For better or worse, new content platforms have permanently transformed the music industry, but they’re not always a boon for fledgling bands. CD Baby CEO Tracy Maddux was in town for this year’s Future of Music Policy Summit. Technical.ly DC took the occasion to ask him about being an indie artist in the age of YouTube.
[…] Artists still need to build a team to be successful. The 2010 Future of Music Coalition Artist Revenue Streams project concluded that high earning musicians ($100,000+ per year) were two times as likely to have certain paid or contracted team members.4 The results of the study suggest that while the Internet has enabled access to the market by anyone, revenue is still significantly affected by the presence of a team. read more
Nearly four years ago the four largest commercial radio owners promised to play more independent music as part of FCC consent decrees resulting from recent payola investigations. Future of Music Coalition has been tracking radio playlists to see if commercial stations have been keeping their promises. FMC?s Kristin Thomson joins the Mediageek Radioshow to discuss the situation.
News broke today that "pure play" webcasting services (i.e., the bigger online broadcasters who earn the bulk of their revenue through their services) have reached an agreement with SoundExchange — the nonprofit organization that collects and distributes the digital public performance royalty on behalf of performing artists and sound copyright owners (usually the labels). read more
Just Plain Folks (founded by FMC advisory board member, Brian Austin Whitney) is an online (and real-world) community comprising more than 51,500 songwriters, recording artists, publishers, record labels, producers and basically any other music-type, um, "folks." Their goal is simple: to help people involved in all levels of the music community network, share their experiences, build relationships and grow. JPF members have gone on to win Grammy's, Emmys, CMA Awards and Academy Awards. The JPF Awards Show -- the largest indie awards event on the planet -- takes place on August 29 in Nashville, Tennessee. read more
We at FMC are always psyched when we hear about artists making DIY work for them. Although you can't paint with one brush when it comes to musicians -- many have wonderful relationships with their labels -- it's clear that today's performers don't need big-time backing to make a record and get it out there. And they're also getting way creative with marketing, as we point out in our recent post about Josh Freese and Jill Sobule. read more
TuneCore is one of a handful of companies (including CD Baby and ReverbNation) offering digital (and in some instances physical) distribution for the DIY musician. For a relatively small fee, artists using these services can get their tunes in all the major digital music sellers (iTunes, eMusic, Rhapody, etc.) -- which means a coffeehouse strummer can be in the same "store" as Beyoncé -- Pretty cool, huh? CD Baby will also handle the warehousing and mailorder for your physical discs, and most of these services provide referrals for custom-batch CD manufacturing. read more
Although many independent and mainstream music stores have closed over the years due to a decline in CD sales and general economic turbulence, there are those shops that have dug in their heels in the face of an increasingly technology-driven music industry. These survivors took part in the second annual Record Store Day, held this past Saturday (April 18) in stores all across the nation. read more
There's been been a couple of online articles recently (that's one shy of three, which almost makes a trend!) about what "do-it-yourself" means in the era of digital music. So we figured we'd do a little thinking out loud, then turn the floor over to the experts -- in other words, you.
With the advent of user-friendly digital distro services, musicians now have a wide array of relatively inexpensive tools to get their tunes out there. Of course, with fewer gatekeepers and the "democratization" of technology, it also means you probably have to work harder to get noticed -- there's no slick suit who can make it magically happen for you. (And if there is, maybe s/he can give us a call?) read more
You don't need us to tell you that economic times are tough—musicians are feeling the financial pinch just like anyone else. On the upside, they're getting really creative about how they make music and market themselves. From a personal "lunch date" at the Cheesecake Factory to a live performance in your living room, today's artists are doing whatever it takes to establish a fanbase and hopefully sell some music.
As David Byrne (who actually appeared at our 2006 Policy Summit) once sang, "same as it ever was." read more