In Support Of The Musical Middle Class

A debate is raging on TechCrunch over the keynote at the Grammy Northwest Music Tech Summit by Topspin Media‘s Ian Rogers. TechCrunch readers are aggressively rebutting both the effectiveness of Rogers’ new music marketing model and the very existence of a musical middle class.

As I wrote on TechCrunch and have written previously, I can assure doubters that a musical middIan_rogers_at_the_gramm_y_mw_tech_3le class does exist and is growing. I work with some of these artists every day at our booking agency  Skyline Music and blog about how it works here on Hypebot.

Some of this new musical middle class comes from above (major label refugees) and some from below (new artists). These artists have always existed as (sometimes regional) touring bands. But their numbers are growing because the net and media diversification have created opportunities for bands to find, hold on to and monetize fans in ways other than just on stage. Their stage is now global and on demand.

Companies like Ian’s Topspin, Echo, ReverbNation, Nimbit and others help artists accomplish this more easily and effectively. Thank-you Ian (and others). You will prove these doubters wrong; or more precisely, you will empower the artists that prove them wrong.

  • Working_musician_2
    It won’t work for every artist.
    Most new small businesses fail.
  • It takes time and hard work. Every business does.
  • It won’t make them rich. Most small businesses don’t make their owners rich.

But being a member of the musical middle class beats the alternative: putting your art//career/life/future in someone else’s hands. – Bruce Houghton

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  1. I think the other thing to keep in mind during this discussion is what Mark Montgomery said prior to the Tech Summit on his blog:

    “If you want to be kanye or bon jovi, the path is much different than if you want to be over the rhine or slaid cleaves. I don’t believe that anyone sets out to be “small”, but getting to a self sustaining business is much different than being on the cover or rolling stone and playing the garden.”

  2. Amen, Bruce! The musical middle class is a beautiful thing. The artists have more freedom, more sustainability, and more control, financially and creatively. Fans – boy-oh-boy do fans win big with a musical middle class! With fragmentation and diversification in the operational hierarchy of the industry necessarily comes diversity in music. Rather than a handful of label heads filtering what makes it to the masses, masses of artists have a direct line to the fans.
    You know, it’s great to be in a time where I constantly find myself astounded by all the talented new bands coming out, rather than reminiscing about the good old days. No matter what your flavor, the members of the musical middle class are producing sounds that will please your ears.

  3. I always find it amazing how people make these broad stroke statements about the “middle class” within the music industry…you know whether it exists or not.
    It’s there..it’s cool…and it’s the future…as we know it now.
    Thank G-d for the internet and cheaper gas.
    Rock on my fellow rockers…..ROCK ON!!!

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