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Denial Of A Digital Lifestyle: Living The Life Of An Ostrich (With Your Head In The Sand)

Ostrich-sandGuest post by Brian Thompson of Thorny Bleeder.

According to legends (although there is no evidence to show that this is true), ostriches have a tendency to bury their heads in the sand as a way to avoid danger.  Today, people are often said to bury their heads in the sand when they refuse to confront or deal with a problem, and choose to deny it.

And that's exactly what's happening with many people in the music business, on both the label side and the artist side (it's the latter that I find most shocking).

FACT: People are still trying to fight and challenge the new reality of how music is being consumed (streaming or downloading or Spotify-ing, as opposed to purchasing).

FACT: Yes, the industry has indeed been upset and overturned, that's without question.

OPINION: It's the resistance to change that baffles me.

Top 4 Things We Need To Accept

1. Music and media consumption behaviours have changed.

2. The value of music and media has changed.

3. How music and media fits into a person's life has changed.

4. "No matter what you say, you can't make me change." (as spoken by every teenager since time began)

And here's the thing…
it doesn't matter if you don't like it.
And it doesn't matter if you don't think it's fair.

Change-acceptanceIn fact, it doesn't even matter if people continue to lose jobs. I know I did. The mp3 took away my job of 14 years at a chain of record stores, one that I thought I would have forever.

But it doesn't matter.

And unfortunately it doesn't even matter if musicians aren't getting compensated the way they
expect to be for their hard work.

And yes, it sucks, but… that's just the way it is.

This is all a part of
The Change Acceptance Cycle.

But if no one is listening, if no one cares about an artist… then why should that artist get paid? Just because you can hit the Record button doesn't mean it's worth anything. People DO need to actually listen to it and re-listen to it, over and over, and to enjoy it.

The days of paying 99 cents for one listen, only to discover that the song sucks, are gone.

JugglaBut don't worry, the shitty juggler on the street corner who keeps dropping balls isn't getting paid either.

Just because something
used to be a certain way, doesn't mean that it will remain that way forever. The music industry will never be the same as it once was.

Never. Money will never flow as easily as people seem to think it once did.

It's just the way it is.

All arguments are moot.

Whatever logic you use, right or wrong, it won't change the behaviours of an entire generation that has grown up with digital music and who have never purchased a CD (or a magazine or a DVD).

It's just the way it is.

You can't fight technology once it's been accepted and embraced into society and its become a part of our everyday lives.

It's just the way it is.

So here's the thing:

Use new media to find new fans. Study these fans… especially if they haven't bought anything yet. They are your
potential new consumers. Learn from them. They have needs and wants and desires, just as music fans did 20 years ago. But the music fan has evolved. They're different now.

Today's music fan interacts with the medium in a very different way than ever before, but they do it just as passionately as the hippies did in the 60' or 70's.

Today's music fan has new needs:

2. Scarcity
3. Curation
4. Portability
5. Personality
6. Interactivity
7. Community
8. Shareability
9. Convenience
10. Bragging Rights

It's your job to figure out what it is your fans want. And then give it to them.

Accept the new reality.
Roll with it.

Embrace the multitude of new opportunities that didn't exist prior to digital media, peer to peer sharing, cheap technology, powerful tools, a new generation and the social web.


Step it up… and then rock that shit. Your fans want you to.

ThreadlesstPut your head in the clouds rather than in the sand.

That's where the solutions are.

After all, it's only by dreaming and brainstorming in which we can create new opportunities and find exciting
new ways to provide value for today's music fan… while earning the necessary revenue to keep the business of music alive.

We can all learn a lot by studying what Louis C.K. and Amanda Palmer are doing. They're doing it 100% DIY and killing it.

It's a scalable solution that can work.

Don't fight your customer.

Embrace your fans and they'll embrace you back.