Looking at the world of media: from music to RIA.

Getting Out There

December 29th, 2005 Posted in Distribution, Music

Ever on the lookout for interesting articles, Cyrus sent me one he found in the New York Times. The article is about how the Internet is allowing Independent labels and artists to tap into a much larger market. The article is a good overview of the changes the Internet is creating and hints at the core of the issue, the ever-present distribution bottleneck.

Getting to the audience has always been one of the challenges faced by artists. By taking advantage of online networks many are finding new ways to reach listeners. Just because there are new ways to find an audience, this does not mean (using the old Field of Dreams line) “If you build they will come”.

This is a topic that has come up with multiple artists that we work with and I feel this is something that a lot of artists face. The artist sees or reads about an act using the Internet to make a name for themselves and the artist feels that they can do the same thing. The reality is that it takes an incredible amount of hard work and dedication to really take advantage of these new networks.

An example of this is kind of dedication is Geoff Byrd. I’ll be honest, I am not a fan of his music, but I do respect what he has done (and we interviewed him so I have a better feeling for what he went through). Here is someone that used Garage Band to build a name for himself, get signed to a major label and then tour the country doing radio interviews and establishing national airplay. Both reading his interviews and listening to the one we did for Fake Science really impressed upon me how much work Geoff had to go through. Call after call, push after push… he was his pushing his new music day in and day out for over a year before it really started to break.

For me, the most impressive aspect of Geoff’s success is that he did not give up. He was continually shot down and he got back up and kept pushing. This is something that I have been talking to a few friends about, you have to get out there and keep pushing what you are doing. If finding an audience is important to you as an artist then you must do this. If you don’t mind just making the music, then awesome but I feel that part of making music is sharing it with others.

I also feel that in the States we forget about the people that work their ass off to get where they are. We idolize the instant success or did not know (or care) that a band was unknown for 10 years before they got their break. This creates an unneeded pressure on both young and established artists. “If I don’t get instant success then I must be a failure”. This is totally un-true and all the great lasting acts worked their way up. I can’t think of one instant success that has lasted beyond an album or two.

What I am trying to get at is… yes, we do have new ways to get our music out there but just putting it out there won’t guarantee that people will hear it or even check it out. You still have to get out there, meet people, talk to people and let people know that your music is there for them to hear.

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