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Music on the Internet


 

It's clear that on the internet the artist has freedom, and it's also clear that the listener can listen to music whenever they want – exactly as you can do in the real world, putting the content onto a CD.

Now I'm not saying that the internet is a waste of time. It's a very important tool and as Marcelo Abud, publicist, composer and writer of the article "Liberty and Independence" said:

"Everywhere, the artists that learn to administer, divulge and distribute their own work are being listened to more and more."

Repeat, ", the artists that learn to administer...".

The internet is an important tool just like any other, but it needs to be used in conjunction with other tools. It's at this point that a lot of bands and artists fail. They think that one tool is enough! It's not true.

Companies like Trama Virtual (http://www.tramavirtual.com.br) also say that their services are important, of course, they are talking about themselves. If you ask Trama Virtual where the biggest source of income comes from on their site, they will say it comes from advertising and not from the sale of online music. In monetary terms the artist receives almost nothing for their investments.

Let's look at some data.

Without taking away merit from the good intentions of Trama, its' site has 8731 pages of musical archives totalizing 96080 MP3´s sent by 38390 artists. Just for highlighted bands there are 97 pages, 20 archives per page, or in other words, 1840 highlights. How can anybody feel highlighted amongst 1840? And those bands and artists that are not highlighted? Where do they end up? Many times successful bands on this type of site are supported by the site owners in the real world to:

Earn money for the company, just like any band in the real world. Do the marketing for the company with the artist saying that they were discovered on that site and in a short space of time became a success, insinuating that just their presence on that site was the principal motive for their success. The reality is that each band and artist needs to follow a direction to earn their success.

John Paterson, ex CEO of the site http://www.voxpop.co.uk (the site folded), said in an interview:

"You can't earn a living selling MP3's.".

He continued saying that even though his site had been receiving a lot of visitors, very few would buy music online, preferring to just listen to the free stuff.

"A long way from threatening the musical industry and major recording companies, online music still depends on them to survive. Everything that I hated in the music industry is true. 90% is marketing and media. The public don't want to decide for themselves, the people need their friends and the media to say that something is good. Few people would buy a song which they have just heard by an unknown band ".

People buy what they already know, the majority of the time through conventional media..

Promotion of bands and their sites on the internet in the real world through printed press and their live presentations will still be vital for the success of internet marketing for the future.

Research group Forrester published a report saying that the legal downloads market took just 4% share in the music market during 2005 in the United States, a long way short of the CD share in the same market.

"The internet will not sell music," - declared Neil Cooper, manager of the band Stumble, which is distributing its' music at the site of http://www.peoplesound.com.

"It's just a means of distribution. You wouldn't just go into a CD shop in the real world and just by looking at the CD cover think: - That should be good, I'll buy it ".

The band owes part of their success to intensive coverage of mass media. The secret is to contract a specialist to deliver your music to conventional radio stations and convince the presenters to publicize the address of the bands' site.

Cooper said:

"Some bands could put their music on these sites and think that it's sufficient, that it's just a case of waiting. But it's like putting your CD in a shop and ot publicizing the fact that it's there."

The recording companies in the real world only select those artists that they think will make money. That's no secret. By the way, this upsets many musicians, especially those who were not selected!

The recording companies make sure that the bands have a good "look", are professional and have a good recording to be sold.

The problem with the internet is that it doesn't have these demanding filters, nobody judges if a song is worth distributing or not, or that the band will manage to make a polished performance onstage (at least two hours of material) to offer a complete entertainment package which the consumer is looking for. Some bands can have a nice photo and well written release, just to waste the time it takes to download the archive, of the visitor because the quality of the recording or the music is terrible!

Nobody is supervising the quality of the recording, nor the production except the musicians who did the work, and the quality is fundamental for the end user.

With so many bands appearing in these types of site, which bands will be more successful? Those that are promoted. It's as simple as that.

The major recording companies, as any well structured company, have a good reserve of resources in liquid funds and physical properties.

It's the smaller independents that can't stand the backlash of a flop in the market, because their profit margins are smaller and cash flow is a lot more restricted, with less money to be spent on marketing and promotion.

Concluding, a site on the internet is important, as in any other marketing action.

It's important to have YOUR site on the internet and only use these sites, like Trama or MySpace as an opportunity to put a link or a gateway to YOUR site.

Success

Steve Allen

Steve Allen is consultant and music producer.                 Author of "Marketing Your Music – Success Strategies", "Personal Management in the Music Industry" and "Street Teams – Expand your Fan Base"                                     http://www.marketingyourmusic.net

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All Rights Reserved - Steve Allen 2006


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