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Nicholas Howe

Just wanted to say thankyou, this has been really useful to my assignment. Its interesting to consider how he views his supporters. Many articles don't touch on details like this, but it is important. It might be possible to consider Imogen Heaps relationship with her fans is very much similar. this got me thinking: Are artists more successful online if they communicate personally with their fans, without adopting a position of superiority (in the words of Alex)? Debate?

Fearghal Duggan

Sorry to nitpick, but the Lady Godiva single did in fact have remixes made for it, several of which I have on my iPod! Otherwise, a really great article about a nice guy making his life and career happen the way he wants to.

Clyde Smith

Actually that's a good point to make. There are some other things one could pick at as well but it seemed to me to be more about how the artist was thinking about his process than whether or not every detail mirrored his thinking.

But to actually take the information and make something happen, it is good to nitpick. There are way too many people making business decisions based on stuff they've read that was essentially media spin.


Seriously, the consumer does not care about the charts. No one looks at itunes top 25 and buys them based on that. it's only companies who think the charts have an effect that care about the charts. Alex is transcending the usual mediums which result in less control and less money for the artist, and instead doing things his own way without the help of companies. Companies are obsolete in the face of the internet, in which people can become famous all by themselves.

Mrs Anne Harris

Dear Mr Smith,
I am a silver surfer and an Alex Day youtube subscriber. I read your article because Alex was clearly pleased with it and has "linked" to it from his free music site.I hated it. The tone was patronizing and referring to Alex as "Day" was downright rude. Anyone who matured in the 60s can understand Alex's attitudes and ethos perfectly, and so apparently can a whole new generation. I shall continue to enjoy and buy most of Alex's songs and to follow the snippets of his life on youtube. I doubt I'll read you again. Your articles would be better if tried sounding less of a stuffed shirt, and having a bi less Ned's Faith. regards, anne at the pigs

Clyde Smith

"I doubt I'll read you again."

If that means no more clueless comments from you, that would be great!


I really enjoyed your article because you're clearly trying to understand Alex's approach to the music industry. You're thinking about what he's trying to do and succeeding. I found this really interesting to considering you're not a 'fan' of Alex.

However, I also think you're incorrect in your assumption that the charts matter. In my experience the only effect the charts have on a single is whether or not it gets much play on the radio which would widen the number of people listening to the artist and hence, the number of sales. Alex claims he's earning enough to live off his music and he also gains subscribers (and therefore people who listen to his music) daily so his music is clearly spreading without the charts. And really... who actually listens to the radio these days? The only time I ever listen to it is when I'm driving and my iPod has run out of battery... I believe this is not an unusual situation!

Clyde Smith

Glad you enjoyed it. I'm a business writer so my personal taste in music is beside the point. If I just wrote about bands I like I would run out of business topics pretty quickly!

Even though the radio business is going through difficult transitions like all legacy media, the most recent numbers I saw showed that huge amounts of people still listen to terrestrial radio and discover music that way.

I think the charts are a big marketing issue and validation for artists. Doing well in the charts gets you lots of media coverage. Much of Alex Day's media coverage came about because he charted. And artists need media to grow their audience.

All you have to do is look at the comments on this post I did this week on Ginger Wildheart charting off fanfunded presales:

People take that stuff seriously. In fact, Wildheart took it so seriously that even though my post was incredibly supportive, he viciously attacked over the headline which was an open-ended question inspired by an article on Billboard.biz.


But I don't listen to radio and I don't pay attention to the charts unless I hear through media coverage that something out of the ordinary happened like Wildheart getting in the top 40 on the UK album chart via crowdfunding presales. It was a great accomplishment and I'm sorry he couldn't simply appreciate my support.

Amanda was here

haha. I'd like to see a link to your statistics that radio is still prominent outside of small local community radio.

I'm studying journalism, and there's less hope for radio surviving in its current format than print journalism. Nearly every major radio station offers a podcast for its shows.

While you took a unique spin on Alex Day's foray into the world of music, your article falls short on the assumption that the current generation dictates the future. That's far from over because the upcoming generation will never allow that kind of control.

We live on the internet where next to all of our music is discovered through self-discovery, relation to another artist we like, or through our communities. And our communities exist globally on the internet. And nearly all of that music exists on the internet for us to listen to at will.

Alex Day recognizes that the future of music is online communities for marketing and selling your music. Fans, Listeners, and Artists all exist within the same space, there's no need for the middlemen anymore.

You're right in saying that the charts are the only way to get media attention. But that shouldn't be, and as a journalism student, I'd say from what I've learned that the next generation of journalists will probably adapt and change to this new face of music. Because the charts died when MTV stopped playing music.

Clyde Smith

You've jumped to a lot of conclusions and outright falsified some of my statements.

If you're hoping to be a journalist, you need to learn to read more accurately and consider removing the chip from your shoulder.

Only example I'm going to take the time to give you:

"You're right in saying that the charts are the only way to get media attention."

I didn't say that. I said:

"Doing well in the charts gets you lots of media coverage."

It's certainly not the only way. I write about all sorts of other ways.

Good luck and try to take your work more seriously than you do yourself and maybe someday you'll amount to something.

Alex Day

WOW. Clyde seemed pretty harsh.

I like your comment :)

Clyde Smith

Tough love, baby.

If you're going to tell me you're training to be a journalist and then immediately misrepresent my words, you need a bit of a slap.

Interpretation is one thing. Poor reading comprehension is quite another and that's what we're seeing in this case.

Plus some generalizations about her generation that are only partially true.

I let a lot of weak ass nonsense slide but sometimes you have to draw the line.

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