Music Blogs – How Unsigned Artists Are Converting MP3s to Cash

n 1999, when file sharing sites like Napster started to become popular, the music industry was a thriving market with over $14.5 billion in annual U.S. sales alone. Fast forward to today and music sales have declined by nearly 50%-a catastrophic loss by any standards. The ease and convenience with which music fans can get free music has permanently changed the rules of music marketing and promotion. While this bad news for major record labels, it has created big opportunity for unsigned artists.

As the music industry fights for its life, many internet-savvy artists are starting music blogs and marketing their music directly to fans. Ironically, the key to their success is not in selling music, but making their songs available as free downloads on their own blogs. Taking a page from entrepreneurs like Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg (who amassed a fortune of over $ 4 billion giving away “free” web pages), these artists have learned how to make money in music by giving it away. Here’s how it works:

The first step is starting a music blog. Using free WordPress software–a powerful, yet extremely ease to use blogging platform–artists can easily create a blog on their own domain names without having to learn a single line of code. Since the software and domain names are free, their only overhead is the monthly fee charged by their web hosting company (typically less than $10 per month). The entire process can be done by a complete novice in less than 10 minutes. After another 1/2 hour or so spent choosing a free theme and installing free plugins, they have a fully-functional, professional-looking blog.

Next, they set up a few web pages. An artist bio, a contact page and page where fans can listen to and download MP3s are pretty standard. Photos and videos are optional, but definitely recommended. Depending on the amount of content you want to add initially, this can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours.

Finally, they set up several revenue streams on their blogs by signing up for various advertising networks and affiliate marketing programs. This allows them to earn money from the actions of fans who visit their site to download the artists’ songs.

With this basic framework in place, all that’s left to do is start publishing and promoting more music-related content. If properly executed, the artists can start generating web traffic (and money) in a matter of few days.

It’s a near-perfect business model for unsigned artists. Music is used as a form of social currency–“MP3 money”, so to speak–which artists can use to “buy” fans. The more fans they can attract by giving away free MP3s, the more passive income they can earn by fans clicking on ads posted by various companies in their advertising network or buying products from the affiliates.

With a solid understanding of internet/music marketing and promotion, even mediocre artists are managing to earn a living from music while completely bypassing commercial radio, mainstream media and major record labels.

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When learning to play guitar the most important element is practice. The easiest way to do that with your favorite songs – as it creates an additional incentive to play, making the process less boring. For this you need a web-site (like gprotab.net ) and a program to read-n-play those, and a lot of time and patience. Remember – it is not a one day technique.

The Modern Music

Today’s practitioners of what we once called “modern” music are finding themselves to be suddenly alone. A bewildering backlash is set against any music making that requires the disciplines and tools of research for its genesis. Stories now circulate that amplify and magnify this troublesome trend. It once was that one could not even approach a major music school in the US unless well prepared to bear the commandments and tenets of serialism. When one hears now of professors shamelessly studying scores of Respighi in order to extract the magic of their mass audience appeal, we know there’s a crisis. This crisis exists in the perceptions of even the most educated musicians. Composers today seem to be hiding from certain difficult truths regarding the creative process. They have abandoned their search for the tools that will help them create really striking and challenging listening experiences. I believe that is because they are confused about many notions in modern music making!

First, let’s examine the attitudes that are needed, but that have been abandoned, for the development of special disciplines in the creation of a lasting modern music. This music that we can and must create provides a crucible in which the magic within our souls is brewed, and it is this that frames the templates that guide our very evolution in creative thought. It is this generative process that had its flowering in the early 1950s. By the 1960s, many emerging musicians had become enamored of the wonders of the fresh and exciting new world of Stockhausen’s integral serialism that was then the rage. There seemed limitless excitement, then. It seemed there would be no bounds to the creative impulse; composers could do anything, or so it seemed. At the time, most composers hadn’t really examined serialism carefully for its inherent limitations. But it seemed so fresh. However, it soon became apparent that it was Stockhausen’s exciting musical approach that was fresh, and not so much the serialism itself, to which he was then married. It became clear, later, that the methods he used were born of two special considerations that ultimately transcend serial devices: crossing tempi and metrical patterns; and, especially, the concept that treats pitch and timbre as special cases of rhythm. (Stockhausen referred to the crossovers as “contacts”, and he even entitled one of his compositions that explored this realm Kontakte.) These gestures, it turns out, are really independent from serialism in that they can be explored from different approaches.

The most spectacular approach at that time was serialism, though, and not so much these (then-seeming) sidelights. It is this very approach — serialism — however, that after having seemingly opened so many new doors, germinated the very seeds of modern music’s own demise. The method is highly prone to mechanical divinations. Consequently, it makes composition easy, like following a recipe. In serial composition, the less thoughtful composer seemingly can divert his/her soul away from the compositional process. Inspiration can be buried, as method reigns supreme. The messy intricacies of note shaping, and the epiphanies one experiences from necessary partnership with one’s essences (inside the mind and the soul — in a sense, our familiars) can be discarded conveniently. All is rote. All is compartmentalized. For a long time this was the honored method, long hallowed by classroom teachers and young composers-to-be, alike, at least in the US. Soon, a sense of sterility emerged in the musical atmosphere; many composers started to examine what was taking place.

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