A friend of mine was going to stream a live concert online from his livingroom.
I thought it was an awesome idea.
But then he cancelled it. He later asked me about selling music, and what thoughts I had about it.
If you are a singer/songwriter, or a musician trying to make money with your music, this post might help you…
How do you get 1000 people to buy your music, and still make a living.
that this is only my opinion.
Y’know, Alex and I just had a long email chain about buying music.
I haven’t done it in YEARS.
I tell people all the time now that music has no monetary value anymore,
and that it actually never did.
I’m aware of my audience here, so let me back up a sec.
We’ve only been buying music for a little while- and we’ve actually
only been buying the VEHICLE the music comes on- record, tape, cd…
and the MUSIC itself was actually not what you paid for- all music cost the same,
no matter how much better one song was than another because you were paying for
Before, a bar owner would pay a band to play in their bar because people stayed
and bought more food and beer.
But they STILL weren’t paying for MUSIC.
Now, when I told Alex that I haven’t paid for music, he immediately jumped on me
about illegal downloads and stuff…
But I wasn’t even talking about that- I meant YouTube (which is about to TAKE OVER music)
and streaming sites, and the fact that music now has ZERO monetary value.
So then, why WOULD be pay for stuff, and people still go to concerts, etc.
They are paying for an EXPERIENCE.
Sometimes, having the music itself will remind them of the experience,
sometimes it just makes them feel closer to the artist.
(THIS IS WHERE YOU SHOULD LIVE)
So….. If you stop thinking about selling the NOTES that you package,
and start thinking about selling an EXPERIENCE of you music, and
an EXPERIENCE of YOUUUUUU- you might think of it differently.
Now then, if I were a musician, I would start thinking of NICHE experiences
to give to people, and have them buy your music as the ticket.
THIS is why I was so excited about your livingroom show.
What I told Alex is that I haven’t seen you play in a while, and that frankly,
now with a kid and travelling out in NYC, I wouldn’t likely EVER come out
to see you anytime soon.
And that I wasn’t connected to any CD, even though I’m your friend
I haven’t realy connected with you or a show in a long time.
HOWEVER, I could suddenly see you, in an intimate setting (sorta),
and I was going to have an EXCLUSIVE opportunity…
NOW WE’RE TALKING.
Now, here’s what I would do to add to what you CANCELLED….
“Get the show and keep MP3 downloads for your music player,
ANNNNNNNNDDDDDDDDDD you can enter my special PRIVATE
membership where I’ll archive the LIVE SHOWS that are on video for you”
Damn, I’m good.
Some people will want that, others won’t.
Concern yourself with the people who DO want it.
When you can FIND 1000 people who want to trade you $100 a year
for whatever you’re doing- You’ve got a pretty good artist living, yes?
What if you did a show once a month in your livingroom for $10,
and you built an audience that kept coming back.
And you can show songs that you are working on, and “What do you think?”
and “I want to write a song about How awesome Bones Rodriguez is,
but the English language isn’t capable of expressing it,
so I need a word that encompasses his genius, can you help?”
and then you have a TRIBE who follows you.
So…. I hope you got all of this.
The areas to study- Get a book by Seth Godin
called TRIBES, and pay attention to what Amanda Palmer is doing.
I don’t know what you think of her or her music, but pay attention to the
fact that she has a FOLLOWING that wants a piece of HER, whether
they like her music or not.
I saw her TED talk, heard about her somewhere else, went to see her at
Lincoln center, and that was the FIRST time I’ve ever heard her music!
And I haven’t listened since…. but she still emails me about her new projects!!!