Remember a time, in a galaxy, not far away, when artists were given record contracts, that made them rich and famous, simultaneously with record companies, who had their longevity and best interest at heart?
Well, those times are gone! We live in a very different world now, that requires new modes of thinking about music, and new ways of approaching fans.
1.) Forget the Album
Once spelled out, it’s obvious: Who needs a physical medium for digital informartion. Nobody! Maybe very high quality movies are still somewhat bothersome to download. But not really, as Amazon Prime and Netflix prove.
2.) Forget the Album
Why 12 songs? Why 50+ minutes? Why? If you have a story to tell, go ahead, record it. If it takes 12 songs and 55 minutes, perfect! But if you have 2 great songs and a fantastic interlude – put those out. Stop agonising about album length and sequencing. People play songs in the order they want, or in the order algorithms like Genius music decide.
3.) Split bills
So you want an album to sell at shows? Makes sense. Why not split it with your favourite musician? Half the costs, double the fans. And while you’re at it, plan a tour together. Half the work, double the fans.
4.) Split bills
Stop seeing music in isolation. It never was. In the 60ies and 70ies it was part of a global political movement. In the 80ies it was part of fashion. Connect with dancers, visual artists, or programmers and web or app artists to design spectacular and unprecedented (… wait for it … disruptive! there, I said it.) experiences for your, now joint, audiences. Getting out of the music box also helps keeping the paralysis by analysis action in check.
You need more $FB friends, more YouTube clicks, more email adresses. So get out there. On your merch table have an iPad where people can stream your YouTube vids. And get as near to requiring them to become your $FBriends as possible, whenever somebody comes near your table. This is way out of the comfort zone, so you may want to hire somebody who is capable of doing this.
These, for me, are some of the best practices I have seen in the last years. Do they guarantee near-instant rock-stardom? You bet they do! And when you get there, be kind, drop a VIP pass to one of your shows.
Also, if you think I could help you out with more details or info, don’t hesitate to contact me.