If You're A Musician Wondering Why No One's Giving You Money, Start Here…

from the work-it-out dept

Over at GrindEFX, they’ve put together a nice column discussing 5 Reasons Why Nobody is Buying Your Music, which touches on all the basics that we tend to talk about here. You should go read the full details, but the short list is:

  1. Does anyone know?
  2. Is your music up to scratch?
  3. Are you giving your fans options?
  4. Are you giving your fans a reason to buy?
  5. Are your prices reasonable?

It’s a good list — and these days, I’m getting requests from too many musicians to respond to (though I try!), asking for help with improving their business models, so I may start pointing them to this list as well. My one quibble with the title is the focus on “selling the music.” I think musicians need to get beyond that. By focusing on selling “the music” it keeps you away from the mindset where you realize you might be better off giving the music away for free, and having it promote something else (something scarce) that you can sell.

Filed Under: ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “If You're A Musician Wondering Why No One's Giving You Money, Start Here…”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Ben (user link) says:

More people need to embrace free

I completely agree with the concept of using free products to leverage sales of scarce goods, although some people are still a little wary of just giving away something they have put time and effort into.
Maybe they could start by giving away some of their music in order to gain trust in their product from potential fans, which could help to leverage sales of the the rest of their music.

Hephaestus (profile) says:

Oh my you can save stuff as draft !!!! Cool

Okay this is a test of draft mode ….

techdirt should run an open contest to build a business plan for artists, and the content industry. Wiki with blogs for the individual business plans. Where over time the business plans evolve and the techdirt users vote on which is the best plan…..

Prizes to include VC funding, Tee shirts an mugs, free music from amanda, etc

Andy (profile) says:

Re: Oh my you can save stuff as draft !!!! Cool

I came back to leave a comment along similar lines. I imagined an alternate American Idol where the aim is not to exploit petulant teenagers for TV ratings and reocrd label earnings, but to find a genuine musician who could be helped to build a career using these ideas. The prize would be for Michael to work with the winner on a CwF+RtB project and in the process perhaps demonstrate just how feasible these models can be as well as showing creativity to the muic industry (musicians are going to like the creativity, right?).

Just seems that this could be a really good exercise to raise awareness of new business models and to show that free does not equal theft and so on.

MikeMercer (profile) says:


Young, indie artists (and those not young) should concentrate on getting their music out there first and foremost. Once they’ve established a fan base/permission marketing in terms of people wanting their music – then turn to sales.

We also try to give Bay Area indie artists tips and tools like this via our BuzzOfTheBay blog – we’ve talked about getting publishing together, using the many online tools to promote, etc.

Drewface says:

Selling What? Music?

I knew an old guy who used to do Shows at a Record Store. Heck, when he played there He Sold Lots Of Records. I know musicians who don’t charge to play (their music), but make a $1,000.00 bucks a night selling merchandise. I played in a Tribute band for three years, and we got $1,00 to $3,500.00 a night. That’s good money. But, I can’t sell a song yet. But notice I said yet. It just takes unrelenting persistance to seel anything. Maybe a little more to sell music. But heck, I’m selling it.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...