Open letter to the music biz…

Hey, music biz, here’s a hint on how to get people to pay for more music…PUT OUT GOOD FULL ALBUMS, and people will buy them!  Consumers can now preview 90 seconds of songs on iTunes, so you had better be putting out good artists who make good albums.  I know that the model of iTunes and digital downloading in general is single track download based…but, music lovers still want to buy full albums…IF THEY’RE GOOD.

Stop spending so much money to pay “Famous Producer X” to produce one good single for you, and then you don’t have money left in the budget to spend the time and effort to make the rest of the album good.  I’m a producer, so I know what it really costs to make an album.  Our production company could produce full albums for the amount of money you spend on a couple songs sometimes!

Consumers aren’t stupid.  They are more careful with their money now than ever before, so make it worth it for them to spend money on your artists.  It would only make sense that if a person likes an artist, they would love to have as many good songs by that artist as possible.  Therefore, if you try to make sure there are 10-12 really good songs on an album, people will buy them.  If you make one or two good songs, and throw together 9-11 mediocre or bad songs, then people won’t pay for them.  Duh!  In this age of being able to get either one song or a whole album, consumers need to feel like you care enough about them spending their hard-earned money that you will really try to put together worthwhile full album projects.

I realize that music is very subjective, and what one person loves, another person hates…but, AT LEAST DO YOUR BEST TO PUT OUT THE BEST POSSIBLE PRODUCT WITH EACH ARTIST.  If you do that, then you can be assured that art has been represented.

But, maybe I’m just old-fashioned…and proud of it.

DJ Form

PS – small note to consumers and music listeners…if you want record labels to put out good albums with good artists…stop supporting the crappy artists out there who are just trying to shock you, arouse you, or be some sort of circus freak show, just because a lot of other people are listening to them.

4 thoughts on “Open letter to the music biz…”

  1. I agree, Ric. The bands I love are people who created a piece of art through the complete track listing. I love concept albums, stories that start at the first song and burn through the last.

    It’s hard to write an amazing song every time you sit down. I get that. But songs are better when there is a meaning within them, and writing for an album gives each song a place…maybe it’s not a story, but rather, a mood…an album is a journey…or at least they used to be.

    Labels also don’t work albums like they used to. So before if an album would go four, five, or six singles deep, you’re lucky to see two or three these days. So we get the short-sell by people who want to make the most of one big splash because they don’t think they’ll get another chance.

    As artists and producers I think we have to get in the studio and make art…make a full album of art…I heard Jay-Z say you have to do that – be real in the studio and not even think about money or marketing because the songs have to be a part of you. Then when you get out, you can worry about marketing.

    Just my quick thoughts…

  2. Don’t think it’s that cut and dry to be honest…you’re mixing an argument about art with an argument about a business model and unfortunately the music industry is struggling so much that it’s prioritizing wrong (i.e. flash in the pans vs. artists… or “quick buck” vs. “integrity”).

    If anything, artists without label representation are almost at an advantage to set their own goals, make the music they want, and even develop a structure to monetize to see full profit. This latter category (IMO) are the true artists, having a vision and doing what it takes to achieve it.

    So in a sense — screw the labels. 😉

  3. I agree with all three perspectives, but at the very core, it’s about staying to true to the art. We all have to do our part. Music is what makes the world go ’round so let’s spread the wealth, spread the knowledge about making the art form as strong, as compelling and as desirable as it could ever be. Stick together, support one another and please don’t stop the music.

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