Yes, we understand. You will receive your paychecks soon!
Reblogged from wilkinsky
In truth, the most damaging situation is having a small, gradually growing fanbase, getting decent feedback, but not seeing how it’ll ever take off enough to generate a decent income any time soon. This scenario will mean you keep on doing what you’re doing, because it seems to be kind-of-working, and you’re worried about making major changes and scaring off the fans you’ve already got. Do you recognize yourself in this description?
In startup circles, this scenario is known as ‘the land of the living dead’, and it’s damaging because it gives you just enough encouragement to keep pouring resources into something which is doomed not to find a large enough or enthusiastic enough market.
if you want to make a living and reach as many people as possible, you should start thinking a lot like a lean startup.
Bringing Science to the Art
Lean thinking involves conducting data-driven experiments to learn what works and what doesn’t as quickly as possible. The company identifies ‘leap of faith’ assumptions (about what the market wants, and how adoption of the product will spread), then builds the simplest, quickest version of the product that allows those assumptions to be tested.
This early version is called the Minimum Viable Product (MVP). By exposing real customers to the MVP, the startup can gather some baseline data, then make tweaks to see if they improve the key numbers or not. Eventually, they need to decide whether to persevere with making incremental improvements, or decide it’s not working and ‘pivot’ to a new strategy.
Luckily, musicians now have a huge number of tools available to release Minimum Viable Music to the world, and empirically measure the results.
Is altering your musical output based on feedback ‘selling out’?
Investment vs Return for Musicians
Most musicians I know (including me) have spent their entire money (borrowed, stolen, earned, or found on the street) on their gear. Music is expensive shit. Your guitar, your pedals, laptops, drum kits, drum sticks, mikes, stands, squeaky retrofits, strings, fucking knobs, oil, grease, cleaning agents, tuner, capos, tremolo, straps, pickups, picks, amps, recording software, a sound proof jam pad, studio time, cigarettes, beer & drinks, food, fines (cops), merchs, album art, website, branding, promotions, networking, paying for competitions (battle of bankrupt bands!), the list goes on!
Lets see now in retrospect the possible returns we might get! Mind You, every penny earned is divided by at least greater than or equal to 3 (assuming a band would have 3 members).
Per Gig: food & booze (1 mug of beer) on the house (~<=$200 - exxagerating!)
Per Street gig on a “good” day: $100 - $20 (for cops)
Merch sales at a “successful” Gig: $100 - $50 (investment on getting the merchs ready)
Album/Song sale/download on a “rare” occasion: $200 - $100 (album art + cds + 30% on iTunes/Myspace/other platforms)
per gig overall “hypothetical” earnings: $330/3 = $110 (Wow! really?)
Worse still if a major label is involved: Everything earned - 90%
Now these numbers are completely made up, but you get the drift! So a question often hits every artist - WHY THE FISH DO THEY CONTINUE DOING WHAT THEY DO? Some resign, take up day jobs (like me), & tell stories to everyone on how they “used-to-be” rock stars once. Some are self-abusive, their souls refuse to let go of their inherent gifts, so they end up “teaching” future “going-to-be-poor” kids.
Oh yes, some do make it big & talk about how they did it, inspiring more impressionable minds to believe in “instant” hits or “patience pays” bull shit.
It’s time to put an end to this robbery! As an artist, I demand my every effort be recognized monetarily. If nothing in this world is free, why is music?? You love your artists, love their music, emulate their wardrobes & behave like they preached, but when it comes giving them a decent living, YOU SUCK AT IT! Well, in all honesty, you, a FAN, can’t be blamed, it’s the industry.
An earnest plea to all you music fans out there in this world, support Independent artists, throw a $ in there into their kitty, they’ll worship you, I promise.
Join us at Moshbag (signup.moshbag.com), we’re working on something BIG. Show us your support & we’ll make sure all your favorite artists are NOT living in POVERTY!
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Moshbag - a one man team!