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Content by Duane Charles

What is the Future of the Music Industry? Or is it Already Here?

It is obvious that over the past twenty years the landscape of the music industry has fundamentally changed with:

  1. The invention of the internet (decades earlier) spawning the world wide “web” and the social mobile web we use today.
  2. The rapid rise of the mp3 as the web standard for music sharing.
  3. The transition of full-length albums to music singles.
  4. The plummeting cost associated with creating professional sound recordings.
  5. New software and hardware that removes many of the technical barriers associated with creating great songs and music videos.
  6. A new generation (or two) under the age of about 30 who accepts that free music has become the model for consumption.
  7. Social networks giving artist access to an array of promotional/ publicity services, and music professionals in the industry.
  8. Social media bringing back the word of mouth ole school peer to peer networks on steroids.

future of music industryWelcome to the future of music where we are now experiencing the birth of a DIY music generation of artists who will only be bound by the limits of the imagination, and are free to create and market music in entirely new ways.

So You Are Multi Talented Music Artist – Choose Your Passion Wisely

choose your career pathThis post is directed at the growing number of multi-skilled music artists among us who choose to direct much of their energy and skills to additional music talents. Although being multi-talented maybe necessary at the beginning of ones musical career, it will one day come down to choosing one. Choose your passion wisely.

What questions do we ask ourselves when deciding which career path to pursue? Music offers many possibilities, and part of the challenge in finding our way is recognizing opportunities as they present themselves. Then we must decide what is right for us.

Gone are the days of minimal opportunities for the musically talented. Now each music career path chosen can be as unique as the artists themselves. The problem is not the lack of opportunities, but the ease in which new artists can market, produce and distribute their own music and talents on a global scale.

Which means every Johnnie’s uncle/cousin on daddy’s side of the family can sing into a mic, record vocals with some backing tracks and have it uploaded to the internet by days end. If Johnnie’s cousin happens to be a better marketer than you, then it is more likely he will garner more exposure than you.

Top 5 tips indie music artists should follow when building their brand online

Building a brand is the single most important skill a music artist, indie label or band should learn if they intend to promote their works to a larger audience. Thanks to the internet, and the growing popularity of social media, artist branding is much less complicated than it was… say maybe 10 years ago.

your brandRegardless of the type of artist you may be, we all need to understand the importance of branding to stand out from the crowd. To do that, we must take lessons from the corporate brands and recognize how we connect and promote online is a direct reflection of how others see our own brands.

If independent artists are a truly in the game as free agents and ballers, then it’s time we started playing like it.

So here is my top 5 list of things to get you pointed in the right direction.

Longevity

Be ready to be in for the long haul. It takes years to build a solid reputation as a recognized and successful brand. The branding process itself isn’t complicated, but it will require patience and perseverance to effectively accomplish your goals. You have to be unyielding and persistence in your efforts every day. If you are not up to the task, know that many of your competitors will be, and more than willing to pass you by.

Congressional Reform Act of 2011- Pass it on

we the peopleI came upon this comment in a posting about the imminent govt shutdown and thought it would be a good idea to help get the word.

The “Congressional Reform Act of 2011” is not a real bill in Congress but it is a passionate plea for change on behalf of concerned citizens hoping to get the word out across the World Wide Web.

Now this is the change I would vote for. If this is supposed to be government of the people, by the people, for the people, then I vote…Yes we can!

Congressional Reform Act of 2011

1. Term Limits. No more than two Congressional terms.

2. No Tenure / No Pension.
A Congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office.

3. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security.
All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people.

4. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans may do.

5 updates independent music artists should consider on their websites

I spend a great deal of my time on the unexplored highways of the web searching for and visiting artist’s music websites. Sometimes during the week, I might visit hundreds in a single day. It is just part of what I do here at Gighive.

internet highway

internet highway

So you can say, I maybe more of an authority on exploring the web for new and interesting artists than most who only travel the major interstates from one major city to the next. I for one think life is more interesting on the lanes less traveled than hitting the 6 to 8 lane congested highways.

So I decided to write a report on my findings and give the locals some tips on how to improve there site experience so visitors will return more often. Note* there are always exceptions to the rules!

Tip 1 – Ancient website design and web 1.0 type styling.

Old towns may have a certain charm with their rich heritage and unique architecture, but in my opinion do not translate in the online world.

There is no charm in blinking stars, colorful jpegs, animated gifs and flashing links; coupled with a confusing link structure all on the same page.

Independent Artists Ignore Free Advertising Offered by Search Engines

search listingsIndependent artists that decide to take the next step and host their own websites are thinking about online promotion, branding, marketing and getting the word out on their own terms. Whether it’s for music, shows, announcements, etc., many do so without taking full advantage of what many search engines have to offer. And that would be how they scan and display information contained on the back-end of your website.

Page’s meta title and meta descriptions tags.

I call it some of the best advertising and promotion there is on the web… And it’s free!

Hear me out… When I am searching for a new artist on the web, in most cases I usually start my search with general keywords terms, such as female dj, singer/songwriter, hip hop producer, mastering engineer, lead vocalist and so on.  Most people who search on the web use general keyword terms or phrases to find what they are looking for. So the same thing holds true when fans are searching for a particular type of artist in the general sense.

GigHive’s Independent Artist Website Initiative

Ready to take the next step

At GigHive, our purpose has always been to build a network to showcase Independent artists of all types. We first went online December 7, 2007 and during that time we have altered our course somewhat, as we strived to fine tune our vision. But our goals have always remained the same.

On December 7, 2010 we at GigHive are launching a new artist website initiative that will be our number one priority as we go forward to 2011 and beyond.

gighive's independent artists website initiative

A little background

Over the past 5 years, we have witnessed explosive growth to sites such as Twitter, Facebook and the once formidable Myspace communities. But the growth of these social communities have come at a huge price as more and more artists have abandoned their own artist websites or decided to forgo the expense of owning a website entirely, opting to sign up for a free alternative instead.

At GigHive, we understand the important roles these sites play in creating a launching platform for new, emerging and established independent artists, but at the same time realize they should have never been used as a substitute. Every time we as individuals follow the leader, the consequence of these actions will be a narrowing of our choices. When we do decide to narrow the field to one, then we will have no choice.

Independent Artists: Tips For Optimizing Your Website

Adding or Enhancing Your Website’s About Me Section Part 1

I spend a great deal of my spare time searching on the web for independent artist owned websites. After three years of searching and finding all kinds of great gems on the Internet, I decided to post some of my tips on helping you get your web page to stick with new visitors.

information overloadBefore I get started, you must first wrap your mind around the idea that the majority of visitors who land on your home page on the web today are inundated with an overwhelming number of: emails, texts, advertisements, status updates, applications, requests, alerts, and demands all vying for ‘me’ time. Information overload is normal for most web surfers. And this is happening every second they are browsing the web.

Just one side note before I go on: For those of you who love the cool flash intros, think twice about the loading times, because you literally have seconds before A.D.D. kicks in and your new visitors hits the back button and becomes a bounce statistic.

About Me Section