THIS IS EVERYTHING

Ira Glass sums it all up in this recent interview with Vulture:

It’s just crazy to me that people are having a hard time earning money making something so many other people clearly want.

Well, part of the problem is that people aren’t paying for it, right?

Right. They’re accustomed to getting it for free.

That’s the hole in the business model.

Most people ain’t paying for shit.

There was a time when Limp Bizkit sold a million albums in one week. Now artists on labels with managers and lawyers are lucky to sell 50,000 in a month.

You used to have to pay money to go see a movie. Now you pay a few bucks a month for a few streaming services and never buy another DVD

Podcasts, websites, newsletters – free, free, free.

Yes, a small percentage of diehard fans support via Patreon, or Substack, or whatever, but for the most part there’s been more entertainment options that exist in the world.

Think about the 100 or 200 or 1000 things we read a day, and watch, and listen to. In a DAY. A MONTH.

I pay my ISP $56/month, and some streaming services. I don’t think I spend $100 a month on everything, and I can fill my eyes and ears with “content” every second of every day.

And we’re all paying that $100 every month, and more (much more), and a few people are making money from making the things that everyone loves.

Again, from the interview: people are having a hard time earning money making something so many other people clearly want.

What the fuck?

MAKE YOUR HOMEPAGE A HOUSEPAGE

On the left, the Salomon website. Three images, hardly even 350 pixels wide.

On the right, the Salomon Instagram page, a carosel of five, giant, screen filling images.

As I wrote in “DON’T MAKE SOCIAL MEDIA YOUR TROPHY CASE,”

We’re quick to posts our biggest moments on social media.

The “SOLD OUT” marquees. Massive crowds from stage. The plaques. Photos with our heroes and fans and friends.

We take photos of ourselves standing in Times Square with that big Spotify digital ad in the background.

We’ll share those slick DSP images on social media, showing off our placement on a cool playlist (like mine, below).

It’s the same even if you’re not in a band: we post all our most interesting photos, the imagery that shows off our unique, creative spirit, the videos that capture our spontaneous, magical energy.

We don’t put any of it on our website, then complain that nobody goes to our website.

Imagine making your website the MAIN place to see your latest photos, your behind the scenes, your deepest thoughts, your biggest BANG.

Instead we’re all giving our best stuff to social media platforms for free in hopes that a few people can even find a link to visit our store.

And who even reads this way? Back and forth, big sections of white space? Might as well put some pop up ads in there, too.

People LOVE the social media feed – photo, text, photo, text, photo, text.

It’s how ZILLIONS of people consume the internet these days.

And websites are still out here with tiny fucking images, text that zig zags all over the place, and letting social media platforms get all the attention by offering a better reading experience.

I AM AN AMATEUR

Oh, this is heavy:

“Being an artist within an economic system that favors private property, capital accumulation, wage labor, a price system, and competitive markets belittles my practice into a hobby. I am an amateur with no artist statement, thesis show, or MFA. The money I invest in creating art is a temporary loan to myself that I feel pressured to repay quickly by attempting to exhibit wherever the crowds are.”

From ‘A soft manifesto‘ over at The Creative Independent, via Naive Weekly.

REVOLT

When I mention my cute “Social Media Escape Plan” there’s usually some people that bring up the community aspect, and the private communications like Facebook Groups, various DM inboxes, etc.

And then I what Reddit is doing, with killing off 3rd party apps, prompting users to revolt.

Don’t build your community on rented property.

Keeping in touch with your friends and family on a platform is fine until one day it’s not.

YOU’RE NOT OWED AN AUDIENCE

How do I get more subscribers? More listens? More sales? More fans?

Are you kidding me?

The entire world of knowledge is in our pockets and you can’t figure out 10% of the answer?

Look at the top 100 marketing books on Amazon.
Search “marketing” on YouTube. There were probably 10,000 hours worth of wisdom upload in the last minute.
You could listen to one podcast every day about marketing for the rest of your life and never get caught up.

I’m paraphrasing Rick Rubin here, but “make cool things, show it to your friends.” Over and over again.

Complaining about social media is about as effective as complaining about the weather – it ain’t gonna change.

Make your art, write your novel, post your videos, play in front of four people… if there’s a shortcut, everyone already knows about it, which means you’re the nine billionth person in line with a tune and a poem.

This is a horrible sales pitch, but I’m offering coaching on this sort of thing now. Hire me for real, honest advice and ponderings from 20+ years of experience in the music world.

HUSTLING AND SCAMBAITING

This is long, but wow, ‘Vigilantes for views: The YouTube pranksters harassing suspected scam callers in India,’ is quite a read.

Kulik and Bingham, together known as Trilogy Media, are part of the online “scambaiting” community — an increasingly popular internet subculture that involves hacking, pranking, and generally taking revenge on people they believe are conducting scam phone calls.

Absolutely not my cup of tea at all. Haven’t watched a single second of their videos. But the hustle and determination behind it? Fanscinationg.

“For Trilogy, the IRS scam video was a launching pad. “Over the course of the next year, it catapulted us into that space of like, oh shit, we can monetize this,” said Bingham. By 2017, after posting several more scammer call-out videos, they’d pivoted the entire Trilogy Media operation to scambaiting.”

Read more on Rest Of World.

AT PEACE WITH MY PACE

Marlee Grace really sums it up here:

I noticed in my month off social media the ideation phase of my practice felt so serene, I had less money then and yet I still found myself with so much more trust. Left without the reminders that everyone else is always launching, always sharing, always has something to sell. I found myself peaceful with my pace.

YES, this is so great: “I found myself peaceful with my pace.”

I’ve stopped promoting Goodnight, Metal Friend on social media. Each new mix just goes out to newsletter subscribers first. A day later they go up on YouTube and Mixcloud.

Less promoting, and I still got a HUNTERTHEN track featured in this ‘Spectra-Sonic Sound’ mix.

Less promoting my HEAVY METAL EMAIL newsletter on social media, and I’m still welcoming new subscribers, and some of them support my work financially.

Trust that your work doesn’t need to be plastered on billboards, you don’t need to stand outside a venue handing out flyers. Let the magic go where it’s going to go.

CALL SOMETHING GREAT

I’ve seen lots of discourse recently over the struggle for the press outlets to keep up with the unending wave of music releases each week.

For me I think it’s so many sites trying to cover so many genres.

And also trying to do interviews, reviews, and live gig coverage.

There is just too much, everyday, every week.

I’d love to see a site that just covers the metal shows happening in PA every month.
A newsletter that rounds up 10 great beat-maker videos.
A YouTube show like the old MTV Top 10 Video Countdown.

Be editors. Be tastemakers.

The internet is wide open again. Let’s fuck it up.