Every once in a while I run across the future of the music industry. While the music labels(RIAA) fight to protect the status quo from which they profit hugely while the majority of musicians struggle to survive, some musicians are finding their way in this new world of digital tools and experiences.
The path from unaware to raving fan is shorter than ever before. It used to be that musicians had to be "discovered" by the record industry who was looking for a profit vehicle to build their own bottom line. Everything was to the advantage of the record company. Commercial radio play was everything and those that had it had a chance those that did not didn't have much of a chance to even break even with their recording and tour expenses. No wonder there were payola scandals. Radio station programming directors and DJs had the power to make or break a music act. I think we all know something of how it has been.
Now we see how it could be. Musicians can rise or fall based on talent and story. There are new promotion pathways to expose new listeners to music and musicians they have not heard before.
Just this morning I heard on a popular podcast a song by a group I had not heard of before. The song was from the Podsafe Music Network. This is a web service that connects musicians and podcasters and provides free music tracks that podcasters can include in their shows as long as they provide proper attribution and links to the musicians and the Podsafe Music Network. Podcasters report back to the service when they play a song the network reports back to the musicians when their music is played. It's a win win for the musicians and the podcasters.
The path for those discovering new artists is smooth and easy. Hear new music on a podcast. Click through from the show notes to the Podsafe Music network, listen to additional songs by that artist, click through to the artist's website, read the background, tour information, learn about albums, subscribe to their blog and their own podcast all so you can experience the story of the music group. At any point along the way you can click trough to iTunes and purchase the music. First listen to revenue is but a few mouse clicks. No need to remember the musicians name and drive to a music store to buy the album.
All this without the radio, the record company, physical distributors, managers, publicists, or record stores. Is it any wonder that the status quo players are fighting for their survival while the emerging interests like Apple iTunes, The Podsafe Music Network and the many popular Podcasters are flourishing. The ground is shifting.
So what's the path I followed. DSC 250 (Adam Curry's Daily Source Code podcast) ---> DSC Wiki shownotes ---> Lascivious Biddies page on the Podsafe Music Network ---> The group's website ---> iTunes music store album purchased.
Along the way I subscribed to the BiddyCast podcast so I can experience the ongoing story of this great group. So today I went from not knowing this group to becoming a fan, purchasing their music, joining their direct communication channel(giving them personal permission to communicate and market to me) and now blogging about it. That times thousands and millions is the future of the music industry.
If you like smart writing, tight musicianship and beautiful feminine harmonies you'll want to discover Lascivious Biddies also.