The music world in full flux

(Published on April 15, 2014 in The Chronicle)


The Student Services Building was filled with music lovers on Saturday April 5 at 11 AM. The morning started off with a conference about the current state of the music industry.

Four music professionals talked about indie music labels versus the major labels, social media and how to use it and the importance of being more then just a musician.

“Isn’t things supposed to happen in the music industry after 12 PM,” said Mitch Masters founder of Track Avenue Records. “It’s a Saturday, come on.”

After getting over the shock of being up so early the conversation got started.

First the panel talked about the impact of indie labels being taken over or bought out by the major labels like Universal, Warner and Sony.

“You’re now getting a little more funding,” said Masters.

Some indie labels get more money to do what they were doing in the first place and that is great, but some major labels are stuck in their ways. Some of the major labels will just “eat up” the indie labels and the indie label’s innovative way of doing things gets lost.

“They’re not really adapting to what’s new and adapting to the trends,” said Matt Sobhy CEO of Prevail Music.

The conversation moved to social media and how to utilize it, instead of bands getting lost within the many others.

“You have to go in with a fresh mind,” said Ryan Freedman President of Ripticket Promotions. “If you have ideas bring them out in the light.”

A mix between what used to work before Facebook and YouTube and the social media sites will work better.

“The newsfeed is huge now, everyone looks at that as if its literally the newspaper now,” said Freedman.

Using digital street teams and engaging fans will create more buzz and fans because they are spreading the word about your music everyday.

“They will work harder then anyone on the planet. Especially if they love the product,” said Jeff Dalziel a music producer.

Within the digital street team musicians need core fans. Core fans are people that will follow a musician through all of the ups and downs and still love the band no matter what.

“If you have one thousand non-core fans I wouldn’t even peg them as close as valuable to five core fans,” said Masters. ”They will literally promote your band day in and day out.”

The panel also talked about being more then just a musician. They are looking for someone who brings more to the table then just musical talent.

“We’re looking for the entire package,” said Freedman.

Musicians that know how to manage themselves and have a plan for where they are going are a lot more valuable then a musician that only cares about the art. Talent isn’t the only thing that producers and record labels are looking for anymore there is something else that stands out.

“It’s about the attitude,” said Masters. “I want to see how humble you are… how hard you work”

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