The Internet age.
Where everything is thrown against a wall and whatever sticks, ends up lasting forever.
In other words, first week sale numbers don’t mean a thing. The scorched earth publicity and marketing push by the label for an album release don’t mean a thing.
If any artist is focusing on the here and now, its contra to the way the music business works in the connected Internet era. We’re (the fans) are only concerned with what lasts.
But the media tries to sell it so that everybody who is involved in music deserves to be rich from music. But how many are willing to do the work, especially when nobody’s paying attention to them.
Being in music isn’t about the highs or lows, winning and losing. It’s about surviving.
Here is a little secret.
The ones that end up winning in the future are creating their catalogues away from the radar, in stealth mode.
And it’s not easy.
Every musician is competing against the means of production. The costs to create content are low and we (the people) are overwhelmed.
What do we read, what do we watch and what do we listen to?
Everybody’s got a book to read, a documentary to watch, a track to listen to and no one’s got time to do it all. The last four years of my Guitar World subscription are still in the plastic wrappers the magazines came in.
Unopened. As a subscriber since 1986, I thought I would keep it going until this year is over. So January 2017 is my last issue.
The last time I read the magazine, it sounded like the article was written by the PR company instead of the actual journalist. There was no guts to the story and there was no in-depth analysis. Nothing at all. Gone are the days when Wolf Marshall used to go In Deep into players styles and so forth.
But the press over the last fifteen years believes it must promote everything and is rarely critical. And the press is missing the point how we are in the midst of a revolution, living in an era of chaos that will not last forever. But no one is reporting it. It’s all about piracy, copyright trolls, Spotify royalties or something so far removed from the real issue.
Fewer people will be successful from now on than before, despite everyone being able to create. We are going to have just superstars and niches.
And for all of those rock bands and metal bands, guess what, it’s still about the one song that hooks people in. But not all people. The entire world doesn’t live and breathe music. Remember that in your quest for global dominance.
And one last thing.
Spotify is not the problem, YouTube is. YouTube has more visitors and pays less. At least on Spotify you get the whole album along with the “song” that draws people in. Notice on YouTube it’s never the whole album. Yeah I know that some user accounts on YouTube have the whole album up but you need to look for them, go deep. So if you are in the album game, then you want your fans going to Spotify. But not a lot of artists are willing to say that.
But the album is fading. Yeah I know it makes great profits, but a 70 minute album with two good songs is a bad fit for today’s listeners. We don’t have time to listen to an album twenty times to get it. That’s what we did when we had no cash and could only afford one disc. But that was in the past. You don’t see the telegram and analog mobiles coming back.
The past is done. The future is here.