#050: Roundtable – The Value of Music

50The big 50! Kevin, Chris and Robert are pleased as punch to have delivered fifty info-packed episodes of the DIY Musician Podcast. They kick off this episode by sharing a few of their favorite lessons learned as well as some recent music business news. Get down to the dirt with our hosts as they visit a touchy topic for hard working musicians: What is the value of your art?  Plus your calls, emails and comments.

Do hard working musicians deserve a better living? Is the general public less likely to spend money on music because it’s so freely available?

Katie Taylor’s article which inspired this episode

  • Hey Chris,

    Thanks for props on the coining of ‘fun units’ – however honesty compels me to admit it was actually Rachel (Taylor Brown, my sis) who came up with that brilliant new pay scale for artists (aptly abbreviated FUs). I deed you a hundred FU for this podcast. Spend them in good health.


  • Posted a comment in iTunes for ya. I wish you had touched on the previous episode in this round table but it’s all good.. Full honesty, I believe the Fun Units idea is much older than most of the people envolved in the podcast. I recall hearing that term back in the late 60’s. As I remember it, John Lennon said something to the effect of “Our pay is having fun and still getting paid to play” that would’ve been around 64 or 65… All do props to RTB and her sis…

  • Hey guys, thanks for the podcast. I wrote a review to your podcast but it’s from iTunes Japan so you won’t read it unless you click on the Japan site.

    My two bits are: Music is art if you just want to play it for yourself. If you intend to sell your music, then like any other business out there, you need to have a product people want to buy. Great music still sells, Average music sells to some, and bad music just won’t sell. Where does your music stand in that category?

    Look at all the artists you have paid money for and compare yours to that. Hard work deserves reward but there is no disputing true talent.

    My feelings are that people are still willing to pay for great music. It’s just that recently there is a HUGE increase in average musicians because of how cheap it is to do and how acceccible it has become.

    I believe, great musicians will still rise to the top and still make a good living. As we know, performing is now becoming a very important element in segregating the good from the bad. It’s also where artists are now making most of their money because CD sales are sliding.

    That’s my feelings anyways.

  • Hey! You’ve created an unauthorized derivative work my reading my message board posts aloud in your podcast! How DARE you. I hereby demand compensation in both Fun Units and Theoretical Internet Dollars.

    (Haha, LOL, j/k, 😉 etc.)

    I wanted to mention that a lot of what I described in that post was adapted from ideas I got from Joe Taylor’s book, “Grow Your Band’s Audience.” You can download a PDF copy from Lulu dirt cheap. A bit dated (published 2002) but I can’t recommend it enough.

    Also, regarding Chris’ point about forgetting to push the mailing list during the show, I got a great tip from a street performer friend: write it into your setlist! Seriously, write “push merch” and/or “mailing list” wherever there’s a natural break in the set. That way you won’t overlook it in the heat of a performance.

    Congrats on episode 50, keep up the good work!

  • The whole concept of art and business seem at odds until you, the artist, decide it isn’t. Like Tom Jackson said, you’re creating and selling moments. Sometimes you have to give out your services for free to people interested but as long as you can keep them coming back then it’ll work out.
    As far as hobbyists go, feeling threatened or sideswiped by a so called hobbyist says more about you than it does the glut. Chances are, real hobbyists look up to serious musicians and artist more than your average fan anyway. Take advantage of these creatively active people who are also potentially serious fans themselves.
    Congrats on 50. Fortunately for all of us, I think that 50 is only the beginning.

  • Ron

    Congratulations on your 50th podcast! I’m not a player, but I’ve enjoyed listening to your podcasts and have gotten some great ideas about hosting some shows and imagining what if I had done something different with my musical life. One of these days, I’ll live this thru my two talented sons. Oh, by the way, (my wife) thinks Robert is Handsome! Wink, wink, you know what I mean?
    Thanks, for you show.