So I was reading this post by Jason Parker (@1WorkinMusician). Jason’s got a great new way to get people talking about his music and it requires (relatively speaking) little overhead. What’s more, it does seem to build in a bit of the sort of story that people will likely talk about with their friends as well. That, of course, is something worth its weight in gold – the opportunity to have people do your marketing for you by word of mouth.
It’s a great idea. It’s great marketing. It’s fun, and I commend him for doing it.
It’s also crap.
Ok – that’s not entirely accurate – let me rephrase: The fact that he needs to come up with something like this is crap. That’s a little closer to what I’m actually feeling right now. I don’t understand why it is that folks who are working as hard as he is have to find new and intriquing ways to ‘lure’ people in to listen to their music, or view their art, or see them dance, or…
You get the idea.
It’s exceedingly frustrating to me that I see people like Jason, or Andrew Durkin, or Joe Trainor struggling just to get people to get off their asses and to pay attention. These are craftsmen working for what? To create something for other people to enjoy! Then they have to drag them out just to have those same people enjoy those efforts!
Let’s do a little math here: Let’s say for a moment that Jason’s CD cost him $5/cd to make. Between recording costs, packaging, printing, rehersals, shipping, and who knows what all else, I’m betting it’s probably more, but let’s start there. That means that (for this particular effort) he’s spending $500 just to benefit others and have them hear his music. Those same people could have likely spent just a few bucks to see a show with Jason, his band, and likely at least one other act and benefitted him in return for his gift.
I know, I know. I’m probably getting a bit preachy here, but I can’t help but get frustrated when I see this sort of crap all the time. What will it take for us as a society to value our artists enough that they don’t have to have the cursed day job, or be their own marketing department, and allow them to just make their music, or paint their art, or just dance?