Since the early-mid 2000’s, when music really started to come online in a serious way, I’ve been really excited by the way digital advances created new possibilities for artists of every kind. As greater internet speeds meant that publication and consumption could happen entirely over the wire, more powerful computers meant composition and production could happen entirely in-the-box, and social media enabled anyone to create their own audience, two things happened simultaneously. Artists had complete freedom and control to create their own product and steer their own artistic output; but at the same time, physical product, and the streams of traditional revenue that come with it, evaporated.
It forces us as artists to get better at all the things we once might have left to others. Marketing, editing, career management, legal, accounting, sales, tracking, mixing, mastering, post-production…you name it, its your job now.
But if you manage to do it right, think of the freedom that provides. No one can tell you what your art looks like. No one can demand when you publish except you. Your profits are ALL yours, at least relatively speaking. Complete creative control. But of course, this comes with the cost of having to learn and master all of these skills on your own, at least while you’re getting started.
Traditional models of artistic commerce still exist, but they’re drying up. Sure, you can pursue the last little scraps of ‘the old way’, but it’s important that you embrace the emerging digital methods and economies. That’s why this podcast is here. So you can be an owner, not just an author.