Interesting graph here. Always refreshing to see how all this plays out in terms of units shipped. Never would’ve thought digital downloads, whether they be for singles or for albums, would represent such low revenue in this time and age. Seems like people still haven’t gotten that used to buyin’ on the web, and it appears to be just ridiculous to count on making any money with CDs, so yeah, this graph is yet some more corroborating evidence that bands have got to be as creative in marketing whatever they can, than as in creating their music.
Multi-Tasked Creativity will represent the musician’s greatest ally in the decade to come.
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Just a quick note to let you know that David Rose, who is editor over at www.knowthemusicbiz.com and responsible for Artist X’s website, has published an article yesterday on his strategies for getting X’s site up and running. Once again, this is a good overview for any musician who lacks website creation skills and who needs to get things rolling fairly quickly (and who is on a budget of $20/month)
The final choose for X is a mix of popular online band services:
- Bandzoogle for its website templates
- Reverbnation for its plethora of widgets
- and Audiolife as a complete e-commerce solution (for merch, physical CDs, Mp3 distribution and warehousing.)
Read the article here. Nice breakdown of what every service offers and can accomplish for X.
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Hypebot’s interview with Amanda Palmer is a must read for basically anybody, so I highly recommend you take some time here and there and check out all three parts (as well as the comments!).
Posted exactly as on Hypebot’s blog:
“If the point is to find meaning and fulfillment but the very idea of staying connected is causing you eternal anxiety, it’s defeating the purpose… I simply feel blessed that I’m an emotional exhibitionist right around the time is seems to be expected and en vogue.”
Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3
Thank you Bruce for this wonderful interview, and of course for Hypebot! (Follow Hypebot on twitter @hypebot)
Oh and here’s Indaba’s interview with Amanda (this time it’s a video!) talking about Twitter (yet again), her crazy success stories, and other music 2.0 stuff – very interesting as always.
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Last week I wrote a post on the new Indie Artist X project, devised by a group of music industry insiders, who’s main goal is to launch the career of an anonymous musician by applying all DIY techniques and music 2.0 tools available in today’s day and age. In other words, these music insiders will act as consultants for Artist X for a period of 4 months, recuperate and publicly announce concrete results for X’s progress, and basically just attempt to use this experiment to create a custom business plan for indie, DIY bands and musos.
In this spread – http://gigdog.gy/_indie_projectX_spreadsheet – you can see the project’s main objectives and strategies, as well as that list of advisers.
One thing I either didn’t notice for my previous post, or that simply wasn’t there yet, is the set of different sheets at the top of the document where each adviser details his/her plan for X, and generally explain the highlights of their mission (as well as the tools they intend on using to accomplish it). Having just read through it, I decided to share this tid bit of info because this simple sheet, which is most likely going to evolve and get more detailed as the project goes on, is a great starting point, or a healthy break-down of what any musician can, and even should do, while trying to market his/her self.
Check it out, and bark us, and more importantly them, some feedback.
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Posted in Band Revenue, Band Talk, Booking & Promotion, tagged andrew goodrich, artisthouse, bruce houghton, david rose, hypebot, indie artist X, indie musician, knowthemusicbiz. about.com, marketing plan, music, study on July 14, 2009|
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A set of key music industry peeps, that you could know about (or maybe should) if you are a musician or in a band and that you spend some time online trying to perfect your music 2.0 skills, are getting together to focus on helping an anonymous hard-working indie musician get out of his day-time job and start a full time career. The project is called the Indie Artist X Music Marketing Plan. Bellow are cited its participant:
- Andrew Goodrich from ArtistsHouse (great and prolific Twitterer – follow him @artistshouse or @VisualAlchemy). Andrew will be overviewing Fan Developpment strategies for ArtistX.
- Bruce Houghton from the Hypebot (brings us daily music news through his truly inspiring Hypebot blog, and is probably very active in other realms of the music industry – follow Bruce @hypebot). Bruce will be taking care of Commerce.
- Cameron Mizell from Musicianswages.com (A funky jazz guitarist and a regular writer/contributor on musicianwages.com. Check out his Myspace at http://www.myspace.com/cameronmizel) Cameron is in charge of Awareness
- David Rose from Knowthemusicbiz.com (a great resource for all musicians. You can follow David on Twitter @dbrose67) David is in charge of the website.
- Heather MacDonald from the music careers section over at About.com. Check her tweets @mountflorida.
- Martin Atkins from Revolution Number 3 that I have never heard of but that I am sure are great at what they do. Martin will be taking care of live show and touring strategies.
Here’s the initial pitch for the ArtistX project:
The goal of the Indie Artist X Project is to develop a basic, actionable music marketing plan designed around simple strategy, prioritization of tactics, tools and a reasonable budget that can be implemented by any indie artist who has the inclination to follow it. A group of like minded people (us and the other sponsors) interested in helping foster the success of independent musicians have banded together to create this community based music marketing plan. It’s our hope that any hard working, talented musician can utilize this plan to grow their fan base and help lay the foundation for a sustainable career in music. We will be working with one anonymous artist to design and implement this music marketing plan then track and report the actual results over a four month period. All the details of the plan are publicly available in this document.
“This document” being a Google Spreasheet you can view here.
This artist must stay anonymous so publicity from the project will not skew any potential results.
Seems like a very interesting idea. If I understand correctly, the six influential music industry peeps above will chaperon artistX’s music career for the next 3 month and attempt to determine what the best strategies to leverage it are. Seems like the first market study conducted on an indie musician. Result promise to be intriguing and most certainly up-lifting for the DIY crowds. I’ll keep you updated on their progress.
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For those of you who want to make your music a full-time job, and who are skeptical / wary of your success rate, maybe Hypebot’s list of artists that are growing and sustaining real careers without backup from a major label could help you take a step back and focus on what’s possible.
Check out Bruce Houghton”s (Hypebot author) list and discussion here: http://www.hypebot.com/hypebot/2009/06/dont-need-a-major-label.html
Bruce Warila posted on Music Think Tank some criteria he believes should be added to the list:
“- If previously signed to a major label (or an affiliate of a major) that previously obtained radio play for the artist, please disclose this.
– Success to me = each band member (or the artist) is consistently generating over $50,000 USD a year after all expenses are paid (including health insurance). You can live on less, but if you are going to dedicate your youth to music, I would target $50K (at the very least) as a measure of financial ‘success’.”
Although it’s quite obvious that success here has to do with a sustainable financial sucess (which is of course the backbone to having a “comfortable life” in our production-driven society), I find it just awkward to put a price on it.
I would definitely take off the list every artists who has been backed-up by a major label – then again it seems important to define exactly what “backed-up” means in this case because I know of a couple of bands who have distribution deals with some fat cats and who aren’t achieving financial stability – and I would replace a fixed net income by simply “musician who has been living off his music full-time for X number of years”. Here we stumble into another complication, because we must take into account that success, in the big schemes of thing, is not necessarily something temporary, or fixed in time, i.e. a band can be living off music full-time for 5 years and be successful at it but quit because a) they weren’t making enough money, b)they got sick of it, c)the band broke-up, or whatever reason. Success in my mind has more to do with being able to say “I’m doing this now, I’m loving it, and I don’t plan on quitting anytime soon“, regardless of income.
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I’m a little late on this, but what the heck.
I already wrote a little post on AudioLife (http://www.audiolife.com) some time back, a very comprehensive and intuitive online e-commerce solution for bands. In late April they added a new cool feature to their service: they are offering storage space in their warehouse for $10/month in addition to taking care of all merch shipping-and-handling tasks.
From their “Audiolife to Offer Fulfillment Services” blog post:
“We’re not just storing it for you but will then ship any of your products when an order is placed through your store. This way you can worry about your new album, upcoming show, girl/boyfriend, whatever, rather than your inventory”
I think it’s a brilliant idea!
In that blog post, they claim to be even cheaper than this guy:
If they can beat Jones and his big ass truck rental and storage, they are definitley worth it.
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