5 Things Musicians Care About That Music Fans Don’t + New Must Hear Indie Music
Today, I’m going to focus on the 5 things bands obsess over that music fans do not even care about. Over the years I’ve found that musicians and their fans are on two totally different wavelengths when it comes to what they’re looking for out of music – which is why only about 1% of the bands who pursue a career in music will reach superstar status and only 3% will be able to actually make it their full-time job for 20+ years. The biggest problem I see from majority of the artists releasing songs is that they want to give fans what they (musicians) want fans to have, instead of actually giving fans what they want. This never works!
So, in this episode I’m going to share 5 common areas where musicians seem to focus too much attention; all of which are areas that music fans do not care about. My hope is that by the time I’m done you’ll be a bit more cognizant of these key issues and will consider making the necessary adjustments to give yourself a better chance at success.
- Sound: Musicians are sometimes a bit too technical when it comes to creating music for public consumption. When I was a full-time record producer, I wasted a ton of time worrying about sound and not focusing on whether music fans even wanted to hear all that. I remember playing songs for friends who weren’t in the music business and saying, “Watch this part! BOOM!” and they’d look at me and say, “What was the ‘Boom’ for?” Music fans don’t even hear that cool plated reverb you put on your snare drum. All they hear is a song they either like or dislike. A perfect example is the Robin Thicke “Blurred Lines” song. Music fans couldn’t hear the obvious lifting of Marvin Gaye’s 70’s hit “Got To Give It Up”. So, the next time you feel the urge to worry about that extra technical thing that only you and your band will notice in the recording…just move on and focus on the overall mix; making sure the main parts that fans will hear are actually in order — not that one cool effect that lasts for like 3 seconds that most people will never notice.
- Producer & Studio: Musicians spend way too much time and money in this area thinking it’s the most important area of the songs they’re planning to release. I’ve asked tons of music buying consumers over the years whether or not the producer or studio affected their buying decision, and the answer I get 99% of the time is “No!” So, why do you – musicians – care so much about this stuff? Spend more time telling them about YOU and less time bragging about the studio you recorded in or your Grammy-nominated producer who hasn’t had a hit in over a decade. Besides, just because he/she had a hit 10 years ago, it doesn’t mean music fans will know who this person is. As proof that music fans do not follow the Who’s Who of music unless they’re trying to actually be an artist themselves, I’d like to reference Katy Perry‘s 2015 Superbowl performance when she brought out Missy Elliott on stage and 15 year old girls were Tweeting about how cool it was that Katy was breaking a new artist! They had no clue that Missy had put out 6 multiplatinum and gold selling albums before Perry even released her pop music single in 2009. So again, spend more time making fans familiar with you as opposed to trying to convince them that your producer’s credentials means your album is one of the best they’ll ever hear. Because, they’re not going to buy that line.
- Selling Music: Dude stop! Random people are not going to buy your music if they don’t know who you are. It doesn’t matter how many times you post on social media, if you haven’t done anything noteworthy then the people you’re trying to gain support from will not care about you and your new single or EP. Spend less time trying to sell music and more time getting your name and face out there.
- Release Parties: Musicians spend too much time worrying about their album release party. I get like 200 pitches a month from publicists, labels, and artists talking about album release parties. Sure, album release parties can be a great way to introduce your new music to an audience of 70 people, most of whom already know you, but you’re not going to make a lot of progress there. The music fans you’re trying to reach are not going to care that you did an album release party that they weren’t invited to. The money and time you’re going to waste on an album release party will not be recouped, so find a better use for it. Maybe use your time and resources doing a media blitz instead of making club owners more money.
- Streaming Audio: Musicians spend too much time trying to drive people to their Spotify, Bandcamp, Reverbnation, and Soundcloud accounts. Music fans don’t care about you being on these sites. Why? Because everybody is on those sites. In fact, these streaming sources pay virtually nothing to artists for the traffic and streams you generate for their platforms, yet many of you are trying to convince potential fans to visit your pages on the se sites? Let’s look at sites like Soundcloud who don’t even pay artists for the streams you generate. Actually, artists are paying Soundcloud and making the founders and investors very rich. Sure, sites like Soundcloud are great marketing tools to get the word out about your music, like it has done for Ramsey (who you’ll hear on today’s playlist). But paying for the service with no real plan for how you’re going to recoup that investment or how you’re going to convert new followers into buyers is not a smart use of your resources. Yes, these sites have become a necessary part of building an online presence, but the truth is, you’re not going to get anything out of promoting these websites over your own. So, instead of telling people to visit your profiles on 3rd party sites, why don’t you drive them to your own website to listen? And then make sure you have a store or direct links set up on your site so people who want to buy your music can do so from your site. This way they will see you as a viable seller for future purchases, instead of going straight to iTunes or Spotify.
MUSIC FEATURED INCLUDES:
- Port of Est. – “Valentine In My Headphones” (Experimental Pop)
- Cool Company – “Summer Daze (Soul)
- Bitter’s Kiss – “The Rope” (Indie, Folk-Pop)
- Jaylon Ashaun – “While You Wait” (R&B, Pop)
- Ramsey – “PAY” (Pop, Trip-Hop)