Music DIY in 2013

2013-4Every new year I tidy up online, review the effectiveness of what I’m doing and free up some time. This year the web site has been up 10 years so alongside the usual social media cull I’ve been thinking about where to take it next.

The main motivation for setting up the site in 2002 was to offer music biz information for newcomers. I couldn’t find much online help at the time and middlemen were everywhere peddling snake oil. Also, the number of searches on “how to get signed” was just depressing.

Almost everything is different in 2013. Sites like CMU provide good information and even PRS and PPL web sites have improved. Snake oil still abounds and too many people still expect “to get signed” but a serious search will quickly find decent advice.

Another aspect of the web site has always been the changing music technology picture. In 2002 big record labels were in denial about digital music, hoping locked-down streaming would be the next cash cow. In 2013 the freefall in CD sales is a fact of life and the big labels have transferred their hopes to Spotify.

We are now unmoved by music start-up hype and although hundreds of millions (and forests of newsprint) are still invested every year it’s getting pretty clear how things will turn out. I’m writing a separate post about the streaming pipedream, in short it won’t happen. Music sales are moving from CDs to digital, from albums to singles, and from audio to multimedia or live performance.

Web tools for new musicians are now pretty good. Bandcamp is a much better bet than building your own web site and distributors like CD Baby will get your music to all the online outlets.

So the Bemuso web pages are looking a bit out of date and some of the record company and collection society info needs updating. Quite a few pages can be archived and the rest revamped. There’s also the possibility of moving everything into WordPress now that is sorted out, which would have some advantages longer term.

This blog will be an effective substitute for the Articles section and a YouTube channel (initially for animated music biz diagrams) would be a better medium for explaining complex processes of which the music biz has one or two.

So that’s a rough idea of where I’ll be going with the site. I’ve trimmed my Twitter overheads considerably but continue to reflect things I think matter from day to day there. Longer ponderings and the occasional summary of good links will continue to appear here.