Forget the Mass Market

If you make music for everybody, you make music for nobody.

Make music for the specific. Not the generic.

The artists that win today are on the fringe. They are outsiders. They don't fit the mold. Chris Stapleton did not come out of the Nashville system completely. He doesn't look like a male country star should. He doesn't sound like them either.

That's not how it all used to be. There used to be a cooker cutter way to fame. You needed to pick a side and stay on it. You could win a TV show and be at the top. But now, it's about standing out. Doing something that is uniquely you.

People see through the fake now. They don't like it. They know when it is not genuine.

So you can sing good? Nobody cares anymore. That's table stakes. We need you to have a point of view. An opinion. A sound.

So take a stand for something. Find the smallest audience you can and build upon those fans.

You don't need a lot of fans. You need good fans. Fans that care.


The Music Industry in 2018.

-The people that are doing really well have paved their own path. The cookie cutter artist is getting less and less traction.

-Distribution is everything (once your art is amazing)

-Word of mouth is not what it used to be. Still really important, but it's harder yet to break through the noise.

-Market to the smallest audience you can find, not the largest. Then niche out.

-As producers find ways of building their own producer community online, information is getting democratized. With all the information you have (which is a great thing), find ways to make what you do stand out from the herd.

-TV shows like American Idol and The Voice are done with the actual music business. It's all about ratings. It's just TV theatrics at this point. That's why it's still going.

-Labels are making PLENTY of money. They have more cash than they have had in a long time, thanks to streaming. But don't expect them to invest in your up and coming project. Not without a real plan.

-Publishers. Depends on the company and what their strategy is. Some are dying. Some are thriving. Much work to be done here still.

-The most successful artists and companies are those that hold the keys directly to the customer. Labels answer to nobody EXCEPT Spotify.

-Festivals like Coachella sell out before the lineup is announced. Which means again, the distribution, the institution, is more important than the name.

-Some may want or need to go the label route, which still holds a lot of value! They want to see that you have a path to profitability. If you can't show them the way, you will not be signed.

-Pennies make dollars. Find an administration team that hunts for those pennies all over the world. It's way too complicated to do yourself now.

-You can't do it alone. You need a team. Sell the journey to smart people and let them do what their best at. Delegation and team building might be the most important thing you do as an artist.

-In an online self-serve world, RELATIONSHIPS are more important than ever. Don't sign up with TuneCore when a real person with connections that will fight for your money is down the street. We youngsters hate real interactions and it can really hurt us long term.