Saturday, February 13, 2016

DrScythe Thoughts - Part I: The internet, final frontier between musicians and freedom

Theoretically the internet should’ve helped bands and musicians a lot. Direct contact between the essential ends of the ‘business’, cutting away the industry nonsense…

And while it is slowly crouching towards this utopic situation it’s actually a huge mess. A really huge labyrinth and no one knows where the exit is. And the entrance is long gone. Now we’ve got sites for bands to sell their music, streaming sites for industry, streaming sites for hobbyists, mixed streaming sites, networking sites for bands/bands, networking sites for bands/industry, live streaming sites, video sites, all the different social networks, blogs, vlogs,  forums and maybe even more stuff…

Promoting your band? How and where?

This leads to small and unknown artists (like me) struggling for any attention at all, slightly larger artiAdd captionsts (let’s say ‘known regional’) struggling for enough attention to make the next step, large artists struggling between making money and being hobbyists while the largest ones are still connected to the promotion machinery (I guess mostly because the ‘mainstream listener’ doesn’t bother with discovering new music and just jumping on the band wagon when the industry (or music enthusiasts) found something new to like).

So we’ve got dozens of places flooded with thousands of musicians who want the attention of the world which they can only get by convincing a few enthusiasts that their music is the next big thing or at least good enough to enjoy (the standard may vary). It would be chaotic on a single platform it is even worse now. On top of this it’s not even easy to promote yourself. Rules and restrictions on some pages, technical barriers on others are all in the way of saying ‘hello, I’m here’. It’s understandable that no one likes the typical promoting account: registering, posting once or twice and never logging in again. But if you would spend hours with posting and commenting in groups there’s not a lot of time left for making music. If you’re a band of five one member could easily be working full-time solely on the promotion nowadays just for a few likes and clicks on all the different sites.

I know that this is nothing new to many but I am experiencing the problems first-hand now so that I am actually involved in it instead of just being an observer. Especially since I am getting mostly positive feedback (everything else being mixing/mastering critique so far) from family to random people to some professionals I am really eager to reach more people. No matter what a musician you know tells you: secretly she/he is dreaming about making a living by making music. Even the trvest Black Metal band would love to spend most of their time with music. The reasons might differ: reaching a higher level of art, learn more instruments or be better at the one they’re playing, releasing more music, play live more often, just leaving the hated regular job…but in the end it’s the ideal of doing what you love and still being able to pay your bills. Not a large house and concerts in huge stadiums. That’s the gold flakes on the sprinkles on the whipped cream on the best icing ever on the best cake ever made. Or so.

What would be ideal: a site like a crash between bandcamp, OLD myspace and 500px. Bands could present themselves in their own chosen style, people could buy the stuff and a ranking system. And to keep the big ones from blocking the upcoming artists: a ‘hall of fame’ for those having a rank over 95% longer than 3 months straight. That’s just scribbling ideas but something like that would be great. Maybe YouTube is heading this way now after acquiring bandpage.

So long,


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