The promise of going viral has never sounded so sweet. From Rebecca Black’s “Friday” to the newly viral and morbidly interesting “Brick in Yo Face” by Stitches, marketing your band online seems like it has magical powers.
One day, you make a YouTube video. The next… well… you’re famous. Right?
Or maybe you’ll find the answer in Facebook and Twitter and ReverbNation, instead. If you spend enough money online and have a good website, won’t that make sure your band gets heard?
If you’ve tried all of this stuff, or you’ve thought about trying it, you might already know the answer. In the scramble to market their music online, bands are forgetting one vital thing:
I recently stumbled across a really interesting documentary – “Unsound.” No, it’s not out yet. In fact, maybe it never will be. Right now, it’s in the funding stages on IndieGoGO and I beseech everyone to go help make it become a reality. Writers, artists, musicians – anyone who does creative stuff needs to donate to the campaign.
It’s not really a donation, anyway, since you get the movie out of the deal.
Unsound is about the increasingly harmful effects of “Free” on the economy – from journalism to music. That’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while, too. Mostly, I want to know why the creative economy is in such peril. So, today, let’s focus on music.
Here’s what’s happening to the industry, and why musicians everywhere are struggling:
Bands have a lot of different attitudes when it comes to how they use Facebook.
You’ve got the guys who don’t like to fill out any information. Then the ones who prefer to post vague and mysterious, almost nonsensical blocks of text. You’ve also got overly gracious bands that thank fans for being at shows or buying an album or posting on their wall.
Most, though, reserve Facebook for just a few things: behind-the-scenes photos, concert pictures and announcements.
That’s usually the case whether your band’s Facebook Page has 10 Likes or 10,000. The real curiosity, then, is why all those Likes don’t translate into something more tangible a lot of the time.
Every band has been there: You post something about an upcoming show, sit back and… no one likes the post. Or comments.
Why? The truth is that only 15 percent of your fans see your posts. If the average band has about 200 Facebook fans, that means 30 people see that you’re having a show.
What’s the solution? Get email addresses. And keep getting them.
Last week, Thom Yorke of Radiohead caused something of an uproar when he proclaimed that he was pulling his music (or at least the stuff he held the rights to) from the online streaming service, Spotify.
He wasn’t worried for himself, really, but for the bands and musicians looking to sell their stuff and promote their stuff and generally make a living by making music, arguing “[it] cannot work as a way of supporting new artists’ work.”
Why? Well, because Spotify pays 0.4 pence per stream… in the US, artists get paid $0.0018 cents per stream.
And the horror stories continue…