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Survival of great music

Written by Tommi on 26.04.2010 13:37:12

Blog image for entry Survival of great music "Will there be money to be made by making music tomorrow?" seems to be the question everybody would like to see answered.

I think they're asking the wrong question.

Let's make a small checklist of facts:
  • The importance of broadcast media is in a rapid decline. It's increasingly difficult to buy yourself into fame. If you don't get people talking about your music, you're not going to achieve anything.
  • Amateurs have the means to produce music on a zero budget with fully acceptable level of sonic quality and they can afford to give it away for free
  • The global digital community provides an automatic and autonomoys quality monitoring service that the old world of music critics in syndicated publications simply can not match
  • There will always be money for people who are able to move masses

To summarize: you NEED to get people talking. We've already proved with Viola Music Club that two dudes with a bunch of not-too-expensive gear can produce a constant stream of ok quality music for free so it's only a matter of time when the amount of high quality 0 euro music fills the world. I guess it actually has already, we just haven't noticed it yet.

Out of that enormous mass a tiny fraction of a fraction will be so exceptional that they'll get people talking.

The time of being able to make it by making good music is over. It's over for great music as well. Only the exceptional will be able to survive. The rest of us will have to keep making music as a hobby, hoping that one day we too can be exceptional.


When I say exceptional, I'm not referring to subjective quality of music. Let's face it, there's almost 7 billion different tastes in music in the world. By exceptional I mean music that makes an individual willing to evangelize an artist. Music that spreads like wildfire. Whether it's a gimmick-y "right place at the right time" hit or an amazingly striking piece of music, it evokes the need to tell people about it.

Music that just makes for an enjoyable listening experience will not be enough as the methods of making meaningful revenue from small scale excitement are about to be extinct.

The real question is: once you're making music that's exceptional enough to get masses talking about you, how do you monetize the movement?
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