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How the system deceives the aspirant artists #2. Art VS Market | Music & Marketing

Data di pubblicazione 28/05/2019

How the market deceives the emergent artists.
Part #2  

(Continuation of part #1) In the first part of this article we concentrated on the fact that the system induces the emergent or pretended artists to search for themselves through existing narrations. This is the biggest obstacle not only of art but also of the professional application.

Explaining how the current system (not only the music system) isn't made anymore of producers and consumers, rather of so-called "prosumers" (producer + consumer), we arrived at the devastating effects in the world of art. In this second part we will analyze a second narration of the market, still more powerful, capable of deceiving and caging who would like to make music or some kind of art: we're talking about the elimination of the mediators. The mediations (labels, editors, promoters, music agencies) create a functional product for the market, and they can do so under the terms of artistic principles or not. But considering that the system needs more clients than creators, the system deceives all the aspirant artists explaining to them not just that they have to find themselves, but also that they must do so without using mediations. In this way they become clients of the system that they want to occupy, and the game is up!


The market keeps as many as possible at bay through very powerful narrations and well tested. The market recounts to the emergent that they "can do it by themselves", that they don't need record labels to sell music, that they don't need producers for realizing it, that they don't need professionals part of the labels for promoting the music, and so on: we already wrote several articles regarding this, you can find them in the section Thoughts of our blog.

If the musical market was chosen by mediators like in the 90s, would Soundcloud even exist? No. And Spotify would only be a disc shop without the possibility for your beautiful neighbor to have more followers than you, that you're making music for 20 years on this platform born for selling music. And first of all it would be a disc shop of artists who at least have an own audience, artists who are working with a certain technical and artistic quality. But Spotify isn't searching for this, Spotify wants investments and more users as possible, because, like the TV is teaching us, where there is more audience, there is also more good-payed advertisement.

It should be clear that we aren't down on Soundcloud (or Spotify), which is a very good service (we are also signed in): the point is that 200 millions of users can't be heard and esteemed: it's also clear that when 200 millions of people want to emerge all in the same way, for having visibility it takes more money.

And this was not decided by the record labels, it was decided by the users at the moment when they wanted to pass by!

A classic of who passes by the mediators is the acquisition of views. They do so knowing that this is not "the way" ... but they think that anyway it could be a simple way to arrive at the objective. Of course it isn't the art that needs platforms where having more persons possible. It is not the art that searches for artists all similar to permit the user to fill up a playlist on a certain music genre instead of another one. It's the market system doing all this, and it does so explicitly through the aspirant artists, who, for having more than a thousand of views, are ready to spend money that they WOULDN'T spend willingly for a good mediator capable of orientating him with passion and experience.

It's known that the aspirant artists prefer the acquisition of views for appearing “cooler” in the eyes of the companies that promised them the promotion instead of buying services of human persons who operate in the sector. An unknown thing is how the system wins the hearts of these emergent "artists" in this way.

A practical example. The reason why Spotify tells the artists that they "can make it by themselves" is because they actually need their "friends" / followers: a high school or college band has 40 followers? Maybe a few for a small band, but not for Spotify, which, giving a chance at the small band, earns 40 users for Maneskin (a casual name for the example), and for other successful projects which at the moment are investing in Spotify.

The "you can make it by yourself" or the "you don't need any more label for selling music" are alternative mantras like in the 70s "choose what you like, you are what you buy", but most of all they are able to construct a complex system made of users and super-users (the so-called prosumers: producer + consumer) and to cash in this manner from projects with big investments of money. Consider that a lot of major projects arrive up to 2 million euros for a discographic release. There are projects that on Youtube invest up to 300 million euros for a release.

A major project costs 2 million euros because it has to arrive at the people? No, much less would be enough. It costs 2 millions because it has to cross the border from the amateur to the successful person.

Nobody arrives at the success alone, but thanks to this narration the market throws millions and millions of people on Youtube for trying. It does so because in this manner all these people, arrived on Youtube, catch the freak in charge with 60 million views, and become successively (voluntary or not) consumers. A bit for appreciation, a bit for envy, a bit simply because the product arrives. What's more: if there weren't millions of rappers on Youtube "trying" to become rappers, how could anyone say of the successful one that "one in a thousand makes it"?

All these issues summarize a small part of our discographic work. Not just regarding the content, an activity that imposes us to create new formats, artist-tailored, but also regarding the narration, which in our vision must always be autonomous as compared to the closed circle where another one is guiding the game. Especially when there isn't involved big money.

But this concept isn't accepted by the major part of the aspirant artists, because the overlying narration is too powerful. It could happen that we create from zero (first-time project 100%) 500 euros of royalties of streaming on a unknown project, but an artist arrives at this point with a label when his attachment is already professional, or in the best case a Real Artist, who in a way, as well as playing in a team, is carrying a new message, a new vision of the things. "You have to arrive" at this point: not at the success, but simply at the construction of something in a team.

In our work we often have cases of aspirant artists who haven't any idea how the art and the market work.

A very frequent case is the one of those who present a project hoping to receive not the professional help but rather discographic advances for possible nonexistent and invented gains. They play the mantra imposed by the market: "we search for someone who is believing in us". If they were right, nobody would believe in Jovanotti or Coldplay or in any other major project, because just for a single they spend incredible numbers, not imaginable for the major part of them. How is it even possible that in the era of the social media a person pretends to have a market value when that value is measurable in a few seconds?

This is happening because the narration of the market told them to search for themselves and then to be independent, so many people think that the figure of the mediator, the scorer of professional services, actually should be enough for the “investor”. We wrote an article especially about this topic. It's useless to explain how there are the investors, but they don't arrive at the games still to play. Like in every work area or world, the investor operates in terms of projects because he believes that there's something to gain. And the investor can be found through these mediations (labels, editors, promoters etc.) that the aspirant artist wants to pass by.

Here's the fabulous idea of MusicRaiser. When the multinationals understood that with creating the market monster of prosumers there were millions of figures searching for money, they created an entire website that is taking commissions on economic donations. Are these “donations” investments of business operators? Generally not, but rather the relatives.


Briefly, in the 2010s of the Third Millennium the operators from all the world equipped themselves with more o less noble ideas to transform a potential artisan and artistic market (the music market in the century of widespread creativity) in a mass market, without small mediators and without the footprint of art, knowing very well to have a really fertile ground. Removing the record labels and persuading the aspirant artist of becoming a sort of fan, a system user with the creative and productive characteristics that render him the perfect prosumer, big agencies from all the world constructed at a slow pace the perfect system.

A perfect system where all the aspirant artists are locked in but the object of the game is to get out.

The ones who were attentive in the last paragraphs will know very well that artists with 60 million views don't arrive at this level without spending money, but a market can't tell this. If it was clear, the aim would stop. Obviously, it is possible to make progress without this sort of huge investment, but this objective is only realizable with a small team of professionals that has ideals, values, and knowledge of the business. It takes experience, time and intuition. Then, bit by bit, when someone moves up on another level, if he wants to, it takes a mediator, and the mediators are expensive. Yes, if you become famous you can let you pay in advance the sales of your discs or the gains of your live concerts. But it has to be considered that the person with 60 million views has on the one hand talent (for nice or bad music that he produces) and on the other hand intuition, on the one hand fame and on the other hand mediators. Of all the aspirant artists, how many are really artists? A very few. How many are there who make it? A very few. The ones who make it aren't unconditionally all artists, that's true, but can you say the same of the ones that don't make it? Absolutely yes!

And finding real artists for narrating a story never told before is our work.

So, we hope that we could give you some suggestion with this article (part #1 / part #2), some key, some knowledge, for encountering more seriously the complex world that the art is facing in these years while the world has changed drastically in a short space of time. We hope that now you feel less alone and at the same time you could understand how much sacrifices are needed for realizing something beautiful and narrating new stories.

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