I need to get this off my chest. If you have a band that buys myspace plays, friends and profile views YOU ARE MISSING THE FUCKING POINT. Though happenstance I ended up on a myspace profile for a band out of Oklahoma City called Siva Addiction. As band people do, I looked at their plays (1,266,101,) their profile views (1,547,736,) and their friends (55,618.) Pretty impressive numbers for a regional act. Here is where it unravels for this band. We all have known for years that you can purchase plays etc. for quite some time and so this is the easy way to call "bullshit." Let's check out the band's facebook and ilike numbers since to my knowledge, you can't manipulate these numbers (please let me know if I am wrong on this.) The band's facebook fan base consist of 476 people, ilike fans 171 and last fm shows them with 29 listeners. Look, I understand why bands think they want to artificially inflate myspace numbers. We hear these stories of how bands got signed to record deals and how promoters looked at the numbers. The band wants to impress or tell others of their big myspace stats. EVERYONE IN THE FUCKING WORLD KNOWS THAT YOU ARE BUYING THESE NUMBERS.
Now, here is why they are missing the point. Social media for bands should be used as a tool to connect with fans... real fans. How do you know who your real fans are if you are buying them for your myspace? How do you know who to contact when you have a show, a contest, new music, etc.? Do you think that someone that is really a fan of the band cares that your myspace plays are over 1,000,000? Your real fan only cares about their personal connection with you. If your fan base is small, make it more personal. You can pay attention to your fans individually. Embrace the opportunity to personally connect to your fans. Your fans will be the ones that are your biggest marketing tool if you actually know who they are and you aren't a fucking liar.
Jeff, I had the chance to have a very nice conversation with you about this sort of thing last month at the Hard Rock in Tulsa. (I'm the big guy who came down from Des Moines.)ReplyDelete
In a nutshell, what you're saying here is absolutely right on the money. Any band who isn't willing to get out there and do the WORK and "pay the dues" to get ahead in the music industry is completely missing out on that feeling of accomplishment when that hard work pays off. Bands that do this are fake; they are faking accomplishments and notoriety. They are lying.
Like you told me that night, Gravity Kills got extremely lucky when they hit their big break with "Guity", but you guys sure as shit didn't BUY what came your way. You wrote quality music that actually MEANS something to people. You didn't fake anything.
Thank you for that. :)
Oh, and let's pretend I spelled "Guilty" right, too. :)ReplyDelete
The reality is that you start building your fan base or tribe (if you read Seth Godin) brick by brick. Martin Atkins makes this analogy in his Tour Smart presentation when he went to China. Paraphrasing Martin, when he went to the Great Wall, he was like, how the fuck did they build this thing? You can see it from space! Then when he looked at the Wall more closely, he noticed it was built one brick at a time. So what if you only have 300 fans or 463 fans, the number doesn't matter. If those 463 fans believe, they will buy your CD, your t-shirt etc. Not because you told them to but because they actually wanted it. Feed the fans you have and they will spread the word for you. Because they believe.
You know, I think this is the difference between so much of the ultra shitty music that is appearing today and the music of even the 90's. While Social Networking has made it easy for anybody to become a "musician" and have a "band"- there's also the aspect of QUALITY music. I think alot of people, kids mostly but not exclusively, see a Myspace or a Facebook page with some other kids who have cool hairdoes or shiny clothes, and they've got a couple songs posted that sound sort of "radiohead" or sort of "Bjork" and they "fan" them or "like" them or whatever. When it all comes down to it, though, none of that music stands the test of time.ReplyDelete
Take me for instance. The whole reason I'm here is because earlier today I was on Yahoo Music and through a chain of seemingly random connections I happened across GK's page. Started listening to the songs I hadn't heard in YEARS, found one that holds a very very important and private place in my heart, listened, and was immediately 'back there' - to a place (and a redhead) i haven't thought about in a long time. Just because of that, I started searching, trying to find out what I'd missed in the years I spent in a drug induced waking coma. So... here I am. I'm following your blog, lol. That won't happen to any of these bands who are buying stats on Myspace.
Anyhow - the whole point of what I'm saying is, yes, I agree with you - I think that now more than ever Musicians are really going to have to do something important and unique to connect with their fans - but I also think that regardless of what they do - shitty music is still shitty music. This is the reason bands like Gravity Kills, God Lives Underwater and Machines Of Loving Grace still have die hard fans today. (I hope to God you don't hate one of the bands I just mentioned)
So - change of subject. What the hell ? You live in OK? I've probably played poker with you at some point. I hope to get a chance to see you guys again sometime - I've only seen you twice, and once was at Edgefest in Tulsa when the damned sound system f**ked up.