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Andrew Dubber: "Don't broadcast. It's all about the conversation."

Independent Music in the Digital Age

I'd like to thank RXD for filming/editing this video

Musicians Asked
17:14 How can you motivate someone to give you money for your music, if they can get it for free?
23:54 Could you tell us a bit more about Bandcamp?
35:24 What do you think is the best way of building a fanbase?
43:13 What do you think about promoting your music on Facebook?

More questions asked...

22:16 Are physical things of any value in the artist-fan relationship in terms of rewarding?
29:44 What do you think about the sheet music album Beck released?
32:53 Do you think we should have our music on Spotify, even if they're making money out of it?
40:56 What are the 3 things that piqued your interest the last month?
46:49 Is radio still important?
50:00 Don't you feel a lot of bands are too interested in their image rather than really liking what they do?
53:32 How important is a music video?
56:26 What's your advice to get in contact with a record label?
Distilled knowledge
06:05 "There is just one thing you need to understand about music online: 'This is a conversation'. And it seems like a really oversimplified way of looking at the Internet, but it just human beings talking to each other."
12:23 "In an online space there is the conversation and there is the things about which the conversation is taking place. You can either be talking to people, or you can be the thing about which they talk. But the easiest thing to do is make things people have conversations about. They're called 'social objects'. "
13:58 "If you want to use the Internet in order to connect with other human beings in a way that might make them want to give you money, the way you do that is by being interesting. By giving people things you can concretely have conversations about."
15:51 "In independent music, your problem is not piracy. Your problem is obscurity. You want people to have conversations about you. You want people to have things of yours they can share."
19:08 "I want my face to appear to the page of the band that I like. It's like I'm actually involved in this process with this person that is making this music that I love. That's a completely different dynamic and a much more personal and gratifying connection."
36:02 "If someone's genuinely interested in your music, give them an opportunity to connect with you. Get their phone numbers or get their email address. Later they can opt-out. But you've got to have this on-going dialogue."
39:19 "There is actually a formula for music business success on the Internet. Step one is: Be Fucking Amazing."

More distilled knowledge...

11:27 "The important thing about the conversational space (the Internet) is it's a negotiation. And it's a negotiation between what is it that you do that makes meaning for people and what is that they do that generates meaning for what you do."
17:41 "There is nothing you can do to stop somebody having what you make for nothing. That's not the problem you wanna solve. What you wanna solve is 'How can I be that meaningful that they want to give me money for something they already own?' "
25:17 "Of all the 'pay-what-you-want' transactions on Bandcamp, something like half, or possibly even more, pay more than what was asked for."
32:37 "The best thing that you can do is 1) Be meaningful and 2) Surprise us! You have to come up with something innovative, have interesting ideas."
33:40 "Spotify said to the major record labels 'You give us the license of your music, we'll give you equity in the company.' The major record labels are now co-owners of Spotify. Which means that everything that makes money for Spotify, makes money for major record labels."
36:39 "Give them a reason to come back. Give them something that will incentivize their engagement and will make them want to stay on the mailing list."
38:06 "The Internet favors the gregarious. It's not the Internet's job to solve your music business problems. But it's a tool that you can use to engage with other human beings."
43:41 "Anything you put up on Facebook is not your thing, it's Facebook's thing, they own it. Personally, I would use Facebook to direct people away from Facebook."
48:34 "I'd rather target an audience of 500 people who are interested in what I do, than an audience of 5.000.000 that don't give a shit. Because the traction is so much better."
52:47 "A lot of people say 'I'm only a musician, I don't know about marketing, graphic design and web development. So I need a record label'. And my answer is 'No, all you need is people who know how to do those things. Build your team.' "
55:36 "Cats are interesting!"

Add your intelligent opinion.

Useful Info

About Andrew Dubber
Andrew Dubber is Reader in Music Industries Innovation at Birmingham City University, a lecturer, author, consultant, public speaker, broadcaster and blogger.
Andrew Dubber on the web
Twitter: Andrew Dubber
Blog: New Music Strategies
Email Andrew
Highlighted in the talk
Radio in the Digital Age
Music in the Digital Age
20 Things You Must Know About Music Online
Bandcamp for fans
Bandcamp 'Pay-What-You-Want' Model
Spotify co-owned by major labels
Beck's sheet music album
Emily Baker
Let's make these talks better!
Please email me here for your suggestions to make Darker Music Talks a more beneficial place for independent musicians! (or if you just wanna say hi)

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Darker Music Talks is free to attend, but the date and location are revealed first to the music people who are on the list. If interested, please leave your details below.

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