How can artists use technology to earn a living through their online audiences and fans?
We are all aware of the music industry’s struggle over the past twenty years or so but the ones most affected by it are the musicians. In 2016 the industry hit rock bottom when only 100 mil units were sold throughout the year. A 14 percent drop signifies not only the decline of physical sales but also digital album sales. This sluggish demeanour of the music industry led to the advent of music streaming which quickly overtook physical music sales last year and is accountable for up to $6.6 billion revenues representing a 41 percent growth.
The artist’s struggle
The struggle of the artist is real in these desperate times. Although online streaming has provided them with a way out to get their content out in the open and gain recognition money was something that they barely got their hands upon. Talking from a young artist’s point of view, money is of prime importance as well as recognition. Technological advancement has since then been used effectively by a group of artists for gaining the above-mentioned aspects. Apart from Google’s video-sharing site YouTube there are many alternative platforms which can be used to propel your art out in the open and even earn a living.
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Why do artists choose different platforms?
The answer is very simple; every artist has their unique requirement. Just think of it in this way, whenever you and your friends feel like eating outside, do you always select only one place to eat? Obviously not. Not every restaurant caters to the taste of all your friends. Similarly, every artist won’t find YouTube the perfect podium to showcase their skill, although Google’ website for video-sharing has become the go-to place for discovering new singers, musicians and artist. One platform that might suit one artist might not prove to be the right choice for you. Some websites are fashioned for musicians while others cater to writers and dancers. Even the percentage of the money they incur from the money gained by the artist also varies considerably. Let us have a look at the top Internet platforms which have aided artists in finding their online audience and hence make a living out of it.
Patreon provides the artists and creators with a platform to showcase their creative skills and content along with connecting with their fans personally. The artists can range from musicians to comic writers and even comedians. Whatever your art is Patreon has you covered with its technology. Co-founders Sam yam and Jack Conte intended to make way for the young artists to earn money as well as recognition through the Internet especially after making YouTube videos generated a meagre income.
Users have to make a Patreon page to share the content on the Patreon platform and publicise it using other platforms such as social media websites and even YouTube. You can only view the content in Patreon, but you can advertise about it in numerous connected platforms. Your fans have to visit your page and pa you to become your “patron.” Different Pay-tiers can be set up where fans who pay more can have access to greater rewards. Patreon claims to have paid their artists around $150 million in the previous year with the best artist earning more than $70,000 per month. The page you create on Patreon is free, the company makes by claiming 5 percent of the creators’ total profit. It is recommended to build your own following on various other platforms so that when you join Patreon, you get paid from the word go.
This platform is specifically for musicians where they can directly connect with their fans and share their content. The Bandcamp website has also provisioned separate sections for podcasts and audiobooks. The creators of Bandcamp says that they treat music as art instead of material and they try to combine the success of their business to the success of the artists creating the art. They are serving the artist.
An artist can sign up on the official page of Bandcamp as well as a fan or even a label. An artist can then set up his or her own page where they can sell their music and determine how much money they can earn from their fans in exchange for an individual song or an entire album. Musicians can also opt for a minimum payment where willing viewers can choose to pay more if they wish to. There are tracking tools in Bandcamp which can enable you to monitor your music and learn the extent of its reach and hence benefit your sales management. Rapid selling music can also gain recognition as the songs and albums are often released to music charts.