from the *according-to-the-recording-industry dept
Well, what do we have here? Another artist operating outside the constraints of the recording industry and yet, against all odds, making money? Probably too good to be true. He's built a huge following on known pirate site YouTube and his first two royalty checks totaled over $200,000, but the question remains: how can Alex Day make money with such a wrong-headed approach?
The Tunecore blog gets to the bottom of this Alex Day sensation. In a day and age where no one can sell music, Day is doing exactly that. Not only is he selling music, but he's doing many things completely wrong, if conventional thinking is anything to go by. Just how successful is Alex Day?
Alex Day, a 23 year-old musician from Essex, England is focused on releasing music that puts listeners in a good mood. And it seems to be working. He has over 500,000 YouTube subscribers, over 500,000 songs sold, almost 100 million youtube views, and was the subject of two recent Forbes articles.
How does he do it? By breaking every rule in the “How Things Are Done Around Here” book.
First rule broken?
Staggered/Windowed Releases Are Good
Day has released three (3)(!!!) singles simultaneously, ruthlessly “cannibalizing” his own market. How's that working out for him?
[I]t seems to have worked so far. The songs are well on their way to selling 150,000 copies. Just ONE of the videos has already done more than 300,000 views, and the three have been streamed more than 100,000 times on Bandcamp.
You'll Never Be Famous Without A Major Label's Help
It’s basically perseverance. [I]’ve been doing it six years, and only in the last year have people really started paying attention to my music. I make sure I upload at least one video a week, keep my stuff consistent and entertaining, and don’t talk about music all the time because people would get bored.
No One Takes YouTube “Artists” Seriously
Well I have Twitter and Facebook pages like everyone else in the world, but really it is just YouTube. I don’t have a label, a manager, a press team, a radio plugger, an agent, a publicist, not even a music producer. I make my own music, my own music videos, and YouTube is how I get the word out on those things.
Control Every Use Of Your IP
I noticed on your site that you’re very vocal about encouraging your fans to use your music in their videos, projects, talents shows, and whatever else they’d like. What’s your philosophy behind this?
Is that not the norm? I thought everyone would want to do that. I guess it’s just as I’ve said, I want as many people as possible to hear and enjoy my music, and if people are using it in their own projects, that’s a good way of sharing my songs with people. As long as you’re not taking the credit for the song and you’re doing something new with it (not just re-uploading the song with the artwork to YouTube when I already have a video there of my own to showcase it), you can help yourself.
Full Albums Are The Only True Way To Create/Enjoy Music
Stop recording albums. I understand that an album can be a great form of art in its own right when all the songs are designed for it and they all weave into each other and they have a concept. Great—but most don’t, most artists don’t write like that, and with the cherry-picking available on iTunes, there’s no point bundling them together. Just focus on making one great song. Keep writing and recording until you have one great song. Then go from there. You only need one great song to make it.
Real Artists Don't Need To Connect With Fans Or Make Music People Enjoy
I make music people enjoy and they buy it… That’s my big trick. If I was only doing it for fame, I could sign with a label. If I was only doing it for money, I could churn out rubbish every two weeks. But I take my time and put out quality stuff I’m proud of, for the love of making great music and sharing it with an audience—the more people that hear it, the better. I want to make things that people can love.
With this many rules broken, it appears that Alex Day is yet another solitary example of business models that won't work for anyone else.
Filed Under: alex day, independent artists, music, rules, sharing, success, videos