Future Music Business Strategy

by Matt @ Kurb on December 5, 2010

I am reflecting on the music business more now that I am edging slowly away.

I’m still drawn to the passion of it, and the desire to do enjoyable work that is valued in way other than money, but I’ve been forced to accept that the music side of my business doesn’t create the largest share of revenue, and it’s a shame I can’t continue to devote the personal resources to it as I have in the past because of other marketing and promotions work I’m doing in my business not so much related to music, but generally more lucrative and less stressful!

But I could see it as an opportunity to become even more inventive and innovative. I just need to be smarter in order to bring musicians what they need in a more effective way.

My central assumption is that whatever happens, people will still want to connect with music but more individuals will continue to want to be heard.

We’ve talked here at the business about different packages and how they could be represented and the concept of rock band and guitar hero games and how they helped to supply the fantasy of the rock star.

It IS supply and demand in so many ways – more musicians than ever, less people paying attention.

The culture that I see growing in the market my business operates in is the Pop Idol culture, where everyone wants their piece, the old boy who pulls out his guitar and plays at the pub on a sunday, he wants a website, he wants his recordings online, he wants to be there, to be found, to be part of this media.

And it’s got nothing to do with the music industry. Who’s music industry, on most blogs it’s all huge figures and corporate monoliths and I forget that’s nothing to do with me. My turnover is tiny. My profit margins are enormous by comparison. That’s what it means to be small.

As the industry fragments in this way – I dare not say “cottage” industry because technology takes us beyond that concept of tiny independent but co operative cells of activity geared to specific niches – well we need different organisation to provide for this.

I’m in that boat with this old guitar man, I’ve worked hard, now I want to enjoy my hobby which is my music, to have my website and my songs online presented professionally and in a way where people can find me and hear about what I have to show for my self.

I already have a job that makes money, this. Now I want to spend the time to see how right I am about everything I’ve said here and putting it into practice.

My point is, more and more people, just like me, don’t just see music as a hobby which in itself merits

I could delve deeper into the zenith of westernized culture and how individual expression

So there’s more people wanting to participate in the music market at lower levels, but on the user side, there are less barriers, and numerically and by way of technology, larger cumulative audiences for music products and services, but this market has become so fragmented.

In practice, people will still turn to music for connection and community, and I look at my locality, New Zealand, and see a market that is too small to ever be served by massive corporations pumping and dumping american chart fodder. This can apply to any small market – a corporation from overseas is not the right business model to mediate between what could be 1000 artists, and what could easily be 100,000 people who are interested in this music largely because it is local and it is niche.

What is the right business model to mediate

I believe by getting involved in more aspects of the business we are not only getting experience but we are building loyalty in the market. The purpose of this is based on the fact that we really know nothing about the music industry except what I’ve already stated:

– musicians will want to be heard

– niche fans will have an ongoing interest in niche music

– the current model is based on organisations far too big and cumbersome and relying on a dead “superstar” based cultural paradigm to ever manage these multitude of niches properly.

But if what we do now helps musicians and fans, it means that in the future, whatever it is musicians have to do to be heard, and whatever fans have to do to enjoy and actively consume thess relevant niche experiences we will have the trust and loyalty to offer this market confidence in conducting transactions through and with us.

Bands will still want cd duplication just the demand will decline to the point cmparable to vinyl now. Bands will still need printing and postering / flyer services – design, websites and services related to marketing and promotion, and branding especially. Fans will want information, and merchandise which represents affiliation and

Determining exactly what will be valuable enough to be the most viable though – well that takes a crystle ball, unless you’re feeling lucky or maybe you just have a hunch . . .

Maybe it’s back to my old business plan for the magical website that does everything . . .

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Flavio 12.19.10 at 9:43 pm

Hi Matt, everything you say is correct. Is not easy and everybody has the DUTY to find alternative ways to promote his music. I’ve found this one, hope you like my idea http://www.SalesPageMusic.com.
Thanx for your tips!
Best Wishes…

Seb 01.04.11 at 6:27 pm

Very good thoughts, thanks for sharing. I agree with everything you say.

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