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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

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The Ruin of the Ancient Media (and Artist)

Ignorance, ignorance all around, with not a thought to ponder.

With apology to Samuel Taylor Coleridge for reusing the cadence of his poem, "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner," the above seems appropriate when dealing with how artists and radio stations are approaching a vast array of new internet tools. Nearly always, actions precede thought, giving much of what's done online the correct assessment of "Fire, Ready, Aim."
"Ponder this: Media is moving on, and anyone involved in its use - station or artist - must understand all options."

I wonder how many folks who are trying to build an audience online have contemplated a strategy. How many do an inventory of available new media tools, next to a valuation of the efficacy of each item? How many set out to understand how these systems work?

There's a scattering of successful indie artists online. Ditto for independent radio stations. What we don't see much of, though, is a pattern for success from either group.

Nobody is saying that traditional media is dead. The radio industry will continue far beyond our lives - though it continues to lose relevancy to youth and advertisers who ask for more - like interaction, personalization, response metrics, and ROI (for either their expenses or time).

Nobody is saying that older artists are going the way of the Dodo Bird, either. Playing sets in local pubs and making a living doing the circuit will be with us for years. Online concerts are in infancy, but someday they will become more important than packing up all that equipment to do a three-hour gig at the winery. Proof of this is in how quickly YouTube has become a music discovery machine.

Ancient media, and artists, will hold on in the same manner that we still have equestrian centers where a niche of horse riding enthusiasts meet. Here's the parallel to this thought: In the future those who refuse to tackle the learning required to move themselves past "ancient" will be subjugated to the "niche" arenas. The audience will have moved on, with the exception of a small group of members who won't ever give up the past.

At, "ignorant" is defined as
1. lacking in knowledge or training; unlearned: an ignorant man.
2. lacking knowledge or information as to a particular subject or fact:
ignorant of quantum physics.
3. uninformed; unaware.
4. due to or showing lack of knowledge or training: an ignorant statement.

Study each of these points, because they cannot be separated from being informed on how the audience and advertiser landscape has changed. Each also reflects the need for the artist and media employees to KNOW more about what's ahead than is currently demonstrated. (I still get artists asking if they can send me a CD of their music (No!) and have conversations with online radio station owners wanting to know how to sell impression-based advertising. Both are pathetic questions in our age of new media.)

Ponder this: Media is moving on, and anyone involved in its use - station or artist - must understand all options. At the least, so they know which are a waste of time.

There has never been a more efficient form of content delivery than with the internet; but it also brings with it a series of complexities and so much of a need to learn. Days are required for just a cursory understanding. Weeks, if you wish to master what's available.

To even begin laying out your strategy you must see what's in your toolbox. The internet is today's toolbox. Go learn. Then lay out your next five moves.

Continuing to do it as it's always been done will bring a diminishing return. And here's the twist: For some that is fine. But, if you want to grow, ignorance is not bliss - having no thoughts to ponder means all you'll do is tread water, or sink.

Today's indie introduction is to...
Country artist, Red Union Blue
sample song
Hold Back The Spring

Download Song


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

Give Red Union Blue's "Hold Back The Spring" a listen.

Add it to your playlist, free!

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