Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Saturday, May 10, 2003

Can Indy Music Bands Promote And Market Themselves Without The Majors?

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It is so unfortunate that the indie bands are not even seeking or pouring their best energies and ideas into designing such alternative future, while it is so startingly beautiful to see other individuals getting down at it with passion and true interest like we are doing now.

In my very personal view, the problem so far has rested on a too limited understanding of how we could leverage the Internet to create an alternative to the big record labels market stranglehold.

Too many times I have seen the likes of promising new young bands being hypnotized by the allure of what the record industry has painted as being the only reality. Musicians and indie bands Don't EVEN see an alternative outside of the "majors". Though I am certainly generalizing you have to admit that we are indeed in a dire strait of affairs on this front.

So where do I think is the road to take?

To change user habits music has to change somehow the role it has had so far in the marketplace and become an "interactive" and "creative" technology.

What do I mean?

Music and new media technologies offer the opportunity to anyone to become another jammer in the session or a new lead vocalist in the track of the time. Music listeners can remix, edit and dub any tune they wish. Consumers of music can add their own creativity to a music piece and pass it on to others for extending this possibly inifinite loop.

Though some historical examples have attempted this approach, most have not even heard about it and record companies will do anything to put a cap on this before it takes on as it will.

If you want to visualize beter what I have in mind, head off to my site and read "Bat N'Avò Goes To Hollywood", a short story painting an indy music band alternative marketplace, where consumers edit, remix and send off to others while supporting financially their favourite bands.

As you will read this story you will see that the winning factor is not rooted only in leveraging virus-like opportunities and sharing + ownership concepts so alien to the present industry. One major critical factor required for indy music success is their ability to unite forces with sytrong social, cultural or political messages and initiatives of some kind.

As the Beatles and Bob Marley have clearly taught us, when there is a powerful message embedded in the music, a quiet revolution can more easily be started.

Finally I would like to make a toast to those technology companies that have had such vision and that are seriously trying to come up with products and services that will definitely help such indy bands get more attention while defining a space and a strategy in which they can also survive while doing some good to their listeners.

One good example of this is the recent work created by SimpleStar a new company formerly called NoizePlay, which has recentky released EZ-DJ .

This fabuolous music re-mixing desktop tool provides much of what I have dreamed about providing a window to the market for many unknown music bands while giving consumers the opportunity to personalize and re-edit the cuts while being able to master them on CDs or to send them over to their favourite friends for more music play. (The online version accessible at Shockwave allows email passover of remixes while the purchasable product does not allow this feature. When I inquired with Simple Software about this they politely pointed out that the ability to resend to others had been licensed by the bands only for the online version - Are indies band doing hara-kiri or ar the "majors" already at work with this?).

To me, creating and spreading music around in such fashion is an irresistible concept.

Indie bands get a lot more exposure and attention in this way that by going to radio and TV shows where they have to bow and silently obey to the big media industry rules.

So I am not saying that the problem is over, I am only pointing to Good alternatives, the ones that we should brainstorm around while finding great synergies with the ones you guys already have (, etc.).

Even Madonna, which you so correctly bash, had indeed a hint of the goodness of the above ideas when it went out of her way in promoting and marketing in an alternative way her latest single.

My belief is that we need only to further brainstorm and improve on this basic ideas while exposing them and encouraging those moving in the right direction to keep in doing so.

Thanks to you Marc for the good work you are already doing in this direction.

My two liras,

Robin Good
Understanding comes from exploration

read what my heart feels and my eyes see at:
Robin Good's Sharewood Tidings

Inspired from posts by Marc Feedman and Ian Dickson on the Ryze Network.

> Marc Freedman wrote: > The net has been promoted as the holy grail for indies for several years now, from sites such as to net radio. There will continue to be increasing opportunities for indie music promotion sites, marketing, and direct payment. >But there hasn't been any significant change in user habits. The indie sites never took off. The vast majority of P2P music searches continue to be the popular music peddled by the major labels. I could be wrong but I haven't seen any shift since P2P became popularized in the early days of Scour/Napster. People don't use P2P to find new bands. And you can include my personal use in that group... >

Readers' Comments    
2004-08-16 13:37:01

Fennec Fox

power to the indie musican! people like me write songs and put them in rooms for people to listen to on my record player. my room number is , stop by sometime won't you?


posted by Robin Good on Saturday, May 10 2003, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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