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The Debate Over The Musical Middle Class

Is the decline of the record industry and rise of the internet creating a new Musical Middle Class? Below you'll find what some industry leaders and Hypebot readers had to say. You can read the full text and join the discussion here.

Working_musician "I'd be more prone to call it a growing lower-middle class. There is an absolute glut of music online...As the audience becomes more fractured, each player's piece of the pie shrinks..."
- Glenn @ Coolfer

"The Rise of the Musical Middle Class has been imminent for a few years now, but it's starting to seem like it's going to be permanently just around the corner... just because the technology for Music 2.0 is here doesn't necessarily mean that the economics of the situation have changed..." - Mike @ RadioNowhere

"Here's a list of artists on CD Baby who have sold over $30,000 in CD sales just through cdbaby.com (which assumes they've sold many more through other methods as well). 
- Derek Sivers @ CD Baby

"It sounds almost utopian--too utopian, in fact..." - more @ Idolator

""...free software and networking sites are just as easy for mediocre artists as they are for great artists. We need more ways of sorting the good stuff from the not-so-good..." - Rob @ OurStage.com

"Music business "professionals" and bands are discovering what we concert promoters have known for a long time - Recorded music is a loss leader for Concert Tickets, TShirts and the "experience" of being close to a band..." - Dan Millen @ RockOn Concerts
 

18 months ago I was all about the new middle class, I was bullish on selling digital music and on backing emerging acts. 12 months later...it's getting harder then ever to rise above the noise...Music 2.0 hasn't even hit the oven yet; it's going to take 36-48 more months to fully bake..." - Bruce Warila @ Unsprung Artists

"the future of the Musical Middle Class is bright and getting brighter by the
day...The successful artists of tomorrow...will begin to sense that that rabid fans who promote them to friends represent an alternative distribution network when the metric shifts from song sales to influence." - Jed @ ReverbNation

"...Being ‘Middle Class' sounds great (real warm and fuzzy) ... when you ain't got nothing ... But, if you wake up a 30 and you aren't a ‘brand', no matter how much middle class money you are making ... you're gonna realize that you still ain't got nothing...Don't get trapped by the idea of a ‘Musical Middle Class' because you'll shoot for the middle and even if you make it, you'll lose." - TonsoTunez

"...Fan Relationship Management is the number one most important thing that an artist can invest in. The problem is that artists are not marketers. Indeed the whole music industry is a step behind on this. Nobody in the music world really knows who is to deal with FRM. Is it the artist, the webmaster, the manager, the label, the intern?" - David Devore @ FanMailMarketing

"Interesting to read that our host is associated with Toubab Krewe...From the audience side of the stage, Toubab Krewe do look like artists who are finding ways to make things grow outside of the traditional label framework...Perhaps some attention needs to be paid to the folk music scene, where numerous performers have decades-long careers outside the major label system." - Ken J, cranky consumer

"Musician's have begun taking back their power by taking the time to learn the business side of the industry and many bands I have worked with have truely impressed me with decisions they have made during negotiations with management companies and labels." - Tina Padziora of RYP Entertainemnt Network

You can read the full text and join the discussion here.

 

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