We are in dark times, my friends, but the future of the music business is a bright one.
The Renaissance is coming.
The music will improve tremendously, believe it or not.
The current market conditions are setting the stage brilliantly.
We are going through a breakdown of quality art and have been for a couple decades. Post-Modern art is derivative and sterile, to put it mildly.
This was happening before the internet and reality TV and now it’s been amplified. Everybody wants to be famous, not even necessarily talented.
I know it doesn’t feel “healthy” in any way, but this is OK! We’ll have a few years of nauseating, obnoxious, never-ending moronic art served up via our social media feeds and flat screen TVs.
Here’s the thing. The market will grow tired of it.
A bunch of you already are, you’re the early adopters.
The masses will follow much later.
Yes, this is how marketing works and has always worked for hundreds of years. You have the early adopters like the people who camp out overnight for the new iPhone.
Then the masses follow in force.
To demonstrate how old this human behavior is (and for the purposes of building faith that we’re on the right track), I’ll share a little historical value bomb.
Do you know why we refer to engine power as horsepower?
Back in the day when the automobile was a new technology to the masses, there were throngs of people who refused to ride in cars because they weren’t horses.
“It’ll never stick, it’s a fad, it’s always been horses and always will be.”
They were too freaked out by the technology change.
The automakers began talking about the power of the engine in terms that the masses could easily relate to; horsepower.
It stuck. Makes sense now, right?
Our modern-day version of that is when your parents refuse to use computers. Maybe their completely oblivious to social media and complain about it.
Have you heard anyone talk about social media as if it’s a demon to society?
We artists, we do this ourselves.
For some reason, we’re not comfortable with change.
But the only thing we can rely on is that the world will constantly change.
So, the artists who can adapt will be the artists that make a living because they will be the artists that we know about.
They figured out how to get to us. How to get to the market.
For example, most artists refuse to utilize the power of YouTube because they can’t get any traction on their own music. They tell themselves the story, “I don’t want to be known as a cover artist” to justify their lack of strategy, understanding, and inability to adapt.
But they’ve completely overlooked the fact that the first Beatles record was all covers.
They’ve completely overlooked the fact that the first TWO Rolling Stones Records were comprised of all covers (except for 3 songs on 12×5).
They don’t consider some of today’s biggest stars like Bieber, Carrie Underwood, Blake Shelton, Melanie Martinez, and Miranda Lambert as “cover artists” but they all started out on YouTube or TV singing covers.
Eventually, the community of artists will let go of their past, unicorn-like delusions of how the music industry used to be (which is typically misguided anyway).
They will also jettison their naive feelings on the way it should be (with everyone getting a blue ribbon for trying and/or for having some talent).
Once this inevitably happens they’ll focus on what’s truly important; the work.
In the immediate future, we consumers will continue to become inundated with crap and clutter from the non-creative, derivative, fame-seeking, bottom-dwellers.
All sterile pop, rock, country, rap, etc. will begin to numb us, the masses, to the point of apathy.
We’ll all stop caring.
This will be scary.
This will naturally spur a new renaissance of significant art.
Important artists will rise up from the ashes.
I say that it will happen naturally because the only thing that will cut through the clutter will be sincerely compelling talent and creativity.
If you think about it, we’re seeing bits of this prediction already, aren’t we?
Artists like Noah Guthrie and Karmin, for instance. Radio may have helped grow their brand but it certainly didn’t create their brand.
We lack some super power tastemakers right now. Terrestrial radio used to influence a market, then on a larger scale, MTV (in the early days); these were huge tastemakers.
The DJ’s and VJ’s put their stamp of approval on it and we accepted the offering, didn’t we?
New tastemakers will arise with massive amounts of power.
Some will give way to the proverbial corporate poison apple.
Others will realize, like Snapchat, that authenticity is what sells and will keep them relevant in the marketplace. They’ll shun the apple and stick to the moral, genuine, and effective approach that garnered them the market attention which made them attractive to the corporate world, to begin with.
The renaissance is coming. A renaissance of art, ideas, thinking, and philosophies that will be astonishing to witness.
Artists everywhere are just beginning to ask the right questions.
“How can I cut through the clutter?”
“How can I become more compelling?”
“How can I take this artistic piece to another level?”
“How can I really reach my audience?”
“What does my audience feel, want, and demand?”
The Renaissance is coming!
I’m so freaking excited about it!!
No longer do artists need to ask permission to present their work to the masses.
They’re beginning to understand this.
An artist can create something compelling, present it to the market (a large market), and refine it from there.
Any artist can easily FIND THEIR AUDIENCE!
This will be an audience of consumers who are responding to the art because it speaks to them as opposed to being brainwashed into liking it through repetition.
In the future, artists will become brand ambassadors.
They will be valued quite highly because they have something most companies and brands don’t have; PERMISSION.
Permission being defined as the ability to reach a mass of people who are looking forward to their next communication from the artist.
Imagine an artist with 1 million email addresses, phone numbers, and/or device ID’s.
Picture an artist with that kind of reach who understands how to create compelling content, aside from their music, that is relevant and personal to the 1 million followers.
Envision those 1 million followers not tolerating the interruptions, but ANTICIPATING whatever content is coming from said artist.
Can you see it?
Brands will bow at the feet of artists who have crafted a unique relationship with their fans because it’s the only way to get through anymore.
Artists will be the pied pipers, the cult leaders, the powerfully benevolent managers of a loyal following who will listen intently.
It’s not about, “I have 1 million contacts”, anymore. It’s going to be about, “I have 1 million relationships.”
Artists, they will pay to align their brand with yours.
They will pay dearly to be associated with your cool, with your hipness, and with your energy.
You have compelling art.
Get that compelling art in front of people who are wanting to consume it.
The rest will take care of itself.
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