you my friend.
    Chris Dair

    ReplyDelete
  7. great post I love the final quote: if you have great music and no way of telling the world or a poor attempt at telling the world, you have failed your music.

    When Can I get a guest blog from you for SoSoActive.com ?

    ReplyDelete
  8. FRANK A. BROWN Professional Licensed FreeLance Singer & Songwriter/C.E.O-OWNER & Founder of BROWNSOUL- BROWNSOUL73,LLC (Music Company)

    I agree to whatever you agree to bro !!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Robbi said, “…one can only hope that the cream still rises to the top.,.” We can sincerely hope that, but cream will only rise in the right circumstances. There is so incredibly much noise out there that it can be a challenge to find the good stuff. The good news is that services like Rdio.Com have allowed us to have our music served up just the way we like it on a silver platter, just like our television, our news, and everything else. Or is that bad news? I forget. I find it awesome that I can listen to Django Reinhardt back-to-back with Led Zeppelin at any time of the day or night with a legal subscription to a music service. Yet it’s frighteningly easy to stay forever in my own created listening comfort zone, unexposed to new works that may be the cream rising to the top.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Wendy Kay Owner at Mars Talent Agency, LLC

    yes I totally agree! We have such great tools now..checkout talentwatch.net

    ReplyDelete
  11. Adrian Brigham Executive Producer at Denise Brigham, Inc.


    I looked it over Jerry and everything is true, but nothing has really changed except that the digital age has to a large degree decimated the music industry by destroying the revenue model needed to produce high quality product and earn a living as a musician. I'll be writing a post to our group about this, but I just haven't had the time.

    Truth is we just have a new distribution option, but as you said it takes much more that making great music. Getting people in large numbers to "discover" new music and even more importantly buy it requires a substantial (and expensive) marketing and public relations campaign. Contrary to what everyone wants to believe, and General Motors discovered, Facebook and YouTube aren't the Holy Grail of advertising. They are in fact the least effective means of driving sales. Research has proven that now.

    Today's reality is that effective marketing programs, especially for music, are actually more expensive and time intensive than back in the good old days as media outlets have expanded so much and peoples attention span has decreased proportionately. It's actually harder than ever in my opinion.

    So today artists can now self publish for next to nothing, but the route to gaining fame and fortune hasn't really changed at all. That's my 2 cents!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with Adrian completely. Sure, there's lots more exposure to various places. But:

      1. people are reluctant to pay for music anymore

      2. the glut of information overloads people to the point they want to stay in their comfort zones (ie. 50,000 "classic rock" stations)

      3. The average hit song gets played over 20,000,000 times A WEEK. Yes, you read that correctly. The ability to get your music played on a commercial station without huge backing has gotten even harder. The pie is smaller, more fragmented, and it's no coincidence that some of the bigger new major artists come from monied backgrounds.

      4. CD sales, even mp3 sales, are not big revenue drivers anymore unless you're at the top. Merch brings in the income, by and large. That involves lots of touring, which has gotten more expensive than ever (prohibitively so in many ways.)

      5. Many clubs, at least here in the U.S., are no longer giving guarantees of any reasonable size to touring acts. Again, this makes touring more difficult.

      6. Promotion has fragmented into many specialties, with only the very expensive ones embracing the whole spectrum. And, the $25 handshake is alive and well, but it sure ain't $25 any more.

      That's my 3.62 cents, adjusted for inflation.

      Delete
  12. Grana' Louise Owner at Grana' Louise Publishing

    Oh Absoultely I agree! You definitely"Hit The Nail on The Head!"
    Thanks for the Truth!

    Grana' Louise

    ReplyDelete
  13. Spence Hayden Keyboards/vocals at The Mason Dixon's Band

    Honestly Jerry? Most musicians would have been far better off had Mr. Gore (I believe it was Mr. Gore?) not given the go ahead for public internet. Be that as it may, the darned internet is here to stay, so we'd better make the best of it or get lost in the dust. The internetis jammed full with a plethora of promo, publications, Utube how to's.You name it, it's googlable.. Personally, I shy away from the free stuff....Well, most of it. You get what you pay for, however need to be very sure of what you are getting and what you need, before paying! Scam, Scams, Scams! I can be a bit more specific, but I need to get back to work! Kindest Regards~Spence Hayden

    ReplyDelete
  14. smart and concise. definitely write. The point of something being valid or relative as long as it is a "hit" is so true. With the internet and self promoting even the crap has a place and floats around forever, But that is OK! "something for everyone all the time" and you can qoute me on that!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I agree with "What we do with our niche is the difference between success and failure for our music.... But if you have great music and no way of telling the world or a poor attempt at telling the world, you have failed your music."

    Those artists who gather a team to assist them in their music goals will be further ahead. And they don't have to spend a fortune, just find honest folks to have on their team. This new music reality is why I started my business to help artists promote themselves. www.powermediaentertainment.com see Services Tab if you or someone you know would like affordable promotion, radio plugging, distribution, etc. I'm old enough to remember the 80's but young enough to embrace the new world way of doing things. Best wishes to all artists!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Wildman Steve Program Director and Owner, WildmanSteve Radio at www.wildmansteve.com

    Spot on, but quite obvious. By the way, grammatically correct version of your quote would read "Great music sells itself."

    ReplyDelete
  17. Pros:the internet provides a limitless historical archive.crisp clean highs.
    Cons:Hard to monetize and prevent massive fraud,piracy and abuse.Compressed muddy bass.

    ReplyDelete
  18. john amstadter

    I agree withJerry.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Jerry, Couldn't sign in, but here's my response:

    This is spot-on. The scene is rapidly changing, but also rapidly
    establishing channels, all net-driven. You have to be quick and agile, but
    it's right there, and it seems to me that apart from Cumulus and Clear
    Channel, everybody else (FM/AM/Net) plays what the heck they like. I do
    radio promotion, and I talk to DJs/PDs all over the world every day, and
    they listen, and the good stuff plays. I have to be especially careful not
    to promote even mediocre releases because they just won't fly. There is an
    abundance of music available via the web, coming from young and old
    musicians. No need to push anything but great songs and recordings. To me,
    this is all very good.

    We now have artists making solid income who have never had hits. They have
    a following and we market to that fan base. It's little money, but little
    money many times adds up. iTunes in particular is an extremely potent
    royalty producer if used properly. If used properly.

    Stephen Foster
    Artist/Label Liaison
    www.MusikandFilm.com
    Stephen Foster & Howler
    www.howler.biz

    ReplyDelete
  20. Faith Archambeau
    Talent Manager/Producer
    I-Wanna-Be-A-Star Entertainment Co.

    Hi Jerry

    I so apologize. Had a mega family issue to take care of and has taken a lot more of my time then I anticipated. I would love to still do guest blogger article. Will do other on Linkedin tonite.

    Thanx

    Faith Archambeau :-)

    ReplyDelete
  21. Brian J (30+ years in Music & TV)
    www.TalentArmy.com (changing the music business,for the better! (...coming very soon)
    Posted by Brian Jaccoma


    Interesting. I agree, and understand that although it is easier to get your music out there, it is still as hard (give or take + - 2% either way) to get seen or heard. Now you have (literally) 20 million people trying to get seen and heard everywhere from FB to Youtube, even here on LinkedIN. So yes, it is easier to get your stuff out there, but still just as heard to get noticed.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hi Jerry,

    I support your view in this article. The opportunities to self publish today in this growing global economy are endless with an infinite array of opportunities with the right guidance and effort. Before we had limited options and now too many avenues and can easily get lost. So as long as we are willing to do our homework, is simply limitless!

    Thank You!
    Robert Rivera-Sanchez.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Jim McAllister has sent you a message.

    Hey Jerry,
    We're now seeing older bands re-forming and touring again just to earn a living. Back before the Internet made it easy to download music for free former greats in the music industry could survive quite comfortably on residual income from sales of their older albums as newer fans descoverd their music. Nowadays newer fans simply download what they want for free and that income stream has now dried up.
    I also agree with some of the other posts here that now we're choking on mediocrity. Everyone can and does put their music out there and even if you're really good youcan still fail to ever get noticed.
    On the positive side: If you booking agent or management company isn't doing enough (or anything) to get you out there you can take matters into your own hand to some extent and publish your music yourself.
    Cheers,
    Jim

    ReplyDelete
  24. Stephen Wrench has sent you a message.

    Jerry,
    I like the entire article except the end Unfortunately great music does not sell itself wish it did we have a lot of that it still takes a lot of promotion to expose that great music feel free to email me at stephen@musikandfilm.com

    ReplyDelete
  25. It's all part of the ever changing world. Musicians used to hope to get a record deal so a record company would pay for their project. Now they hope to find enough customers to pay for it. And a major problem is that your project is on the virtual shelf next to a few billion other projects.

    And yes, I guess I could be a guess blogger. Guess what I would blog about?

    ReplyDelete
  26. I read the long tail and i do agree it takes a ton of work
    m

    ReplyDelete
  27. I do agree for the most part. I am not so sure about good music selling itselfowever, as I have gotten too many great CDs for review purposes that I had never heard of. It perhaps sells itself in the artist's hometown area, but in order to reach a wider audience I believe that it is best to find a way to spread the word. The internet is a good medium for that once a person or website has gained a reputation. I have been in clubs with some of the best guitarists I have ever heard and have been one of a dozen or less. Case in point, Tino Gonzales at Franco's Lounge in Williamsport, PA. I saw him three times, reporting on each performance and still it took four visits before folks caught on. From that point forward it was standing room only every time he performed.

    ReplyDelete
  28. SinSir Vision Independent Music Professional / CEO Vision Magazine

    I Do Agree

    ReplyDelete
  29. James Lee Stanley Producer/Arranger at Beachwood Recordings

    Yes. Seems on the money

    ReplyDelete
  30. Natasha James Songwriter, Performer, Highway One Records

    Hi Jerry,
    I just read your blog on The Long Tail.
    While it is much easier for accomplished musicians, writers and engineers to get product recorded, mastered, and distributed as independents outside the major label stream, the fundamental caveat to this is while there is much good stuff out there, there is really no conduit.
    Still you must be able to get people to be aware of your good music. Good music DOES NOT sell itself. In fact, good music has rarely sold itself! You still need promotion, marketing, exposure, advertising...all those avenues, in addition to a great touring schedule. This requires a budget from somewhere, and this is where many fine artists fall flat.
    In addition, the relative pay for musicians and composers alike has dimished, even with new avenues available: i.e. streaming etc.
    The more lucrative area of music is the non-music merchandising of the artists' products, ergo the 360 "deal."
    As with any shift in method, this new arena will force us all (and help us all) to find novel ways of connecting our music with our audience.
    Thanks for asking for my thoughts.

    Cheers,
    Natasha

    ReplyDelete
  31. Jonah Reuben Singer / Songwriter, Preacher, Blogger

    I agree that the internet has helped many of us get our songs out there, and that's great. But somehow it hasn't helped artists much in their home towns. I suppose Jesus was right when he said that a prophet is not without honor EXCEPT in his own town. 90% of my fans are outside of my home state. Go figure. God bless Jerry.
    Jonah

    ReplyDelete
  32. John Townsend General Partner at Garage Door Records

    I do agree Jerry. It's a rough road but the rewards can be great..

    ReplyDelete
  33. Glenn Halverson CEO Blue Room Management, CEO Garage Door Records

    The hardest nut to crack these days is getting bands paying gigs with guarantees. Even if a band has have product out the club owners and promoters don't want to take risks on new acts.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Phil Johnson Music Director for B.B. King All Star Band (Point Orlando, FL)

    Many musician's are not in tune with the marketing aspect of getting their music out there even in today's 'internet' driven society. I admit, I have allot to learn.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Robert Register


    Making a living performing music is going to more challenging than
    ever. Not only do you have to market your tunes where EVERYONE WANTS
    YOUR TUNES FOR FREE but you're going to have to guarantee a door to
    the owner of the club where you perform.
    Like selling advertising in the era of the Internet, customers are
    going to want to see numbers.
    Education promises to be the frontier of the future because now
    secondary public schools have become NOTHING MORE than adolescent day
    care facilities and lesson content for virtual schooling offers a
    exciting market for anyone's creativity.
    I'm happy to be receiving my FIRST Social Security check this month
    because I'd hate to think I'd have to go out here and separate anyone
    from a dollar in this competitive environment.
    Great to hear from ya and keep on helping these young people any way you can.
    I'll probably be up here in Aberdeen, MD until fall so if you're in
    the D.C. to Philadelphia corridor, give me a call.
    best,
    r

    ReplyDelete
  36. This is spot on! One of my good friends is Ron Thal (Bumblefoot), guitarist for Guns 'n' Roses. Many years ago before he joined G'N'R, he helped me select the tunes from all of my original music for my debut CD. Ron made me promise him not to sign with certain labels and strongly suggested that I promote the CD myself using the internet. Ron's exact words were "in the future you'll be SO GLAD you did"! I have to say Ron was also spot on.

    Jeff Beasley

    ReplyDelete
  37. A very clear description of just how the supply chain has changed, how the world of music has become a free for all market place. What concerns me is the element of time that is still sensitive within this environment because there is unfortunately now 'oceans' of very poor to mediocre music creating a sludge through which everyone has to wade. That is what stilI causes the doors to remain closed, if you're not known you can't be worth listening to. I do agree that great music will sell itself, and great music will survive, but only if it can be heard. Chris Dair

    ReplyDelete
  38. I agree with the article overall, but how much a label has to spend to make a profit varies somewhat. Of course, they have the expense of keeping live radio locked down, which is the main reason that indie artists who are just as good or better must use other tactics to get their music heard. But, because the cost of manufacturing CDs is relatively low, and the labels sell them at many times that cost (even though the purchase of physical CDs has greatly diminished) and also benefit from increased digital sales, as long as the artist isn't a megastar like Adele or Beyonce, they're not necessarily paying that much to the artist either. The labels have publicity departments, but they're basically a formality as most people purchase what they hear on the radio and the majors have that locked up. The internet has become the great equalizer, but indie artists must be both exceptional in their music and marketing because they are competing with millions of other artists who have the same dream -- being heard and thought of as being distinctive.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Well, I agree with Chris Dair. Just because it's on the Internet doesn't mean it's quality material and there is a kind of fatigue that sets in and I would guess at some point people will once again pay for some kind of filter that presents only the material that has legs and not stuff driven by the 'loop of the month' from some software on your neighbor's computer.

    The Internet Age came along as the tools to create and record music became widely available. So, now, music and "composition" are not just reserved for kids with trust funds, but, everyone who can turn on a computer can be the next potential Big Thing. Overall, a good thing.

    So, now, as earlier generations looked to professional boxing as a means of escaping their economically depressed backgrounds, now the hope is too hook the nation on the latest sounds you cooked up in your basement.

    A good thing perhaps in that it gives people something to work on and gives them hope and perhaps even helps them spiritually. The reality, though is that you're one in several million clamoring for attention. Unless you have some organized help behind you, you may stay anonymous for a long time - or maybe not. Exceptions are everywhere.

    My question is when the audience will feel the fatigue of having access to Everything Everywhere and start to ignore the Internet genie and go elsewhere for music and art, etc. Will the pendulum swing back to artists who are hard to find and not ubiquitous? Stayed online....

    ReplyDelete
  40. I lean towards Chris Dair's comments on the high level of noise and other comments on how tough it is to get anyone to pay: the S/N and $/hr ratios are not good. Case in point: I'm going to a Jeffery Straker concert tomorrow night. The guy is like a young Elton John. He has busted his ass off doing promotion every available avenue, in the relatively protected Canadian market. He has performed with symphony orchestras fairly regularly, has a business degree, gone to Africa. The result: he's performing in a restaurant with a Please donate vase.
    Ken Rushton a.k.a. MusicScienceGuy

    ReplyDelete
  41. I think it's important to bring my Internet presence into real life. That's why I painted my website address on my guitarcase, so people can find me and my music. There are other things we're planning to do at live events now that we have an IT guy in the band. People will soon be able to download the songs on their phones when we perform at venues and festivals. We'll be offering one of our most popular songs for free at these places, just so people get to know us and to make the process of downloading music at a gig a fun and familiar activity... hopefully other musicians will benefit from this over time. "...if you have great music and no way of telling the world or a poor attempt at telling the world, you have failed your music."

    ReplyDelete
  42. I do not agree that great music sells itself, because not every good musician is a great web-designer, blogger, social networker, SEO expert etc.. Right now Dali comes to my mind - the genius, who would have been forlorn in his world, when there wasn´t his wife Olga, who handled the business side of his art. If you´re an unknown or young artist, who cannot pay for a web-expert, you´re forlorn in this world. And this scares me. Not for my sake, but for the sake of real good art.

    ReplyDelete
  43. As a director of a music awards show, a graphic artist and web designer, I agree with Henry. Not all musicians are great, but they might have a fantastic web or graphic designer. There are many great musicians who don't have an online presence at all or are limited becuase they don't have the funds to pay someone to help themn create their brand. It is hard to weed through who looks great on the internet, what level the artist is at in their career. You have to listen to their music..that is the only way to determine what they can produce musically. I constantly weed through nominees sites and try to determine these factors and it gets harder every day to pick those who are actually derserving of being honored with an award. That being said, there's a ton of talent out there that are now being discovered because of the internet and quick ability to build a following.

    ReplyDelete
  44. I agree though, with the utmost respect, I'm trying to understand why this is still news, we've been at this point for some time now (am I missing something?) and most artists I know embraced this long ago.

    For me, it's now about working with the best tools and platforms for the artist in question - whether that be for promotion, crowdfunding, securing synchs and beyond - rather than shoehorning a strategy into the career of artist X because it worked for artist Y.

    IMO nothing, repeat, nothing sells itself - even tobacco companies advertise (for now). We're in a situation where it is easier to buy music than ever but discovery is still in a state of flux. The smart money is on those who know how to reach their audience (or find someone who does know) amidst all the noise

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  45. I might add that having a successful online presence is not dependent on having a great web designer, that may have been true 10+ years ago.

    Your online presence as a band is not based on the look and feel of a website (there are tonnes of off the shelf options for artists available) it's about strategy.

    If you're also failing online bc you 'can't afford a web designer' you're not trying hard enough. If your music is good and has appeal, you will find people willing to work on the project

    ReplyDelete
  46. I totally agree with this Jerry. With the internet and the availability of technology today, musicians and entertainment entrepreneurs can create, publish and become their own small music or entertainment business. Regular people or "The Starving Artist" can find success working and marketing over the Internet to some degree.

    I also agree "good music sells itself." I think one thing stays the same if artists are going the indie route. They must be able to market their self and learn marketing strategies that work for them, which in some cases is not easy to do. But with the Internet, it has definitely made marketing and promoting a lot easier and this is what record labels fear. The major labels are losing a lot of money because of piracy and artists with these new abilities to purchase recording technology. Production and getting yourself out there is not as expensive as it was in the past.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Due to the possibilities of the internet we are faced with a huge amount of input, which is just too much to handle. Everybody, who thinks he is a musician, can produce and marketing his material and then stands in a row with millions of others half-talented artists and a few real talented, which often don´t get their way to attention due to this mass of middleclass. Of course new media and digital technology makes everything easier, of course the big companies are having hard times through this, but the main question for me still is not answererd: Does it serve the art itself, do we find our way to good art/music, can artist live/survive with doing their art and how shall artists get that much time to spend in managing themselves. They should practise and do their arts, and not composing websites, at least in my opinion. As long as Google search routines dictate the content of your website, how will have real artists a chance to make a living?

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  48. Of course their are always examples of artists, who came through, who made it, who did THE youtube clip that was clicked a million times. This will keep up the dream of the million others who do the same. But come on - mankind is not able to deal with no limits.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Absolutely agree. We are in the middle of our second single for THE STEREO FLOW ft SHIRIN (UK) ALL THE THINGS YOU DO which everyone (radio, Djs, etc) apparently concurs is a hit. However as our own independent label distributed worldwide through The Orchard we are struggling to keep the timing together. The mktg budget is not big enough to cover all the territories and hire all the necessary mktg.

    The explanation is that a record now is simultaneous release worldwide. Before you could release in one country build a story and release in an another. But because of Itunes and the digital platform everyone can have it everywhere. So the life of a record is shorter and your reaction time and initial mktg costs are all up front. Sure it has its place and will always be there but the audiences today are so bombarded that songs become old very quickly.

    There was a time you could build a war chest with your profits in one territory and go to another after that success, this is no longer the case. The internet has made it so that you are actually releasing to the UNIVERSE instantly instead of being able to control the exposure of your music, artist, etc like we used to do. The upside is though you can sell
    millions and millions instantly whereby before it would your actual sales were dependant on the timing of the manufacturing, shipping enough records, and stocking of your record in every store to even have the possibility of selling your discs.


    Nice article. Please keep feeding me your blog.

    ReplyDelete
  50. True enough, but I still think at the end of the day - the cream will find a way to rise to the top
    - Matt Peter Stubstory.com

    ReplyDelete
  51. I agree that the internet has become a major force in the selling and exhibiting of literally thousands of home recordings. But now, since folks can do their own recording at home, and merely put it on the internet to sell, there is still one major thing that bothers me. THE SOUND. After 40 years of recording over 400 LPs, between 50-60 gold or platinum records to my credit, numerous live videos, along with the overdubbing, and mixing audio to video, AND posting of videos, I have come to one conclusion. We're not making records, HIT records that is, like we used to. So,................

    "I'm gonna dance with who brung me." If I can get funding or even a place to record at spec, I'm doing ALL of my future recordings on 2" tape, maybe even lock up two of them for 48 tracks. And I'm going to master to VINYL. As well as a few CDs. I've used Nuendo and SloTools. Sounds like crushed glass, and part of the original sound is in cyber heaven. Never makes it to the CD. So, BACK TO ANALOG.

    Now if folks get off on making their own records at home, once they get it all recorded, they sit back in amazement at their efforts, yet where's the hit SONG? Songs that make you walk around singing or whistling the melody or hook line. People don't write for the public any longer. They either have an agenda, or they are simply experimenting. But I've been doing the REAL THING for 40 years. Why put a halt to a good thing?

    Look out world, here comes fresh, new and unique hit records from Muscle Shoals again. And this legacy will be even greater than the one we created in the 60s, 70s, and 80s. Just sit back and watch, once I find the vehicle with which to work. I got the know-how, I just need the "bring me the bill" help.

    Blessings and success to you all, keep making music, regardless of the nit picking,

    Jerry Masters
    backinshoals@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  52. "But if you have great music and no way of telling the world or a poor attempt at telling the world, you have failed your music."

    Jerry, you summed up the Internet right here. Keeping in mind that the Internet is a tool to be used, just like a stapler or a post-a-note, we the musician must use it to our advantage for distribution. How to use it effectively is our dilemma.

    When the labels were in control of distribution, with the bank to saturate the airwaves with a song (regardless of its quality) and by repetition, the song became a hit because that is all we heard-all the time, everywhere. Back that up with the live performances and such, there is money to be made because the average consumer is not the sharpest knife in the drawer. But the formula can work for anybody-play it enough, show it enough...somebody is going to listen.But how to make them buy something is a separate conversation.

    Since we are in control of the product, we have to have a strategy to make our product placement precise and targeted. It's in the marketing; we should have an audience in mind and send our music to them first. Then hitting each additional listening group that we think may like what we produce and hope/pray that at least one person will listen.

    Saturate these music listening areas just as the labels do. Yet this says nothing about making money from our music, but merely getting the music into the ears of the audience that will appreciate it. Again, the money making

    So we are either making music for musics' sake or making music for money. Our focus directs our potential outcome and only time will tell what that will be.

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  53. Kimmie Sharon Founder/Owner/CEO/CFO of KMS ROX

    Hi Jerry! Not sure if I received this message by mistake since I do not have any blogs named guess blogger but you are preaching to the choir on the article. I have been in the music industry for 30+ years with the early years being a musician and now on the other side of the band stand and I fight for the musicians. I have been helping musicians for free for nearly 5 years now and teaching them how to get a head in today's music world. I have some bands that I do all the work but most of them I teach the basics and they flourish on their own, IF of course they are talented and have music people want to hear.

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  54. Bill Thurman Teacher at Bill Thurman Teaches

    Hi Jerry I gave a rather lengthy reply at the end of reading your article and then tried to post it by way of Google, but I'm not sure if I was successful. I don't understand why it didn't go through. Tell me if you can find my post at all. If you don't see it or find it, then I'll write you another. However - it was a very good post of yours, and you raised very important questions.

    Bill

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  55. Brian Less little memphis at Music & Mood

    I am new to this, I read your article. I agree.

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  56. King KeNoah Chief Marketing Officer at King KeNoah LLC

    Excellent essay but great music doesn't sell itself; promotion sells great music.

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  57. Jason Herndon Musician (Songwriter, Guitarist)

    Jerry,
    My 2 cents worth.......
    I see what the article is saying and there are some great freedoms that the internet has given us as Artist but it has also saturated the market so much that the public (potential fans) don't even "click" to discover new music they just wait for other internet sources to tell them what to like and that's what they listen too. That being said, when someone checks out your music on line it better be "good" or they will move on to the next thing. I'd say that today's internet has allowed me to do things that I never thought I could do but it has allowed everyone else the same thing. Even playing field or over saturation....

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  58. Ken Rushton System Analyst at WorkSafeBC

    Done.

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  59. Rod Harris General Manager / Co-Owner at jenn-rod artist directions

    Jerry,
    My good friend the late Great Shelby Singleton and I had a similiar conversation a few years back... We both agreeded on two things... first... you still need AM/FM radio to break an artist... second... the pollution of the net with poor to bad music is very time consuming to wade through!
    Rodh

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  60. Eddy Reese Television Producer/CSNTV /Ambassador for Alabama

    I agree

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  61. kathleen daniel owner at Duh Real

    Yes I agree because like they say, if a tree falls in the forest and nobody hears it, it didn´t fall.

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  62. Dan McConomy DJ / Producer / Re-mixer / Label Owner at The Stereo Flow

    Absolutely agree. We are in the middle of our second single for THE STEREO FLOW ft SHIRIN (UK) ALL THE THINGS YOU DO which everyone (radio, Djs, etc) apparently concurs is a hit. However as our own independent label distributed worldwide through The Orchard we are struggling to keep the timing together. The mktg budget is not big enough to cover all the territories and hire all the necessary mktg.

    The explanation is that a record now is simultaneous release worldwide. Before you could release in one country build a story and release in an another. But because of Itunes and the digital platform everyone can have it everywhere. So the life of a record is shorter and your reaction time and initial mktg costs are all up front. Sure it has its place and will always be there but the audiences today are so bombarded that songs become old very quickly.

    There was a time you could build a war chest with your profits in one territory and go to another after that success, this is no longer the case. The internet has made it so that you are actually releasing to the UNIVERSE instantly instead of being able to control the exposure of your music, artist, etc like we used to do. The upside is though you can sell
    millions and millions instantly whereby before it would your actual sales were dependant on the timing of the manufacturing, shipping enough records, and stocking of your record in every store to even have the possibility of selling your discs.


    Nice article. Please keep feeding me your blog.

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  63. Jeff Beasley Truefire faculty at

    posted a comment on your column Jerry. Right now I'm super-busy with video work in Tampa & Austin TX. I'll be glad to post another blog entry when I return.

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  64. Rhonda Merrick (LION) Musician and Writer at RhondasSongs.com


    Thanks for sharing your article Jerry.
    :-)
    Rhonda

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  65. Kitty Jones THE SHOW HOST at THENEWKITTYJONESSHOW


    HI GOOD MORNING JERRY
    HOW ARE YOU ?

    JUST WANTED TO COME BY TO SAY THANKS FOR CONTACTING ME ON YOUR
    BLOG - UNFORTUNELY , I DONT HAVE ANY ARTICLES TO SEND AT THE MOMENT
    IM ACTUALLY NOT A MEMBER ON THERE ..

    AS FAR AS YOUR ARTICLE GOES I THINK IT WAS FANTASTIC AND I DO AGREE
    IT IS VERY HARD TO BE IN THE OVERALL ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY IN THE TIMES
    NOT TO MENTION TRYNNA GET SIGNED TO A LABEL
    SO WITH THAT SAID I AGREE
    HEY YOU HAVE A WONDERFUL DAY AND THANKS FOR THE CONTACT
    TTYL

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  66. Michele Wilson-Morris Founder & Executive Director - The Entertainment Bank

    Hi Jerry,

    I put my 2 cents in last night. Please send me your email address, phone number and website again. I'd like to keep in touch with you.

    Best,

    Michele

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  67. Mike Watson Band Quality Entertainment for 27+ Years

    Absolutely spot on!
    Thanks,
    Mike
    www.mikewatson.net

    ReplyDelete
  68. Lorne Hemmerling Owner / Instructor: Don't Fret Guitar Instruction

    I agree. Very good article!

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  69. Joe Terry Public Relations Manager

    Great article!

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  70. Andrew Bloomquest Owner at BloomQuest Photography, Film, & Design

    Check out my new profile -- I've made a few changes recently and wanted to get in touch and let you know. When you get a chance, send me an update. It would be great to hear from you.

    Thanks!
    -Andrew

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  71. Fred Chester chief recording engineer, producer at ESP Studios / Ready Freddy Recording Services / Harvest Gypsies-guitarist

    Yes I totally agree. It is somewhat of a different problem now though,but still a better chance.....not being able to be exposed.....or being lost in a sea of exposure worldwide. I guess it could be worse so let's learn how to tread more water and then hopefully swim.
    Fred

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  72. Gayle Ellett Owner, Gayle Ellett Music


    I'm confused by your email ...
    You say you want my "guess blogger articles"?
    What is that?
    Do I have to guess?
    Also, why would I use your quote, when it doesn't make any sense:
    "Great music sells it’s self" ?

    Does that mean that great music has sold its soul?

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  73. Robert Allen CEO at Sha-La Music, Inc.

    Hi Jerry!

    Sorry I haven't sent any blogs your way yet...and yes I agree!

    Best,

    Robert

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  74. Bill King Artistic Director at Beaches International Jazz Festival

    I think there is so much available it's beyond comprehension. People can easily find the music they love on Youtube and not spend a dime.
    bill

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  75. derrick brown ceo at wolfehousemusic

    hey jerry,110% in agreement..

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  76. Mariana Bloch A&R/Music licensing/Artist manager/Publishing/Marketing online and advertising(Russian sector)

    I like this one!

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  77. Roger Greer New Media Intern at Warner Bros. Records

    I totally agree with this Jerry. With the internet and the availability of technology today, musicians and entertainment entrepreneurs can create, publish and become their own small music or entertainment business. Regular people or "The Starving Artist" can find success working and marketing over the Internet to some degree.

    I also agree "good music sells itself." I think one thing stays the same if artists are going the indie route. They must be able to market their self and learn marketing strategies that work for them, which in some cases is not easy to do. But with the Internet, it has definitely made marketing and promoting a lot easier and this is what record labels fear. The major labels are losing a lot of money because of piracy and artists with these new abilities to purchase recording technology. Production and getting yourself out there is not as expensive as it was in the past.

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  78. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  79. Jim Lammon Owner - Lammon & Associates

    I agree.

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  80. Mike E. Cobb GHI & Company

    The web site you did is the bomb. It's going just like you said it would. I agree with it all on your article!!!
    You Rock!

    Mike

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  81. Trisha Roldan Singer Songwriter Solo Artist

    Hello Jerry,

    I agree :0)

    hope your long weekend treats you well,have a wonderful day!

    Kind Regards
    Trisha

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  82. Tanekia Burton C.E.O. singer/songwriter at Busy Girl Entertainment

    I do concur completely, I find your article very informative especially regarding artist today. Knowing how, where and what came about "invovling cutting edge revolution" alot of up-coming artist neglect to know or even undeerstand the evolution of music distribution. I found it interesting and highly informative.

    thank-you for sharing Jerry

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  83. Ron Dennis Wheeler CEO, Owner and A&R Dirctor/Producer at R&R MUSIC Recordings/Rapture Records

    I'll try and catch up with my Email -- so many sites etc. Here is a easy way to contact me personally:I just located your email and listened: Wow !!!! I would like to pitch a few hit songs to you. Originals I believe would be great for you to use etc.Not sure how sound cloud works but if you email me at my web site with an email that excepts mp3's I will send you the vocal , words amd music tracks to try out. Ron Dennis Wheeler - email: recordProducer@rrmusicrecordings.com ( www.rrmusicrecordings.com )

    ReplyDelete
  84. Melissa Grayson Music Consultant/Fundraising Specialist

    Hi Jerry,
    Sorry for the late response, I am recovering from major surgery. I totally agree with your blog. Very well said. Thanks for sharing with me. Have a wonderful weekend!
    Melissa

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  85. Matt Peter Founder at Stubstory.com

    Interesting article which I did comment on for you Jerry. Now how about you return the favor and turn your writing attention to contributing a Stubstory or 2. Let your readers know about our community for sharing the memories the make live music so great.

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  86. Peter Davies Independent Music Professional

    Hello Jerry,

    This is an interesting subject and yes, I agree it is the way your article says it is. I teach guitar and have noticed a particular consequence of the internet whereby young musicians, students and folloers of music concern themselves less with how old the music is, they can hear and see the music of any era and often like music that is not 'current', such as 60s and 70s rock, for example, as much or more than new music. Fashion is less of an issue for rating music. It is a lot less 'generation-based'.

    I am not a great promoter of my own music. I have been ripped off so badly over a keyboard I invented that I pay for it every day, work long hours, and my creativity has very little outlet in spite of the internet. But if I was free to create again and keep up with technology, I would make very good use of the internet to put my music out there!

    Kind Regards,

    Peter

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  87. Patrick McComas Founder at Music World

    It is a great one, I really like it, might share it on my page if you would like.
    Thanks again
    Patrick

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  88. Euno ? Muzik Group Inc. Independent Record label / Various Artist (Sesac Publishing)

    I do agree that is why We ha Euno ? Muzik Group Inc today

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  89. Pete Harrison Musician at Quality Music Services

    Very interesting blog. Thanks for sharing it. I just retired about 3 1/2 years ago from the USAF bands, so while I'm a ver experienced musician, there are many things about the commercial music market that are still a learning experience for me. Sounds like the gist of your blog is that it's much easier to get the music out there, but since it's in a sea of a million voices, it's a lot harder to get it noticed.

    Thanks,
    PETE

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  90. Judith M. Chapman-Ward Entertainment executive and Independent Contractor

    I posted a response yesterday which was entered as a person UNKNOWN. But known that it was my post (a.k.a. jaye michelle).

    ReplyDelete
  91. Clayton Colvin Entertainment Director at Lucy's Retired Surfers Bar and Restaurant

    Yes I agree. Any particular subject you'd like for the guest blog?

    ReplyDelete
  92. Jimi Jamison Jimi Jamison Entertainment inc.

    As Gary Cooper would say.... Yep

    jimi

    ReplyDelete
  93. Kim Cameron New Top 40 Artist, Songwriter for the band Side FX

    Nice blog

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  94. Russell Durity Professional Musician at RD BASS

    true,quite true

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  95. Cornelius "Popcorn" Robertson Founder at Nashville SongWriters Festival on Music Row

    Cool! Hope to see ya at the Independent Music Fest / Nashville
    Three days of music experiences where memories of a lifetime is created in a weekend on Music Row in Nashville, Tennessee, October 5, 6 & 7, 2012. Choose to perform as an Artist seeking new material or singer songwriter looking for cuts. Let your hair down at the Indie Music Masquerade Ball, attend Music Info Areas when ya want and ask the questions you want covering the music business from top to bottom in over 17 categories... more at www.IndependentMusicFest,org

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  96. Mz Coffee CEO/ Co Founder at Whooooshouse Worldwide LLC- CEO/FOUNDER OF M.B.I. CONSULTING LLC

    Thanks for sharing your article. I have a weekly industry post you may be interested in including Its called Thinking Outside the Box it's written by Dave House a Music Industry Executive from Interscope Records. He is also releasing his new book Street Rules in the Office - A Beginners Guide to Focus in the Music Biz. Let me know if you are interested in hearing more or being added to our publicity list

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  97. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  98. sandy atkinson Independent Artist

    Yes, I do agree. The internet has changed the world for better in some ways..some ways not.

    Thanks Jerry!
    Sandy

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  99. --
    Derek Sivers derek@sivers.org http://sivers.org

    Hi Jerry -

    Got your LinkedIn email, but I really avoid using LinkedIn inbox,
    so for future use please let's just email here.

    Great post! I totally agree. Well said. :-)

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  100. You got it from Derek..... A decent computer, video camera, decent software, TALENT and motivation to learn your craft can go far. Success is subjective but with work one can achieve.

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  101. I do agree. The power of the internet has opened up new possibilities for anyone who wants to show their musical talents. The musician is in control with their material by promoting it their way.
    Great article.

    Kint98.com World Wide Radio

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  102. I do not agree. The power of the internet enables poorly talented artists a big scene, because they can create their scenes by themselves. Millions of artists present themselves on the net, the average quality goes down and down, and many real good ones you can´t find. Mass instead of class. I don´t want to talk about the old days and question, if it was better back then, I am talking of today. You gotta learn your homework in creating web sites, record your stuff, set up a marketing concept - and even if you are doing great in this, and even if you have all the time to do this beside your work (because you cannot live from your art) and even if you are blessed with talent, you stand in a long row beside millions of other artists, which almost noone is interested in. Let´s face it - internet is masturbation.

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  103. I agree with what you said in this article, Jerry.
    RObert IvaCiC, playin harmonica and singing.
    BLUEHARP is my nickname online.
    http://www.reverbnation.com/blueharp

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  104. I agree with the article. In many ways, the Internet has set artists free. Artists no longer have to leave it in the purview of record companies to determine what is marketable. With the Internet, artists have a world audience. The Internet enables and allows Internet users to make their own determination concerning the the artists and music they like and want to hear. All genres of music, and artists of all ages, not just music and artists record companies select because they lump everything into a small box of commercialism.

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