Mar 6, 2017
Bob Lefsetz wrote:"you must march into the future, you cannot live in the past" in a recent post called "Truth". That quote really struck a nerve with me as I think about how I have adjusted to technology over the past 20 years in the music business. Times are changing. And we must change with them.
When I started Brobdingnagian Bards in 1999, there's a fast growing company called MP3.com that was revolutionizing the music industry...against their wishes.
It took me at least a year to jump on the bandwagon. I got there right before it peaked. Then the record labels began suing the company to stop the future from coming.
YouTube started changing the world in 2005. I heard about it. But again, I was slow to get on because I didn't have the video recording technology or skill set. It took me 8-9 years before I finally tried to step into that world.
In 2011, Spotify entered the market. I heard music futurists shout, "streaming music is the next big thing". I didn't mess with it much. But eventually, they were right.
CD sales continue to decline. Digital sales have dropped as much as 1/3. Patronage seems the most viable alternative for musicians to support themselves in the future.
I was a fairly early adopter of Patreon. But I never figured out how to properly leverage the website, even today.
Now, I am starting to plan the release of my next album--Irish Adventures on Higgins' Moon. I decided to fund raise that album through Patreon. I honestly don't know if this is possible. I've been talking about Patreon a LOT over the last 6 months trying to get more of my fans to become patrons for as little as $1.
Not too many have signed up. Is that because they don't see value in supporting artists? Do they not understand this is the only way musicians will be able to make art in the future? Or do they just need further convincing and education on the topic?
I don't know. But we must continue to march toward the future, not live in the past. That's one of my many goals.