All this started with yet another one of the artists I manage who complained how hard it is to get fans.Or rather get them to stay and follow them.
My answer was that I could start a blog and be the old grumpy man I am and still get readers and If I can get readers you can get fans. The thing is it would be easier if you are an attractive artist with good songs to get an audience. I’m exactly the opposite, grumpy old guy from the music industry, nagging about things in the music industry.
So, the bet was on. And I started my blog. First thing, where was my audience? I guess my biggest mistake was that I thought I wrote for artists. There are so many blogs online about how the artist struggles. How they don’t understand why people don’t discover them, or why they don’t get this or don’t get that. I thought I could break into that market mainly just pointing out the angle that the industry has. All these questions would find an answer in my blog!
Was I wrong! I didn’t get it in the beginning. I was marketing the blog against the artist community all the time and hoped that people would go in and read it. All I got was silence. I saw that artists would read it but they didn’t comment or come back. I was puzzled. These are the answers on the questions the other was telling in the other blogs or posts I saw online?
Then one day, I was at the Grammy Awards in Sweden and had written a piece of text around a matter that was a bit new but still sensitive inside the industry. Mainly, my thought was to enlighten artists on a certain problem around digital distribution. I was hanging up my coat when the founder and owner of one of the biggest music companies in the world came up to me and asked:
“Is it true what you wrote in the blog around the issue on digital distribution?”
I was probably looking kind of confused. My first thought was, where have you read it? I was a bit surprised that he even had the time to read my nagging online. I was more than impressed that a guy in that position was reading it. But I answered, “oh yes, I got this info from my German counterpart.”
“I read your blog all the time, it’s full of good info and stuff I can get back to my artists.”
Then he got picked up by the CEO of a major label and went off. I then realized that my readers are the music professionals not necessarily the artists. I offer the voice of what they think and how they make decisions and they like to read about how others also look at the same problem.
This insight made me also understand about the artists that always thought that I wrote mean things. Of course, it was mean to them. The industry thinks totally different than the artist does. They both have the same goal - to get the artist’s music out there. But the path is different.
This was the thing I wanted to shed light on. To show this other part to the artist. Still they were not interested in it. It’s a bit safer if everything is magical, I guess. I get that, so I started to promote the blog more to the industry and yes, it took off.
My bet with the artist was to see how fast I can get to 100,000 views. The artist was supposed to, at the same time, get on social media so every post they did in that social media was around 1000 likes, hearts or views. I’m closing in on my goal. I guess it will happen this year.
I just went on that artist page; they have to step it up. Just 56 likes on the last post on Instagram. Like I said if a grumpy old guy can do it, you can do it.
Editor’s Note: Peter Åstedt has been working in the music industry for over 30 years. He has started record labels, distribution systems and publishing companies. He also runs several showcase festivals. He has worked with the Top Ten most streamed songs and had music on both the Olympics and Superbowl.
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