The Heretic’s Comment:  While we were researching music topics for today’s post, we were struck by how many stories featured artist complaining about how difficult it has become to actually make any sort of living during Rap music. To state the obvious, we all know that almost every genre of music (including rap and hiphop) are taking negative hits toward record sells, but we found the comments instructive because of the complaints revolving around the increasing frustration with not being able to secure paying live shows (in other words, most of the complaints involved the frustration of having to do free shows or promo shows constantly with no hopes of ever getting paid gigs). In looking deeper at the frustration expressed by indie rap and/or hiphop artist, it is quite true (in defense of live performance venues and fans) that numerous shows have been performed by artist who have not taken the time to develop their live performance skills, or who are too high or too drunk to effectively deliver their lines and keep their flow locked on the beat, or who have so many people on stage it is hard to distinguish whether you are being forced to watch a bunch people standing around on stage or an actual live performance, or who are so caught up in set tripping and gang related mentally that they actually attack individuals in the audience or worst yet individuals in the audience attack them…we could go on and on concerning missteps indie rap and hiphop artists have made toward delivering quality live performances. One more observation on the above before moving forward, it is also true that Major Label Rap/Hiphop Stars are guilty of the same offenses described above, the difference, however, is that Major Label artists have PR machines that can clean things up (or cover things up) and also Major Rap/Hiphop Artist are more likely to have a base of fan support that will allow them to survive a negative incident. Most indie artist, unfortunately, do not possess the above luxuries. As a result, when a indie artist makes a mistake on stage…even one mistake…this mistake could have a devastating impact, because the mistake has now made him/her/them unmarketable for paying shows for the foreseeable future.

Despite the above, Indie Rap and HipHop are still both such critical genres for artists/producers/labels to pursue and live performance venues (as well as) Fans have to be willing to support indie Rap as well as HipHop by attending live shows (not just free shows, but paid shows as well).

Over the last several months, we at the Heretic have been exposed to a number of wonderful independent rap and hiphop projects that will be launched during 2011. We mention this to highlight the fact that there are literally thousands if not tens of thousands of artists, producers, songwriters, artist development companies and indie labels still risking everything in order to generate profits in the rap/hiphop game. In our minds, the key in figuring out whether forthcoming Rap/Hiphop projects will be profitable on the one hand or loss money on the other hand will be based on answering the following question…..will the project be able to generate paying live shows?

If time permits, please give us your thoughts and opinions regarding the above subject matter. Or we offbase? Do you disagree? What is your opinion?

Closing Comments:

As we stated at the beginning of the post, all genres of music are faced with challenging times (not just Rap and Hiphop). If your particular genre of music is also suffering from a lack of paid live performance opportunities please give us your feedback as well.

The Music Business Heretic © 2010 Cross Live Media All RIGHTS RESERVED For the MAKE YOUR OWN MONEY Movement……..


Turning Page Views Into Music Sales

attorneycross On November - 9 - 2010ADD COMMENTS

The Heretic’s Comment: We found a great article from columnist Angelina Chapin providing strategies regarding turning page views into Album Sales. We highly recommend you read the entire article for yourself, but we have provided some of the article’s direct quotes for your convenience. The following is commentary centered around the band Arcade Fire’s you-tube video release entitled “The Wilderness Downtown“. Okay, enough setup, let’s check out the quotes:

Last month, the band (Arcade Fire) released an online interactive video titled The Wilderness Downtown, a collaboration with Google and American music video director Chris Milk that uses the latest in HTML5 web technology to evoke the feeling of nostalgia expressed in the band’s song “We Used To Wait.” Viewers enter their childhood street address and the video takes them on a virtual tour of their old neighbourhood. Multiple browser windows simultaneously show close-ups of your street via Google Street View, footage of a man running, and an invitation to write a postcard to your childhood self.

When you see something like that, it’s an example of ‘Wow, I guess everything hasn’t been done yet,’” says Alan Cross, host of syndicated Canadian radio show The Ongoing History of New Music, adding he’s not a diehard Arcade Fire fan. “It changed my opinion of them, and I passed it on to everyone because I think it’s so damn cool.

With more than four million visitors to the site so far, the video has surely helped get attention for the band’s new album The Suburbs, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard charts prior to the video’s release. Sixty-two per cent of sales of The Suburbs have come from digital downloads, compared with half that number for their previous album. And though the band’s management declined to comment on whether there was a direct correlation between the online project and sales, Jordan says it’s not about the short sell anyway. “It’s key to super-serve your core audience,” he says. “By giving things for free, it creates a culture of support where fans don’t mind buying tickets for your show or your album because they know they’re getting more value.

Adding value to a product or service strengthens your clients’ loyalty to your company, explains Nova Scotia-based new media and design consultant Brad Smith, but it has to be done in a way that makes them feel rewarded rather than accosted. Smith advises that his clients always give fans a little extra to help create a sense of exclusivity around a brand. “Social media is intimate,” he says. “When you leak details, it feels to fans that you’re leaking secrets.” For example, he encourages the varsity hockey teams he works with to leak shots of new features on their jerseys so fans can blog about it and create buzz.

Closing Comments:

We want to commend columnist Angelina Chapin again for putting together a very informative article. One of the things to pull away from reading this information is to always stay conscious of the need to reward your Fans with value in exchange for their association with your music. In terms of giving music away for free in order to build fan support, Unfortunately, we have witnessed numerous examples in our law practice where clients feel justified in thinking that free music means SONG REJECTS (music that I don’t  want to release commercially). We have witnessed clients giving away free music consisting of poorly recorded songs as well as (in some cases) songs that are not even fully produced. This is a terrible mistake, because it doesn’t build value between your music and a possible Fanbase building around your music and brand. If you make the decision to give away music for free, then don’t give your potential Fans “SLOP“. In other words, Free should not mean SONG REJECTS. Instead, Free should be viewed as an opportunity to showcase quality material (yes, let us repeat…your commercial, high quality material), so that both established Fans as well as potential new Fans have a low risk way to fall in love with your music and brand.

One last time….never, ever, ever….shortchange your Fans!!! Give them quality with all that you do (and by consistently doing so) you maximize opportunities to turn page views into Album Sales, Merchandise Sales, Live Performance Sales, Sponsorship Sales, Endorsements Sales, Special Appearance Sales, etc…!!!!!!  (you get the picture)

Give us your thoughts

The Music Business Heretic © 2010 Cross Live Media All RIGHTS RESERVED For the MAKE YOUR OWN MONEY Movement……..