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Music Business 101, opinion

Sep 8, 2015 07:00 AM

Tyler Allen

Fans vs. Corporations: Who Really Controls the Music Industry Today?

Image via famehouse.net

The music industry is weird in a lot of ways. But you already knew that. Technology seems to change every six months, revenue streams are evolving rapidly, and as usual, trends change every quarter. It's a tough terrain, and as a DIY or indie artist, you have to wonder – who really runs the industry? Is it the labels and corporations, or is it the fans?

This certainly isn't just a thought to mull over; it's very important, because it dictates your end goal. If corporations run the industry, your end goal is going to be to sign some sort of deal. But if fans run the industry, then it's about harnessing the power to connect with them on your own.

A Basic Guide to Permission Marketing for Musicians

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The marketing industry loves taking very basic practices and putting fancy yet unnecessary buzzwords behind them. Those terms make it seem like if you aren't in marketing, it's too complicated for you to do on your own. This is a very dangerous trap to get caught in, especially for indie and DIY artists.

However, there is one marketing term that I can dig, and it's one that all musicians should adhere to. The term is "permission marketing," which we briefly discussed here. Permission marketing – a term coined by entrepreneur and marketing guru Seth Godin – is essentially an anti-spam/interruption messaging philosophy, which is very important for musicians to understand.

How to Not Come Across as Too Desperate When Promoting Your Music Online

You do NOT want this to be your fans. (Image via edc13.education.ed.ac.uk

Trying too hard just isn't a good look. One trait that's sure to give you success in the music industry is having confidence in yourself. By coming off as relaxed, calm, and in control, you automatically look professional and more impressive to potential fans, media, and other influencers. Your music can be decent, but if you have a captivating presence – both online and offline – people are more likely to pay attention. Here are a few ways to market your music without coming off as too desperate or needy.

The Musician's Guide to Basic Analytics: Top 5 Metrics You Need to Know

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Brands invest lots of money, and even dedicate entire jobs, to engaging with, viewing, and gathering analytics. And since your band is your brand, you too should get familiar with analytics and how they can help.

Managing your digital presence is part entertainment and part strategy. You have to have a steady balance of each; some of this is incorporating a mix of content or investing in advertising, but there are also operational tweaks that you may have to make altogether to increase user flow, click rates, and more.

How to Book More College Gigs

Photo by Brad Larrison

Colleges can be an extremely profitable, fun, and rewarding market to tap into, but unfortunately, a lot of artists dismiss them as potential venues. They may think that the college market is just looking for cover bands, or they might think they won't vibe well with the market or that a college town may be too far out from their home base. But a lot of these reasons are simple misconceptions.

First and foremost, colleges should be attractive to artists because colleges have money and resources. Annually, Student Government Associations (SGAs) book bands for football game pre-shows, homecoming events, Saturday concerts, and much more. They generally have a healthy operating budget, professional sound crews, and tend to have staff that helps with setup and teardown. Also, they're creatures of habit; if you get in the door once (and do well), they'll likely ask you to come back again.