So, I’ve been thinking about the challenges of getting my upcoming solo album to turn a profit. In terms of Sheer Time, if we estimate each track at 20 hours, I’ve got to sell a total of 20,000 units, or have people stream 2 million times in order to break even with my hourly rate at my day job.

This is harder than it looks. Even if we assume that I’m skill-wise the equivilent of Pink Floyd (probably a questionable assumption, but let’s run with this) we still have to figure out some way to get the public to notice I exist. With a band, there’s at least some hope that friends of all four or five guys are going to notice and tell their friends. With me, my word-of-mouth seed starts from one person.

Also, I’m definitely tuning this album for my personal tastes, rather than what’s currently ‘the popular sound’. As a result, it’s going to be that much more difficult to get people to notice it. I think this makes sense insofar as I’m not likely to move enough units for it to make a profit, so I might as well enjoy myself, but it’s still worth noting that I’m not exactly taking the shortest course here.

My gut feeling is that it will be my next album, not the one I’m releasing in December, that breaks even. I’m guessing by my next album I will be past that magic 10,000 hours that everyone says you need to have to make it.

It’s a little frustrating that if I were a pointless political facebook meme, I’d have no trouble getting 2 million views.

One Response to “marketing”

  1. Alderin Says:

    My “evil subnet” would advise you to use click-bait tactics, disguising your work as a “pointless political meme”, (“Hilary would HATE this:” “Trump would HATE this:” etc) but I recognize that as a dishonest tactic that misrepresents the intention behind your art, even if cleverly worded to be technically true.

    The problem is that the entire concept of marketing, with the vast and prolific amount of content being generated for people today (e.g. 30 days worth of real-time video uploaded to YouTube every day), differentiation from the REST of the marketing “noise” is very hard and/or very expensive and/or very slow. Thus, riding an already penetrating meme is not only more effective, but possibly one of the only remaining effective methods of marketing.

    The balance for me would be to use an anti-meme, like “Tired of all the politics? Try this:”. May be less effective than direct meme riding, but should be, at least, effective, and better, not deceptive.

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