“I’ve been stabbed in the back so many, many times, I don’t have any skin, but that’s just the way it goes.”
The music industry has repeatedly stabbed musicians in the back. And now that artists are starving and it appears there is nothing left to stab, they invent new ways to stab them some more.
So can musicians ever trust the labels, the technocrats, the performance rights organizations (PRO’s), the clubs, their manager …anybody? On the balance, I think the answer has to be no, nay, never!
At this point, musicians probably don’t trust that internet disintermediation is the answer either -yet they appear to be addicted to exposure via the web. Internet glory is the slot machine with a million bells. It’s also a black hole that never seems to pay out. Why do artists continue to toss their orphan music away into this bottomless freemium pit?
To be fair, freemium exposure did bring some artists success at the outset. But, after a couple of years …what, with the explosion in new music and so many people jumping on the freemium bandwagon, the price point of music basically fell to zero. And at $0, well, there was no market -unless you want to count the micro-pennies from streaming. A few lucky artists can still gain liquid exposure today, but without a viable market, even these lucky few will sip on ever thinning gruel.
“Facebook Likes have replaced the dollars we likes.”
So, in the market reality of today, when should musicians give their music away for free? How about never. And when should they stream (or post music videos) for micro-pennies? Again, how about never.
If an artist should be so lucky as to stream their music on say Pandora, the only way to get off that streaming bandwagon is to forgo performance royalties from PRO’s …like ASCAP & BMI. That’s because streaming companies like Pandora can buy a blanket license to stream (aka perform) all songs by any artist registered with ASCAP & BMI.
Is it a big deal to forgo performance royalties? Not for 99% of artists. For ye struggling artists –guess what, there are no performance royalties to speak of. So save yourself the $50 fee needed to join ASCAP -at least until such time as you have enough airplay to negotiate better royalties.
THE SOLUTION : (Geared towards struggling Artists)
At isongU, we are a music accelerator, a fair pathway to mass exposure for all artists, from the stars to the starving. Actually, isongU.com is the only platform in the world on which an artist can go from obscurity to stardom. The songs, rated impartially, must score high enough to clear 20 hurdles that we call levels. If your song is good enough to make it past all of our 20 levels, it will gain 1,000,000 reviews minimum over 24 months. Today, that is an estimate. When we launch our accelerator in June 2016, we aim to make mass exposure a mathematical certainty … but only if your song is good enough.
isongU.com will launch in June 2016, and we believe our biggest challenge will be to gain the trust of musicians. Yes, we will have to explain how the levels work. We will also have to explain how we are an equal opportunity, unbiased pathway to stardom.
But a culture of distrust plagues the music industry. It has grown out of 60 years of corruption and greed and it pervades the music industry now more than it ever did before.
Because our accelerator has not yet launched, I honestly cannot blame musicians if, right now, they do not trust a single word I say.