- RANDOM THOUGHTS ON:
* Illegal Downloading
* Illegal File Sharing
* Music World 1.0 (MW1)
* Music World 2.0 (MW2)
From artist, every where, we hear: People are stealing my music; people are sharing my music, they are not paying me for it. This is one of the few things I agree with, because it is totally true.
Yes, most artist have worked hard, investing a lot of time, their money, in recording and delivering their music to the market place. My question: Did you not know about illegal downloading & illegal file sharing, before you invested a lot of time and money in your music project? Why do some artist believe their music will be treated differently from all the other artist? And WHY on this earth, would any artist believe their music will not be downloaded & share, illegal?
Dr. Wayne Dyer, In his latest book, Excuses Begone challenges us to turn all negatives in our lives into positives with positive affirmations. Quoting from his book:
1. Never underestimate your power to change yourself; never overestimate your power to change others.
2. When you correct your mind, everything else falls into place.
3. We do not attract into our lives that which we want; we attract into our lives what we are.
Music World 1.0 continues to believe authoritarian ways will stop the majority population from illegal downloading and file sharing. Nothing is farther from the truth, because consumers know the RIAA could never sue the masses that do this. Many artist, lawyers, record labels, etc, have not fully recognized Music World 1.0 is dying or has died. It's gone/going to that music hall-of-fame, which is where it should be & should have been years ago. As the renowned Gerd Leonhard states and I summarize: Music World 2.0 is arriving/has arrived in many corners of the world. As sun rises each day, so is Music World 2.0 arriving, globally. Today is just the tipping of this new MW2 iceberg.
Artist have choices to make about how they are going to handle these kind of illegalities, in MW2. Sure, you can be mad, upset, etc., OR , you can choose to accept MW2, be positive, and embrace it. Instead of trusting MW1, how about, doing some MW2 like the following:
1. Write blogs, thanking everyone for stealing your music! After all you are getting free distribution and you are getting noticed.
2. Send tweets thanking them
3. Write everyone on you mailing list thanking them
4. Or, how about printing tees WITH THIS MESSAGE ON THEM; ALL MY FANS STEAL MY MUSIC....WON'T YOU BE MY FAN???? SHARE IT WITH EVERYONE. If you want a tee, like the one I am wearing, you can buy it for half price at: WWW OR IF YOU COME TO MY GIGS, EVERY TEE YOU PURCHASE, NOT ONLY DO YOU GET ONE FREE, BUT, YOU GET A FREE AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF MY CD.
5. Or, make up boxes with your CD in them and drop them off at stores and radio stations to give away for free.
6. Hold a contest in each city/town you want to tour. See how many people will download your music and how many people they can recruit to download your music as well as come to your shows.
7. Give a great prize to the winners that recruit the most fans.
8. Then ask each winner if they would like to become your street team leader/organizer in each city. If they, accept, give them a pass allowing them to come to any of your concerts
9. Allow them to hang with you and your band in the so called green room.
10. Or ask them if they would take pics or run your merchandise table. Note artist/bands: In case you don't know it, fans love to hang out with you....it makes them feel very special. And during your shows, never fail to recognize these folks for all they do to help you out.
11. Sat up an area on your website, where you post their pics and names. Rank them in order of most fans recruited, monthly. Give monthly prize(s) to the TOP 3.
These are but 11 suggestions on how to continually build your fan base and following, but, enough, that will hopefully help all artist to have a better understanding how positive illegally downloading your music can be to your career. If you need help with this, hire someone that knows what to do, when to do it, and how to build your fan base and increase your following.
What is most important, especially for Independent Artist in MW2? Fans, fans, fans and building a loyal following.
All artist need to accept the music world for what it is or get out of the business. Work with people that understand MW2. People that come up with creative ways to grow your fan base, and build a loyal following.
Turn these thief's into fans (which is what I would do), because their thievery will be recouped many times over in the coming years. Resist or fight them and the news about how you, the artist, treat potential customers/fans/users will circle the globe in a few nano seconds. How can this happen? Through technology and social media. Loose your fans; loose your career.
Successfully turning illegal users into fans, or as we like to say: True Blue Fan, will be the best ROI ever made. Why? Each TBF will turn your petty loss into a minimum gain of $100 annually per fan. Laugh, but, just 5K TBF means 500K/yr. in gross sales. Can any independent artist afford to loose 500K/yr. in gross sales? A large percentage of independent artist would love to have this amount of annual sales any year. So, how about, today, getting started.
Successful music careers are about being different, because, being different gets you noticed. When you are noticed your Brand grows as does your fan base as well as your following.
NOTE TO ARTISTS: You must do these sort of things each and every waking moment of every day.
Goal number 1: steadily grow your fan base
Goal number 2: gig, gig, gig, tour, tour, tour.
Goal number 3: Practice, Practice, Practice. And I don't mean just learning all the songs and making them tight with your band. Yes that is very important, but, it is not nearly as important as learning the art of breaking down each song and creating memorable moments, that connect with fans. Regardless of how great you sing, if you don't learn how to connect through creating memorable moments, your stage road will never arrive and please believe: All Roads Do Lead To The Stage!!
Goal number 4: Try to purchase a $225 HD cameras at WalMart. Video your most high energy song and one of your best ballads. Video the crowd; your recruiters. Why, because when folks are on any camera, especially a video camera, they will tell everyone they know, which, equals more fans and more brand building. And be sure to post your vids on YouTube and all your social media sites. Posting different vids on different sites will drive more traffic to those sites.
Goal Number 5: Make each gig an event; an experience. Do this with your show, your music andyour FANS. And, don't forget, people love FREE.
These are but a few ways to build your brand; increase you fan base; increase your following; which will build your core music business. Core is crucial to success, financial freedom in your happiness in music. Become an accomplished fun fill artist that illuminates warmth onto all eyes.
And, NO I AM NOT DONE WITH THIS POST...READ ON.
I would encourage all artist to rid their minds of that "poor me" attitude. It's of no use to you or your career. Quit your whining; instead seek positive solutions.
Illegal Whatevers...Start today to change your way of thinking about this. Do it now; Do it later; or find another career.
Forget lawsuits because an amusing part is, winners will never collect money; your lawyers will....so, where does that leave you? Gerd Leonhard has it right. Everyone needs to get a grasp on reality. Become informed about what is coming in MW2. Listen to those outside the mainstream, i.e, Trent Reznor of NIN.
I am not advocating folks not get paid for "WHATEVER" they do, produce, or create. I am advocating replacement of our MW1 for MW2. Actually it has or is being replaced; most do know it or they don't want to accept it. Just a few short years ago, artist were complaining about how small their piece of the label/publishing pie was and how labels were screwing them out of their hard earned money??? Dixie Chick??? As well as several others.
I have discovered hundreds of indie artist that I enjoy more than main stream label artist. There are so many great global artist. Most of these artist will send me/you their MP3 for free. Furthermore, they encourage me to give away as many copies as I can for free. I continually look for those unknowns in the far corners of the world. Some have done a lot; most have done little because they are not committed or they don't have the funds to.
There are many things that need addressing in music. My Top 8 are:
1. Monetizing Music to fairly compensate everyone.
2. Establishing Trust with fans/users/consumers (The days of the "Good Ole Boys" are dead and gone). Hey, good name for a new song. The PLUG needs to be pulled on MW1, soon, with a transition plan into MW2 for the good of everyone involved in music.
3. Finding out what fans/users needs/wants are.
4. Allow everyone to download all the music they want.
5. Set up filters so everyone can customize their music their way.
6. Everyone drop their suing BS. It won't work because 80-90% of the connected global population is, today, illegally downloading; sharing illegally. (This applies to global populations with internet access).
7. Have a reasonable and fair system that for 3 years allows everyone to pay a reasonable annual license fee to have unlimited access to all the music they want to download and share. After 3 years if this system is not working, then implement a mandatory collection system requiring everyone to pay an annual license fee on their income tax or through a honest government or commercial agency . These collections would be distributed by someone like the HFA or a department within governments around the world. If we can collect taxes, I see no reason why we cannot collect license fees.
8. Form an oversight board that meets regularly to address problems, flaws, etc. The board would be 100% transparent to everyone.
First system will be totally voluntary lasting for 3 years allows everyone to pay a reasonable annual license fee to have unlimited access to all the
music they want. Payments would be sent to an oversight committee for recording and distribution.
After 3 years if this system is not working, then, implement a mandatory collection system requiring everyone to pay an annual license fee when filing their income tax or through each country's tax collecting system. These collections would be distributed oversight agency.
USA population is currently 306,000,000, which is about 3% of the global population which is 6,700,000,000.
2008 global music sales were just over 18 billion dollars
If each person in the USA has a license, those licenses sales would amount to around 16 trillion dollars in annually. A reasonable fee of $1 per week (recommended by Gerd Lehonhard) would generate gross sales, just in the USA, many times greater than what is now being collected globally. I don't really see that many folks opposing or protesting a $52 / year annual license fee per person. The family dollar amount would be $52 x the number of dependents in each household. 4 dependents equals $2o8 for a household of 4. Can anyone not handle this? Each license would have an identifier number that would follow each person for a lifetime. There were be an automated systems of checks and balances to prevent counterfeiting.
AM I MISSING SOMETHING HERE? Let me know if I am. This system would eliminate so much of the non productive BS and most importantly get everyone paid, more money for their creativity and their music.
Commercial business would pay $1,000 / year for their license which would cover all genres of music. They now pay licenses fees, in USA, based on annual sales.
Now we have annual license fee amounting to trillions to distribute amongst everyone involved based on their percentage of the USA or Global Market, which can be determined by the number of downloads of each song for all artist. Properly implemented this system would be a Win Win for all.
If an independent artist sells 5oK of CD's, at shows, they keep all that money or they divide it according to any legal contract.
I would recommend copyrights stay with the original writers/publishers, but, in terms of monetary value, they have none in MW2. So, does it really make sense to have copyrights?
All songs would have a unique identifier that would show if it is an original or a cover. Any time a song is downloaded the identifier would be pick up and reported to the oversight agency. A running total of every identifier would be maintained, so each party could be sent reimbursement checks monthly or quarterly.
Yes, this system would take a lot of planning as well as test runs to work out any bugs. I know we currently have both software & hardware, in systems, doing much more complicated tracking and data generation than MW2 would require.
MUSIC SALES GLOBALLY