We are skipping a month on the Post of the Month and taking this time to reflect instead.
Below is the About page from Volume 11′s webpage. Written in 2007, has anything really changed?
The model for musician development is in shambles. The industry is facing a period of profound change.
Recent developments like Radiohead’s recent efforts to give away its album for whatever someone wants to pay and Columbia Records’ recent proactive efforts to re-evaluate their ability to be profitable in the music business only bring this into sharper focus.
The mighty music business is in free fall — it has lost control of radio; retail outlets like Tower Records have shut down; MTV rarely broadcasts music videos; and the once lucrative album market has been overshadowed by downloaded singles, which mainly benefits Apple…
Only 10 years ago, companies wanted to make records, presumably good records, and see if they sold. But panic has set in, and now it’s no longer about making music, it’s all about how to sell music. And there’s no clear answer about how to fix that problem.
David Geffen September 2007
The record industry no longer knows how to sell music. With its decreasing ability to sell music for their top acts, the record labels lose the ability to take their profits to fund the development of new and up and coming bands.
So where does that leave the independent band or musician? In other words…
Where do we go from here?
Helping Bands Help Themselves
As with any change there are both positives and negatives. For the positive, the Internet has allowed musical distribution to become more democratized. Independent musicians now have the power to get their music out to fans through the web. Bypassing the old models.
However, the record label marketing machine is fading. Bands cannot rely on labels to help thems become known and listened to a by a larger audience. Radio is becoming increasingly less relevant. No longer is it the way people discover new music.
… no one listens to the radio anymore, … they mostly steal music, but they don’t consider it stealing, and … they get most of their music from iTunes on their iPod. … the biggest thing in their life is word of mouth. That’s how they hear about music, bands, everything.
Rick Rubin September 2007
Now what to do? Musicians in the digital age must play a more active and educated role in managing their musical endeavors.
Why Volume 11?
Moving Bands To a Higher Level
This website is dedicated to providing self-managing musicians or managers of one or two bands to quickly and easily keep themselves educated on the changing music industry’s trends.
Everything from the latest news to companies and products that can help independent musicians best self manage in this amazing time of change and opportunity.
With so much change and so many new businesses being created almost daily to attend to the needs of independent artists, there is a real need to provide a place to voice comments and opinions so everyone can learn from each other’s experiences and companies can adapt to user recommendations. With trial and discussion, a new music industry model will eventually be created. An active user of this site should be able to both play a role in scoping the new direction of the music industry and stay ahead of the game by being made a aware of the new companies that exist to help their music get heard.