DEBATE: Are DIY Musicians Better Off in the Mp3 World?
Admit it, when you saw that headline you immediately thought: how is any musician better off in the post-mp3 realm? Everyone takes a hit in this music culture, and it’s no longer a viable option to make a living strictly off music unless you’re on the major festival circuit, get months of radio time and land on the cover of at least one major magazine. Everyone is making less money and it’s harder for everyone to break through the noise, but while the digital space is a hardship for musicians overall, DIY musicians have more to gain in this world than the big fish.
The simple answer is that musicians have never had so many marketing tools and reservoirs of fan communities at their disposal. Big artists are improving their direct-to-fan experience, but they never really needed these social sites and interactive tools before the web was created. The web creates a slightly more fair playing field for the DIY artist who have never been more intimate with their fan base before. As we’ve seen over recent years, small artists can create quite a storm with a passionate niche fan base and sites like Kickstarter, Twitter, Tumblr make all the difference. You can rise and fall 50x faster on the web, and that’s a lot more advantageous for baby bands than being on the big stage in the first place.