Were you a struggling musician?
We probably all were and in some aspects we probably still are. I remember the days when there were no DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations) for the home computer, heck, home computers were just starting to come out and not everyone could afford one. And recording a quality demo was VERY expensive, the only option was to pay recording time in a studio (usually by the hour) with fancy analog recording gear and a large console.
But times are changing …
Opportunities are equaly available for everyone now.
The music industry is changing fast, every day we depend more on technology to make music and this technology is increasingly within reach of everyone. Thus, the big name record companies are sweating, now any person with creativity and a computer can make quite a professional production. Due to these technological advances, especially in software, and to piracy, now it is even more difficult for an artist to get signed by a renamed label. The big record companies analyze moreover before investing in an artist and every year there are less new artists being launched by these big corporations.
The solution? The Indie Revolution. There are so many social networking sites today on the web that have adapted to this increasing phenomenon, portals that have seen this need to be heard by talented undiscovered artists and have created spaces to upload music, videos, bios, etc. Many even offer online download sales integration. But what are the ups and downs of going Indie?
-Pros: The artist keeps a much larger percentage of the sales after distributor, store and website commissions (over 50%) compared to the unfair common big label contract where the artist gets an average of 12% in royalties AFTER deducting all costs and expenses .
-Cons: Without a big label investing, there is no big budget for promotion and advertising. How is anyone going to buy your album if they do not know you exist?
This is where every artist's creativity must kick in and take advantage of all the free options on the web (Social Networking sites, Press releases, Blogs, Online radio stations, building a band website and optimizing it with SEO, etc.). There are indie, unsigned bands out there that I've never heard of before but are making well over a million dollars a year! It CAN be done.
There is a site called Sell Music Free that lists a couple websites where artists upload their music, fans download their songs for FREE but the artist gets PAID. How is that possible? They add a little 15 or 30 second commercial at the beginning of the MP3 and that sponsor pays the artist for every download. What a great idea, that would end piracy right there. People get music free, artist gets paid. It's that simple. The downside is that they usually pay around 2 cents per download when on other sites artists can sell their downloads for 99 cents. BUT in the long run, they can earn more with this system because it's more likely that lots more people will download their songs for free compared to the number of people that would buy them for 99 cents.