Wednesday, 4 November 2015

The music business geek.

You may not know this about me, but I'm something of a music business geek. I don't mean that I know all about the inner working of major labels, or who big name producers are, but that I do a lot of reading and watching around the subjects of independent music. That is, I watch videos, read blogs and listen to podcasts on independent music marketing, mixing and mastering in home studios and other musician's release strategies. There are some superb resources out there if you are into that sort of thing.

The main problem I'm having lately however, is that it seems that every independent 'success story' is coming from someone who was either dropped by a major label or left a major label for whatever reason. They talk about how hard it's been, how brave they are, what a risk it was to try and release a record on their own. And in a sense they are right. It is harder than having a massive label doing it for you. But you have already had a major label push once. Everyone has heard of you. Your marketing plan consists of sending a message about your new album to the mailing list you gathered while a major backed you, with thousands and thousands of names on it.

I get that these guys are going at things in a more difficult, risky way to what they are used to, but it irks me that these are the 'independent success stories' that are peddled to us, when actually these guys have had a lot of help from the old guard, even if their former contracts have expired.

It's great that independents can be seen to be flourishing, and its also great that someone who doesn't quite make it under a major label can carve out a career for themselves, but they can't really be held up as a champion for those of us who don't have, or don't want, major label backing.

Some of these resources are great. If nothing else, music marketing blogs make you think about making ' to do' lists and planning releases properly for maximum exposure and impact, but when the advice it just 'email the thousands of fans on your mailing list', you're not really helping me at all.