Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Musicians Income From Branding

One of the basic tenets of Music 3.0 is that your music is your marketing, which means that you shouldn't be afraid to give it away as long as it raises your visibility and establishes your brand. Where music artists have always made the bulk of their money is from gigging and selling merchandise, and the actual music sales of an established artist is as little as 2%.

But it's easy to paint a pie-in-the-sky picture of how these revenue streams work, and I've been as guilty of this as anyone. The fact of the matter is, in order to make any of the current Music 3.0 principles work, you first need an audience. Now I cover how to establish, nurture and sustain that audience in the Music 3.0 guidebook, but it's really easy to overlook the fact that people really have to like your music, and you still have to put in a lot of work to make things happen. In other words, it's pretty difficult if a lot of people think you're mediocre; it's less difficult if a lot of people think you're great.

But beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and I firmly believe that almost any artist can find an audience out there if you search long enough. The problem is, it might not be large enough to sustain a career.

So let's assume that you've had at least some minimal success and developed a core audience (however large or small). How much revenue can you expect from your brand? Here's a great slideshow that the Future of Music Coalition did for their MIDEM 2012 presentation that represents a survey of 5000 musicians asked just that question.

View more presentations from midem
One of the major points that the slideshow makes is that you can't expect to make any money as a musician unless you establish your brand first, and even then you still might not make that much if you don't work it hard. Most musicians either don't know how or don't care about the brand part of their careers. If they're lucky, they latch on to an established brand (like a successful band) and ride its coattails. But if you're really interested in a long-term career, your personal brand is of utmost importance. Do it now!

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David said...

Hi Bobby, please define branding. Thanks!


Bobby Owsinski said...

This post explains it perfectly.

david said...

thanks bob!


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