Thanks, gurdonark. Yep, that’s about the size of it. No one can MAKE people buy music they don’t want (though big-label “tastemakers” and the old payola scams of the past almost managed it). TuneCore is about opening the doors, keeping the price low enough for everyone, and letting the market and the band’s own efforts build the momentum.
See, that’s what I wish I could tell everyone: PUSH yourself! You get heard by playing, you build fans by showing the fans your music. Go ahead and make a crappy video and put it on YouTube, why not? It’s exposure and you didn’t have to pay anyone for distribution. Link from there to your iTunes page, get sales, use the money to make a better video, or to hire a publicist, or to put together an awesome press kit. Use your money to keep paying your electricity bill while you hit the streets taking your demos to magazines (both brick-and-mortar and online).
None of this will do any good if everyone hates your music, but hey, at least your destiny is in your own hands now. I wish people would listen. I can literally SEE the bands that are working hard–I watch the sales figures come in. I can see them making a ton of money when they push themselves on the Web, in blogs, even on MySpace.
It is the promise of “we’ll do it all for you, just sign on the line” that fueled the old-school music world, and I never want to see someone suckered into that again. Before unbundled artists services like TuneCore, people HAD to sign, because how else would they get on the radio or on the shelves at Tower Records? If TuneCore rewrites those rules, hey, I’m happy!
Thanks again, awesome discussion.