I attended an online Music Biz Association webinar last week presented by Mark Mulligan. Mulligan is the author of the Music Industry Blog, Managing Director of of MIDiA Research and “a media and technology analyst of more than 15 years’ standing and one of the leading voices in music industry analysis.”
I really like Mulligan’s blog posts because he is a music industry wonk, something I can only aspire to. His work is original and thorough. He often presents his research findings at music industry conferences.
One of the ideas Mulligan presented in this webinar is that music itself is no longer a revenue-generating product for musicians. This has powerful implications for the average musician’s marketing strategy and tactics.
Because music is so much in abundance now (due to the digital democratization of both music production and distribution) it has effectively been commoditized down to zero price, so that makes it hard to make a living as a musician.
So what is a starving musician to do to keep themselves going?
Mulligan proposes that artists should follow the marketing model developed in the early days of the cinema (theater) business.
Here’s the basic idea (from a 2014 post on Digital Ascendency on Mulligan’s blog): || Read more
I got an email recently from an MBA student at the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business named Carl Petrillo, asking if he could interview me about my experience as a musician and an entrepreneur (a “musicpreneur”, as my friends Aaron Bethune and Tommy Darker call it.)
Carl is a musician, too, having worked as a pianist, singer, music director, and choral arranger. He also spent time on the cruise ship circuit before he decided to apply to business school. I suspect Carl has actually made more money in the music business than I have, but in an ironic reverse trajectory of my career path, Carl has decided to move from being a musician into the realm of MBA school. Carl remains active in music as the Vice President of Foster Talent, as well as on his own newly-created YouTube channel.
You can watch Carl perform his original song, Coming Along, on YouTube. Carl is a witty songwriter. [French Canadian saxophone players may not want to watch the music video, however.]
Carl interviewed me for a Foster School class called “Marketing 555: Entrepreneurial Marketing.” I kind of like that – Marketing 555. Sounds a bit like a band name. Anyway, I digress.
We met and Carl asked questions, I talked way too fast for an hour, and we did some follow-up by email, and now my thoughts on marketing my own music are enshrined on the Marketing 555 Blog. Ah, the internet. So here’s the first part of the interview and a link to the rest:
“For my interview of an entrepreneur this quarter, I decided to interview a local musician who, armed with an MBA and years of experience in the tech industry, is working to build her band’s brand from scratch. Today, Solveig Whittle is a music marketing consultant, teacher, and one half of the band Solveig & Stevie. I initially stumbled upon Solveig’s writing from an interview she did with musician Molly Lewis and was struck by the quality of the interview questions. Solveig was kind enough to sit down with me, and then follow up over email, to explain how she thinks about her own entrepreneurial venture as a musician.” – Carl Petrillo, MBA Candidate at the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business