Yet MORE on Success Metrics!

January 30, 2010

Tommy Silverman’s recent blog on the relative “success” of artists (or lack thereof) has drawn a lot of discussion web-wide. The basic assertion that only artists that have sold 10,000 copies are “successful” or “breaking” drew a lot of criticism, most notably from Jeff Price of Tunecore.

Behind all this talk of sales numbers, measurement of albums or singles downloads, Soundscan’s relative effectiveness and whether to focus on the short-head or the long-tail, I think we’re missing the forest for the trees.

As the world of independent artistic enterprises continues to explode ( with the artist/band as the CEO of their own music business, ) the simplest metric for success is profitability – are you making more than you spend to create, distribute and promote your music?

It’s perhaps too simple a formula in a music industry awash with “conferences” who’s life-blood is describing the water in which labels and former middle-men are currently drowning, but if you’re to build anything from scratch (and that’s as good a “strategy” for success in the razed landscape of music today), it’s good to start from the bottom, and move up.

Further Reading: The Future of Music Coalition has also weighed into the debate with some very pertinent thoughts.

STOP SHOUTING. No one can hear you.

January 11, 2010

It seems everyone’s in a rush to the top. Top number of “Twitter” friends. Top number of blog mentions. Top of HypeM or

Didn’t MySpace teach us anything?

No one’s listening to the hype. SHUT UP, BANDS. While you’re busy harvesting emails into the hundreds, the 30 or so that will actually listen are ignored enough that they stop caring.

Take your time and talk to a few people. Don’t write a “press release”. Don’t worry about the number of people who ignore you – they aren’t worth your time anyway. These few people, who’ve told you they love your music, ARE worth it.

How you make that “scale”, how those few people (not hundreds) get you where you want to be: That’s the big question.

This is the way it is. No matter what approach you take, SHOUTING is the wrong one.