« J Prophet: Building With One's Community Of Belief | Main | NEWS BRIEF: More Spotify Updates, Senzari Adds $1M, Deezer + Merlin, Iggy Goes D.I.Y. & More »


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Reality Checker

I have never agreed more with anything posted on hypebot than this article! Thank you for your wisdom. It's so simple, but so right. As a matter of fact, this may be the only article I have read in a long time that I've agreed with. Kindred spirits.


You list a lot of problems with music and general idea of connecting fans to artists as the key to the future.

Any specific ideas on how to do this?
Or do you just want to meet your favorite artist?

Robin Davey

Understanding what the fans want is the key to the future. Not what the labels want, or the RIAA, or what Spotify thinks the world needs. If labels can emulate the personal connection that Amanda Palmer achieved through her success, then they may be in with a shot. But the personal connection comes first. Social only replaces advertising, or at best radio - which always was essentially advertising.

It is screwing up the industry to think that social networking is a form of distribution, it is not - it is just a form of advertising.

David Dufresne

Great post.

2 actors matter in the music "economy": artists and fans. I'm not clear which is the most important. (but if you're talking about music and money, I would say the fan is the most important).

no clue

Sorry but I find it all totally irrelevant.

Amanda Palmer is NOT the future of the music industry. Nor are Radiohead and NIN. The main difference is Amanda is a major (company) failure who finds its way because of the promo she got before. She's not a new act, and in this context no new act can say they got a new way to promote themselves.

Come on there is no new music industry solutions these days...


I'm glad to see someone saying this! Too often do I read articles stressing how important social media is (especially to indie/DIY artists), but the reality is that it's not going to do you much good unless you already have a strong fan base. Honestly, I would start with your friends when making a fan base. Find a select few people you know that are really interested and positive about your music. Those people will help spread your music even if it's inadvertently. Hopefully you can then turn their friends into your friends and grow your "fan" base. Edit treat your fans like fans, treat them like friends because they should (most likely) start as friends!

Free album at www.facebook.com/chancius


Don't... Not "Edit"... It's WINDY out here!


the idea put forward hits home on so many levels. And I'm afraid there is no replacement to real musical craft when it comes to an artist's staying power. The way it's always been really

Robin Davey

No the fans are the future of the music industry - that is what I am saying. Fans want to be fans of artists, not music services.

Chris J

Robin! I generally disagree vehemently with your writing. It comes off as one-sided, half-researched, over the top, and very assuming. But this is good stuff, man. Made me think, AND I'm not totally pissed off after reading it. I like that you're always pondering. And if you can present your ideas in a more balanced fashion, I really think your posts could be great. (All IMO of course!)

I never thought before about your reasoning for the rise of vinyls, and I think it's probably spot-on for a lot of consumers (I've replaced my ownership needs with merch).

Robin Davey

Damn, I must be losing my touch ;)


I agree with what you saying, however I also believe that the idea of what a "fan" is, is constantly changing and completely subjective. It no longer means fanatic, or patron, or supporter, though sometimes it does, and sometimes it means more.

The vernacular we're using is dynamic at best.

Robin Davey

But I think that is the common mistake people are making- they think fans are different now and want different things. They ultimately want what they always have wanted - something tangible to associate themselves with the artist. Something virtual is just not enough.


I would start with your friends when making a fan base. Find a select few people you know that are really interested and positive about your music....

Mutant Dog

To an extent I would have to agree with this post. A certain large pre-owned music retailer has just opened in my home-town and its popularity can certainly be seen in that there are people clearly willing to keep buying CDs, although admittedly at a fraction of the price they were paying only a few years ago.

However, there are clearly 2 distinct generations of music consumers now, those that used to buy physical and those that didn't. My worry is that the younger generation are now increasingly regarding recorded music as a virtual/disposable commodity. This may well be in part a result of the industry fails outlined above. I'm not sure now whether anything can be done to change that.


"Record companies need to be looking how to connect the fan direct with the artist and monetizing that"

I couldn't agree more. I just started a company doing exactly that, but labels just do not get it!


I can appreciate that concept to a degree, however everything we come across now (media, content or otherwise) is seemingly more disposable, and the average consumer/fan is generally bombarded with 400% (that's a humble estimate) more content than they were even five years ago.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that in many ways the fan is in fact getting what they want, however they're getting it in smaller doses from more places and many times satiating that need for palpable connection over a multitude of connections.

They have more options now, and while some might want that experience of truly connecting, or others who tend to be sticking with a few tried and true artists they like are one type of demographic, and honestly from what I'm gathering an aging demographic.

As artists, we can offer up the art, the wares or whatever you want to call it, however we please. I think it's pretty bold to put any type of absolute distinction on what and how fans choose to appreciate what we do (that's what labels used to do).

I will agree that some people do in fact want a tangible connection, some fans will be die hard, tattoo getting child naming fanatics. But the majority (at the moment) will just have a song in a playlist, and for many artists that's more than they ever would have had in years past.


Great article and exactly matches our philosophy at www.Aurovine.com. Fans hold the balance of power.

Doktor Fell

Good thinking, Robin. The point about vinyl is well made. You can't emulate the joy of owning a fragile artifact, such as a glorious 12-inch slab of vinyl sleeved in seductive artwork, by non-physical means.

The artist/fan relationship is ever evolving, but fundamentally you're asking living, breathing people to engage at a level more personal than spending a bit of money. Many aspiring stars, and some who've 'made it', lose sight of that.

Eric Conlon

Agreed on your point about Amanda Palmer being a failed major artist turned internet money getter (I couldn't think of a better term). But I think that the argument really should be, does the music industry have such a control over what people like that they can truly exist outside and above the artists and the fans. OR, if the artists seek to be more personable and more connected with fans, giving them what they want according to Robin Davey (which i agree with) will the music industry be forced to follow suit in order to keep up with the changing dynamic of music of the industry. I guess it comes down to who you really believe runs the industry, the labels who create "the product" or the fans who buy it.


how many other artists are going to raise the money amanda did without 1) previous major label support (like NIN/Radiohead) and 2) google money laundered to kickstarter?

I'm happy for amanda but is this a business model or a casino win? sure people win at casinos, but do you quit your job and move to vegas?

Success Artists have ALWAYS connected with fans, that's how they sold records...


Great post No Clue...

youtube views

Nice article.
Very much enjoyed reading this.

The comments to this entry are closed.


Musician & Music Industry Resources