I recently read an article written by Eliot Van Buskirk that I think clearly painted a picture of recording artists being between a "rock and a hard place". As Van Buskirk put it, "Music Is Still Too Expensive To Be Free, Too Free To Be Expensive". Today's most popular streaming sites, like Spotify and Pandora have millions of users but the bottom line payouts to recording artists are tiny and can take over a year to collect. So what can recording artists do after they cut a new CD? In past years, they would try to pitch their CD to a record label looking for a recording contract from the label. If successful, the label would earn their money by providing the marketing power to get the word out about the new CD and put it in front of the buying public. In return for their promotional and marketing efforts, the label obtains a lock on the artists and their songs.
Fast forward to today and the major labels won't touch a new artist unless they think the artist can sell several million CDs and even then the amount of promoting and marketing would be very limited unless they feel the artist has mega star potential.
As a result many recording artists have moved to self publish their new CDs. The cost of quality recording equipment has dropped to the point where self publishing music is within the reach of most new artists.
This is all well and good but after the CD is cut, most artists are at a total loss as to how to get the word out and as a result just simply sell the CD at one of their live performances.
Considering that new artists today can self publish effectively and inexpensively, it seems to me that there should be more affordable promotional and marketing available to help new recording artists get the word out about their products. Artists who self publish their music have a good chance to produce a profit from their CD because the number of sales needed to break even is low and in many cases is less than 10,000 sales.
I wish I had the answers to these marketing questions because I believe there are answers out there. I can share the names of a couple of marketing firms that do an excellent job with their small recording clients. I have received some great new CDs to review from both of these firms. KL Productions is owned by Karen Leipziger and can be contacted at Klpzgr@earthlink.net. Karen is a very effective promoter, represents some major league musicians and takes a personal interest in all her clients. Another is Kari Gaffney who owns Kari-on Productions and she can be contacted at Kari@karigaffney.com. Kari has lots of new talented performers that she works with and also takes a personal interest in all her clients.