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"Distribution is cheap" I have to ask how why so many people think that Distribution is cheap or should be free? A simple check of wikipedia for the term Distribution yields the following result.

Product distribution (or place) is one of the four elements of the marketing mix. Distribution is the process of making a product or service available for use or consumption by a consumer or business user, using direct means, or using indirect means with intermediaries.The other three parts of the marketing mix are product, pricing, and promotion. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distribution_(business)

Distribution is a service and what your get out of it mirrors what you put into it. Having one channel or many are choices and all too often the modern artists/label incorrectly seem to think that said Intertubes is the only form of distribution where going to make distribution go away. Well! guess what? It didn't and now digital is just another channel.

Even though I totally agree that we're awash in music what I know thought experience is that Distribution is hard with both stores being interested or not to the real problem IMHO once they are it's up to the artists/labels to get fans into the store/site to purchase said music. And, when it comes to planning a release strategies thinking your going to get use or consumption without action is without a parallel in any other business context.

Josh APstudios Hayward

Distribution is indeed affordable, but there's a reason why distribution companies exist. We can get you places other people can't and take a huge monkey off your back.

Tunecore/RN distribution is cheap, however they offer no marketing help which is why distribution companies trump their service in that area.

You're 100% on target by saying it mirrors what you put into it. You still have to market, make connection and stay relevant to your fan base, if you don't distribution is only going to grant some listeners and no real monetary earnings.

There might be too many channels, but that's what happens when a few companies have a huge piece of the pie and don't exactly make it a fair playing field. (hope I understood that part right)

It's *always* up to the artist/label to drive fans to purchase their music, it's why branding is so essential.

As for this article: Spot on, I tell this to artists on a daily basis. If you're not connecting with your fans, you're doomed.


I personally do not think they NEED to interact with fans to be able to be successful and popular. It is an added benefit to both the artist and the fans but to be honest it is not at all needed in my opinion. People would still love the artists because of the songs.


I agree with @Roach about interacting with fans, since the music biz is full of highly successful artists that have little to none interaction with their fans. There are quit a few artists that don't want to talk to anyone on the business side let alone a fans. It's just part of the business and thinking that every artists can be funneled into one category and that they'll all step up and act a certain way or not is lunacy .

Dave Cool

@Roach @Nelson: I totally understand your point of view, and I'm sure many artists would agree with you. I'm just not sure it's viable for emerging artists to ignore their fans.

There are plenty of example of successful artists who you can't find online/don't interact with their fans, but more often than not they have teams behind them doing the heavy lifting (label, management, publicist, etc.).

So for artists who don't have a team (or a history on a label), I'm not sure they can realistically forge a sustainable career without interacting with their fans and creating solid relationships to them, at least at the outset. Of course, I could be dead wrong and I'm just 1 guy, so there you have it.

Thanks for reading and for commenting.



Dave Cool
(Yes, that's my real name)
Director of Artist Relations

Twitter: @dave_cool @Bandzoogle

Dave Cool

I agree with your point, the point I was making was strictly about digital distribution and how all artists now have access to stores like iTunes/Amazon, etc. Where as 15 years ago, it just wasn't possible to reach a potential global customer base for a small fee.

Now the challenge becomes driving people to buy your music, which is where the fan interaction comes into play. But yes, having a distributor that helps with marketing & promotion is obviously a different beast altogether, and no doubt can be helpful for those artists that have relationships to those distributors.



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