First, some broad definitions...
(1) The "old boss" = pre-digital, pre-Napster, pre-2000 record labels, concert promoters, record stores, managers, etc. (ie, the industry and environment back then).
(2) The "new boss" = iTunes, Spotify, BitTorrent, Pandora, TuneCore, ISPs, and the entire diaspora of digital outlets and channels (ie, the industry and environment right now).
(3) "artistic success" = a sustainable, long-term level of income that beats minimum wage.
Sadly, the question is now which boss is worse -- for everyone involved.
Benjamin Watson Monday, November 26, 2012
I'd really like to know what data you are using to make these broad generalizations. I disagree with so much of this, based on my personal experience.
paul Monday, November 26, 2012
Obviously subjective, but based on years of living in this industry for years. In terms of the success ratio at the top, however, I recently discovered TuneCore data showing that 99.9 percent of artists do not earn minimum wage from their recordings. My educated guess is that 1/10th of that ratio are members of a group that enjoys a recurring wage over the long-term from their music.
Visitor Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Paul loves to stir controversy which is how you get readers engaged - but - in the final analysis he correctly notes the things are in fact worse for artists now than in the previous era - that is any artist who aspired to a sustainable professional carrer that is...
<.01% is in fact less than .01%
The new boss is worse than the old boss.
Bobby of The Teemates Thursday, November 29, 2012
now you are speaking about me of course-A recording artist musician singer composer for almost Half a century
Lynch Monday, November 26, 2012
I actually found this to be extremely accurate.
matthew king kaufman Monday, November 26, 2012
This is an unfortuneate truth. It seems the concept of "direct to artist" has been hijacked.
Visitor Tuesday, November 27, 2012
That's because, in the end, there is no such thing as "direct to consumer" unless you get Powerball-jackpot-level lucky. The new intermediaries are Google, Facebook, etc.
Torres Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Physical Music News from physical music industry perspective, you should stop calling yourselves Digital Music News.
CAM Thursday, November 29, 2012
Ritch Esra Tuesday, November 27, 2012
The one element of your comparrison that that I'd like to add is the context of the times. In the era of the "Old Boss" it was a game that VERY FEW EVER GOT TO PARTICIPATE IN. That's just a fact.
Today, we live in a world of infinite choices (Creatively, technologically and especially within the outlets of distribution and media) which as you illustrate comes with its own set of additional challenges; the greatest one being an artists ability to even get an audiences attention in the first place.
As I've said before, I believe this industry, and all of its components that bring artists to audiences is still in the midst of a radical revolution. Over the last 12 years we've witnessed the demise and growing irrelavance of an entire system (both creatively and structurally) that the current music marketing model was built on over the last 40 years. We've seen glimpses of certain elements emerge over the last 10 years but I think it's imperative to understand that there probably isn't one single area of this industry that is not currently under great scruntiny and being re-thought at its core level.
Visitor Tuesday, November 27, 2012
The last row is the only row that actually matters in the end of the day. The music industry exists to provide music to the music consumer, nothing more.
Divine Hammer Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Why is everyone ignoring the 1000 lb gorilla in the middle of the room, i.e. the extremely obvious correlation between the disappearance of honest, knowlegeable music criticism and this unprecedented proliferation of music? I think the tech companies have been systematically quashing all legitimate artistic criticism while flooding the market with amateurs armed with only a laptop and a rudimetary, barely functional level of musicianship/songwriting ability. Srsly, watch the first week of American Idol - all those people who can't sing? Yeah there's you brave new world of DIY artists... Then the tech companies hold these pathetic no talent losers up as examples and go, "see? music has no value because nobody will pay for this, so ipso facto all music is worthless". WRONG. People will pay for quality. They always have and always will. If you tell people that substandard brainfarts from some kid's laptop are the pinnacle of culture in 2012, you bet your ass people are going to say no thanks.
I forget who said it, but if you put 1000 monkeys at 1000 typewriters eventually they'll come up with Shakespeare (I'm paraphrasing). The tech companies are banking on people buying into this mentality to sustain their carrot-on-the-stick ponzi scheme. Don't buy it. Even at the local level, there are way, way, way too many hopelessly deluded no-talent losers who, like the American Idol contestants, have no ears and can't tell their music is shite, and wonder why every online tool under the sun won't help them sell their horrible, awful, unlistenable music. I've heard stuff that's made me CRINGE.
It's time for revenge ON the nerds!!!
PS the first one who says "your band probably sucks" gets a cookie for being sooooooo original. Way to hide behind your keyboard, tough guy..
eltarot Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Hey man, good point. Thus far, no one's really told me to my face that my music sucks. I've always wondered if it's the case, I mean in terms of the masses. Do a majority of people think my music sucks? Or is it just a minimal majority. There is always the option that if 52% say it sucks there would be at least 48% who think its ok, cool or even buyable. I do know that the new boss gives me a room evreyone can visit but... how do I get them to actualy visit? Anyways, please visit (no pun intended) my page http://www.javiereltarotvillar.com and send me an email with your opinion. It's ok to tell me I suck.
PD: I did a survey to my 5600 fans in facebook asking if I should release an album. 81% said no. The reason: No one buys albums anymore.
Irrelevant Thursday, November 29, 2012
Nothing wrong with making singles, but albums are not going away, just have to be thought of as more like a block of songs to pick from now, or something very special and intertwined. No more filler tracks, but don't rule out getting really creative or artsy. Listening to your fans is a good start, most artists don't seem to do that. Nothing wrong with releasing one song at a time. Quality over quantity.
Internet Tough Guy Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Your band sucks.
Just My Opinion Wednesday, November 28, 2012
This Chart is very good. But unless you are willing to imagine a third column where YOU are the "Next Boss" you will always be at a disadvantage and likely very disappointed in your revenue, if in fact you are talented enough to make music consumers will actually buy, much less listen to. I suggest you learn the business or at least find someone that believes in you with that inclination to be your Manager.
Success is a formula of learning to find and use what works for whatever you wish to achieve and it is never the easy path.
Knowledge = Know How and Effort = Results. Decide what might work for you and be open minded enough to adjust accordingly. Nobody ever made it in this business without a huge effort, and the odds are always long.
Learn all you can rather than blaming the etablishment or be happy as a hobbiest.
TJR Wednesday, November 28, 2012
I think this chart is very acurate.
I'd still rather live in the post digital world than the pre digital world though. Because I now have the tools to record and release my music myself.
In the pre digital world I was under the tryanny of being picked.
In the post digital world I have the luxury of picking myself.
...But otherwise this chart is spot on.
Gordon Kaswell Thursday, November 29, 2012
Quite a while back, I read an article examining the effect of what the author called "disruptive technologies" on established businesses. He used the example of how cable-actuated steam-driven construction equipment dominated the heavy construction industry until hydraulic equipment came on the scene, eventually completely replacing the cable machines.
Something analogous is happening in the music biz. Digital recording has opened the studio doors to millions of people who were previously locked out. And digital shoplifting has unlocked the doors to the record stores. There's no going back. I grin (sadly) at the thieves who claim they have a constitutional right to rip off artists, and the artists who assert that with enough enforcement, the old way of doing business can be reclaimed. The debate is pointless. Digital technology is irrevocably changing production and distribution, and nobody at this point knows where things will settle, if anywhere. Over and over we've seen digital distribution organizations trumpeted as the wave of the future, only to have them fold, six months later.
For now, I just concentrate on gigging, and recording in my small but good sounding studio. I make a few bucks selling CDs, but most of my music income comes from gigs. CDs probably won't go away, but more and more bands will just give them to fans at no charge, including the discs in the price of a concert or club date admission. The fan gets a freebie, the artist turns the fan into a promoter, and everybody's happy.
It will be nice if youtube et al can be regulated enough to get them to pay artists reasonable performance royalties when the artists' songs are played, regardless of who uploaded the material. I think that's a viable option, but it will be fought by Google, every step of the way. (I guess "Don't be evil," has been replaced by "Don't be evil, unless it increases profits.")
Beyond that, everything is in motion (to paraphrase Yoda). We'll see what happens next.
Jeep Rosenberg Friday, November 30, 2012
The DAW recorded garage bands largely suck, and of course the Web is cluttered with total dross, but if you check out the live venues in major cities...for example, I tour in Minnesota from the West Coast--the musicianship and creativity in clubs is quite good. This chart lacks a data basis. How much do musicians make in real dollars 2010 vs. 1975, say? I suppose one thing with the horizontal tendency is that musicians can have access to a greater range of music related day jobs...graphic design, audio engineering, management/promotion/PR, paralegal...as some of it is in the "establishment" and some is in the entrepreneurial domain. I also think that those musicians who do create careers as viable touring acts are much more business savvy and have access to much better legal advice, better equipped to protect themselves from major ripoffs...I know a guy in the Old Music Business who wrote two evergreen rock 'n' roll songs as a 17-year-old, music and lyrics front to back, I'm talking nearly "White Christmas" level copyrights...he managed to hold onto no publishing and only 12.5% of his writer's share after his manager, etc., feasted. Still made some big bucks, but he could have sent his kid to medical school with what he was really owed. That kind of stuff is very rare nowadays...
Tommy Kib Saturday, December 01, 2012
Your "old boss" really was the boss, as in the one who called all your shots for you and kept most of the money for both the art and the performing work. The "new boss" folks are more like partners or industry networking alliances. The truth is that even if you have the creative talent, but not a small business sense about how you handle yourself, you never will be good at being "your own boss"... which is the trendy place to be. Nobody want's to buy an unproven concept.. but there are plenty of folks wanting to invest in a growing opportunity.