Can you see that in the distance? That “thing” that keeps getting further and further away in the rear-view mirror? That’s the shrinking visibility of a distant entertainment microcosm that forced amateurs and professionals alike to be aligned with financially prosperous partners in order to fund, market, and distribute quality content.
Good riddance! Am I right?!?! Now musicians can be creative whenever, and almost wherever they want. Video creators can create viral content using the HD camera on their phone. Game developers have access to entire game engines without having to pay a dime until they start making money! Gone are the days of expensive studios, cost prohibitive equipment, and limiting distribution networks. It seems like a dream come true…..
Except now we’ve forgotten the other half.
We’ve forgotten that we work in the music BUSINESS. We’ve forgotten that we work in the entertainment BUSINESS. We’re so good at the “music”, “film”, and “gaming” part, but have little or no interest in the part that affords us to create in a way that makes any financial sense.
You see, when the record labels, and prohibitive equipment and distribution costs went away, it left a big hole to be filled. As the barriers of entry started to evaporate, so too did the people in charge of scheduling, marketing, management, and selling.
These holes need to be filled by YOU, the independent creative.
I know, this can be a massive challenge for the hyper-artistic. But it may be time to start exercising some muscles that haven’t been worked before. Because as much as artists and creatives hate to admit it, if they want to make a living from what they create, then what they create is a PRODUCT. And a product is no good to anyone if no one’s buying.
This was a lot easier to stomach when someone else was doing the selling for you. It was a lot easier to stomach when someone else was viewing YOUR work as the “product” so that you didn’t have to. Those people are mostly gone now, and that’s just one of the prices that have to be paid to be able to create in a world with endless possibilities.
Casey Barker - Modern Music Business
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