Getting Past The 'But Artists Should Just Be Artists' Myth

from the it's-designed-to-keep-you-down dept

At Monday's excellent SF Music Tech Summit, there was a really good discussion in the final panel of the day, that crystallized in my mind why it's hogwash when some repeat the refrain that "artists should just be artists" and not worry about business models, connecting with fans or social networking. It's a claim that is made over and over again -- sometimes by musicians themselves. In the past, we've pointed out that this is fine, if artists just want to be artists then they need to do one of two things: either not expect to make much money or partner with someone who can focus on the business model and social networking side of things. Dave Allen, who was on that panel, used his manifesto on why artists needed to stop whining and start taking charge as a kicking off point, and brought up his concept of why all bands needed "a fifth Beatle" to manage that side of their efforts. In many ways, it reminded me of Andrew Dubber's recent manifesto that pointed out that if you wanted to make money as a musician, you had to become a musical entrepreneur.

But, two other comments on the panel made the point even more clear. First was Sebastien Keefe, from the band Family of the Year, who talked about how the band (more his bandmates than himself, actually) did a really good job connecting with fans online, including a special private concert that only Twitter followers found out about, and a cool postcard promotion, where people would pay $5 for a postcard, and the band would send it back to the fans from their tour. When the question came up of artists claiming that they didn't want to spend the time on social networks to connect with fans, he noted first that it wasn't that much time, and second that an artist unwilling to do that was "selling themselves short," in not really building up their audience.

Though, what's really cementing the myth of "artists should just be artists" was Tim Quirk's comment. Quirk, of course, got a lot of publicity recently for revealing how major record label royalty statements are often total works of fiction, using his own royalty statements as an example. On this topic, however, he noted that the people who tell artists that "you should just focus on being an artist" were almost always "feeding them bullshit" in order to gain more control over the artist. That is, it's a line you often hear from record labels or managers who want more control over a musician's business. So all three of those musicians (Allen, Quirk and Keefe) highlighted how the claim that "musicians should just be musicians" isn't just a myth, but it's often used to limit the potential of musicians.

Right after that panel, there was a short (and very sparsely attended) talk given by Stephan Jenkins, of the band Third Eye Blind -- and without realizing it, he put the exclamation point on this particular discussion from the previous panel. While he said he was grateful for his major label experience, he also talked about how being on a major label actually made it harder for the band to really focus on their music and artistic ideals -- because the label started dictating everything that the band should be doing. From that, he felt like the band really got away from the sort of music that it wanted to create, that had helped make the band big in the first place. He talked about how piracy has given the band "a second chance" by letting a new generation of fans discover their original music, and that has resulted in the band's most recent album, which he felt was much more true to the band's musical roots. He noted also that, now that they were out of the major label system, they were making a lot more money, even if they were selling fewer units.

All in all, it really helped solidify the idea that the claim that "artists just need to be artists" and shouldn't be concerned about business models or talking to fans is really just a line used by record labels to try to gain more control over artists, at their own expense. That doesn't mean that artists shouldn't try to find that "5th Beatle," to help them when it becomes necessary, but that they should make sure that whoever that 5th Beatle is, he or she is really aligned with their thinking in where they want to go with their career.


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  1.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 9th, 2009 @ 1:16pm

    "That doesn't mean that artists shouldn't try to find that "5th Beatle," to help them when it becomes necessary,"

    Where you are weak find someone who is strong to support you on your endeavors.... got that from a fortune cookie years back but it does seem to hold true in alot of situations.

     

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    kyle clements (profile), Dec 9th, 2009 @ 1:49pm

    "That doesn't mean that artists shouldn't try to find that "5th Beatle," to help them when it becomes necessary,"

    Exactly.

    Most artzy people I've com across (myself included) are terrible with organization and business stuff. Thats why you find others who can and let them help you.

    In the visual art world, that means finding a gallery. The artist makes, delivers and prices the art, and the gallery does the rest. The artist does what they do best (make art/drink/be pretentious) and the gallery does what it does best (promote/advertise/sell art) Both sides benefit from the arrangement, and split the profits.

    In a band, I imagine that would translate into finding a promoter or agent, have him plan shows/organize a schedule and transportation/ deal with the social networking/website stuff, merch, licencing, etc. The band just shows up and plays, the agent does the rest.
    I believe U2 works this way, and their agent is treated like a band member, all band profits are split 5 ways. I see no problem with this. If the band wants to 'just' be a band, be prepared to pay for someone to take care of all the other stuff.

    what takes place outside of the studio is half of your career as an artist, but music lessons/art school, etc. only focus on the in-studio part.
    The people that make it don't necessarily make better art, they just deal with the non-art side of things much better.

     

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    AC, Dec 9th, 2009 @ 1:57pm

    5th Beatle

    Didn't they used to call that a band manager? Someone to handle the details so the band can create?

     

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    Leviathant (profile), Dec 9th, 2009 @ 2:16pm

    Ha

    You mean "someone to sue a decade down the line when you realize he's had all the contracts written up in such a way that he gets at least 75% of all the income, and you get to make music."

    Does anyone have VH1's Behind the Music archived online somewhere?

     

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  5.  
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    Matthew Cruse (profile), Dec 9th, 2009 @ 2:29pm

    Re: Ha

    "Does anyone have VH1's Behind the Music archived online somewhere?"
    Hey you can't ask that, those files are Pirated, that's illegal and you're going to jail!!

     

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  6.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Dec 9th, 2009 @ 2:34pm

    What you are good at and what you enjoy

    Some people just want to play music. So they aren't going to do all the promotional and marketing tasks that are required to alert the world to their music. Therefore they are either going to find someone who can do that for them, or they aren't going to do music for a living.

    Some people excel at making money outside of making music. So if it is more lucrative to have a day job that pays their bills, then they may want to play music for fun and do something else for income.

    Those above scenarios are pretty clear-cut.

    The disconnect comes when (1) someone who is good at music but not very good at marketing thinks he or she should do it all him/herself. Or (2) can't find a skilled marketing/booking/PR person to work with. In many cases, the people who are good at this sort of thing either charge quite a bit per hour or want a percentage of income (which is how managers and booking agents operate).

    I know very talented musicians who can't find affordable help. One such musician was told by a national booking agency that the agency won't consider working with any band not already grossing $300,000 a year. She's not anywhere near that, so she's stuck juggling a day job, writing and performing music, and doing her own booking.

    So that's where it's hard: When you are just starting out and you don't have the money to hire someone and you don't have the time to do it all yourself because you are working a day job to pay the bills.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 9th, 2009 @ 2:34pm

    Takashi Murakami has turned the business of art into the art of business.

    Certain artists can pull this off, even past their death, like Andy Warhol.

     

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    Blatant Coward (profile), Dec 9th, 2009 @ 2:42pm

    Re: Ha

    All depends...

    If that person getting 75% is spending most of it on the artist, making deals, buying stuff to sell at concerts, making reservations, paying roadies, hiring webmakers, paying online store fees, then that's a bargain.

    If they have a testerosa parked in the driveway of a new house, and you are eating beans in a sleeping bag on the road trying to find blank CD's at the dollar store, then that's a problem.

    It's not unique to artists by any means.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 9th, 2009 @ 3:00pm

    The whole post is just more blathering and self-justifying platitudes.

    Basically, the entire concept comes from the simpliest idea: Don't sell people what they want, sell them what you want to sell them. People want music, so sell them heavily marked up concert tickets instead. People wants your new music, so sell them another crummy t-shirt. Run out of ideas? Don't worry, just play mini-putt.

    Artists only have so much time to be artists. Dipping into that time and making them into salesmen, stockboys, shippers, accountants, marketing staff, and 101 other jobs that aren't about making music, and you waste the precious resource which is "the art".

    Most artists also aren't very good at any of those other things. They are artists because of art, not because of the bottom line. They don't have the desire, the time, or the want to become great accountants or great t-shirt sellers, they just want to be artists.

    The opportunity costs of making an artist do things that are not art are huge. It's too bad that the new "CwF" model seems to require them to spend so much time being anything but artists.

     

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    kyle clements (profile), Dec 9th, 2009 @ 3:07pm

    Re:

    I wish this was slashdot so I could mod you off-topic.

    Every one of your points has been refuted-in detail, on techdirt already.

    Do you enjoy asking the same questions over and over again while refusing to listen to the response, or are you actually being paid to troll?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 9th, 2009 @ 3:18pm

    Re: Re:

    They're being paid. I've been anonymously commenting on techdirt for five months now and they clearly are collecting money from some older media interests. All their posts sound the same.

    I also love how they know what artists need and want without actually being an artist. How do I know they're not artists?

    Because they're not very creative. It's a dead giveaway.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 9th, 2009 @ 3:19pm

    Re:

    As an artist all I can say is you don't know the first thing about art.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 9th, 2009 @ 3:34pm

    Re: Re:

    Kyle, Mike will tell you: He is a commentator, not a journalist. There is much on Techdirt (like the UK numbers) that have been misread and misrepresented over and over. Heck, Mike misrepresented them again at the very event he is blogging about now.

    So saying that things have been refuted on techdirt isn't a very strong argument.

     

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    chris (profile), Dec 9th, 2009 @ 4:10pm

    Re:

    The whole post is just more blathering and self-justifying platitudes

    wow, thanks for clearing that up for me. all this time i thought this was all about stealing free shit.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 9th, 2009 @ 4:24pm

    Re:

    "Most artists also aren't very good at any of those other things. They are artists because of art, not because of the bottom line. They don't have the desire, the time, or the want to become great accountants or great t-shirt sellers, they just want to be artists."

    Nothing is stopping those people from being artists, but they shouldn't be in the music BUSINESS.

    Back to your cave. It's getting lonely.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 9th, 2009 @ 4:24pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Neither is naysaying.

     

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    Allen (profile), Dec 9th, 2009 @ 4:56pm

    An Amateur artist can just be about the art. A professional though needs to be thinking about how to build a profession, a business, an income around that art.

    If you don't want to think about how to use your art to make a living, then a best you're really only an amateur. That's OK. It's up to you; who knows? You might get lucky. And the industry is there waiting to help themselves out. Just don't be too surprised if you get ripped off.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 9th, 2009 @ 4:58pm

    Re: Re:

    Moron.

    The idea is simple: A musician / artist is at their best being an artist. They aren't at their best being an accountant, or a salesman, or a marketing dude, or promotions director. It's just a waste of their time to try to get good at the things they aren't good at, when the reason we like them as artists is because of their music.

    It's just moronic to think that every musician should also be all of those things, just to have a shot at making beer money.

     

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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Dec 9th, 2009 @ 5:01pm

    Re: Re:

    Who's stealing platypuses?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 9th, 2009 @ 5:02pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Ryan: It's not part of your job. It's like, maybe you can cook but that doesn't mean you should start a restaurant.

    Michael Scott: Well actually I can't cook and I am starting a restaurant.

     

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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Dec 9th, 2009 @ 5:03pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "A programmer is at their best being programmer. They aren't at their best being an accountant, or a salesman, or a marketing dude, or promotions director. It's just a waste of their time to try to get good at the things they aren't good at, when the reason we like them as programmers is because of their programming."

    Programmers should just program stuff and not worry about who is going to pay them and stuff.

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Dec 9th, 2009 @ 5:08pm

    Re:

    A lot of what goes into creating a music business these days is the same thing that goes into creating a celebrity in any field. In many respects Paris Hilton and Amanda Palmer are in the same business. Each is selling her personality.

    If you like the act of writing, recording, and performing MUSIC, you may not have much interest in creating your own brand so that people will pay you for your t-shirts or your perfume line or to have you show up a parties.

    There are people who get into music careers to be rock stars and they embrace the celebrity part of the machine.

    Other people just want to do music and anything that takes them away from that isn't enhancing the experience for them.

    Selling something other than music when all you want to do is music may not be how you want to be a professional musician.

    I'm comfortable with both models. For people who "get" branding, I encourage them to go for it. For people who just want to do music, I suggest that they find ways to do as much music as they can and eliminate the side stuff. And if having a non-musical day job to pay the bills allows them to do the most creative music, then that's what I suggest.

    I know a lot of full-time musicians who play private parties, weddings, resort gigs, etc. It's not "art" as such, but they are professional musicians. Not everyone wants to do that.

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Dec 9th, 2009 @ 5:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Programmers should just program stuff and not worry about who is going to pay them and stuff.

    Actually isn't this how many programmers operate? They get a salary from a company that figures out how to run the business. Unless a programmer is a self-employed freelancer, he probably isn't doing all the marketing, accounting, etc.

    If musicians could get a salary to play music, many of them would take it. Some music jobs are like that. r.g., teaching music in elementary and high school. playing for an orchestra.

    But for most rock musicians, the closest thing to being paid a salary has been being on a major label.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 9th, 2009 @ 5:51pm

    Honestly, if you just wanna play music, just play music - with your friends, in your garage or backyard, on weekends, etc. But if you wanna play music and have other people listen to or even *gasp* PAY you for it...well, you'd better learn how to market yourself.

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Dec 9th, 2009 @ 6:02pm

    Re:

    But if you wanna play music and have other people listen to or even *gasp* PAY you for it...well, you'd better learn how to market yourself.

    Yes, pretty much.

    And marketing is marketing. If you are selling t-shirts at your shows, you are selling t-shirts, and you might want to learn tips from other people who sell t-shirts, whether they are in the music business or not.

    If you want to turn yourself, your band, and/or your music into a brand, look at what Oprah, Martha Stewart, and the Olsen Twins did. They all leveraged their names into multiple income streams.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 9th, 2009 @ 6:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Actually, if you could think past the end of your nose...

    Programmers who are great programmers should program. That is usually why they either (a) work for someone else and get paid to be great, or (b) start a company with partners who have the skills they lack, so they can spend their time programming instead of trying to figure out double entry bookkeeping and trying to book promotional tours.

    Great musicians are the same thing: They make the music and the vision, and they leave the business part of the business people. It doesn't mean to be ignorant, it just means not to make being a business person your "real" job. The real job is making music.

    Then again, in Techduh terms, musicians are mini-putt players and t-shirt salesmen. I wonder what the damn t-shirt salesmen are doing now they are out of business? Maybe they are learning to play music so they can get their jobs back.

     

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    Modplan (profile), Dec 9th, 2009 @ 6:38pm

    Re: Thinking past the end of my nose

    Great musicians are the same thing: They make the music and the vision, and they leave the business part of the business people. It doesn't mean to be ignorant, it just means not to make being a business person your "real" job. The real job is making music.


    It seems like you haven't read this post at all. Mike was advocating that at some point, artists who want to make money off of their work in whatever way inevitably come face to face with a choice: Learning things about how to make a sustainable business, or getting someone who does know.

    Either way, the point is it's better to know at least something about the business side, otherwise you leave yourself open to people who manipulate you to squeeze as much money out of you without the hint of a fair deal, or you never turn your creations into something you can live off of.

    Why is that so objectionable? There are 24 hours a day, 7 days in a week, 365 days in a year, and generally a minimum of 50 or so years in a lifetime. That's plenty of time, and you don't even have to be some business guru or go to Harvard. Post on Facebook and twitter, charge a few quid more than it costs to order/make the tshirts and that's that.

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Dec 9th, 2009 @ 7:00pm

    Re: Re: Thinking past the end of my nose

    Post on Facebook and twitter, charge a few quid more than it costs to order/make the tshirts and that's that.

    That's what hundreds of thousands of bands are doing. They aren't making a living at music, but they can say they are professional musicians. Virtually every band I know that has played more than one gig has a t-shirt for sale.

    I think the democratization of music will continue. Everyone will create music to some degree or another. Money to support people full-time in music will be hard to come by because so many people will doing it, but as long as expectations are realistic, I think people will be happy with the result.

     

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    PrometheeFeu (profile), Dec 9th, 2009 @ 7:14pm

    I think the concept that artists should "just be artists" is misguided at best but it feels insulting. Nobody can be "just" anything and expect to be money off it. I'm a computer programmer. I do not find clients who need custom software I can't expect to make any money. I need to market myself or hire someone to do so. I need to connect with my clients and work to figure out what they need and how that need can be best serve. If I just live in a cave, code stuff and then post it online, I can expect to make zero money. And the same can be said for any profession. Nobody cares about the best plumber in town if he can't be bothered to show up on time and give you a minimum of courtesy when he does show up. Nobody hires an electrician who tells you to shut up and let him be "just an electrician" when you ask what he's doing. You can be "just" a whatever in the privacy of your own home with your hobbies. Nothing wrong with that, but don't expect any money from it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 9th, 2009 @ 7:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Completely wrong.

    The great programmers market a revolutionary new product, build their own business, and create a software empire.

    The great musicians create revolutionary music and have to go on massive tours and do massive promotions to maintain their fame.

    It's the average and common programmers that sit back in a deskjob and work their shifts doing nothing but programming.

    It's the average musicians that sit in a booth all day recording "work for hire" music for TV commercials, Movie soundtracks, etc.

    If you want to be average, then you can do just fine doing nothing but making music. The moment you want to be great, you're going to have to start marketing yourself.

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Dec 9th, 2009 @ 7:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The great musicians create revolutionary music and have to go on massive tours and do massive promotions to maintain their fame.

    Who do you have in mind? Most of the bands doing these massive promotions have label staffers or their own hired staff to do the work for them.

    Maybe you could elaborate.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 9th, 2009 @ 8:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yes, they have hired staff to do a lot of the grunt work. But that still doesn't mean that the big name, multimillionaire musicians just sit back and play music all day.

    There's a lot of varying degrees of outside work to do, but the simplest examples are musicians doing things like radio interviews, or going on talk shows.

    In other words, very, very few musicians ever become "greats" without doing extra work to expose themselves to their audiences.

    Off-hand, I can't even name a single musician that is considered "one of the greats", and did nothing but be a musician.

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Dec 9th, 2009 @ 8:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    There's a lot of varying degrees of outside work to do, but the simplest examples are musicians doing things like radio interviews, or going on talk shows.

    Of course, a lot of that came as part of the major label system. You signed a major label deal because the labels had the clout to get you those interviews. And that's really more a part of the rock star system than being a revolutionary musician. There's a great deal of marketing done by music industry people to generate those TV and radio appearances.

    I think your comments are actually in defense of having a system that does the marketing for you so you don't have to do much other than write the music and then go on TV shows and radio shows to perform.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 9th, 2009 @ 8:30pm

    Re:

    I'm a computer programmer. I do not find clients who need custom software I can't expect to make any money. I need to market myself or hire someone to do so.

    It's the point right there: The label system exists because they can market a musician way better than most musicians can market themselves.

    As a programmer, is your time better spent marketing, or better spent writing the code people are paying for? At the very small business level, you end up doing both, but one or the other always suffers.

    So the DIY concept works fine on a very small scale. But up that scale a bit, and DIY turns into DHT (Don't Have Time), and there is a choice to make.

    It's just like Facepalm Palmer - she could be touring and playing shows, or she can stay home and sell left over junk and t-shirts. She makes more selling stuff, so she stays home on a Friday night instead of playing somewhere... mostly because she told her label to get lost. We all know how that turned out, because she ended up working with the borg (Live Nation). So things aren't always so simple do to by yourself.

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Dec 9th, 2009 @ 9:26pm

    Marketing is important

    I think everyone agrees that marketing is useful. The issue is who does it for you.

    If you are good at it, want to do it, and have the time, you can do it yourself.

    If you aren't good at it or don't want to do it (1) you can hire someone (but the good people tend to be expensive), (2) you can offer someone a percentage of your income (which means you either have to convince people or they have to believe there is money to be made), or (3) you can work out some sort of other payment/ownership/partnership/investment plan.

    There's likely to be a trade-off in there somewhere. It's going to be someone's time or someone's money.

    I know people who collect stuff and sell it on eBay. I'd rather give away my unwanted stuff. Sure, I'm leaving money on the table by doing that, but I don't want to take the time to photograph the items. list them, and then have to box them up to ship. Trying to make a living on eBay sounds like hell to me. I'm sure that some of the things that people are advocating as a way to make a living in music sound like hell to some musicians.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 9th, 2009 @ 10:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Well, when I hear someone say "What if I just want to be a musician?" it seems like they are largely saying that they don't want to be involved in any of the marketing.

    My point is mostly that the moment you do something like a radio interview, or pose for a magazine cover, or go on a TV show to promote your product, you've stopped being "just a musician".

    This isn't so much an argument about people having to do their own marketing, but more to point out that almost no one is "just a musician" or "just a programmer" or even "just a baker".

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Dec 9th, 2009 @ 10:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    My point is mostly that the moment you do something like a radio interview, or pose for a magazine cover, or go on a TV show to promote your product, you've stopped being "just a musician".

    Sure, I'll accept that. In essence anyone who has an audience is marketing in some fashion.

    In the end it comes down to time management and efficiency. What do you do yourself and what can you delegate? Many people are capable of cleaning their own homes, but busy people who have the money often hire someone else to do it for them.

     

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    Mr RC (profile), Dec 10th, 2009 @ 12:44am

    I am a '5th Beatle'

    I am working with a young band as far as marketing, distribution, merchandising and everything else goes, I even contribute to the songwriting.

    Music will be getting released under a creative commons license (and yes I will let you know when when they are releasing it so that you can download/listen/share).

    As far as money goes, 60% goes to the band fund for better instruments, custom merchandise, accommodation etc (basically invested into band and to cover costs).. the remaining 40% is split 5 ways.. we all get 8% each.. values will change when there is more money.. but all shares will remain equal .. and as it is.. we will have to make a total of 250,000 euro's per year in order to quit our day jobs (we all have an average income of approx 20k euro's currently) .. Obviously this isn't going to happen overnight, but they all love making music.. I love writing and the challenge and their music.. we don't see that happening any time soon.. maybe in a few years though..

    The band didn't know how to market themselves, or how to do the merchandising or anything like that. I work with one of them (he's actually sitting at the desk next to mine) and was asked for help putting together their website.. being a regular reader (but irregular commenter) on techdirt ... I put forward some of the ideas that Mike has suggested (as well as a few other ideas) and was asked to manage them.. they have embraced 'free' and know that they are going to have to do a bit more than just 'make music' .. they will have FB and Myspace pages.. their own forum for fan interaction.. twittering.. etc

    By not signing with a label, sure they miss out on those resources offered and early money... but they OWN their music.. they can take their music in any direction they feel without oversight.. and aren't locked into a contract to produce x albums in y time.. they'd rather produce quality, rather than quantity.. music that they are proud of, rather than forced to produce something that they aren't happy with.. it's their music.. not the industry's..

    Music will be offered free to radio stations (terrestrial and web) and special deals offered to businesses 'hey, you can play our stuff as often as you like, to an unlimited amount of people in your store/school/club for X per year' with a letter of exemption from ASSCRAP and their ilk around the world.. the value would be low, we do want to make some money.. and people (shills) would probably say that we are undervalueing our music.. but who can put a price on free promotion and a little cash on the side?

    They don't want to be rich (though they wouldn't complain LOL, they can focus more on music then) they just want to be heard and enjoyed.. isn't that what music is supposed to be about?

     

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  39.  
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    Daniela do Carmo, Dec 10th, 2009 @ 3:24am

    Improving skills

    Not every musician is ready to change the way they view their careers overnight. The mindset has to change and we can always improve our skills. The article focuses on how easy it can be to connect with the audience and perform a couple of key actions in order to be in the right track (pun intended). If you think about it, you'll see that we can always learn new stuff, finetune marketing and personal abilities if we are willing to take over control. It works for computer programmers as well. My husband is a Senior Java Developer and he has done it himself. There's a difference between both careers, of course, but growing up as a professional requires being ready to wear other "hats".

     

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    nasch (profile), Dec 10th, 2009 @ 7:58am

    Re:

    In a band, I imagine that would translate into finding a promoter or agent, have him plan shows/organize a schedule and transportation/ deal with the social networking/website stuff, merch, licencing, etc.

    I think it would be a mistake to leave the social networking to the agent. Fans don't want to connect with agents, they want to connect with artists.

     

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  41.  
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    dorp, Dec 10th, 2009 @ 9:15am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Great musicians are the same thing: They make the music and the vision, and they leave the business part of the business people. It doesn't mean to be ignorant, it just means not to make being a business person your "real" job. The real job is making music.

    I love it how you agree with Techdirt and then make it sound like you do not. I never heard of bipolor disorder kicking it at paragraph breaks ;)

     

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  42.  
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    SomeGuy (profile), Dec 10th, 2009 @ 11:36am

    Re: Re:

    I second this. Having a PR guy tweet about your next concert date isn't going to be as compelling as the drummer talking about how he likes his eggs. It's not just about promoting yourself, it's about letting your fans get to know you.

     

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  43.  
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    Gene Cavanaugh, Dec 10th, 2009 @ 12:08pm

    Artists and business models

    Agreed; artists with no talent or ability should have a business model.
    Of course, Shakespeare, Bach, etc. - they had talent, so they didn't have (or need) business models.

    Why are these trivia posts so LONG?

     

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  44.  
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    MIQ VERSE, Dec 11th, 2009 @ 8:10am

    Music Business Models

    I think the thinking of just being an artist and it being all about the art is crap. If you really believe in your art shouldn't you want to share it with as many people as you possibly can? The ability to live off of your talents is what most people dream about but as has been told time and time again expect to get out of your career what you put in!

     

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  45.  
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    Jason, Dec 29th, 2009 @ 7:26am

    as usual, balance is the answer...

    There needs to be a balance. If you're a tortured artist who refuses to be involved with business and promotion, you'll have a hard time being successful, and you're definitely susceptible to having someone take advantage of you. On the other hand if you're one of the ultra-driven entrepreneur types who is focused on the big bucks, your art probably blows. There have certainly been plenty of artists over the years who've successfully managed their own business and promotion while maintaining their integrity and credibility. The 5th-Beatle approach is the next-best thing. Giving it all up to some faceless corporation is almost never a good idea, especially in this day and age.

     

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  46.  
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    Medina, Nov 16th, 2011 @ 4:05am

    I hope you can also publish those content in some SN site for you to get more traffic.By the way can i have the images you just mentioned?

     

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  47.  
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    Shine (profile), Jan 18th, 2012 @ 10:41am

    Re: as usual, balance is the answer...

    I agree with you. There has to be a balance. The artist cannot just be an artist and just let somebody take total control of his business. He has to be in the know too of what's going on with his contracts or "business"...unless he really trust the people taking care of his business.

     

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  48.  
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    Andrea, Feb 27th, 2012 @ 2:26am

    Those artist will still remain in our heart.Even their presence is not that much active their song will still catch someone's heart.

     

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  49.  
    identicon
    Andee, Feb 29th, 2012 @ 9:03pm

    My mom really love their song.She's an avid fan of Beatles.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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