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Isn't this more or less saying that "publishing" involves more than just "distribution"? Now that it has become increasingly easier to "distribute" anything digital via the internet, focus needs to be made on the "marketing" aspect of it, one of which is those who have an attentive audience.

Larry Gogosian

I don't understand why people keep saying there are gatekeepers. Distribution has always been easy to get, even before the digital world.

You don't sign to a record company for distribution, but for marketing and promotion.

I guess tech companies have their pitches.

Jean Renard

There is a significant difference between book publishers and music publishers today. At one point it could be argued that the labels went to Tin Pan Alley and begged for songs from publishers in a time when few artists wrote their own materials and so there were similarities and there was indeed a certain cache to having a name publisher. Today not so much.

Today many publishers make their money from passively administrating copyrights and the more successful the artist (songwriter) the more likely a song of theirs will be sold. Publishers now use key word technology to sell tracks via computer searches, they act like vast libraries and charge a serious fee for keeping songs on the shelf. They are hardly the ones who connect any dots and the labels fail to connect the dots 90% of the time on the marketing side.

With that said I have no idea what any of this has to do with actually marketing or connecting with an audience. Book publishers have marketing departments, music publishers claim to and labels certainly do, but to say a work is not published until it connects with an audience is to say a song is not a song until it sells or is heard by the public.

Since when is art in any given generation judged by contemporary acceptance?

I would argue that something may not be "successfully" published if it fails to reach its intended audience and remains unknown as you say, but it is still 'published' the instant it becomes available and that is the promise of the internet for artists,not the ever changing gate keepers, bloggers or online marketing platforms.


Obviously you've never been signed to a major label or really understood the old model. It was all about gatekeepers and distribution. The labels were the only ones who had the finances and available distribution channels. It was like Google and advertising or search, they were the only ones playing big and who really mattered. So the only real way into a retail establishment(record store) or radio play or even performing in other states, countries, etc. was through the major label machine where their muscle was distribution.

Sakara Ani

Excellent. Very well said.

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