Hello again, from College of Charleston’s 1770 Records. We’re excited to bring another week of music industry news and insight that can be useful to you. Thanks for reading along so far. We hope you’re enjoying this as much as we are.
Digital distribution of music is the most effective way to reach an audience. Online stores such as iTunes and Amazon MP3, along with streaming services, make up a majority of music revenue. But how does an independent artist distribute their music? iTunes requires a major label or other affiliate to submit music, as do many other mainstream stores. Tunecore is a company which uses its position as a large affiliate distributor to allow any artist to get their music online. Artists keep 100% of their royalties, for only fifty dollars a year.
Some say streaming is the future of the music industry. However, recently Pandora released some numbers on what it pays artists, with only two thousand or so musicians making more than ten thousand dollars a year. There are some exceptions, with Lil’ Wayne and Drake both about to break $3 Million dollars per year in streaming revenue.
Because even your grandparents have Facebook pages, DIY and indie musicians readily understand the importance of promotion and potential for discovery on “The Social Network.” In a guest blog for Hypebot, Sidewinder.fm’s Michael San Pascual helps indie and DIY musicians understand why Facebook Music isn’t as effective as it could be for getting your content to the masses.
In other Facebook news, Jon Ostrow of Music Think Tank provides positive examples of measures you can take to better engage the fans you have amassed through “Likes,” “Shares” and third-party pop-ups that have piqued curiosity in your listeners’ friends. Ostrow displays several methods of corralling your newfound attention and directing it to the Fan page (where it belongs), instead of strewn about your personal profile.
Nine Inch Nails supreme leader Trent Reznor contributes to the eternal DIY-vs-Major Labels argument in an informal panel-style discussion that also features former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne and University of Southern California professor Josh Kun. The anti-example of Reznor’s recent DIY experiment for his “How to destroy angels” project speaks volumes to what a successful DIY run actually requires, even for a larger, established act.
Ever wonder whether or not a DIY approach actually works? Last week, the #1 album on iTunes was the creation of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, an independent hip-hop group from Seattle. Having never signed to a label, Macklemore is a prime example of fan-based marketing and internal creative control as an effective path to success.
Stay tuned to KnowTheMusicBiz.com weekly to keep up with 1770 Records’ music industry findings and insight. Please visit our Facebook page and the College of Charleston’s Arts Management department website to find out more about what we do.
Until next week, fine folks!