#056: Roundtable – A Music Career Without Touring?

iTunes introduces variable pricing. Facebook stays on top. The podcasters recap our last episode, where David Nevue demonstrated that it’s entirely possible to make a living without the constant touring and gigging that most musicians do. But is this possible for the rest of us? Listen in as the broadcasters weigh in on this topic while sharing calls and comments from our audience.

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  • Social Networking: Honestly, social networking is dead. At my day job, our 72 year old accountant is a regular facebook user as are my 60ish boss and his business partner who is closing in on 60. Myspace is a bad joke these days, especially if you’re a performer. EVERYONE is there and no-one cares…

    One of your callers commented on the 50 and above demographic. Think about it guys, you’re all closing in on 40 so, it isn’t that far off.

    Personally it doesn’t bother me, I just turned 50 myself and I buy more music than most of the many 15 to 30 year olds I know and speak with all the time. Also, 10,000 hours doesn’t happen for 20 year olds.

    As Bob Lefsetz just Tweeted, “You wouldn’t want young wine, why would you want a prepubescent guitar player” great line, wish I’d thought of it!

    Sometimes, I wonder how much you guys doing this podcast and the audience for it, are exposed to the information you present. I won’t go into details but, there is a lot to learn from the old pardigm even though it doesn’t work today.

    Funny, but I find I actually enjoy and learn more from your round table sessions than I do from the interviews overall though there have been exceptions.

  • Nice to hear Ryan again, he had some good insights.

    Though I’m not sure calling people over 50 “old” was the best save – you might be getting another phone call! 🙂

  • age really is a number. $10 bucks from a geriatric is the same as from a Jr High schooler. Young and hot is a narrow demographic. Besides, we can’t always choose who likes us. By our taste and presentation our demographic simply responds to us. We have to open our eyes enough to see where we’re connecting.

  • Martin,

    I couldn’t agree more! Nothing wrong with older folks, and for some artists, that is their core audience. All we did was read some statistics that that group as a whole buys less music, which is true. That doesn’t mean no one over that age buys music, just like there are still plenty of teenagers that buy music.

  • Peter

    Good roundtable, but I never want to hear the word “tribe” again.

  • First of all, I have to compliment CD Baby, Kevin Breuner, and the others for these podcasts. I think they are very well done and bring a lot of value to indie musicians.

    As for this specific podcast, I want to bring a different perspective about music prices (both physical albums and digital downloads). It has been mention that the increase of the price on iTunes from 0.99 to 1.29 per song has hurt sales. So this is a good reason for indie artists not to increase their prices. Also, another reason mentioned was that since there is a tendency of sharing music files, we indie artists should not increase prices.

    I personally think that consumers will not buy my music if they do not like it, even if I offer it for 1 cent per song. Price is never really relevant when consumers want something. The real problem is that there is a strong conviction between consumers that music should be free. Also, consumers think music should be priced all the same. I think this is completely wrong and the music industry, including the indie artists, helped affirm this tendency. However, the same consumers have no problem paying different prices for different books, movies or other products. The majority of consumers, 90%, are completely disconnected from the indie musicians’ reality. These 90% of consumers think all music artist are millionaires and ride limousines. They think just because you have CD published you are doing well economically. Some others think we do not make money from CD sales, but then we make them from touring (as you know this is not true).

    I think music prices should be left to the music artists especially indie music artists. We should be able to sell our music for a little more as we’ll probably never sell millions of copies like some of the major artist. Consumers should be educated by us in this and make them understand the difference between indie and major. It does not take much math to figure out I’ll never be a millionaire like Mariah Carey if I sell my album for the same price she sells them. However, if I could sell my album for a little more, maybe $20-30 each, how could have a better chance to live with my music.

    I started a blog about this and I hope that indie musicians will start joining the discussion here: Blog on CD prices.

  • Thanks for these useful Podcasts. By the way: I do completely agree with the opinion that music buyers are over 40. Most of the people that buy my cds online or at the concerts are (seemingly) over 45, even though there’s 70% people younger than 30y at my concerts.