Last week I posted an article titled “The Internet and the Musician” on this Music: Alabama Blog. I received over 100 comments and more are still trickling in. The majority that responded agreed with the content. But as always there were exceptions. Those with differing views make us think beyond our original mind set. That is good!
Neil Alexander absolutely agreed and passed on a great read at http://www.stevelawson.net/
The vast majority of the response was aimed at the statement I made, “Great music sells itself. (You can quote me on that.)” Chris Dair said, “…. I do agree that great music will sell itself, and great music will survive, but only if it can be heard.” Stephen Foster wrote, “…. 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.”
Stephen Wrench wrote, “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….” UB added, “I do agree for the most part. I am not so sure about good music selling itself forever; 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….” Natasha James put it this way, “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….”
Henry Rebellius Blog replied, “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, which 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.”
Michele Wilson-Morris told us, “…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.” Chef Beercan said, ….If you're also failing online be 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.”
Roger Greer sent us,“….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.”
I think Matt Peter Stubstory.com summed it up best, “True enough, but I still think at the end of the day - the cream will find a way to rise to the top.”
I appreciate your comments. I still stand by my statement, “Great music sells itself. (You can quote me on that.)” I have been involved with promoting hundreds of music projects. My experience has taught me that great music sells with the right promotion and anything less takes twice as much promotion resulting in poor or mediocre sells.