In talking with artists and labels on a daily basis, we are all becoming progressively mindful of the wonderful dichotomy taking place as we look into the financial future for the industry and ultimately, what it means for artists. There is tremendous excitement in the use of new technologies to reach more fans and to create buzz for artists. Certainly the A&R process is now heightened by an atmosphere of effective criteria, statistics and immediate data as an early warning system. Artists and labels are increasingly more aware of how to communicate with their audience. The ability to find one’s tribe becomes the game plan. We all recognise the ingredients to this salad is a mysterious combination of superb magical talent, incredible hard work, timing, luck, right place right time and employing the array of new innovative tools & services that become available on a daily basis. Artists have a genuine attitude of hope toward the future. They know a change is taking place and in some mysterious way, this change is designed for their benefit.
Artists are standing by in amazement, as I’m sure we all are, as we onsume so much data by the minute and good news bad news headlines float by like – on line retail suffers biggest drop since 2007, New Digital Survey Offers Signs of Hope, Payola Still Keeps Indies Music Off Air, The Power of Context:Can Music Stand On Its Own? and so on….and there is welcomed need for explanation for artists as to the flow of money from the vast number of new model companies hat are springing up.
Armed with this barrage of information and endless networking, artists are preparing for creative battle to navigate a pathway to financial prosperity and longevity in an ever-changing economy. The simple format I am observing is how inventive, unique campaigns of digital management are being constructed. Artists are finding pathways to their fans, and fans are adopting music & video communities, trends and tribes that identify and link them to their favourite artists.
This situation now assumes that artists need to connect with the increased broadband time that people spend on line (and on mobile phones) at these communities. It’s a challenge of being authentic and being heard. I was impressed by a new artist I met recently, Cosmo Jarvis. He is reflecting his generation and its time. He intuitively writes hundreds of great songs as they come to him, he creates all his own video’s with the most minimal but super effective equipment, he designs his own material, his live show is entertaining, and his workplay ethic is spot on.
I also enjoyed this article – 10 Things Marketeers can Learn from Coldplay with the conclusion that attention is the real opportunity of the digital age and maintaining that attention over time is the real challenge. Fine for Coldplay, who can attract 300,000 new fan emails with an offer of a free track. The challenge for new and emerging bands is greater, yet the possibility to connect faster & more effectively is there, its about finding that pathway.
First stop for artists is Social Media. One has to be everywhere, and then has to have one channel that updates all the sites. Next stop could be the mobile space and the multitude of opportunities there. Of course artists need to find the character and power of their own websites and sense of community.
Touring and live events, blogging, news sites, video and so forth… Artists are welcomed in the student world, and we have found a very talented young company who are doing amazing work out there – Syllabus Music. I also came across a very creative ex student who is doing great video work for artists, in the spirit of Halloween è here it is – I look forward to feedback and comments.