Monday, April 27, 2009

Question of the Day - April 28, 2009


Ryan Hiss asks:

As a growing number of singers and other recording artists bypass major record labels in favor of distributing music via the Internet, questions persist regarding the financial future of the music industry. This can work to an artists benefit, as with self publishing, recording artists are able to distribute their music directly to an audience without using a record label. However, when these artists attain notoriety, how do they benefit financially with no backing from a record label?

Hartmann responds:

Record companies are the least likely source of money for emerging artists in the digital age. The Internet is a double edged sword. It has cut the postmodern record business to its knees; and it must also be the tool that carves out the future of the music industry. Record companies are dying under the crush of their own weight. When they tried to destroy Napster almost a decade ago, they sounded their death knell. Th digital generation has no compunction about stealing music from the web. It is perceived as an attack on corporate greed, not the artist community. With the proliferation of millions of musicians, singers and bands on the world wide web, it has become impossible for record companies to see the Forrest for the trees. ProTools enables anyone with a song in his head to make a record. The Internet offers a myriad of ways to reach the public Free of charge. With low cost recording and free promotion, what does a record label have to offer a truly talented artist? You don't need a huge budget to record your music and you don't need payola money to get your music on the radio. Because no one is listening to the radio. This generation of music fans doesn't want to be told what is hip and cool by some record company executive trying to justify his inflated salary. The music lovers text each other when they find something good and they share the files for free. The cost of discovering and breaking new artists has become prohibitive and the labels have stopped even trying. They would rather try to buy you when you gain Internet notoriety. Except why do you need them, then? They will bludgeon you with a 360 degree deal and take a piece of your publishing, gigs, and merch and they will own your masters. If you consider that a record sold through a label nets the artist a few pennies and one sold directly by the artist to the fan base can net ten dollars, or more, there doesn't seem to be any good reason to sign with a record company. The Holodigm system suggests that you start your own label, never sell your publishing and build your fan base from live appearances. Don't put the money into hotel rooms and long distance travel. If you can't make it at home, you can't make it anywhere. If you can make it at home, you can make it everywhere. So stay home and become the dominant musical force in your town. Bond with your audience and sell them your stuff. If they love you they'll steal from everybody else, but not you. They saw all those reality band shows on MTV. They know how to support the artists they care about. If you are in music to get rich or laid forget it. The only artists who will succeed in the digital age are the ones that do it for the music. The ones who have no choice but to play and play hard. If they have talent, put in enough time, develop the right skills, work hard and get lucky, they might make a living. The Holodigm is dedicated to training, mentoring and coaching those artists who have the courage to try.


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