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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

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Getting Heard is Getting Harder


Not sure if you're following all the headlines lately. Nearly every day there's an announcement of another audio platform. Read the press release closely and you'll find little to differentiate; nearly all claim personalization, wide choice, and song-skipping features. Some speak "playlists." Others say "curation." In the meantime, consumers are being fragmented to a point where reaching more than a few at one time is improbable.
"Producing a sound sticky enough to draw those people back (while continuing to add a few new persons each day who will also be drawn back) is the goal."

We know the big dogs, Pandora and iTunes. The little pooches are iHeartRadio, Spotify, Rdio, and Slacker. Beats Music is back with LastFM, where one is coming and the other seems to be going.

Then there's SoundCloud, which fits into no category easily. It's what I call a "post your own music and hope someone hears it" system. The above companies are all predisposed to making artists jump through hoops before considering them as a playlist "add."

As a musician, it's nearly impossible to stay proficient in your art while juggling the learning curve required to master any of the above. I wish there were words that made it easier, but the internet has changed music distribution and the acts that make it now need a new set of guidelines. Hint: Facebook, Google+, Twitter and MySpace are very small slices of the answer.

Fact is, you won't find the answer written here because there is no one way to reach new fans. (Keeping old fans happy is a different article.)

Sometime around 1998 I created a slug line for a new concept called online radio. It stated: "Mass Exposure - One User at a Time."

If one item is plain it's that, online, there are now more music outlets than ears. Simply being online doesn't matter; being found online is the key. And there is your paradox: As a musician, you have a new world of distribution that is so far-reaching - yet complex - it baffles the mind.

We are now in a time when reaching a few new people a day is standard. Producing a sound sticky enough to draw those people back (while continuing to add a few new persons each day who will also be drawn back) is the goal. Refer to it as the snowball effect, or building a base. Just don't believe that anything done is going to produce massive results overnight. (It may have been this way at one time when your circle of competition included only the bands in your touring circle, but not anymore.)

Getting heard is getting harder. Audio Graphics' RRadio Music with our "Intro to Indie Artists" series of programs is just one road. There are many needing to be traveled to win big today.

In my tracking of services that help artists reach their dream, I count 54 web sites. I know not all that exist are on my list, so the actual number is much larger. Each service has its own hook, sales position, and reasons why they are the ultimate answer for indie artists to reach popularity. It's only my opinion, but each has as much chance as what comes from Audio Graphics; 362 radio stations have requested 5,020 RRadio Music artists' songs.

"Mass Exposure - One User at a Time" is still the mantra. 12 years after that line was created, all you can still do is try hard every day. Pick the service(s) you feel can gather small groups of people, and then snowball your way to success. Just be careful.

It's so much harder to be heard in this cacophony of internet noise, and much easier to be scammed by those yelling they have all the answers.

Get one or two fans today. Worry about getting another couple of fans tomorrow. That's life on the internet. Anyone who tells you otherwise is just after your money.








Today's indie introduction is to...
Rock artists Phono Emergency Tool
hear song
The Wind

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When an artist has the power to please they should be given a chance to be heard.

Give Phono Emergency Tool's "The Wind" a listen.

Stations: Add it to your playlist, free!





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