2. Fans are key. An opening slot for the big name, a random appearance at a show for a different demographic, is close to a waste of time.
3. Don’t keep hawking your CD. Sell your music! Acts think if they deliver a CD, they’ve made a dent. No you haven’t, the gatekeepers in media just throw them away, they certainly don’t listen to them. How do you get someone to really check out your music? By making it readily available online!
4. Criticism is irrelevant, only sales figures count. It does not matter what the media says about your music, only the fans.
5. Reviews only matter if they’re in a place your fans read them. Jam band aficionados might check you out (online!) after reading about you in “Relix”, if you’re an indie act, Pitchfork means something, but the review in the paper…who is that for? That’s just a mash note from your publicist, justifying his fee, no music fan gets turned on to music by the newspaper. That’s like advertising drag racing in a sailing magazine, birth control in “Highlights”…huh? As for live concert reviews…they never send a fan to give his take, so why should the review matter? (And if you want to reach the aged audience that still reads the newspaper, you might as well advertise in “AARP”.)
6. Marketing is secondary to music. Old wavers would like to say it’s the reverse, point to Ke$ha and other flavors of the moment, saying they have the power to build stars. That’s an old media circle jerk. Fewer people are paying attention, fewer people are buying the music, almost no one wants to see these acts live and there’s no longevity. This is just the dying gasp of an old system. Yes, there will always be Justin Biebers, teen phenoms, but beneath a very thin veneer of ubiquitous stars there’s a vast wasteland. You’re better off building from the ground up, brick by brick, your goal is to get to the middle, to sustain a career.
7. Publicity makes you happy, makes you think you’re accomplishing something, but unless you reach the core audience, it’s worthless. Believe me, this “Fast Company” piece is not for Carolla’s audience, it’s for his advertisers, potential ones, at best. If you get off on seeing your name in print, if you want to do interviews, go for it. But the odds of dividends are frightening low. Because most people don’t care. And if they do, its not for long. Don’t forget, reality TV is about making fun of those featured. That’s what television is now. Credible acts stay off! Hell, who wants to go on Letterman, be pre-interviewed, tell a funny story from growing up and look like an idiot? It’s about him, not you!
This is an excerpt from an article on Bob Lefsetz’s blog. He’s gives it to you straight when it comes to his opinions about the music biz. Subscribing to his blog will definitely make you wiser