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  • Maybe THIS is the problem with "making it" in the music industry...

    I think one big problem nobody's really addressing is that any artist is now competing with every piece of recorded music every made. Any listener can access pretty much anything whenever they want. You have to be better than, or least different from, what came before.


    One could argue that just because, for example, people can hear anything they want from Prince wouldn't preclude finding "the next Prince." But a lot of the signature music of artists still sounds fresh if you haven't already heard it a billion times. Again taking Prince as an example, "Let's Go Crazy" may sound a little dated, but only if you were alive when "the Minneapolis Sound" was fairly common. To anyone else, it has energy and vibe...which is why we listen to music, right?


     

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  • #2

    It's true---   we've reached the point at which information does not obsolesce...    at least not nearly as fast as it used to,  before the Internet.

    A radio show was discussing why young people today are not as ambitious as they used to be...   Though no-one brought it up,   I also have to think:   The Internet.     Whatever your chosen career is,    it's no longer quite enough to be the best  (butcher,  baker,  candlestick-maker) in Cincinnati.  Or Dubuque.   Or San Antonio.    You're essentially being compared to everyone visible on the Internet,  in your field.  

    Every paint-stroke takes you farther and farther away from your initial concept. And you have to be thankful for that. Wayne Thiebaud


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    • blue2blue
      blue2blue commented
      Editing a comment

      rasputin1963 wrote:

      It's true---   we've reached the point at which information does not obsolesce...    at least not nearly as fast as it used to,  before the Internet.

      A radio show was discussing why young people today are not as ambitious as they used to be...   Though no-one brought it up,   I also have to think:   The Internet.     Whatever your chosen career is,    it's no longer quite enough to be the best  (butcher,  baker,  candlestick-maker) in Cincinnati.  Or Dubuque.   Or San Antonio.    You're essentially being compared to everyone visible on the Internet,  in your field.  





      That's been brewing for a couple hundred years, at least, of course. But, really, it goes back... way back. We still historically celebrate some singers of ancient times centuryies, millennia after the melodies and memories of their voices have been lost. 


  • #3

    Maybe it's just that you can't stick around very long because there are so many more people diving into the pool. Audiences, particularly those tho grew up with MP3 players and the Internet have a short attention span. Why listen to something you've heard before when you can give a listen to something new, and then something new after that.

    You can't make a living selling songs any more, you need to sell T shirts and have your own brand of beer or headphones.

    --
    "Today's production equipment is IT-based and cannot be operated without a passing knowledge of computing, although it seems that it can be operated without a passing knowledge of audio." - John Watkinson, Resolution Magazine, October 2006
    Drop by http://mikeriversaudio.wordpress.com now and then

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    • blue2blue
      blue2blue commented
      Editing a comment

      MikeRivers wrote:

      Maybe it's just that you can't stick around very long because there are so many more people diving into the pool. Audiences, particularly those tho grew up with MP3 players and the Internet have a short attention span. Why listen to something you've heard before when you can give a listen to something new, and then something new after that.


      You can't make a living selling songs any more, you need to sell T shirts and have your own brand of beer or headphones.




      Well, fortunately, folks actually prefer that which is familiar to them (until, of course, they burn out, which obviously is very different for different folks)...


      Music marketers have always counted on repetition to build demand. Sure, every once in a while a song comes along that demands instand adulation  -- but how often is that. Most songs, for most folks, I think they sneak up  on them, insinuate themselves. 


      On-demand systems can do increasingly better jobs of recommendations based on prior listening and the listening patterns of social media associates, but they can't necessarily get the exposure that can ease a 'marginal' -- or just subtly engaging --  song into one's personal favorites.


      It's an interesting quandary -- this too much choice thing.  wink.gif 

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  • #4

    Anderton wrote:

    I think one big problem nobody's really addressing is that any artist is now competing with every piece of recorded music every made. Any listener can access pretty much anything whenever they want. You have to be better than, or least different from, what came before.

    One could argue that just because, for example, people can hear anything they want from Prince wouldn't preclude finding "the next Prince." But a lot of the signature music of artists still sounds fresh if you haven't already heard it a billion times. Again taking Prince as an example, "Let's Go Crazy" may sound a little dated, but only if you were alive when "the Minneapolis Sound" was fairly common. To anyone else, it has energy and vibe...which is why we listen to music, right?

     


    I think thats a result of the internet, not the problem. I agree more with RAS in that everyone is compared to everyone else.

    I read this is a book called "The Brain That Changes Itself"... studies were done on men who view porn... prior to the internet they found they were watching less but with the ease at which the internet offers it up and the amount of it you can view, studies have shown that men are watching more and what used to turn them on no longer works so they start viewing even more to get the same rush.

    I`m not sure if theres a name for this but I compare it to how records sound these days. We want everything louder. Everyone is competing to make their records loud and suddenly we have all of these records that are so damn loud, they`re clipping and it has become "the sound we were looking for".... but technically its clipping. Clipping is not the problem, its the mindset. 

    Same goes for the how we use the Internet... instead of sitting there and listening to a song from the start like we used to with radio, we now have "options". Most people are opting to change the station. If they don`t get an immediate rush of dopamine, they`re out. 

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    • #5

      Anderton wrote:

      I think one big problem nobody's really addressing is that any artist is now competing with every piece of recorded music every made. Any listener can access pretty much anything whenever they want. You have to be better than, or least different from, what came before.

      One could argue that just because, for example, people can hear anything they want from Prince wouldn't preclude finding "the next Prince." But a lot of the signature music of artists still sounds fresh if you haven't already heard it a billion times. Again taking Prince as an example, "Let's Go Crazy" may sound a little dated, but only if you were alive when "the Minneapolis Sound" was fairly common. To anyone else, it has energy and vibe...which is why we listen to music, right?

       


       

      I'm not sure the average person is, in spite of the incredible availability of access to music from all eras, actually expanding their own listening all that much.  Think "250 channels plus YouTube and if there's no new Arrested Development episodes, there's nothing to watch!"

       

      Musicians, on the other hand, are different.  I get the feeling they are listening to a lot more material from all the various genres and eras.  So at the music production end of things, all the old stuff is churning up into the present continually.

       

      Also - what difference does it make anyway?  Hardly anyone current, old, living, dead, gets paid for just being listened to anymore.  Listened to as in radio or  streaming. And of course the CD is approaching obsolescence rapidly.   

       

      So the competition is for attention on the live stage or the internet viral phenomenon.  If you want to make money.  

       

      For me, as both a listener and a musician, it's the best of times and the worst of times.  

       

      nat whilk ii

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      • #6

        I've been living with streaming on demand now since about 2004. I may not be the average music listener (and you can probably say that again) but I may not be that far from the norm in my behavior if not my selections.


        It is different.


        In the past, we would build our personal libraries out of physical and later electronic copies of various audio records. Our selections would be necessarily limited.


        In the on-demand world, those restrictions, with few and perhaps increasingly marginalized exceptons, are largely removed.


        As somone suggested perhaps two or three decades ago might happen: our media consumption has been largely transformed from an acquisitive process to one of actually finding strategies to both 'remember' and be able to access our  favorites (to mitigate the 'I can play anything but I can't think of anything to play' syndrome) -- filtering out the unwanted.


         

        .

        music and social links | recent listening

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        • Benya Weller
          Benya Weller commented
          Editing a comment

          Yes, it's a wild internet world where one can be quickly overwhelmed, as I'm oftenly.

          But I think for musicians it's a great opportunity to find the right people - the tribe - which will listen to his/her music. You can say that you have the whole world to find listeners, exactly the people who are likeminded and love your unique style.


        • Ernest Buckley
          Ernest Buckley commented
          Editing a comment

          I just got Pandora on my iPhone this week... I`m a bit behind... I just got an iPhone 3 months ago... before that I had a flip phone which I loved but the screen died on me one day and so here I am now in the 21st century. Anyway, I get Pandora the other day and I`m loving it. I`ve got around 50 radio stations to far that I have subscribed to ranging from Brahms to Bob Marley to Metallica, Willie Nelson, etc... its awesome. But just to put this into perspective... I`m the type of person who will buy a CD, not a single and listen to the entire record because I`d like to think the artist and I have the same concept in common that when we make a record, we are placing songs in a specific order to establish some sort of emotional ride for the listener. 

          So just two days ago I`m in the car with my wife and kids and we`re driving for around an hour to get to our destination so I tell my wife I have Pandora... she wants to listen to the same artist she always listens to but I tell her no... lets listen to something totally different now that we have the "freedom" to do so. Will, she picked Van Morrison who we both enjoy but after a few seconds of a song that she was not familiar with she was ready to push forward and hear something else. I had to stop her again and say, "I never heard this song and I`d like to listen." My wife is not a musician, she is an average listener of pop music. If something does not grab her attention in 2 seconds (literally 2 seconds), she will turn the channel. My kids are the same way. As a matter of fact when I`m in the car with just my kids, my kids freak out that I actually listen to songs in their entirety. 

          We have become a very "entertain me NOW" society. We want everything when we want it and we will move on to the next thing the second something starts to bore us. There is no allowance for something to develop, there is no down time. Everything is up, everything is fast, everything is fleeting. 

          Just from my unscientific observation, I would say the average Top 40 tune lasts 3 weeks on the radio and then its on to something else. Songs from a year ago are considered "dated". Whether or not todays music is  good or bad is not the conversation for this thread because thats to subjective but the point is, nothing and no one is given time to grow or develop. I blame radio programmers for this and I blame record companies.

          Lastly, and I think this is the point I wanted to make in my previous post but didn`t have the time for was that we as a society have been conditioned to behave like this. The internet makes us impatient and intolerant. The internet is in my opinion the source for why albums sales have plummeted. Most people want convenience, not quality and the internet is mostly about convenience. 

          I think the problem with "making it" today is not what Craig eluded to but simple convenience. We want that little dopamine rush and the internet allows us to take as many hits as we would like, completely unregulated.


      • #7

        I think Craig has hit it straight on the head... the competition is bigger every day. In the 78rmp era you didn't have competition even from your back catalog. Your old masters wore out, your audience didn't buy all your records. Many bluesmen and country artists made a career by essentially recording the same song several times, with or without changes.

        I can only imagine what it's like in classical music. You have to figure out a gimmick for your new recording of a mainstream piece, because how can you convince EMI to allocate budget for it when they can simply release a pristine, remastered reissue of, say, Klemperer's classic interpretation from 1959?

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        • #8

          Anderton wrote:

          I think one big problem nobody's really addressing is that any artist is now competing with every piece of recorded music every made. Any listener can access pretty much anything whenever they want. You have to be better than, or least different from, what came before.

          One could argue that just because, for example, people can hear anything they want from Prince wouldn't preclude finding "the next Prince." But a lot of the signature music of artists still sounds fresh if you haven't already heard it a billion times. Again taking Prince as an example, "Let's Go Crazy" may sound a little dated, but only if you were alive when "the Minneapolis Sound" was fairly common. To anyone else, it has energy and vibe...which is why we listen to music, right?

           


           I think that the internet could dry up and blow away and you'd still be waiting a century or two for 'the next Prince.'

           

          He's extraordinary. 

           

           I'm pretty sure that when Prince plays guitar, Steve freakin Vai stops to watch if he can. If the soul of Mozart has had another time around, he's wearing pumps and assless pants. 

           I agree though. And If everyone now has to compete with The Greats, I can only say that it's about time.

          Just sayin. .png" alt=":smileyhappy:" title="Smiley Happy" />

           

          Comment


          • blue2blue
            blue2blue commented
            Editing a comment

            The thing that's so crazy about Prince is that he is just so incredibly cavalier about the guitar -- it just doesn't seem important to him -- yet he is, indeed, a very good player, which was one of the things that drew me to him early on -- and one of the reasons I drifted off when he became so wrapped up in the construction of his 'persona' -- he and I may not agree on this, but I find his guitar playing a lot more interesting than that oddly crafted persona. That said, I suspect, like many creatives, he has some, you know, issues. Don't we all.


        • #9

          Perhaps the problem is a lack of paying venues. When the Grateful Dead started, they were playing six days a week, two shows on Saturday, booked steady. Even where I live, way out in the woods, we used to play once a week in the summer.

           

          In the process of gigging you learn how to play, you learn what the audience wants, you build a following, and you get your music heard. I'm sure there's some way to do this on the Internet, but playing live just seems easier and more intuitive.

          Comment


          • MikeRivers
            MikeRivers commented
            Editing a comment

            spaceanimals wrote:

            Perhaps the problem is a lack of paying venues. When the Grateful Dead started, they were playing six days a week, two shows on Saturday, booked steady. Even where I live, way out in the woods, we used to play once a week in the summer.

             

            In the process of gigging you learn how to play, you learn what the audience wants, you build a following, and you get your music heard. I'm sure there's some way to do this on the Internet, but playing live just seems easier and more intuitive.


            Maybe the trick is to figure out how venues can make money presenting live music. Back when the Grateful Dead got started, they played a lot for free, and when you had to pay to see them, it was $2. And they encouraged people to record their shows and share the recordings. I'd go to hear more live music if it still cost just lunch money, but I won't pay $150 for a concert ticket for anyone. And with all the security today, I doubt I could sneak even a Zoom H2 into a Madonna concert.

            It was pretty common to sell CDs at local venue shows and I guess there's still some of that going on (it keeps Diskmakers in business), but there's more expectation to be able to download music rather than hand over cash and take something tangible home with you.

            Cheer up - there's a lot of pressure now to raise the minimum wage to something people can live on, and most musicians are qualified to take more than minimum wage jobs if they considered music to be their part time job, which it always was while artists were developing. Only so many, in any era, can "make it" to the point that they can make music their full time profession. And those who do usually have more skills than just writing songs or playing an instrument. They have a business plan that works.


          • UstadKhanAli
            UstadKhanAli commented
            Editing a comment

            spaceanimals wrote:

            Perhaps the problem is a lack of paying venues. When the Grateful Dead started, they were playing six days a week, two shows on Saturday, booked steady. Even where I live, way out in the woods, we used to play once a week in the summer.

             

            In the process of gigging you learn how to play, you learn what the audience wants, you build a following, and you get your music heard. I'm sure there's some way to do this on the Internet, but playing live just seems easier and more intuitive.


            A lot of times, touring is the only way that musical acts have of making money.  They make money from the tour (ideally) and have a chance to sell merch.













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