Date: February 21, 2021 06:10AM
> No weed and no XBox on my part... ;-) and proud
> owner of 1000s of CDs and Vinyls and attendee of
> around 1000 live shows...
> I think the problem is the declining quality of
> releases and the increasing quantity.
> There's also the problem of marketing. Bands have
> to reach out to their audience. Since there's not
> much radio and TV coverage, artists have to go out
> and play to be able to sell records. Since many
> aor "bands" are "studio only" projects, this is
> not going to work for them.
I salute you for your patronage and service to the music community! See, that was my point. Look at your resume. That's a true music fan and what we need more of to grow. If you ever get an Xbox, I'll give you my screen name. I don't steal music but I love da box! LMAO!
With everything else you said, I totally agree x10! Marketing is expensive and get this, in the majority of places, you can't even play original material and make anything. Covers are the in thing. So you have limited choices..
1. You play in a cover band that also does originals. You better have a crowd and do the covers well.
2. You stay a studio band/solo artist and play for the spiders on your wall whileaybe releasing an album that sells 600.
3. You trek around the world trying to find original venues thst allow you to survive another day in your van or camper you spent your life savings on. We're just so limited.
Marketing takes money. 0 from 0 is 0 when you can't find enough rooms to play in. Do covers around here, you can make what you're worth from people that come to see you. I was in a Van Halen tribute band from 1993 until about 2017. We went from $90 a man a night to $400 a man per night in some places but at the least, $200 per man. That's still not great, but it's not bad if you're local and you're only physically playing for about 1.5 hours. Most cover bands here play 4-50 minute sets and make $100 to $125 per man. The clubs here are brutal. But with the pandemic, it's understandable now. When things were good and they were packed, that pay is garbage.
Radio and TV coverage: I have two great friends in radio. One friend is my guitarist in my band. We spoke to the station manager and asked about putting my stuff on the radio. It can't happen unless you have a label with money, an agent with money, or a radio marketer. Rough idea for you....
Radio marketer may charge $15000+ to get you to top 100 on Billboard charts. $25000+ to get to top 50. How many people have 15 to 25k to spend? And, with any marketing campaign, if you can't afford to do it 3 to 5 times, you don't do it. Now the prices just went up. We won't even discuss TV.
The good thing is, if you can afford this and you catch on and don't have too many partners that own you for the radio airplay, a major may steal you away. But there's a band in particular that has received quite a bit of airplay that has an 80's sound. No one will touch them as the buyout wouldn't be worth it. So yay, they kept all the publishing and made a bit of a name for themselves, but the partners involved with their success may not see what they invested. It looked good on paper, but epic fail in reality. Labels won't touch them.
The other part of this is, if we do some research, rock acts have been struggling with sales for a long time. We're now the minority. The 40 plus crowd is no longer the pedestal for rock sales. Our age range is country music sales wise. Add in that the acts coming out are not that good and it's easy to see why we've taken a hit.
Even in the melodic rock world I'm super surprised that some of you fine people are still around. I listen to the releases from some of the bands today and just shake my head. In 2021 I'm still getting dated, 1000 times done before Europe/House of Lords stuff coming out. I get it...it's great. But don't you guys get enough of rehashes? We can't grow if we never evolve.
We have to grow and go beyond our little AOR circle. We can't reach out to others when we have a basis of 500-5000 total sales. That tells the story. It says we live for 2000+ people if you're me and I'm lucky.
Think about the reality of that for a minute. Think of what it tells an artist like me that just busted his ass to deliver a new CD. It tells me, this market, as much as the following is loyal, just isn't big enough and in a sense, to limit to just this, is a ludicrous business decision. That's not meant to sound ungrateful, I assure you. It's the blatant reality. When you talk to multiple labels and they give you the "1500 is actually reasonable in sales at this time" how can you not be sad?
I dig some of the AOR labels out there but I can't help but cringe when I hear some of the groups they sign. It makes me wonder who'd want to just "stay in business" instead of evolving and GROWING their business. The hard part is, we never know what may break next, but if it were my decision, I'd push less acts that were great and try to grow without having an extensive roster of "the same.old stuff".