Seth Godin dishes 15 tips to musicians on the cusp between old and new media.
- The new thing is never as good as the old thing, at least right now
- Past performance is no guarantee of future success
- Copy protection in a digital age is a pipe dream
- Interactivity can’t be copied
- Permission is the asset of the future
- A frightened consumer is not a happy consumer
- This is a big one: The best time to change your business model is while you still have momentum
- Remember the Bob Dylan rule: it’s not just a record, it’s a movement
- Don’t panic when the new business model isn’t as ‘clean’ as the old one
- Read the writing on the wall
- Don’t abandon the Long Tail
- Understand the power of digital
- Celebrity is underrated
- Value is created when you go from many to few, and vice versa
- Whenever possible, sell subscriptions
The opportunity of digital distribution is this:
When you can distribute something digitally, for free, it will spread (if it’s good). If it spreads, you can use it as a vehicle to allow people to come back to you and register, to sign up, to give you permission to interact and to keep them in the loop.
This is a philosophy to commit to memory. There’s much needed explanation at his original post: Music lessons
Ed Dumchus says
I think the points from Seth Godin are valuable. I wonder about the statement “celebrity is underrated” though. He mentions celebrities like Sinatra and Elvis, and they are examples of celebrity contributing to longevity of a musical career. But there are also examples such as Paris Hilton and Britney Spears. Their “celebrity” is not helping their musical careers, and certainly not contributing to career longevity. Maybe a better comment would be that celebrity is a two edged sword; used well, it can produce great benefits, used unwisely, it can crash and burn a career.
Graham English says
I totally hear you Ed and I think Seth wouldn’t disagree entirely. But in terms of just profit, Britney and Paris are still doing well even while contributing very little, if not nothing, to society. You should email him. He usually replies.
I think the point is to ask yourself, who can you marry right now or who’s talent can you leach off of that would generate the most PR? 😉