And the boys in the band could use some assistance
Well, the record company’s goin’ out of business
These lyrics were penned by John Cougar Mellencamp in the eighties, and what was true then, is truer now. Over the past decades we have witnessed the decline of the record industry, right alongside the decline of Western Civilization. There are a myriad of reasons for this redefining of the industry; from an attitude of greed and apathy, to mass produced marketing hype machines that have long lost sight of musical artistry and creativity.
But instead of lamenting the demise of an industry, we, the fans, can experience this as a Renaissance; the likes of which we have a direct voice. No longer do corporate entities decide and determine what we will listen to. It’s up to us. And no matter where we are located in the world, how much money we do or do not have; we can take an active part and support those artists who impact our daily lives with their musical artistry. It’s easier than you think. Here are some of my favorite ways you can support your indie artists today.
1) The easiest thing you can do is share via the social media of your choice. Hit those Facebook icons, Tweet to your hearts content, like those YouTube videos, tell your friends and suggest they do the same. According to Global Business Hub, 255 million Americans watch videos online, at a rate of 1.3 billion videos per day. Studies show that there are much higher levels of engagement and customer conversion when video is used on websites and Facebook posts. What this means is that online videos are becoming the most effective way to reach fans. Think about it… if you work during the day, how many times during your commute, while you’re supposed to be working, during your lunch hour or breaks, do you surf the internet and watch videos? Compare that number to the amount of time you spend watching TV or listening to the radio. According to Communications Conversations and REELSEO, the average American internet user watches 30 minutes of online video per day, and 35 hours of video footage is uploaded to YouTube every minute, that’s more than 50,000 hours of video footage per day! WOW! While the average American attention span is famously short, we’re spending hours online.
2) With so many online funding platforms like Kickstarter, PledgeMusic and musicians creating their own fundraising campaigns, this is one of the most fun ways to support the music you want to keep around. Not everyone can drop a C-Note—(but, if you can, that’s great)! If not, there are tons of other cool awards, unique-one-of-a-kind prizes and personal items that you can purchase; from upcoming CD’s, liner notes, personalized recordings, house concerts, etc… A couple of great examples of this sort of fundraising via PledgeMusic, is Keaton Simons recently finished campaign. We were able to support this venture about 6+ months ago, and have joined the journey to completion. And of course, it’s never too late; you can now purchase the completed album from the site page. For more information about PledgeMusic, click HERE to listen to our exclusive one-on-one interview with CEO and Founder, Benji Rogers.
3) If you have a blog, by all means blog about the artists, music, concerts, etc…that you are discovering. Submit reviews to Amazon, iTunes or other online platforms. The more the name is out there floating around, the more spots it is likely to land in on a Google search, increasing exposure, building fan base and spreading the love.
4) This seems obvious, but buy from your independent artists; they get a bigger piece of their pie, when you buy direct, and it’s much more authentic. A Facebook page is much more authentic than a billboard.
5) The #1 thing we as fans can do is go to live music shows. There is nothing like it; the experience, the sharing, the cool merchandise, the even better music. With so many great music venues and ‘listening rooms’, live music is where it’s at. You can buy a CD, shake hands with the artist and be part of something bigger than all of us. And nowadays, it’s cheaper than a night at the movies, and much more unique. Sign up for their mailing list and share with your friends.
In San Francisco, a couple of great live music venues are Brick & Mortar Music Hall, where we will be seeing Brooklyn based band, Measure, later this month and Café du Nord. In LA, WitzEnd in Venice Beach is a stage that is sure to have amazing music—and Room 5, intimate and cozy. Share some great live music venues from your town. We would love to hear about them. And, don’t forget to Yelp about the venues afterward. If you can’t get to a live show, check out Stageit, where you can get that live concert, right in your living room. Check out a review we did of Tony Vincent and Justin Hopkins Stageit concert HERE. A very cool thing about Stageit, the artists can make $ via your tips, purchasing the merchandise and a 50/50 ticket split.
Our friend Levi Kreis, who completed one of the top three most successful Kickstarter campaigns of 2012, said it best; Indie music is like public radio: listener supported. Your donation provides the resources necessary to create, promote, and tour quality music and live performance.
Here is a very cool PledgeMusic award, that we received by supporting Keaton Simons music and campaign! Ultimate coolness!
About Heather Jacks
Vixen of Vocabulary who likes to wax poetic about the world of street art, music,busking and all things indie. She has earned two college degrees, traveled extensively and written three books. She is currently finishing the multi-media project, The Noise Beneath the Apple Art-Style Book, to be released in NYC, Spring 2013.