The modern paradigm is here today, gone tomorrow. When what you want to do is stay in the public eye, in people’s minds, you don’t want to be forgotten. That is why the traditional album format could be working against you if that’s where your focus still lays. If you’re an itinerant musician and you want something to sell at shows, a CD is the easiest route, but certainly not the most modern approach.
There’s just too much information today in the music industry. And no matter how big of a story you have, you can be trumped by somebody else or just plowed under by the detritus coming down the pike. Your album is in the rearview mirror only moments after it’s been released unless you keep it relevant. You have to create constantly now. That’s the only way you can stay in the public eye.
Look at the public. It used to be that the mail came once a day, you got it when you arrived home at the end of the day. Then, you could only check e-mail with a wired connection through your AOL. Now, you go to dinner and everybody’s on their phone, constantly. They just cannot stand being disconnected.
But that’s what many musicians are today, disconnected from their audience. Your fans are not tweeting about your latest release, because it was most likely months ago!
It’s almost like you’re making a movie. Right when a film has been playing in the theaters for a week or two, it’s gone and on it’s way to Redbox!
But let’s forget about the movie business, which is challenged so greatly and doesn’t realize it quite yet. Let’s focus on music. The number one thing a fan wants is more music by his favorite act. But rather than deliver said music, today’s bands put out an album and then lay low for a few years, while their functionaries try to convince everybody who doesn’t care that they should. Forget about the new audience, focus on the old. The old will sell you to the new. If you satiate them.
And the way you do this is via new music. But it’s not only music. It’s connection.
You’re better off answering e-mail, responding on Facebook, making news on Twitter. There’s no thrill like getting a Twitter response from your hero. You tell everybody you know. Virility is rampant. Forget the newspaper, that’s where news goes to die, it’s there last. News is for today, tomorrow is for brand new news. It’s not the media’s job to keep you in the public eye, it’s yours!
Soon, there’s not going to be anywhere for you to buy a CD. The world has already started the transition to streaming. There’s nothing you can do about it other than make phenomenal music. We live in a direct to consumer society. Amazon, Google, and Apple already know it and are adapting to be able to react quickly. Some musicians unfortunately don’t know it yet. They want someone else to do the work for them. They don’t want to take risks, they don’t want to fail, they don’t want to try new ways. The new way is your bond between you and your fans. If he or she doesn’t think you’re living in their house, you’re doing it wrong.