Monthly Archives: May 2016

THE PLAN UNFOLDS…

If You Were Unable to check out last week‘s post or perhaps even the week prior, you may wish to begin there to understand the need for the New Plan…

The Problem is too well known. Music Lovers have been Conditioned to Believe that Music is (or should be) Free. The CD is Dead. The Download is Dying. Presently, Streaming is King and the Existing Platforms are controlled by Corporations earning Billions of Dollars via $9.99 Subscription Fees with music served up ‘Buffet Style’ or what Dave Kusek long ago termed “Music Like Water.” This practice is now a decade old…

BUT, to quote his Royal Purple Lateness, “The Baker ain’t makin’ No Bread!”  but The Corps are and this particular EntreMusician is long growing weary of hearing moans & groans of heroes past and present protesting, instead of rerouting the flow of their own dough.

The Plan is Simple. Systematically Remove Our Music from Places that Don’t Pay and Replace in Our Own Formats, On Our Own Platforms and Do The Hard Work of Rebuilding & Re-Educating Our Own Tribes to Gather & Party in Our Own Backyards.

Every Musician has a Website, and Every Website hosts a server which allows Us to Upload & Sell Our Media. Most Allow Us to Set Our Own Prices and since we generally pay them a fee, they do not take a Percentage of Our Earnings (Most go directly to a PayPal Account).

With that said, the technology exists for the EntreMusician to begin offering a Personalized Streaming Service. This May Sound Oversimplified. But It’s Definitely Doable.

Three Key Components are Needed to Construct the Foundation.

The First Component is Confidence. Bands, Musicians, Artists, Creatives MUST Know & Understand that Our Work is Important and Fulfills a Major Need in Life which has been earning Multi Billions since the 1970’s – but for whom? Anyone of Us who’ve taken the time to learn all of those Major 9th Chords and spent Countless Hours Practicing Counter Para-Diddles can buy a copy of Quick Books and do a little accounting! We Can Do This!

The Second is Unity. As with Any Call for Solidarity, there will be the Silence of those who Wish to Wait & See, all the while bemoaning the $0.0007 royalty check sent to them by Spotify!

The Final Component is Bloody Knuckled Hard Work. An EntreMusician is a Forward Thinking, Effective Creative with “Results” as our Main Focus! Nothing Less Will Do. Perseverance, Endurance and Sweat. The Fans Won’t Just Flock to Our Website. They Won’t Just plunk down the Micro-Payment to PayPal. BUT, If Our Music is Important Enough to Us and We Develop the Courage, Determination and Marketing Ability to Persuade, WE CAN Engage and Create Our Own Thing and Not Need to Answer to Anyone.

That’s How It Get’s Done!

Let’s Begin the Real Conversation or Quit Crying!

My Old Sony 200 Disc CD Player was spitting out the Funk at Random upstairs, while I was posting this – I was also engrossed in the Free Webinar by Dave Kusek who was interviewing Dave Cool from Bandzoogle – and I presented the question to the chat room which was asked On Air. Thanks Chelsea! 

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The Psychology beneath The Philosophy

Last week I targeted the Next Battleground facing EntreMusicians. Even this Morning, My Inbox was replete with Nasty Headlines on Google Music, YouTube & Spotify, with regard to Piracy, Royalty Fairness and the Scores of Angry Superstars upset with the status quo.

I’ve pretty much had it. I am formulating a Plan with My Team & I and  will be sharing with you in the hopes to create a dynamic which will champion Our Artistry and Recapture the Music.

Beforehand, I Must disclose the Imagery and Concepts We Are Discussing. The Plan is Not Perfect and is already rife with its share of challenges, but contains Very Necessary Components in which to Move Forward. The Process Begins Within.

  1. Absolute Fearlessness. I recently read an e-book by a certain music marketeer who bluntly stated that since the current streaming genie is out of the bottle, never to return, all artists need to quit whining and complaining and just conform, posting their music as many places as they can “for the exposure” and should be giving as much music away as they could. Mind You, His E-Book cost $5.00. EntreMusicians at Levels Must Begin Refuting this Nonsense Vigorously, although the Marketing Dollars Are Against Us. If we Truly Worked Extremely Hard – And Are United, We Can Completely Change The Game. That Little Fear Monster that just whispered to You that ‘It Can’t Be Done,’ Needs to Die the Death of Disco!           
  2. Define Your Own SuccessKnowing Your WHY is the Single Most Significant Factor of Your Entire Career and Your Life! Bob Dylan, Joan Boaz and Others began Writing & Singing for Completely Different Reasons than Lionel Richie, Stevie Nicks or You and I . Each had/has different audiences, levels of success, notoriety and platforms. Adjust Your Career Accordingly. Know EXACTLY What Your Art Is, Who Its For and Why You Occupy this Planet! Your WHY will save you from Unrealistic Expectations and – worse – Someone Else Telling You Whether or Not You’re Successful, based upon another Artist’s number of Downloads or Streams. Do YOUR WORK!                                                                                                                                                            
  3. Place Immediate Value on Your Art. While the Old Adage holds true that any item is only worth what the buyer is willing to pay, the EntreMusician is still responsible for Setting a Price. WHO Set the $0.99 price tag per download? You or Apple? Is Your Song Worth More? Who set the price splits between the Company and the Artist? Certainly Not the Artist. Have You Ever Asked Why – or More Importantly, WHY THE (MILD, GENTLE EXPLETIVE) NOT?   Yet, if You Formed Your Own Platform where You set the Price Point, perhaps lower, on some of your Art than current market price, but you were able to keep all of the pennies, how much quicker would you make and sustain a profit?                                                                                                                                                   
  4. Network. Unhealthy Competition is a tool of The Devil in the Arts. There is Someone in Your City, State, Genre and Demographic who is doing the Exact Same Thing You Are. Build a Mastermind Group, Form an Association or Guild. Target the Promoters, Venues and Agents in Your Area who are Unfair to Musicians and Collectively Avoid Them. Create Platforms that Engage Your Fans on Alternate Levels. Create Your Own Festivals and Invite Bands of Similar Style, Principles & Values. Work Together! Play Together! Sing & Dance Together!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     The premise of My Team’s Plan stands on these four tenets, plus another component I will discuss next week. Currently we are setting up a new website, theentremusician.com which will be up and running in about two weeks and we can begin this work together. I trust I presented thought provoking situations to engage you in the conversation. Let’s create a dialogue to further think through these and other initiatives as they arrive.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Let’s Change The World!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               I was Listening To Azymuth’s “Cascades” on Vinyl while creating this post.
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The Next Battleground

I remember it like it was last Tuesday.

It’s for a Great Cause,” she told me “…and at least a thousand people show up during this annual affair; many of them who will book you for their own events!

And then she said the word every EntreMusician, Indie Artist & Garage Band hears at least 100,000 times during their formative phases:

You will get plenty of EXPOSURE!” and uttered its toothless companion phrase, “You’ll sell a ton of CDs!

We Fell For It. Played our Posteriors off Too! We sold eight (8) discs, Schmoozed with Plenty Potentials who Patted Our Sweaty Backs with Huge Grins on their Faces while Promising to Call Us. We gathered 32 Email Addresses, Ten which were illegible and another Eleven which were just plain Non-Existent.

Needless to Say we Fell for It Again. And Again. Spent A Lot of Money, Travel, Sold Our Quota of Tickets, this and that time for a Different Promoter/Venue/Cause. All Huge Successes. Except None of the Bands Got Paid. The Sound Company Got Paid. The Headliner Got 14 Seconds on Local TV. Often, there was only Two or Three Non-Existent Email Addresses – but since we had sold tickets to our Existing Fan Base, they didn’t need to provide theirs…

Maybe it was the 15th phone call, when I decided to grow at least one testicle and balk at the Promise of EXPOSURE. SounDoctrine charges $$! Four Promoters promptly hung up, but the Fifth One Did Not. She actually had a Budget and while she was unable to match the actual dollar amount, she came close and the Game Changed. I could juxtaposition what I didn’t make in CD sales with actual income. I could pay my band. I could gas up the van! Heck, I could take my family out to dinner! Later this would become buy groceries and pay a bill! An EntreMusican Can Make Money in This Business!

But Now, The Battle Must be Fought Again On a Larger Stage.

The CD is Dead. The Download is Doomed and the Streamers are busy experimenting with monetizing the Live Experience on Phones & Tablets.

It’s Time Composers, Producers, Singers, Musicians and Artists of Every Genre Stop the Train. Get Off the Tracks and Refuse to Participate in a System designed to Exploit & Extort.

If You’re Going to Touch Your Toes, It Should Be Consensual and Pleasurable.

Next Week, I’ll Share My Preliminary Plan…

 

…I was Listening to Prince’s “Parade” Side One on Vinyl while Typing This

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A Prayer

Today is the National Day of Prayer.

Communities of Faith across these United States have gathered together from town to city to acknowledge the Sovereignty of Father God, The Uncontested Reign of the Lord, Jesus Christ and the eternal Power & Presence of Holy Spirit.

In our city of Youngstown, Ohio, this year’s chairman, Pastor Gary Frost read a Proclamation by our 16th President, Abraham Lincoln, who while facing the disunity caused by the Civil War, felt compelled to pen “And whereas it is the duty of nations as well as of men, to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions, in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord.” With everything we face in the world today, those words are quite fitting and necessary. Our Scriptural Theme was Isaiah 58:1

As I led the public Prayer for the Entertainment Mountain, my heart was to ask for and expect to receive from the Eternal Almighty, ever increasing Godly influence throughout the entire industry.

I Pray that Faith-filled EntreMusicians be uncompromising in every respect; Wise & Gentle, completely surrendered to The One who has entrusted them with HIS Creative Genius and that they employ Holy Discernment in Sensitively, Intelligently and Lovingly representing HIM in their varied expressions. I Pray Father God shifts the Current Atmosphere and Opens Strategic Doors for Artists who will display HIS Indescribable Imagination, Unmatched Innovation and Multifaceted Ingenuity which blesses the entire world, transforms culture and reveals HIS Heart for Mankind through the Power of Entertainment. In Jesus’ Name, So Be It!

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