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Wednesday, 8 May 2019

The Song Remains The Same

IDHAS returns properly tomorrow, the last fortnight has largely been spent arranging the upcoming Label stuff. We've not been idle though. There's plenty of new albums to tell you about, a new Volume of the Audio Extravaganza has been prepared, plus an unusual special. There's also a fine article on Greenslade coming from Mick.

I wrote an outside piece about my dismay at what was happening in the Music Scene a while ago and followed it up on here with a post on how the only people who don't make money from music are the musicians. It's sad to inform you that nothing much has changed in the intervening period, in fact it's probably worse.

I talked with an excellent Restaurant owner this morning, a long time friend of mine who is pretty successful. The same thing happens to them, but nowhere nearly as badly as the music industry. There surely is no other industry that expects workers to offer their services for nothing. Social media "likes" do not pay bills.

Don't get me wrong there are good people out there, most of these people do what they do for no payment, because they want to help bands and because they love music, however there are many who are not doing the right thing and it's not the usual Record Label or Streaming Platform suspects.

There are Indie labels that release 200 limited release albums and get contacted by 50 potential reviewers who "only review physical product". Artists that struggle to sell tickets for gigs and venues that are closing down, yet both get hundreds of requests for the guest list from Internet Review Sites.

It doesn't end there with gigs. Some Promoters insist on the artist buying a percentage of their own tickets. Even worse there are Promoters who pay the artists nothing, saying it's for the kudos and then spend nothing on promotion. All their marketing is solely on Facebook and then they blame these hard times for no one turning up.

There are others who don't pay artists, yet produce Programmes with Paid for advertising and have gig sponsorship and Venue sweeteners of which the artist receives nothing. It's not exactly Pay for Play, but it's certainly get no money to Play. All the money employs the Promoter.

Then there's a real favourite of mine, Internet Radio Plugging. These charlatans charge you 750 dollars and then tell you they've got you airplay and it's all via Internet Radio Stations that they own. part own or are affiliated with. You can spot them a mile off they appear on supposed Top 10 Charts where no one has heard of the stations and most knowledgeable reviewers haven't even heard of the bands.

It used to be just Rich Parents that fell for these things, but more recently I've seen established bands on then, probably because they are naive internet wise. There's also the Social Media followings, they supposedly have a 250k following and yet get only one or two likes for their posts.

Artists should judge these things on one thing, how many albums did I sell from using these people? I paid 300 dollars to appear on this Compilation CD, how many albums have I sold because of it? Most musicians have up to three non music jobs to pay for their audio endeavours.

Can this be changed? Yes it can, but Musicians have to spot the valid from the con. IDHAS is trying to help, when it could just get on with it's own happy like. I make no money from music, have never tried, my existence, like those musicians, is provided for by non music work.

It's hoped that the IDHAS label can help, all money will be reinvested into new releases. Bands get paid. I do suspect that it will be just pissing in the wind in these Social Media Vanity days. Likes, Plays and Exposure do not pays.


  1. Your points are well made, and while I agree on all of the above points, there is little herein the way of substantive ideas to counteract and remedy the situation. Lord knows, I spend (a lot) of my own money recording and producing our music and physical products and promote the hell out of my band. I too have paid for inclusion on CD comps and could measure no actual benefit, so I shalln't do that again. Luckily, we do actually make some money selling CDs and get paid to play, and thankfully, I can afford to do it. Further, writing, recording and releasing music is a "for-the-love-of-the-game thing" for me, although it would be great to do more than break even on a release. So, at the risk of sounding snarky (I don't mean to), telling we indies to "spot the valid from the con" doesn't really do anything to help change the situation. Specifics? I'd love some!