It is sad that the average music “lover” loves music so little they decline to support it. This is a thing we MUST change.
If you love your kids you feed them. If you don’t, well they get taken away. As musicians, we have been very silly in thinking that if we keep feeding our selves to the public for free, it will encourage people to support us. Bulldust. People don’t value what they get for no effort, it is just dross for their mill.
May The Road Rise With You
Sure people haven’t been buying/paying as much as they should (paying Spotifry to stiff us does not count as support – merely making excuses). BUT have a look at what I am seeing:
The images I have are from my Bandcamp Stats which reach back 11 years which pretty well covers this “people don’t buy” period. Since about early 2017, we see a slight trend towards increasing Sales. I see that in both $$ and Purchase events. They are getting more frequent & more likely. Sure there are spikes for album releases, but overall the average is climbing.
Yet when looking at Plays for the same period, the averages aren’t really growing as much. So this doesn’t necessarily mean that more Sales are a direct result of more eyes-on.
It is early days and only a very small player, but I think that people may well be starting to see the value in owning a record rather than just having bits of it pass through as part of someone else’s choices.
What I can deduce about my buying fans is that most of them found me on Bandcamp or through someone who found me on YouTube.
Know Your Product
Now my market demographic is very different from that of a Flake or Ed Sheepman fan. Those people are on Spotifry, where I achieve nothing (except wasted $$ & Time). Saying that Spotifry people are the ONLY people is unwise unless you make Cardi G(an) or Lady Gargle style stuff which is what Spotifry fans are all about. Except even there I don’t think they want to hear from you unless someone else already told them you were approved listening so you might just need to grow a grass-roots fanbase on YouTube before anyone will back you with their Playlist approval.
People don’t value what they get for no effort, it is just dross for their mill
That takes us back to knowing who is likely to be your fan. A fan being someone who will take action that benefits you in return for the benefit you gave them. Working on “meeting” them where they can choose to interact with you (which Spotifry denies them even if they wanted to) and build that relationship so they are part of your Story, and therefore spreading it, is vital. It is on you and your research to know what that is for you.
What all info shows though is that YouTube is a massive gateway for new music finds. YouTube is easy to use. Bandcamp people tend to take action and buy. Use any other platform that works for you but be sure it is working for YOU and not someone else at your expense (like how Plays make you feel special – until you notice that they haven’t paid for one carrot on your kid’s plate).