I'm so excited to tell you about the launch of my fifth music business book, "Audience Supported."
I started writing about the music business when I was still working as a public radio producer. My then-girlfriend, now my wife, took me out to a neighborhood bar that was packed to the gills with an audience for a hot cover band. I wanted to understand why cover bands were selling huge amounts of tickets in Philadelphia, while original acts couldn't even fill coffee shops. That inspiration led to "Grow Your Band's Audience" and the evolution of my blog here at spinme.com.
In the past year, I've been reflecting a lot on the state of live music and the arts. Not long ago, I accepted an offer I couldn't refuse as a coach and manager inside one of America's truly great companies. Probably the only company I'd agree to work for. (I can't tell you who, because they request that I don't. But they firmly believe in giving me the space to purse all my creative outlets.) While that means I don't get to write for spinme.com as often as I once did, the job's given me the distance to better appreciate what's going on in the music business, and in the peculiarly American cultural industry.
Without revealing much more, I want to share a few of the experiences that sparked the new project:
I got back in regular contact with a few of the folks I used to work with in public radio. So much has changed about the value proposition there, especially since audiences have a new abundance of choice when it comes to learning about music. Maintaining that audience requires a focus on adding value through shaping the context of an audience's day.
Lori and I went to New York to see the Green Day musical on Broadway. If you told me fifteen years ago that Green Day would have a musical on Broadway, I'd have punched you in the neck. But the entire production highlights what happens when you're open to the idea that an audience can grow with you over time and shape what you create.
Lori and I took our nieces to a concert a few weeks ago, and it was the first time in my life I had to turn to a seventeen-year-old and ask "who the hell is that?" when a surprise guest took to the stage. Young audiences don't share the same perception about what's hot and what's "blowing up" the way that older generations did. My generation's focus was about getting Nirvana and Pearl Jam to become huge superstars. Her generation's focus is very much about doing what it takes just to experience great shows.
That should give you a sense of where my head's at on this project. It draws from all four of my previous books in a way that will let you deepen the relationship with your audience in a rewarding and enriching way. Yes, it will help you learn how to make money from your music career. And I think it'll be broad enough that folks in other fields--even business--may want to look at some of the stories I'll tell.
You can pre-order the PDF version of the book this month by subscribing to my newsletter and requesting the Holiday Book Bundle special offer. It gives you all four of my current books in one giant PDF, e-mail updates when the new versions come out in 2011, and the PDF of Audience Supported when I drop it on 2/11/12.