Indie Musicians: So… what should artists do in order to survive?
The first thing that you should do is try to be different from the others. It is cliché but it is the ultimate rule when it comes to grabbing the attention of consumers. If the other albums are not selling, maybe they’re not doing something that catches the consumer’s fancy and maybe it’s because they’re doing what millions of artists are doing. Don’t follow what their trend and try to be unique instead.
You can do this by coming up with a very creative CD packaging. Try to think out of the box and stay away from overused concepts. But you should also bear in mind not to be over-the-top and extremely elaborate with your design. Designs like these are costly and could sometimes look desperate and cheap if not executed properly. The best thing to do is be different with your concept. Make sure your concept is solid, well though out, and witty if possible. There are plenty of ways to do this. You can use another material instead of the usual jewel case, you can include freebies, and many others.
You can also reinvent the distribution business by selling physical products. Some popular bands are wise enough to know that they can never get enough money from music alone. So they sell nonmusical collectible products for fans like lunch boxes, snow globes, t-shirts, and many others. With the popularity of facebook, multiply, and twitter, selling products is a lot easier and it doesn’t have to cost a dime. The best thing is that, you do not have to produce the actual product before you can sell them. All you need is some pretty good designs and you start uploading them to these sites. You can let visitors vote for good designs then mass-produce them if you have a good number of buyers.
Another good idea is by doing what Domino Records did to Max Tundra’s 2008 album. You can purchase his music by buying the limited edition Kosher Chicken soup. That’s right, music and chicken soup in one pack. The can has Tundra’s face smiling and handing out a soup and comes with an MP3 download code. Now isn’t that awesome! That’s one major leap to the music retail industry. Of course, do not copy what he did exactly. There are lots of products other than chicken soup. You can sell shirts with codes, toys with codes, pillows with codes, mushroom soup with codes…your options are limitless.
The point is, in order for you and your music to survive, do not sell music alone. Our new aim now is to give the consumers something else, something that they cannot easily download over the internet, something that they would find valuable and worth purchasing and keeping.
There are lots of ways to do this.
Keep on thinking.
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