How to succeed in the music biz without really trying (actually, do, or do not, there is no try)

1.  Don’t suck


something that often gets lost in these discussions. The music still does need to be good. All of these business models are that much harder if the music isn’t any good and fans don’t like it. Playing good music is a definite first step.2.

2.  Get others to introduce you to their audience: This is another good point. I’ve been talking to some musicians lately, who were trying to understand how to best apply some of this stuff, and I often suggest looking for other, more well-known acts, that the band can work with to get some sort of endorsement, or “opening” slot on a tour (or even just a gig) as a way of reaching more fans. The Topspin post points out that some people assume that this is the real story behind the success of Fanfarlo, but the numbers don’t bear that out. It probably accounted for approximately 30% of the band’s sales. Not shabby, but hardly the only reason for the band’s success.

3.  Make those audiences an offer they can’t refuse: In this case, the band offered a download of their album, plus four bonus tracks for $1 for a limited time. Yes, all of the songs combined for a dollar — not each of them for a dollar apiece. While I normally support just giving away the music for free, I can see a reason to offer them all for a dollar in some situations. In this case, it gets more people to commit to the music and the band, but at a price that is much easier to deal with. I’m still not convinced that $1 is better than free, but it sure beats regular album prices. While this offer was for a limited time, after it was over, the band still offered the download cheaply ($6).


4.  Repeat: This is another important one. We keep hearing bands put in place business model promotions that are one time deals, rather than a fully thought-out continuous and ongoing business model. By repeating the process, not only can a band keep making money, but it lets them iterate and experiment, and find out what works (and what doesn’t.).


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