How musicians create, record, market and distribute original music has changed drastically and will continue to change thanks to increased technology. Bobby Owsinski, bestselling author in the realm of self-help music industry books, has 23 tomes to his credit and Music 4.0 is an update to his popular Music 3.0 printed in 2011.
When you look back in history, many major artists were adept at writing and making music, but baffled by the business/marketing side of things. This is where bad things happen to good artists when they relinquish control to record labels, managers or producers and have little in how their music provided to their fans. Owsinski strives to demystify the new technology that now drives music and show artists the best paths to take like utilising YouTube as compared to a radio station relationship. I like how Bobby simplifies things but doesn’t speak to us like we are illiterate either. My biggest take away from his book is that the artist/musician can no longer avoid involvement in the music business, but must now spend as much time managing the process as they do creating music. Is it the fun part of music for most of us? NO, but if you have an expectation to have your music heard by more people and garner money from it Owsinski states, “Communication with the fan is now integral to an artists’ success.”
So even if you are the best musician it isn’t enough and you can’t expect music buying fans to know you have a new album or song out if you don’t inform them! Bobby outlines full plans in the book for building your e-mail list, blogs (a must in this day and age), marketing with Facebook, Twitter methods, promoting with YouTube, and holistic social media management.
Points like developing your brand and what will make fans like and want to gravitate to your brand are explained. Websites, although changing convey more of the social media elements, are still an important part of your total music package. Bobby even provides the reader with ten promotion ideas that could be adapted to any of the platforms.
In chapter nine he delves into a major artist issue and topic of conversation ‘The New Distribution.’ I frequently have this conversation with major and up-and-coming artists on the best way to send their music to their fans, and whether or not they should deliver it a song at a time or the entire album at once? Vinyl records, once considered a dying format, are now on the upswing with young music fans – but the question remains is that your best avenue?
Owsinski explains that even with all of the digital tools and methods at your disposal it still comes down to building your audience and fan base one live show at a time! The author has plenty of music knowledge and background to share on his own but he also enlisted top tier music industry personalities to provide their perspectives like Dae Bogan, Richard Feldman, Bruce Houghton, Ariel Hyatt, Gregory Markel, Rupert Perry and Dan Tsurif.
As an artist if you just read this book and apply a handful of the suggested messages you will be farther along than many of your friends that are musicians as well. Dreams and wishes are a great thing but without a plan and a strategy they may just remain in that form, Bobby Owsinski’s book Music 4.0 may not only help you survive but thrive in the new internet age? Eric Dahl