Monday, May 30, 2011

Making True Blue Fans

So how DO you make fans today?  By making something so creative or good that people pay attention.  That's the major label formula.  They want to sign you AFTER you've gotten everybody to pay attention.  But if you make that deal you're shortsighted, because all the label can do is get you on radio and TV, two dying media, meanwhile taking too much of the upside and paying very little in advance.

In other words, one Funny Or Die clip is better than hours spent working with Dr. Luke. That's the secret of OK Go.  The videos were so creative, they were passed from hand to hand via e-mail, IM and the Facebook wall.

Yes, the words of the poets are written on the Facebook wall, the subway's passe.

So instead of handing out fliers, e-mailing everybody you know to listen to your music, the game is to stay home and create something so good, so interesting, that when it's posted online, people won't be able to stop sending it to their friends.

It's not even about genres.  There are no limits online.

And catchy is catchy.  I may have only heard Rebecca Black's "Friday" one time through, but the chorus is stuck in my head.

So stand back, take a deep breath and change direction.  Don't play by the old rules. Today you've got to be really good or really creative or both.  Your song must connect in one listen.

That doesn't mean you can't keep trying, you can't keep uploading songs and videos, but the sheer mass, just staying in the game, won't help.  You're now an inventor, looking for that one breakthrough product.  When you succeed, your history is unlocked and your fans can wallow in your past.  This is the opposite of the major label paradigm.  There's the hit and..?

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