Those who mine their sources for information about the music industry know
that raw talent is probably the last factor that contributes to making someone a
star. Marketing skills and connections, for example, are much more important
factors. This is why people with little to no musical talent - think of
princesses and heiresses, not naming any names - get to release tracks and get
them heard by the world, while the fully dedicated and talented guitarist
languishes in his garage or bedroom.
The Internet, luckily, has become a lifeline for such independent
musicians. Now, they no longer need a "sugar daddy" to get their music heard by
the public. With some studio time, a well-made track and some clever naming, it
is possible to get your music heard by the world, and evaluated on its own merit
rather than on the strength of their PR skills.
While the mainstream always remains the mainstream, every generation of
music-lovers sees a certain percentage of people who are dedicated to their
favourite indie artists. Some of them, in fact, are completely against the
mainstream music of their day, arguing that it goes against their values or is
just not cutting-edge enough. In order to get what they think is the best music
of their day, they have to look underground.
Much greater in number than the indie-fanatics are the people who swear
that no good music is being made in their day. These people would be highly
receptive to independent record labels... if only they knew that such things
existed. THESE are the people who are most likely to be influenced enormously by
the online music industry.
Stores such as iTunes and Amazonmp3 have put the big names right on the
same level as the indie label. While super-hit tracks are priced higher than
obscure ones on these stores, all average songs stay at the same price tag. This
gives rise to an interesting situation - listeners can access the big hits for
free on the radio or the television, or they can pay a nominal sum to purchase
something that sounds promising. Additionally, the pressure to make a large
investment and splurge on an album goes away, as single-track purchase is the
norm on online stores. As if this were not enough motivation, people can access
30-second previews of tracks before making a purchase - something that allows
them to judge whether or not something is of value worth buying.
For the independent musician, then, making money off music is easier than
ever before. No need to spend on fuel and equipment to sell your music from your
car a la Ani DiFranco. Just make the requisite clicks, and wait for the revenue
to start coming in!
Jim Striker is a musician and loves writing about
online music distribution
services. Get your music heard with
single song distribution on
iTunes, AmazonMP3 and many more.