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#1158348 - 10/31/19 11:07 AM Thought Music Doesn't Sell  
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Fdemetrio Offline
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Came across this list of top selling singles of all time. Every single one of them are post-internet downloading era.

If the music business is dead, and music doesnt make money, how are the top selling singles of all time all recent?

Seems to be all pop music, but still, if music is free everywhere, how is it selling anywhere?

Strange dichotomy, enigma, conundrum...

https://www.businessinsider.com/best-selling-music-singles-of-all-time-2019-4

Last edited by Fdemetrio; 10/31/19 11:08 AM.
#1158353 - 10/31/19 02:58 PM Re: Thought Music Doesn't Sell [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Certain music is selling, but it has to do with the artist branding more than any songs. Visability is viability and if you have songs that are everywhere, television, movies, mainstream radio, yes, you still can make money. Out of around 12 billion songs a year, there are less than around 500 that qualify in those categories.

#1158354 - 10/31/19 03:36 PM Re: Thought Music Doesn't Sell [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Originally Posted by Marc Barnette
Certain music is selling, but it has to do with the artist branding more than any songs. Visability is viability and if you have songs that are everywhere, television, movies, mainstream radio, yes, you still can make money. Out of around 12 billion songs a year, there are less than around 500 that qualify in those categories.


I have heard even big time rock n rollers like Roger Daltry saying nobody is buying music.

Funny, I hate just about every song on that list. I just thought human nature, people can and will get even those singles for free, pretty easily, just by going on youtube to listen for free or spotify. That's why it kind of surprised that anybody would pay a nickel for music any more.

#1158362 - 11/01/19 07:12 AM Re: Thought Music Doesn't Sell [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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Everett Adams Online content
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If those that are fighting climate control get their way, music and many other things may not be so readily available as they are now. So it might be nice to have your favourite songs on CD or other conveyances that you can listen to it.

#1158364 - 11/01/19 09:19 AM Re: Thought Music Doesn't Sell [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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One thing that should be noted on this, the figures on sales of these songs can be somewhat misleading. In the instance of Meghan Trainor, for instance and her "ALL ABOUT THE BASS" song, the sales on the song were included with sales of PRODUCTS relating to that song.The "talking fish" for instance, that hangs on the wall, you push a button, and it sings the song, was a big part of that, selling very well, especially during the Christmas season. It was also used in commericals, film and television, t-shirts, dolls, all sorts of products . Not to mention her profile in concerts, those figures reflect much more than just the song itself. The same can be said of most of the songs on that list. Many can be streamed or file shared and are fine with the artist if it pushes their live concert or other profiles.

There was a period a few years ago, when Lady Ga Ga made around $20,000 on the airlplay and sales of one of her songs. During the same period, her live concerts and merchandising, endorsements, totalled around $60 MILLION dollars.

So when you are reading articles on money and today's music market, they can be somewhat misleading. Spotify, for instance is one of the worlds worst offenders, claiming they are paying all this money out but almost no writers are reporting huge checks. I do know of one, Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball" which paid the three writers and their publishers a little over $10,000 for 200 million streams. Of course at the same time, Miley was jet setting throughout the world, making millions upon millions of dollars.

So yes, there are artists, songs, careers that do quite well. The Kardashians make millions on "what?" Figure that one out and you can figure out the basis for most of our problems. But if you were to strip away a lot of this, you will probably find that the actual money has to do more with ARTIST BRANDING than any one song.


MAB

#1158380 - 11/03/19 07:49 PM Re: Thought Music Doesn't Sell [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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Dave Rice Online content
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Hi Marc:

Great info... that figure on the number of new songs per year is astounding. Wonder how that relates to the total number of active songwriters?

Branding? The only "branding" that is going on in my "neck of the woods" is on new calves and rounded up mavericks... LOL!

Hope it isn't as unseasonably cold over there as we are experiencing here in "West Mayberry!"

Take care and thanks for sharing your insider information with us.

----Dave

#1158385 - 11/04/19 06:38 AM Re: Thought Music Doesn't Sell [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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Everett Adams Online content
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Dave, don't you have global warming in your neck of the woods? It's above normal over here.

#1158387 - 11/04/19 08:55 AM Re: Thought Music Doesn't Sell [Re: Dave Rice]  
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Dave,

If you want a pretty good analogy, you can use the game of golf. There are around 30-50 million golfers around the world. Cities have enormous tracts of land for golf courses, they are tied up almost every hour of the day, and to get on a course, sometimes the waiting list is for days if not weeks. The amount of money spent on greens fees, cart rentals, clothes, equipment, lessons, travel, etc. is astounding, into the billions. There are golf television channels, millions of instructional videos, YOU TUBE, endless amounts of magazines, online blogs, and information all being added to every minute of every day. The amount of money that television pays to rights of broadcast of tournaments is astounding, with things like the MASTERS, US OPEN, etc. could fund a few countries, for life.

The stars of the game are Gazilionaires, earning millions in prize money, endorsements, some, like Tiger Woods, are some of the most famous celebrities on earth. Want a reality check? See how many "Tiger Woods" go costumes are for Halloween. "Tiger" is actually metaphor for victories. My buddy and Co-writer, Jim Peterik has benefited greatly from this with his song "EYE OF THE TIGER" since that guy has been around. LOL!

There are golfing communities, people make vacation trips to places like ST. ANDREWS in Scottland, just to play where golf was born. It is, quite frankly, a religion, and I've known of preachers cutting their sermons short to see that last round of the Masters.

But out of those, how many people at any country club actually participate in even a "best ball tournament." How many just like to play on those beautiful greens, spend a couple hours of quiet time trying to keep a little white ball going straight on a course? How many people coinsider "hitting the sweet spot on one golf shot like an orgasm? Not to mention people that go to college and other official schools for it.

Yet not a percent of a percent of a percent will ever apply the dedication and nurture the talent to get one of those less than a 1000 PGA cards to make money at it?

So billions of dollars spent, billions made, millions of people try, very very very few succeed at any level.

The same can be said for songwriters, musicians. artists, painters, sculpters, performance artists, authors, etc. CREATORS.

Millions upon millions upon millions, spend billions on equipment, instruments, canvasas, art supplies, colleges, private lessons, instructional videos, YOU TUBE, the INTERNET. Magazines, web sites, endless information. And in some cases, millions upon millions of dollars are made, companies built (and collapse) and entire industry is built around that. How many television pilots are done each year, and how many make a television network? How many movies scripts, plays, books, articles, etc. are done, compared to the very very very very few that will ever make dollar one?

The average songwriter will never make $2000 in their lifetime. So why do it?

Because they HAVE TO. And yes, SOMEONE WILL MAKE MONEY. The same as SOMEBODY will do one of those silly product information commercials we see at 3 in the morning on television because there is nothing else on. Some make fortunes. One of my favorite stories is the "MY PILLOW' guy, who just started making pillows in his basement, and has built it into a multi million dollar mega corporation. One of the strongest stocks on the market place is for a store called "DOLLAR GENERAL." They have stores every where selling everything for very very low costs.There have been hundreds of those types of businesses for ever that have done much the same thing. Why has THAT one bloomed so incredibly?

Have no idea. The same as why does some artist or song, company, etc. become mega gazillionaires and others that might be better, or more deserving, do nothing?

Again, have no idea. If any body could figure out the formula they would only do that and not spend the hundreds of millions in putting failed product out there.

But someone does do well. Why try? Because they have to.

This month, next month, next year, year after, and after that, there will be some breakthrough song or artist. Something every one looks at and goes "I don't get it..." or someone that everyone goes "WHY DIDN'T I THINK OF THAT?"

About 30 years ago, I had this funny idea for a novel where a character, a musician, somehow gained access to a time machine and went back in history, writing all the famous songs in the world, BEFORE they were written. He would make billions of dollars and go back and forth, being the most famous songwriter on earth. I got about two pages in and just quit thinking 'it's not worth the effort." And I'm not a book author. (although some people will tell you my posts are like a book.)
But when I started hearing about this movie coming out where a guy was the only one on earth who remembered the Beatles, and becomes the biggest songwriter on earth doing Beatles songs, I thought "Guess it wasn't as dumb an idea as I thought." "YESTERDAY" was a great movie and if I had had any talent or stick to it withness, I might have been that writer.

NAAAH. Give credit where credit is due. Was a fun movie.

The point is that there is a LOT of people that do this. A lot of songs, writers, artists, etc. Very few will succeed but does that really matter? We all have our victories. Having a web site where we can all discuss this sort of stuff. That's a victory.

Have a good day.
MAB







Last edited by Marc Barnette; 11/04/19 09:02 AM.
#1158389 - 11/04/19 10:32 AM Re: Thought Music Doesn't Sell [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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Well,
When my former Publisher was accepting songs he exclaimed to me practically all the submissions were "Junk". So maybe a lot of those millions of songwriters weren't actually songwriters????

I clicked on your Link FD but all I got is IT APPEARS YOUR POP UP BLOCKER WORKING. And something about you need to turn it off. So I couldn't look at all those songs. Perhaps you can post them here.


Ray E. Strode
#1158391 - 11/04/19 10:42 AM Re: Thought Music Doesn't Sell [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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Fdemetrio Offline
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It's alot easier to be seen and heard today. You could even be world famous from internet music, but not have any money to show for it.

If you can sell out big venues, arenas, stadiums, you should have no problem making money in music. But there's only so many venues and so many days in the year, to accommodate everybody who makes music. And also, so many public dollars to spend.

I remember when I was a kid, Because there was no internet, I didnt get to hear thousands, even millions of songs, because the only way to really hear them was to buy them. Working a paper route, I was lucky to buy my absolute favorites once a month.

MTV change it somewhat, you could hear alot more music than you could ever buy simply by watching MTV 24/7. When it first came out, i was glued to it, probably the first two years, then it got boring because the same stuff was in the rotation, it was pretty much like top 40 radio after a while. But I can assure you, I would never heard MEN WITHOUT HATS, or ADAM and The ANTS, MISTER MISTER, Missing Persons, Till Tuesday, The Buggles, Tommy Tutone, The Romantics, Triumph, the list goes on and on, if not for MTV, i certainly wouldnt be able to buy it all.

Now, todays MTV is youtube, and streaming services. You can hear hundreds of songs per day if you want to, all for free.

In that way, it's BETTER for the artist. Ive heard more music since the internet started, than i had previously my whole life. It's a great way to be seen/heard, it's just that nobody can or will pay for it all.

As I said, you could be world famous and not have any money to show for it.

#1158392 - 11/04/19 10:48 AM Re: Thought Music Doesn't Sell [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
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Originally Posted by Ray E. Strode
Well,
When my former Publisher was accepting songs he exclaimed to me practically all the submissions were "Junk". So maybe a lot of those millions of songwriters weren't actually songwriters????

I clicked on your Link FD but all I got is IT APPEARS YOUR POP UP BLOCKER WORKING. And something about you need to turn it off. So I couldn't look at all those songs. Perhaps you can post them here.


The list wasnt worth your time Ray, all pseudo r&b, Rap, Cheese pop. But the point was they sold 10 million units each.

There seems to be one little tight zone where artists can still make millions. If they play the superbowl, they usually sell millions right after the halftime show, but then it disappears over night.

But the only time tested way to make money in music is by performing live.

#1158393 - 11/04/19 01:17 PM Re: Thought Music Doesn't Sell [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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The key to being an artist and making money has always been LIVE. Records, radio, and later television, movies, etc. were just ways to advertise for the artists' live shows. Artists always make their money from merchandise, live performances, endorsements, etc. For years when record sales were happening, songwriters did make money off of the songs performance and sells. As sales of physical product has diminished, the money from that has diminished also.

Artists have always been BRANDS. Sinatra was a BRAND. ELVIS, THE BEATLES, were BRANDS. They were on lunch boxes, fan magazines, they sold breakfast cereals, all of that was branding. The Beatles and Elvis also moved FASHION, CULTURE and pretty much every thing in their era. That is BRANDING.

Now, money in songs themselves have declined to a point where the other money has had to get bigger to make up the differences. It is why record companies went to the "360 DEGREE DEAL." where the labels also recieved a percentage of touring merchandise, live performances, endorsements, product placement. Thank you AMERICAN IDOL. And now, if you are expecting to get a song "pitched" to an artist, particularly one who is signed to a deal, better plan on them being a writer on the song, whether they are or not. Because without that, you don't even get heard.

There are still indpendent artists, younger and older, that might be open to the idea of outside songs, but for all but a very few, now outside songs are "someone trying to put words in their mouths" and they don't even consider them. This comes from 1964, where the BEATLES proved that the artist could also be the writer which is what put an end almost completely to the outside cut in rock and pop. Country was the last genre to go, but now it is pretty much inside also. Once the Internet made everyone a writer and artist, it pretty much ended the era of the songwriter outside of that artists inner circle.

"Well,
When my former Publisher was accepting songs he exclaimed to me practically all the submissions were "Junk". So maybe a lot of those millions of songwriters weren't actually songwriters????"

Ray, for the most part they weren't songwriters, at least not at the level of people who do it for a living every single day. They were well intentioned people who had friends and relatives tell them how "THEIR SONGS WERE AS GOOD AS ANYTHING ON THE RADIO" and the world just "HAD TO HEAR THEM!" The same as mothers who have fairly homely children who think they are ready to win beauty contests, be on television or the bench sitter in kid's baseball that just needs to "get into the game, to be drafted by the neighbors. Well intentioned and tremendously misinformed.

Millions of people try to pitch these songs to publishers, pluggers, film and television libraries, and not one of them are really involved in the "REAL MUSIC BUSINESS."
They aren't sitting there, holding some artist's hand as they go through a life altering death of a loved one or a break up. They are there at the birth of their children or the day they sign their record deals. They don't understand the inner workings of an artists life and don't know the inner sould of the people they think should be singing their songs. Their songs are almost always completely forgettable, being just mediocre copies of other songs. Most often behind the times following some trend that played out long ago. Or some things that are so obscure or challenged in subject matter that makes no sense for people to even try to pitch them. They are substandard in recordings, sounding like they were recording in some bathroom, complete with a toilet flush. They are overproduced that sound like some other genre than intended. They go on four and five minutes, 5-6 verses, 3 bridges and choruses that sound exaclty like the verses and bridges. I always laugh at the monthly "American Songwriter" contest winners. When is the last time you heard a 5 verse 10 line in each verse, each chorus changing, and nothing remotely understandable in the entire song, on the radio?

Most people write for THERAPY. They mine the inner recesses of their soul, without giving a thought to OTHER PEOPLE WOULD RATHER MINE THEIR OWN INNER RECESSES. It's a business of "relationships" and those people have no relationships. So yes, like your publisher said "They are JUNK. " Barely listenable.

But they try. Lord they try. They grow by legions and the more the Internet grows, the more and more people will be attempting to do this. And they can GET THEIR SONGS OUT THERE. They can form their own YOU TUBE channels, their own podcasts, their own radio stations. The world is their oyster.

Some people will reasonate with an audience and advance. Most won't. Just the world we live in.
MAB

#1158394 - 11/04/19 03:36 PM Re: Thought Music Doesn't Sell [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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Eh, well,
I'm not sure how many if any Artists are recording much of anything at present. I saw a post on Music Xray that a Publisher was/is looking for new songs for Garth Brooks. Who knows for sure? My guess the Music Business is pretty dead right now and isn't going to change anytime soon. In the past I have seen requests by Record Labels wanting new Artists that write their own songs. One Publisher I found would only accept songs over the Net. Everybody wants a Push Button World.


Ray E. Strode
#1158396 - 11/04/19 07:14 PM Re: Thought Music Doesn't Sell [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Originally Posted by Marc Barnette
The key to being an artist and making money has always been LIVE. Records, radio, and later television, movies, etc. were just ways to advertise for the artists' live shows. Artists always make their money from merchandise, live performances, endorsements, etc. For years when record sales were happening, songwriters did make money off of the songs performance and sells. As sales of physical product has diminished, the money from that has diminished also.

Artists have always been BRANDS. Sinatra was a BRAND. ELVIS, THE BEATLES, were BRANDS. They were on lunch boxes, fan magazines, they sold breakfast cereals, all of that was branding. The Beatles and Elvis also moved FASHION, CULTURE and pretty much every thing in their era. That is BRANDING.

Now, money in songs themselves have declined to a point where the other money has had to get bigger to make up the differences. It is why record companies went to the "360 DEGREE DEAL." where the labels also recieved a percentage of touring merchandise, live performances, endorsements, product placement. Thank you AMERICAN IDOL. And now, if you are expecting to get a song "pitched" to an artist, particularly one who is signed to a deal, better plan on them being a writer on the song, whether they are or not. Because without that, you don't even get heard.

There are still indpendent artists, younger and older, that might be open to the idea of outside songs, but for all but a very few, now outside songs are "someone trying to put words in their mouths" and they don't even consider them. This comes from 1964, where the BEATLES proved that the artist could also be the writer which is what put an end almost completely to the outside cut in rock and pop. Country was the last genre to go, but now it is pretty much inside also. Once the Internet made everyone a writer and artist, it pretty much ended the era of the songwriter outside of that artists inner circle.

"Well,
When my former Publisher was accepting songs he exclaimed to me practically all the submissions were "Junk". So maybe a lot of those millions of songwriters weren't actually songwriters????"

Ray, for the most part they weren't songwriters, at least not at the level of people who do it for a living every single day. They were well intentioned people who had friends and relatives tell them how "THEIR SONGS WERE AS GOOD AS ANYTHING ON THE RADIO" and the world just "HAD TO HEAR THEM!" The same as mothers who have fairly homely children who think they are ready to win beauty contests, be on television or the bench sitter in kid's baseball that just needs to "get into the game, to be drafted by the neighbors. Well intentioned and tremendously misinformed.

Millions of people try to pitch these songs to publishers, pluggers, film and television libraries, and not one of them are really involved in the "REAL MUSIC BUSINESS."
They aren't sitting there, holding some artist's hand as they go through a life altering death of a loved one or a break up. They are there at the birth of their children or the day they sign their record deals. They don't understand the inner workings of an artists life and don't know the inner sould of the people they think should be singing their songs. Their songs are almost always completely forgettable, being just mediocre copies of other songs. Most often behind the times following some trend that played out long ago. Or some things that are so obscure or challenged in subject matter that makes no sense for people to even try to pitch them. They are substandard in recordings, sounding like they were recording in some bathroom, complete with a toilet flush. They are overproduced that sound like some other genre than intended. They go on four and five minutes, 5-6 verses, 3 bridges and choruses that sound exaclty like the verses and bridges. I always laugh at the monthly "American Songwriter" contest winners. When is the last time you heard a 5 verse 10 line in each verse, each chorus changing, and nothing remotely understandable in the entire song, on the radio?

Most people write for THERAPY. They mine the inner recesses of their soul, without giving a thought to OTHER PEOPLE WOULD RATHER MINE THEIR OWN INNER RECESSES. It's a business of "relationships" and those people have no relationships. So yes, like your publisher said "They are JUNK. " Barely listenable.

But they try. Lord they try. They grow by legions and the more the Internet grows, the more and more people will be attempting to do this. And they can GET THEIR SONGS OUT THERE. They can form their own YOU TUBE channels, their own podcasts, their own radio stations. The world is their oyster.

Some people will reasonate with an audience and advance. Most won't. Just the world we live in.
MAB








The biggest branders of music I think in the history of music were/are KISS. Just starting out with the costumes they wore branded them immediately. But there are Kiss lunch boxes, Kiss clothes and boots, Kiss guitars and amps, Kiss caskets!!! Kiss pinball machines, Kiss rollercoasters, and they owned an Arena football team called L.A. Kiss

I dont think any artist ever took it as far as Kiss did.

The thing is how do you have a brand if nobody knows your music yet? In order to be a brand you have to be known, so thats just like starting from scratch

Last edited by Fdemetrio; 11/04/19 07:22 PM.
#1158399 - 11/05/19 08:43 AM Re: Thought Music Doesn't Sell [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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it s pretty clear that songwriting is not a money maker and that there is no fame or fortune waiting on any of us here.

My suggestion is to write from your "core" (whatever that is) and enjoy it. At the end of this life you wont have fame or fortune but you will have something that reflects what your life is and was.
If you write from your core, your chances of being widely recognized is less than an earth-ending-asteroid hitting tommorrow, but it is the best shot you have at presenting "you" to yourself and anyone else who cares to take a look. That's worth taking a shot at.

Morning reflections from Marty

#1158401 - 11/05/19 09:46 AM Re: Thought Music Doesn't Sell [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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Great observation, Mr. Lide:

Time will erase each and every one of us. Hopefully, a few of our songs, poems, art or other attributes and abilities will remain for others to discover... and maybe even enjoy.

Perfect reflection, my friend, ----Dave

#1158403 - 11/05/19 10:22 AM Re: Thought Music Doesn't Sell [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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But, how many of us actually write from the core...truly? id say zero.

And this coming from somebody who listens to some very deep internal songwriters. And I almost always write from what seems real to me, even if I make up the details, the emotion is real.

The reason I ask the question is because, if truly writing from the core, why do you need a verse? a pre chorus...a chorus? A bridge? Why do the lyrics have to make sense to anybody else except you? Why use rhymes?
Why not one giant verse, no chorus, no hook?

Why does the recording have to be good? Why not just post rough takes, cause were only writing for ourselves right? Why pay money to demo a song? Why share it with anyone, if nobody is supposed to like it but you?

Most people here are trying for commercial appeal, one way or another.


Last edited by Fdemetrio; 11/05/19 11:20 AM.
#1158406 - 11/05/19 11:30 AM Re: Thought Music Doesn't Sell [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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I wrote that song story from my core. It's not my story but it was what my soul wanted to tell for reasons I can't explain. I didn't worry about song length or genre or anything else. I wasnt trying to capture any trends. With Mike's help and polish I just let it happen.

It needed polish to be worthy of being a real song. And not just a rough sounding idea.

Now I have it and it is nice to have.


#1158410 - 11/05/19 11:39 AM Re: Thought Music Doesn't Sell [Re: Martin Lide]  
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Originally Posted by Martin Lide
I wrote that song story from my core. It's not my story but it was what my soul wanted to tell for reasons I can't explain. I didn't worry about song length or genre or anything else. I wasnt trying to capture any trends. With Mike's help I just let it happen.

Now I have it and it is nice to have.



Well I felt a real vibe from Marfa Plain, and Im guessing if you played it for regular listeners as opposed to us folks who see and hear way too much amateur music, they'd tell you that was the best one you did.

I just get a kick out of the sentiment we have come to adapt. Make music for yourself..... Nawww really? Ive been doing that willingly or not since I was 14 lol. I actually got to play in front of my school. I was part of the band that played the music for the school play, but in turn, got to play two songs that i wrote with one of the bands I was in at the time.

It was the greatest moment i had as a songwriter or musician, because the reaction was real. "you wrote that"? They had never ran into somebody who wrote their own song before lol. A great time before the internet.

But i think the one thing we lack is a real audience. Most people are bsin if they say they dont want to be appreciated. Everybody does.

I could do without the money, and fame, and have done a great job of writing for myself for a long time, not by choice.... but, id be lying if i said I wouldnt want an audience.

My second goal would be to have a song in a big movie. That's like branding your initials in a not yet dried concrete walkway.

If truly wanting to write from your core, no songwriting rules would apply. in other words, were trying to be appreciated, and alot of times it shows!



Last edited by Fdemetrio; 11/05/19 11:41 AM.
#1158412 - 11/05/19 12:03 PM Re: Thought Music Doesn't Sell [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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Thanks for liking Marfa. I enjoyed making it but wrote it with a much greater sense of detachment than the song story. Don't know why but I was all the way in on those.

And I would happily take some fame and fortune, but it's not gonna happen...so with it out of the picture...theres no reason not to "suit yourself."

#1158414 - 11/05/19 01:58 PM Re: Thought Music Doesn't Sell [Re: Dave Rice]  
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Originally Posted by Dave Rice
Great observation, Mr. Lide:

Time will erase each and every one of us. Hopefully, a few of our songs, poems, art or other attributes and abilities will remain for others to discover... and maybe even enjoy.

Perfect reflection, my friend, ----Dave


Thanks Dave. I hope you are feeling well.

#1158418 - 11/05/19 02:50 PM Re: Thought Music Doesn't Sell [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
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"Eh, well,
I'm not sure how many if any Artists are recording much of anything at present. I saw a post on Music Xray that a Publisher was/is looking for new songs for Garth Brooks. Who knows for sure? My guess the Music Business is pretty dead right now and isn't going to change anytime soon. In the past I have seen requests by Record Labels wanting new Artists that write their own songs. One Publisher I found would only accept songs over the Net. Everybody wants a Push Button World."

Ray, you always make me laugh pretty hard with your "The music business is dead..." stuff. That's always a good one. The music business IS DEAD for a lot of people,just like the game of golf is dead to a lot of people to play that Masters. Doesn't mean the MULTI BILLION DOLLAR GOLF INDUSTRY OR THE MULTI BILLION DOLLAR ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY is "DEAD." It's not. It just has more people in it, and collecting more money, but paying out to fewer and fewer people. Just like pretty much all businesses. Because every single Burger place on earth is not making fortunes, doesn't mean THE ENTIRE BURGER INDUSTRY IS DEAD. McDonalds, Burger King, Sonic, etc. are doing just fine, as well as other places around the world. To say "It's all dead" is silly.

The days of "Mailing something into a publisher who the writers don't know personally or having no relationships with actual artists, or mechanisms to get inside those circles, are dead and always have been so. And yes, publishers still would be "looking for something for Garth Brooks" because his name goes onto a pitch sheet and everyone tries to get something to them. But that doesn't mean everyone is going to have access to him. Garth just released a new project that he has liscenced for his 3 year tour that is currently going on. So "looking for something for Garth" doesn't even seem to make much sense to him. But they try.

The music business is FAR from dead. We are all just having to find ways to exist in it as the old methods are dying off. There will be people that make money, although it may come in different forms, just like the old way of publishing, getting cuts and making money, have changed, More people are involved and some are doing quite well. A few at the top of the heap are doing incredible. The rich get richer. But those current rich people were once the poor, average people. Just have to be in the right place, right time, with the right product.

But believe me, if it is ALL DEAD, it is one of the loudest dead businesses that exist, because more people are involved, tours make more money, and more activity is going on. Quite a bit of activity for a dead thing.

Good laugh though. Thanks a lot.
MAB

#1158421 - 11/05/19 03:16 PM Re: Thought Music Doesn't Sell [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Originally Posted by Marc Barnette
"Eh, well,
I'm not sure how many if any Artists are recording much of anything at present. I saw a post on Music Xray that a Publisher was/is looking for new songs for Garth Brooks. Who knows for sure? My guess the Music Business is pretty dead right now and isn't going to change anytime soon. In the past I have seen requests by Record Labels wanting new Artists that write their own songs. One Publisher I found would only accept songs over the Net. Everybody wants a Push Button World."

Ray, you always make me laugh pretty hard with your "The music business is dead..." stuff. That's always a good one. The music business IS DEAD for a lot of people,just like the game of golf is dead to a lot of people to play that Masters. Doesn't mean the MULTI BILLION DOLLAR GOLF INDUSTRY OR THE MULTI BILLION DOLLAR ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY is "DEAD." It's not. It just has more people in it, and collecting more money, but paying out to fewer and fewer people. Just like pretty much all businesses. Because every single Burger place on earth is not making fortunes, doesn't mean THE ENTIRE BURGER INDUSTRY IS DEAD. McDonalds, Burger King, Sonic, etc. are doing just fine, as well as other places around the world. To say "It's all dead" is silly.

The days of "Mailing something into a publisher who the writers don't know personally or having no relationships with actual artists, or mechanisms to get inside those circles, are dead and always have been so. And yes, publishers still would be "looking for something for Garth Brooks" because his name goes onto a pitch sheet and everyone tries to get something to them. But that doesn't mean everyone is going to have access to him. Garth just released a new project that he has liscenced for his 3 year tour that is currently going on. So "looking for something for Garth" doesn't even seem to make much sense to him. But they try.

The music business is FAR from dead. We are all just having to find ways to exist in it as the old methods are dying off. There will be people that make money, although it may come in different forms, just like the old way of publishing, getting cuts and making money, have changed, More people are involved and some are doing quite well. A few at the top of the heap are doing incredible. The rich get richer. But those current rich people were once the poor, average people. Just have to be in the right place, right time, with the right product.

But believe me, if it is ALL DEAD, it is one of the loudest dead businesses that exist, because more people are involved, tours make more money, and more activity is going on. Quite a bit of activity for a dead thing.

Good laugh though. Thanks a lot.
MAB


The music business is clearly not dead, there are still artists who have amassed hundreds of millions. If I wanted to I could probably make a few hundred a week playing in small places around here. Alot of businesses you cant even do that. Try photography or drawing, or arts and crafts, and see if you make a few hundred a week at it.

Its close to dead for songwriters trying to pitch, only shot is to cowrite with somebody who goes out and performs. Or if lucky hook up with somebody who has a brand.


Last edited by Fdemetrio; 11/05/19 03:19 PM.
#1158425 - 11/05/19 08:39 PM Re: Thought Music Doesn't Sell [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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Aw, Well,
I do get about 5 Music Catalogs at least one or more times a year so music from yesterday is still selling. Artists going in the Studio and recording something new seems to be dead. Of course I am not in a Music Center so I could be wrong. I do tune in the local radio to see what is new but as my former publisher used to say, it is mostly junk. Sorry!


Ray E. Strode
#1158428 - 11/05/19 09:41 PM Re: Thought Music Doesn't Sell [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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Well Ray, I don't know what to tell you as there is still plenty of recording going on. People have done more and more on home and smaller studios, and many have gone to recording on their phones. But about 100,000 songs are uploaded to the internet an hour and a large part of those are full recordings. So someone is doing something. We have an average of 50,000-150,000 people here at any one time trying to be involved in music and every week around 600 that move here or make regular trips. This is offset by around 1200 a week that move home or quit having lasted between 6 months to two years. So the amount of people going to record something new for SOMEONE ELSE is not much. Recording for themselves is quite heathy.

Radio gets a very small amount of songs and artists because they are programmed nationally, and what you might consider "junk" is probably not shared by people who are customers for that type of music. Easy to call what we don't like "junk." Just not our stuff. But as always, our opinions really don't matter at all.

Where we have moved to is a SELF CONTAINED WORLD. The era of the writer outside of the artist, is a thing that is mostly dead. Now everyone is a writer, everyone is an artist, and the interest in outside songs simply don't exist anymore. And as I've always said there are people succeeding There are people who succeed very well. There are constantly people creating their own niche, finding their own voice, and skipping radio, completely. they go to internet broadcasting, radio, podcasting.
It's a do it yourself world now.

MAB

#1158434 - 11/06/19 08:11 AM Re: Thought Music Doesn't Sell [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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If you are a performer and have a good singing voice, then you can get heard, even if it is only in your own town. People look for entertainment and small towns rarely get any well known artist performing in their town, so local artist get to perform. Mostly they sing material written by others and heard on radio because that is what people recognize. Some will even write their own songs but don't sing them too often because they don't go over too well. Rarely do you find an artist that can do it all well, like sing, play and write. I'm getting heard through streaming services, some radio stations and churches, but not getting a pile of money, just enough to cover expenses. Still I am happy to a point, money is not everything, especially at my stage of life. Success is not always spelled out in how rich you are. I'm making ends meet, I'm fairly content and healthy which make me fairly happy. Would I like to have a hit song, sure I would but not because of money it would bring in, but satisfaction in knowing something I created made the charts. Recognition for something is what everyone strives for. It could be in any of the arts, sports, movies, dances, etc. We long to be accepted by our piers,and the world in general, but it does not make us any better than those that don't standout in life. A man and woman that raises a happy family are heroes in the eyes of their children, especially in this day and age when most marriages end in divorce. Even those that are rich and famous are not content or happy, they are always searching and reaching for more. More of what? They don't even know. Many people find contentment and happiness in just helping others. Many choose careers for that reason, like Doctors and nurses, sure some choose those careers for the money it pays, but some for the contentment of just helping. Teachers are the same, missionaries who spend their lives in poor countries to serve the people, not to get rich. We all have different desires and aims in life, some aim high and never make it and are disappointed, some aim low and make it and are happy and contented. Those that aim high and make it are rarely happy and content.

People that win the lottery are rarely satisfied, they keep playing trying to win again. Much needs more. Don't worry be happy. LOL

#1158436 - 11/06/19 08:39 AM Re: Thought Music Doesn't Sell [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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In order to understand the era we are in, the era of "free" and "everyone can do it." we have to look back to see how we got here.

FEB.9, 1964.

Does that date "ring a bell" with any of you? It should.

That was the date four guys from Liverpool, England, did an American television show and changed the world. From the moment The BEATLES stepped onstage for the Ed Sullivan show, the world of music was completely different. Before that moment, there were WRITERS AND COMPOSERS, and ARTISTS. The Beatles changed the dynamic as the ARTISTS WERE NOW THE WRITERS. From that moment on, in rock, and pop, the two became mixed. And while there were still people who were primarily songwriters and still are today, mostly it is all self contained. That has continued every year since and American Country music was the last hold out.
Now that has changed too, as artists are signed AS WRITERS first, usually for a couple of years before they get their record deals. And often today, they have hit songs on other artists, before they themselves enter the recording realm.

When the downloading and Internet era hit in the 2000's, the money dissapeared from the "old ways" and were now done in different ways such as artist branding. The companies, taking a cue from the Rap and hip hop world, all developed companies that did every thing in house. The writing, recording, producing, videos, promotions, were all done inside or in close confederations with other companies in similar situations.

The trick now is to GET INSIDE on artists and companies ground floor. But the artists themselves are all WRITING songs at much younger ages, so the desire or need to look elsewhere is diminished. And when everything is RELATIVE, they are going to take their own art over someone else's.

So are some people still "selling music?" Absolutely. Are their tons of artists and songs going on out there? Yep. And some succeed, most don't. But we all STILL do it. I have NEVER met ONE HIT WRITER say that MONEY was the primary reason they got into music or songwriting. It;'s a desire to create. To get what is INSIDE of us to the OUTSIDE of us. Now everyone has the same opportunities on that. The INTERNET is the great equalizer. Every one is pretty equal. Some may be "MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS" to quote George Orwell, but that's where we are.

MAB

#1158440 - 11/06/19 10:13 AM Re: Thought Music Doesn't Sell [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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Well
Perhaps I should have said, The Recording Industry has shrunk. I used to suscribe to 3 Monthly Tip Sheets. All no longer exist.
Writers Digest used to publish a yearly Songwriter's Market. The last one was 2017. A new one is not available. As far as I know, there are several "Small" Publishers in Nashville that have Web Sites. I have sent some of them messages thru their Web Site inviting them to listen to some of my songs on the Web Site. I do have a lot of pretty good songs. No one has returned my offers. I don't know how many Recording Studios are in and around Nashville. I doubt if any of them are doing anything to speak of. I guess George Jones was the last Artist who liked to go in the Studio with all the musicians to record. Today a lot of them use some Music Program and spend oodles of time perfecting a recording. No problem. They know what they have.

Is anyone Touring. Not much I guess.
They do do Kereoke here on a somewhat regular basis. My daughter and her friend go pretty often. Perhaps that is the biggest thing out there today.

Last edited by Ray E. Strode; 11/06/19 10:16 AM.

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#1158441 - 11/06/19 10:24 AM Re: Thought Music Doesn't Sell [Re: Everett Adams]  
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Originally Posted by Everett Adams
If you are a performer and have a good singing voice, then you can get heard, even if it is only in your own town. People look for entertainment and small towns rarely get any well known artist performing in their town, so local artist get to perform. Mostly they sing material written by others and heard on radio because that is what people recognize. Some will even write their own songs but don't sing them too often because they don't go over too well. Rarely do you find an artist that can do it all well, like sing, play and write. I'm getting heard through streaming services, some radio stations and churches, but not getting a pile of money, just enough to cover expenses. Still I am happy to a point, money is not everything, especially at my stage of life. Success is not always spelled out in how rich you are. I'm making ends meet, I'm fairly content and healthy which make me fairly happy. Would I like to have a hit song, sure I would but not because of money it would bring in, but satisfaction in knowing something I created made the charts. Recognition for something is what everyone strives for. It could be in any of the arts, sports, movies, dances, etc. We long to be accepted by our piers,and the world in general, but it does not make us any better than those that don't standout in life. A man and woman that raises a happy family are heroes in the eyes of their children, especially in this day and age when most marriages end in divorce. Even those that are rich and famous are not content or happy, they are always searching and reaching for more. More of what? They don't even know. Many people find contentment and happiness in just helping others. Many choose careers for that reason, like Doctors and nurses, sure some choose those careers for the money it pays, but some for the contentment of just helping. Teachers are the same, missionaries who spend their lives in poor countries to serve the people, not to get rich. We all have different desires and aims in life, some aim high and never make it and are disappointed, some aim low and make it and are happy and contented. Those that aim high and make it are rarely happy and content.

People that win the lottery are rarely satisfied, they keep playing trying to win again. Much needs more. Don't worry be happy. LOL


Yeah local gigs are always available. I know a guy who has been doing it for 30 years. They are not very rewarding, alot of the time the "crowd" doesnt even know you are there.

I played one time in this cheap bar, and it was in a neighborhood that had alot of minorities. They usually didnt go to a rock bar like that, but one time there was this bus incident, where kids from this school got stalled and came to the bar for shelter why they waited for things to be fixed. Came in right in the middle of our gig, took a look at us, and I swear, they had this look on their face like, what is this the 1700's? I mean like they had no concept of somebody standing in front of a mic singing. Once the initial shock set in, they didnt look our way the entire two hours they were stuck there. I remember playing "when I saw her standing there".... they didnt acknowledge us, didnt clap or boo, it was like we were part of the wall. We might of done better that night if we had some records to scratch and did a DJ thin.

That was extreme, but alot of audiences are like that at these gigs. The places we used to find to do a gig weren't music venues, they were just bars and restaurants, yeah you could make 100 bucks maybe, but what killed it for me was the lack of interested people.

I was able to throw in originals too. So there was always a chance somebody would like something, Once in a while they'd ask where they could buy that song...at the time music wasnt as readily available as it is now. It was hard to sell a full cd too.

But it beats alot of other hobbies where there isnt much of a way to make money. I never tried to get into the music venues mostly because the majority of them didnt pay anything, they thought you were there to be seen. Yeah, you are, but the low end music venues have 5 people in them, and all of them are other musicians. It's like soundcloud or soundclick. Who goes there but other musicians?

Last edited by Fdemetrio; 11/06/19 10:48 AM.
#1158442 - 11/06/19 10:45 AM Re: Thought Music Doesn't Sell [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Originally Posted by Marc Barnette
In order to understand the era we are in, the era of "free" and "everyone can do it." we have to look back to see how we got here.

FEB.9, 1964.

Does that date "ring a bell" with any of you? It should.

That was the date four guys from Liverpool, England, did an American television show and changed the world. From the moment The BEATLES stepped onstage for the Ed Sullivan show, the world of music was completely different. Before that moment, there were WRITERS AND COMPOSERS, and ARTISTS. The Beatles changed the dynamic as the ARTISTS WERE NOW THE WRITERS. From that moment on, in rock, and pop, the two became mixed. And while there were still people who were primarily songwriters and still are today, mostly it is all self contained. That has continued every year since and American Country music was the last hold out.
Now that has changed too, as artists are signed AS WRITERS first, usually for a couple of years before they get their record deals. And often today, they have hit songs on other artists, before they themselves enter the recording realm.

When the downloading and Internet era hit in the 2000's, the money dissapeared from the "old ways" and were now done in different ways such as artist branding. The companies, taking a cue from the Rap and hip hop world, all developed companies that did every thing in house. The writing, recording, producing, videos, promotions, were all done inside or in close confederations with other companies in similar situations.

The trick now is to GET INSIDE on artists and companies ground floor. But the artists themselves are all WRITING songs at much younger ages, so the desire or need to look elsewhere is diminished. And when everything is RELATIVE, they are going to take their own art over someone else's.

So are some people still "selling music?" Absolutely. Are their tons of artists and songs going on out there? Yep. And some succeed, most don't. But we all STILL do it. I have NEVER met ONE HIT WRITER say that MONEY was the primary reason they got into music or songwriting. It;'s a desire to create. To get what is INSIDE of us to the OUTSIDE of us. Now everyone has the same opportunities on that. The INTERNET is the great equalizer. Every one is pretty equal. Some may be "MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS" to quote George Orwell, but that's where we are.

MAB



I think the Beatles became immortalized by that TV appearance. If they started today, a small percentage of people would actually see it, back then there was nothing else. Very little on TV, but what was on, was huge. Probably every teenager saw it, or at least heard about it fast. Today, they could go on Jimmy Fallon, and it wouldnt be nearly as big.

They started at the right time, they are still bigger than any other artist in the world mostly because of that one show.

I dont think anybody gets into music to make money, mainly because it's not a very good way to make money. There are statistically hundreds and thousands of better ways to make more money than you can making music. Most people understand that and thats not what they do it for. And every Dad who ever had a kid in a rock band told them "Son, you will not be able to make a living playing music" You need a solid background, something to fall back on, and once you get that, you fall back...

For me performing was first, playing in a band was a way to make friends, maybe impress a girl who you couldnt talk to, finding an identity, something you could be good at, since I wasnt going to be the star quarterback" Money never entered the picture.

Once you get out into the real world, and have real life problems, and are forced to grow up, you realize my life has to change. I cant devote all my time to this, cause I wont get anywhere.

I had alot of bandmates who swore they'd be playing music for the rest of their lives. I probably was one of them. Yeah, Im still doing it, but im not really sure why.... lol

Especially rock n roll, its such a young mans game, country seems to allow you to age a little.

But to most of the biggest artists out there, money is the ONLY thing that matters. They have alot of crew and staff to keep employed, if they dont make money, they let alot of people down.

But nobody starts that way...as i said, it's a dumb way to make money! The only practical thing to do with music is to become a school teacher. You can actually make a living in music so to speak if you get a major in music.


Last edited by Fdemetrio; 11/06/19 10:50 AM.
#1158444 - 11/06/19 01:08 PM Re: Thought Music Doesn't Sell [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Ray,

I really dont konw where you get your information? Do you just make everything up or do you actually know ANYONE in the music industry except for some "publishers" you read about in some obscure music magazines? There are many many studios here and actually more opening all the time. There are not as many on Music Row, because they moved out to the BERRY HILL area, south of town starting about 20 years ago. There are more people recording than ever. But large studios have gone away mostly because no one needs the room to make records. And there are more home recording and smaller studios around. Musicians work nonstop in certain areas. There are more and more people that come here continually to record and then go home to other areas. Nashville is in a population BOOM and a great deal of that is due to "musical tourism."

So that hasn't stopped either. Neither have the video studios, the promotional companies, etc. As I have said what has died is the art of the "outside song". But the Internet has created a very false narrative on that as well. Everyone thinks they can "send something in" to publishers and have them pitch those songs. That is not how it works. Those publishers you are talking about are only "publishers" in name. They are "SONG PLUGGING" companies that are FEE FOR SERVICES. Also "film and television libraries" that make pitches to film and television industry, which are most often based in places like LA and New York, where they run headlong into THOSE cities inner workings.

As Fdmetiro says, live gigs are still around but they pay less and less money, once again because of THE ENORMOUS SUPPLY. That is what has really grown and why the dynamic of the entire business has shifted. When there SUPPLY outnumbers the DEMAND, you have less ability to make money out of it. But again, all of this is on the lower and middle rungs of the ladder. The people on the top of the ladder are doing quite well. And there are other people in the middle rungs that use the Internet to their advantages.

The differences have been ushred in cheifly by the "AMATEURIZATION of the music industry." When the main forums are REALITY TELEVISION SHOWS, AMERICAN IDOL, AMERICA'S GOT TALENT, BRITIAN'S GOT TALENT, AUSTRALIAS' GOT TALENT, THE VOICE,MASKED SINGER, etc. YOU TUBE, FACEBOOK, SPOTIFY, PANDORA, you have a GIGANTIC GLUT OF PRODUCT. That is what creates the inequity of people TRYING to do this and people WANTING TO DO THIS.

But studios, musicians, producers, arrangers, etc. There is NO SIGN OF SLOWING DOWN, OR EVEN SICKNESS in those things. There are MORE things going on than ever.

Sorry to contradict your beliefs, but when they are wrong , someone has to say something.
MAB

#1158447 - 11/06/19 03:26 PM Re: Thought Music Doesn't Sell [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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Um, Well,
So Marc, name some Artists in the Studio right now doing something. I do look on the TAXI Web site to see what they are looking for. That has also gone blank. Maybe small Artists are doing something in their Computers if anything.

But, name me some Big Releases now that are going anywhere. I look, I listen, but find very little. If there is much of anything it it isn't showing up on the Radio. When the Songwriter's Market is no longer Published it says volumes.

Like I said, who is recording anything to speak of?????


Ray E. Strode
#1158448 - 11/06/19 04:14 PM Re: Thought Music Doesn't Sell [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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Ray, I really have no idea what you are talking about. Pretty much every one has been on tour throughout the summer and fall. They record during the holidays and also will have Christmas albums coming out. They do some recording through the year and everyon is now gearing up for next year. In addition there are hundreds of artists that will be at the country radio seminar in January. I don't have their schedules but a quick drive up and down music row and over in Berry hill you will find dozens of studios like OCEAN WAY, THE PARLOR, pretty full. Blackbird, and other studios are also full.

As far as artists, Tim McGraw, Kenny Chesney. Brad Paisley, Fla. Ga. Line, Luke Bryan, Zac Brown Band,Little Big Town, Jason Aldeen, Dierk's Bently, Maren Morris, Carrie Underwood, Kacee Musgraves, Luke Combs, will all have new product coming out. Garth and Taylor Swift have just released. There are plenty more than you and I don't even know yet, but the release season will come after the first of the year. Those will come out from Feb. into March and tours and fair season will begin after that. Pretty much every label has activity going on in town, but eveyr thing in this town winds down to the public in Novemenber. It's the final quarter. The CMA's will be on tonight and you could watch that and get an idea of what is going on.

In town, the award season brings the ASCAP, BMI and SESAC awards. That signifiies the end of the year and everything starts gearing up for next year. That;s why the Frank Brown songwriters festival is held starting tomorrow every year. About 185 NAshville writers are going down for that.

You always have this extrodinarily misinformed idea that everyone does the same thing at the same time and that is just not the way any of this works. People are in and out of the studio all the time, year round. They are touring when they are not recording. As far as what is "going anywhere" that is a pretty stupid question and you can do a google search to find what the charts are doing. Unless you don't believe those either. You see, you always have an extrodinarily strange idea of how the music industry works and doesn't work. It's like you get information ten or fifteenth hand and just sort of make up what you don't actually know.
The artists and their management don't release information on where they are recording or any of the schedules. They don't want studios besieged by fans or people trying to insert themselves into places they don't belong.

I don't know either. I am not in the middle of it by design. But I know people who are involved with many of the groups and artists I named. Many musicians. Many business people. I think you tend to live in a very small part of the world and I don't know what radio you listen to. So I don'[t know what it is that you hear or don't hear. But since mainstream radio plays only a very small list of any genre about 18 songs at any one time, there is probably not as much on that but it doesn't mean that there aren't people "going somewhere."

But I guess in "RAYWORLD" nothing is going on and that is fine. You can keep believing in whatever you want to believe in. Not quite informed, but you can believe in it.
MAB

#1158449 - 11/06/19 04:25 PM Re: Thought Music Doesn't Sell [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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Ray: Feel free to google: "Albums released in 2019" or "Country albums released in 2019" and you will see that there is a lot out there. By the way, 20 years ago or even 40, there were 100 albums on the Hot Country 100. In 2019 there are still 100 albums on the list.
Things are happening.

Marc: have fun at Frank Brown. Philboy has been working on his fingerpicking technique and he is getting quite proficient at that! Sounding pretty dang good.


"It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The 'hard' is what makes it great."
Kevin @ bandcamp: Crows Say Vee-Eh (and Kevin @50/90 2019)
#1158459 - 11/07/19 07:54 AM Re: Thought Music Doesn't Sell [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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Thanks Kevin,

You know, I wish you would tell some of these guys about the Frank Brown festival.The writers that are there. The really cool stuff that goes on. I would wish all of them could make a trip down and see the great times and shows the "real" songwriters do. I know you've seen it and been a part of it. I'll keep an eye out for Phillboy this weekend. I'm sure he'll pop up.

MAB

#1158463 - 11/07/19 10:35 AM Re: Thought Music Doesn't Sell [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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Ray E. Strode Online content
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Well,
A lot of Song Services that want you to pay them to pitch your songs. As I said, the Tip Sheets are out of business and I'm not paying anyone to pitch my songs. Looking for some time all I see is a lot of action with little results. But Marc, if you know someone that is looking for some good songs send it along and I will point them to my Web Site.

The last songs I sent was to Rustic Records. I heard nothing back. It appears nothing happening there either. So be it.


Ray E. Strode
#1158792 - 11/22/19 08:46 AM Re: Thought Music Doesn't Sell [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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Ray,

ALL song services want you to pay to pitch your songs. And on the face of that, nothing is wrong with that. Song pluggers are paid. Hit writers, even ones that have deals also employ their own song pluggers, usually around $1500 a month. And the publishers all have them that they pay as well. It is a function of the business. So on it's face, that is a normal part of doing business. The problem is ACCESS and TRACK RECORD. And the "outside song services" no longer have that because everything is now IN HOUSE.

I once attended a panel discussion with some publishers, at an ASCAP stockholders meeting. One of the publishers on the dias was one of the the biggest in Nashville and was owned by artist GEORGE STRAIT. She was asked by one of the participants, "what are you looking for." All of the publishers kind of smirked and she said "WE'RE NOT LOOKING FOR ANYTHING. WE HAVE STAFF WRITERS WHO WRITE FOR US AND THAT WE PAY. AND THEY ARE GREAT WRITERS AND WE DO GREAT WITH THEIR SONGS. WE DON'T LOOK FOR ANYTHING."

This is the fallacy of the business and what I have never understood about the impressions of people outsde of the actual business. Why would anybody think they are "LOOKING" for any songs?

To date, I have written 3,197 songs since Oct, of 2003. At least 500 of those have full band recordings. All of those are written with other people who paid for the appointment to learn the finer points of writing. Many of those songs have been cut, have gone on to open doors for record deals, publishing deals, artists getting their feet on the ground, etc. I am getting quite a few cuts on songs that I wrote 30 plus years ago.

I am sought out by artists and others to write songs with them, not to pitch my existing songs. And even with that, it doesn't guarantee a cut, because as they get into their own deals, their own career moves, my songs may be swept aside for the companies and individuals they work for. But if I am going to pitch and promote anything it would be mine, not anyone from outside. Songs are quite relative, and I very much believe in my own songs, so it would not make any sense for me to promote anyone else over my own. And remember, the people I write with are writing about THEMSELVES, so they are built into the songs we wrote. No outside song is going to be able to trump that. And truth be told, I DON'T EVEN PITCH SONGS. I've gotten cuts on people who came to me or that I wrote with their own inner circles like their producers.

I do have some really great friends, whio have written AMAZING songs that they have not been able to get cut. I care about them deeply. Took one to the airport yesterday that is flying back to Key West Fla. Where he moved 10 years ago. He is one of the best writers I've ever known, and I've even done his songs before. But on the shows I do, I only have a few slots and those are going to be my own songs, because that is what I'm being paid to do.

Every single writer I know. Every single artist I have ever known, every single company I've had any knowledge on, are the same way. They have THEIR OWN songs, many they have paid a lot of money for recordings on.Every hit writer only has about six percent of their catelogue that gets any activity. So 94% of THEIR songs are NEVER HEARD.

The ONLY chance ANYONE has is FINDING AND DEVELOPING THEIR OWN ARTISTS. That is it. The "era of the outside pitch" is done, unless you are sought out. Fortunatly I have been, but that is due to being in this for 31 years and fighting it out here all of that time.

I'm sorry. I wish there was some magic formula I could give you because I know that you are a good guy and believe in what you are doing. But there is not one. It is a personal relationship business. It has always been that and always will. People take their own efforts over anyone else. That is self preservation and common sense.

It's "UPPING THE LEVEL OF YOUR ODDS."

If you were to go to a casino, and just sit outside in the parking lot, you would see the people coming and going, see the lights and hear the sounds far off. You'd be in the area, but your chance of making money would be ZERO.

If you were to go into the lobby of that casino, you would be in the middle of the people coming and going, be blasted by the sounds and lights, see winners and a lot of losers, see the games and tables up close and personally, but until you put some money on the table or slots, your chance of making money is ZERO.

If you put money in a game or slot, your chances are still not good, but they are better than the other two.

That is songwriting in the modern age and getting cuts:

Write a song by yourself and you only have yourself to pitch and promote. If you don't write AMAZING SONGS (and who knows what is amazing now) but you have NO POLITICAL CONTACTS. NOTHING INSIDE THE BUSINESS. Your chances are pretty much ZERO.

If you write a song WITH SOMEONE, particularly artists, or established or hit writers, hit producers, inside people, you have a little better chance but no guarantees.

If you write with a NEW ARTIST who is on the way up, you have really upped the level of the odds. No guarantees, but with each step you are closer.

That is reality, That is the world. Quit trying to mail anything in or send anything to anybody. Find artists. Help someone else develop their careers.

That's the only formula./

I always wish you the best and hope you find what you are looking for.

MAB

Last edited by Marc Barnette; 11/22/19 08:52 AM.
#1158793 - 11/22/19 10:12 AM Re: Thought Music Doesn't Sell [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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Ray E. Strode Online content
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Um, Yes Marc,
I have no doubt all the Publishers in Nashville have more songs in their Catalog than they know what to do with. I wrote my last song in 2009. I don't expect to place any of my songs anywhere. As with the Joe Diffie example, finding good songs is extremely difficult at best. As Duke says in his post, and I agree, the offerings on the Radio makes him gag. And it has been that way for a long time. People were complaining about hearing the same list of songs from the Atlantic to the Pacific. You used to hear good songs on the Radio and could actually call in for a selection. Today they have Consultants telling the radio Stations what to play. And you don't get played unless you are on a Major Label. It's OK. I can live with it. I have a terrific collection of great music from yesterday, of all kinds. That music still sells very well. I get at least 5 different Catalogs of music from the past from time to time.


Ray E. Strode
#1158797 - 11/22/19 12:03 PM Re: Thought Music Doesn't Sell [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Ray,

The interesting thing about me moving here is seeing all this stuff from a few different angles. Every tme I hear people complain about the "state of the radio or country music busines" it just takes me back to so much I've heard over the years from so many people. When I moved here in 1988, there was this new singer coming on the scene that some people liked, was getting radio airplay but a BUNCH of industry people HATED! It was JOE DIFFIE. He had been playing for a while in this resturant bar in Hendersonville and I was involved with a couple of guys who were responsible for his record deal. They used to tell me all the stuff people said to them. "He was an overweight hack lounge singer that had no talent and it was a crime to have a record deal. " They really hated "JOHN DEERE GREEN" which they thought was a redneck "bro country" song, and was the same as many "Truck, tractor, farm songs" that all were out at that time.

There is always someone that does that. I have overheard so many dispariging comments by so many now considered "CLASSIC COUNTRY ARTISTS" GArth Brooks, ("just a rock and roller prancing on the stage with his big light, smoke and laser shows") Travis Tritt (Redneck Blues Singer masquerading as a country singer) same with "Hank Jr. " (Who had to do a video called "WE ARE YOUNG COUNTRY" to fight all the complaints of the current "weak crop of artists, like Vince Gill, Marty Stuart, Sweethearts of the Radio, and many others) The Oak Ridge Boys (Washed up Gospel has beens" ) Alabama and Exile (Rock bands that couldn't make it as rock and rollers") Lee Greenwood ("Vegas Lounge Singer") Shania Twain (Belly button with Def Lepard Drums.)

Every song has it's own detractors. "THE GAMBLER" was a "Long Winded updated weak version of "El Paso", done by another washed up rock and roll singer, Kenny Rogers.
So the only thing I have ever found constant here in the music is the COMPLAINING ABOUT THE CURRENT STATE OF THE MUSIC BUSINESS.

That's why I never tried to do that. Complaing accomplishes nothing. I don't care for much of the current crop of singers or songs. Rap country to me is an abomination, just like Rap itself, But who am I and what difference does it make to anybody? None.
And while I might not always like all "Bro country" I'll admit to having written a few myself because that is what the artist client wanted. Here is one by JOHN MAISON, an artist I worked with out of Detroit. I hope the link works, but it has all the stuff, hot girls, pick up trucks, lots of guys looking at all the girls. This was actually a few years before the current crop of Bro Dudes, so I guess I was ahead of my time, but it is stuff we do.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fj1EcFoZzoo

#1158799 - 11/22/19 02:01 PM Re: Thought Music Doesn't Sell [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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Well yes,
Complaints. I don't remember who it was but one guy told me the front people at the Labels had "Tin Ears" They had to have a perfect demo or they passed on it. Most likely in the "Old days" a song scribbled on a piece of paper was all they needed to
decide if it was usable.

Kinda reminds me when I was in the Navy. They used to say A SAILOR THAT WASN'T BITCHING WASN'T HAPPY. Nothing new, right?

Last edited by Ray E. Strode; 11/22/19 02:15 PM.

Ray E. Strode
#1158801 - 11/22/19 03:04 PM Re: Thought Music Doesn't Sell [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Yes. But i will say this. Even in the 50's and 60's, it was important to have full recordings. Willie, Kris Kristofferson, Harland Howard, Curly Putnam, Bobby Braddock, etc. all had full demos on the songs they actually pitched. I know this one because one of my friends was "Larry Butler" (producer of THE GAMBLER and most of the 70's and 80's biggest hit records, writer of "HEY, WON'T YOU PLAY ANOTHER SOMEBODY DONE SOMEBODY WRONG SONG" and award winning "A" Team Piano player. He actually took over for Floyd Cramer, and played on a ton of 60's hit records before moving to the producers seat.

He used to play on a lot of the original demos for songs beause they would have the "little extras" that can make a song. In the song "THE GRAND TOUR" recorded by George Jones, Larry used this little 'tinkle" on the piano on the original demo that made it into the final song and was a signature part of the song. it was also often happened that the original "demo" would wind up being the actual hit song. The song "HEY BABY" by Bruce Channel, was a demo they did in Texas, that turned out to be the final product, including DELBERT McCLINTON'S HARMONICA part.

In the "Brill Building" in New York in the 50's and 60's, the big day was Friday, when people like Carol King, Neil Diamond, Lieber and Stoller, etc. would gather to play their newest songs in a group setting. The reason for that is that they were all trying to get DEMO budgets to get their songs into shape to be recorded. So in reality, the "solo guitar and vocal, or solo piano vocal" is actually more of a Hollywood legend, than actual reality. The reality is that when you have hundreds of songs a week you listen to, the solo or more simple demos, simply don't hold up in the pitching purposes. A main reason for this is that there are many levels to play songs for, from agents, managers, low level label and publishing people, who have to pass on the songs up the chain of command. By the time it gets to a producer or artist, a song may have had to go through severeal demos.

The same thing happened at Motown, where Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gay, Holland Dozier Holland, played their songs to get the demo budget so they can actually be pitched.

A story I can say from first hand is a friend of mine, Frank Meyers. I once had one of my "songwriter group tours" going in a local resturant and he just happened to be in the same place. I had a little private banquet room, and asked if he would drop in for a minute and give a little "Nashville insider info." He said "Sure." So he came in.

I asked him to tell the story of one of his biggest hits, "I SWEAR." From the beginning of the song to the actual being cut, to being one of the biggest wedding songs in history. He said after they wrote the song, they were pretty excited about it but demoed it "POP." They liked it and their song pluggers started pitching it but got passes all the time. After a couple of years, it was dropped and they moved onto other songs. After about EIGHT years, someone mentioned the song and they brought it back out and decided to RE-DEMO the song country.
The day after they got the re-demo, the song got picked up by country artist JOHN MICHAEL MONTGOMERY, and became one of the biggest country records of the year. It was all over the radio and they were quite happy.

THEN, a pop vocal group called "ALL-4- ONE" recorded it pop, from the original demo and it became a HUGE NUMBER ONE POP HIT.

And they did rejoice.

So, actually the demo is a HUGE part of the success or failure of a song. And that goes back a LONG TIME. Demos do matter. And now, they are no longer just demos to demonstrate the song. More times than not, now those go to Facebook, are used in music videos go to Twitter and You Tube, and become the basis for a new artists career. Never underestimate the power of a well done recording.

MAB

#1158837 - 11/23/19 08:13 PM Re: Thought Music Doesn't Sell [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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Chris Erhardt Offline
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It seems like the holy grail for most songwriters here (and elsewhere) is placing music with a big name artist. MAB already pointed this out, it's tough, close to impossible (nothing is impossible of course, but it is really hard), unless you get in on the ground floor with an emerging artist and help in his/her development. At that point, you'd be more than just a songwriter though, you'd be an investor, mentor and business partner for that artist. Something very few have the experience for or the the desire and $$$ to do.

But, one thing that has only been mentioned briefly here are sync license deals. Placing music in film, TV, ads, corporate videos, and whatever else needs music. The "outside song" does still work for those deals. How do I know? I work them and I work them hard and we're starting to see success with it. You can make your songs available in stock music libraries. These deals tend to be small and you're competing with a lot of other songs. Then there are premium sync libraries. Not everyone can simply upload their songs in those. Usually there is a vetting process. Deals tend to be a bit bigger and once you get in, you're competing with less songwriters and songs for placements. And then there are music publishers who specialize in sync placements. I would consider my company to be in that category. Obviously, those are the hardest to get into and even if you do, there is no guarantee that you will get anything out of it.

Here is why (all numbers based on what I see - this might be different for bigger/smaller establishments): These companies get 100s of submissions every week. More than they can actually even listen to. They maybe accept 1 out of 10 submissions (if that) and offer a publishing deal. Again, speaking just for me, our deal is straight forward, split 75/25 in favor of the writer and no money is exchanged upfront - we don't charge anything and we don't pay an "advance" (those days are over). Some songwriters back out because they don't get why they would give up 25% and the publishing rights of their million dollar creation - fair enough if you can do it yourself, don't bother giving up anything.

Most do accept though because it's time consuming and expensive to find placements (more on that below). So, you signed the deal, everyone's happy and it's just a matter of time before the $$$ roll in. Well, not exactly. Most publishers sign way more songs than they can place. Why? Because they want to be prepared for every type of brief and opportunity. These briefs and opportunities are usually rather specific and only a handful of songs in a publisher's catalog fit the bill for a given opportunity. Chances are that your song sits in a publisher's catalog for a year and never makes it to a supervisor. Again, just speaking for us, if we don't find a placement within a year, the songwriter has the right to opt out of the contract. I wouldn't want to tie up anyone's song for extended periods of time.

So, why not go out and do it yourself? You sure could. Here is what you'd have to do. Network a lot. I'm not talking about sending emails to some list of supervisors, I mean go to events (which usually cost money), go to the places where decision makers are (which usually means being in NY or LA or Chicago). Build trust, help out, do stuff for free, and then maybe you can start thinking about pitching one of your songs (make sure it's up to scratch. If not, all that hard work was for nothing.). How do publishers get around this? Well, they don't. But, they hire people who already did the ground work. They hire song pluggers. They hire people who have worked in executive roles at major music publishers and therefore have contacts with film, TV and ad production houses. Obviously, you could do that too. It's just expensive unless you have a vast catalog of professionally recorded, well written, ready to go songs. Look at MAB just as an example. He has written over 3,000 songs throughout his career. Only 500 of them are full band recordings. That's how most songwriters operate. You write 5 songs and maybe one of the 5 is worth spending money on for a full production. And some of the ones you spend money on end up not being suitable after you recorded the song. So, as you can see, it takes a lot of time and $$$ to build a large enough portfolio to excuse the expense of spending even more $$$ on a plugger and industry insiders to push your catalog. So, you're stuck with either get a publisher or move to LA/NY and network hard (all while working a couple of jobs to pay for rent and food).

Long story short: The "outside song" is not dead. It is on life support if your only goal is to place your music with well known, established artists. You would have to catch a really lucky break or, as mentioned, try to get in on the ground floor with a developing artist. On the other hand, the "outside song" is well and alive in the sync space. Sure, it's highly competitive but so is Pro Golf ;-)


https://tunedly.com

Contact me at chris@tunedly.com
#1158838 - 11/23/19 09:00 PM Re: Thought Music Doesn't Sell [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Very good explanation of song pluggers and the "real world". There are some very legitimate ones, but they are often hard to get in with and are very protective of their reputations. So it can be done, (very apt description) but you have to have a PRESENCE TO WIN.

MAB

#1158851 - 11/24/19 08:13 AM Re: Thought Music Doesn't Sell [Re: Chris Erhardt]  
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John Lawrence Schick Offline
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John Lawrence Schick  Offline
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PA
Chris Erhardt explains placing music in tv/film very well. This is definitely a lucrative option for composers. Personally, I have no problem having to spilt licensing with a publisher. I’d rather be composing than working the time-consuming business-end. Your 75/25 split is very generous Chris. Most tv/film publishers want a 50/50 split. BTW, nice website!

Best, John smile

#1158861 - 11/24/19 02:31 PM Re: Thought Music Doesn't Sell [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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Chris Erhardt Offline
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Chris Erhardt  Offline
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Thanks John and MAB. I have seen splits ranging from 50/50 to 80/20. Even some libraries do 60/40 or even 70/30 splits for songwriters/composers who sign exclusive deals with them. But yeah, 50/50 is the norm. My main goal at this stage is to grow our catalog. It doesn't make any sense to spend $$$ on pluggers and staff and not give them all the resources and assets (songs) they need in order to be successful. I figured offering a better split increases our chances to sign more *GOOD* songs. Simple as that. As mentioned several times by MAB and others, the supply side in the music industry is high while the demand side is low. But, at the same time, part of the reason the supply side is so high is because there is a lot of unfit material in the supply that is being pushed as "professional". If that was filtered out, I think the supply and demand dynamics would look a lot healthier than what they appear to be.


https://tunedly.com

Contact me at chris@tunedly.com
#1158892 - 11/25/19 08:47 AM Re: Thought Music Doesn't Sell [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Nashville, Tn.
Chris,

The overall real problem from my point of view is the "overall amateurization" of the music industry. Since the early 2000's with more and more recording equipment, computer programs, and easier and cheaper access not to mention the all encompassing nature of the INTERNET, it poured MILLIONS of people who THOUGHT they were songwriters, and a lot of unsruputable song pluggers into the game. Now, estimates from BMI, ASCAP and other sources are 30-60 million creators, writers, artists, authors, bloggers, vloggers, magazine article writers, photographers etc, into the game. There are estimated one BILLION songs a month that are uploaded tio the Internet, with about 100,000 videos and songs uploaded an hour., The vast vast vast majority of those, are "living room songs: that should stay just like that. In their living rooms.

But they put them on web sites, Facebook. Twitter, You tube, and all the other social networking sites out there. "PINOS' (PUBLISHERS IN NAME ONLY) and a lot of charletons, prey on these people, with emails telling them "We see promise in your work, and for (name the amount) of money, recording in our studios, enrolling in our programs, buy our merchandise,etc. We can get YOU in the music business!

Same thing that used to be in the back of the comic books and magazines "Draw this picture and YOU TOO COULD HAVE A CAREER IN ART!!!" You throw that in along with every one of these people getting "LIKES" from their "Friends" and you have a perfect storm of a LOT OF GARBAGE OUT THERE.

So finding "good songs" is a mind numbing experience. Having spent 30 plus years, nights a week, 5 hours a night, dealing with writers, songs, publishers, and the industry in general, teaching workshops, judging contests, etc. it has given me a LOT of insight to the overall quality in the game. Any one can do it.
Anyone can get on a golf course too. Doesn't mean they'll actually connect with the ball in the first place, much less hit it onto the fairway.

I believe everyone should be able to go for their dreams. But dreams have to be injected with REALITY. Most people need to do a LOT MORE HOMEWORK before they try to even get on this field. Can be a pretty expernsive learning lesson.

Thanks for your contributions.

MAB

#1159559 - 13 hours ago Re: Thought Music Doesn't Sell [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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Pat Hardy Offline
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Pat Hardy  Offline
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I miss the old days of vinyl, going to tower records and listening to demos in a booth, then buying them if I liked them.

Getting a hit song was tough as it ever was, but if you got one, you could make money, as recently as the early 2000s, The guys who wrote "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere" made a bundle.

#1159563 - 11 hours ago Re: Thought Music Doesn't Sell [Re: Fdemetrio]  
Joined: Aug 2010
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John W Selleck Online content
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John W Selleck  Online Content
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I agree, I think the real money for songwriters has left the building. If you are a performing songwriter, and able to pitch your own music. You have a chance. If you are not, you still have to have an "In" and they are getting fewer and farther between.
Yes, there are lots of us amateurs out there. And even if we put in the time and effort to do it right, the chance of us ever getting an "In" are astronomical.And when one of us does, it is "An overnight success" because no one ever heard of us, even if we have been doing it for many years. Personally I don't much care anymore. I would love to get some of my songs out there but I will never regret the money I spent making demos.


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