Monetizing music gone wrong

corporateThe Guardian reported that according to music industry consultancy firm Midia Research “Streaming music’s next leap forward could be interactive artist subscriptions”. They believe the future albums will be more like interactive apps. You can read the full Guardian article HERE.

I think this is a great example where taking the corporate approach in music and art is the reason behind the struggles in the music business. First of all, I’d be the first to embrace the many new tools we have these days to promote our music. For example we can just grab our mobile phone, hit record on the camera and play a song in our bedroom and have a video online in a matter of minutes, and with some clever use of social media we can have it in front of people in no time at all . It is hard not to see the potential power behind it.

But what makes it so exiting is the fact that this is something organic, something coming out of the pure raw artistry. Yeah sure there is a lot of crap out there due to this, but that is the natures way of weeding out the strong ones. Creating that “crap” is where we start from, that is how we learn our craft. No one is born as a master at something. The ones who stick with it, learn from their mistakes and get better little by little. And the artist can share the journey online with the music consumer.

Now what the Midia Research consultants would like to see is turn these tools combined in to a fancy app, polish it up and charge the music consumer for it through iTunes and Spotify… Yes it is nice, yes it will look professional, but is it exiting anymore?

The record industry is so eagerly trying to find a new format to monetize the music that the music itself gets thrown aside. I think most artists feel more detached from the record industry, than ever before and many are choosing the independent road. And here is the thing, most of us independent artists have been doing pretty much everything these new app albums are planning to do. The difference is, ours might not come in a nice package and we don’t try to desperately monetize every aspect of it.

The promotion of music is and always has been expensive business. But now some of us are starting to understand that not everything is measured in money. There is value in the music and the art itself and by the artist just giving it away for free, we set in motion an organic form of promotion enabled by the listener. Don’t get me wrong, this is no short cut and sometimes takes years to accomplish. But I believe it is better option than a boardroom full of “suits” trying to figure out how they can make the music consumer spend as much money as possible.


The author J.P. Kallio is a singer songwriter
To get EIGHT of his songs for free go HERE