NMS Panelists: Artists Have To Dial Down Expectations Of Success
July 22, 2009 at 4:13 PM (PT)
The New World Order of the music business has been dramatically altered by the digital revolution. That perspective was illuminated at the NEW MUSIC SEMINAR, currently being held in NEW YORK CITY. A number of speakers painted a scenario where there is far more music available to the consumer, yet fewer marketing avenues that are potent enough to generate a critical mass of exposure.
TOMMY BOY Founder TOM SILVERMAN cited some eye-opening data on the number of releases and corresponding sales. He noted that there were over 105,000 releases in 2008, yet just 1% (a tad over 1,500) sold more than 1,000 copies -- and just one-tenth of 1% (110 artists) sold more than 250,000 units.
In that light, the perception of the high-paying, glamorous rock star life is far more fantasy than reality. PANDORA Founder TIM WESTERGREN noted that while "a lot of artists think they have to be all-in" to succeed, the hardscrabble existence can force sub-par gigs like "HOLIDAY INN piano playing" and "playing covers" to make rent.
The end result, according to DIGITALMUSICNEWS.COM: "Smart artists have moved beyond expectations of grandeur, and instead redialed their expectations towards middle-class success. But just drawing a comfortable living from music remains a huge challenge for DIY artists, a shift that may keep only the most passionate and dedicated in the game."