Rubbah Slippah Productions

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The rise of streaming

When I first started releasing music, it was all about getting my CD's on store shelves and fighting for up front rack placement. Then CD stores went away. That left me with radio play and iTunes. Getting my songs on radio was one of the few ways to let listeners know that I had new music available on iTunes. However, that created a gatekeeper mentality where the radio stations had all the power. This created a music industry where only a select few were being promoted. I used to ask myself, "how will people know that I released new music on iTunes when radio station won't even play my new music?"

The answer I found is social media and streaming services. We now have a direct line to our fans. No longer can the gatekeepers of the past decide whether or not our music is worth being heard. We can now see in real time how our fans are responding to the release of new music. Internet based platforms are data driven which allow us to research what is working and what is not. Now if I release a new song, I can see exactly how many listeners are tuned in any given period of time and where they are listening from. This plays a huge roll in planning your marketing strategy. It's always a huge advantage to know who your target audience is.

It's true that streaming doesn't pay as much as a sale would, but keep in mind that streaming increases your chance of residual income. Listeners who use Pandora and Spotify are likely saving your music on a personalized playlist that they will listen to over and over again. Unlike a sale that is one and done. Although, what I've found is that as my streaming audience grows, so does my iTunes sales. This is due to new fans discovering my music on streaming services and then wanting to support me as an artist. This is why I make all of my music available to streaming services.

Share your thoughts in the comments. Mahalo!

To pay or not to pay?

Aloha guys! welcome to my first blog here on

When I first entered the music scene, CDs were the main source of retail music. Prior to that it was cassette tapes, 8 tracks & phonographic records. What do they all have in common? They were all physical products that you could hold in your hand. With the advent of the internet, music is now an invisible computer file that can be shared throughout the world in an instant. This is problematic for anyone trying to sell music as a career. Without a physical product to sell, there is no way to regulate supply & demand. The music industry fought tooth & nail against online piracy to no avail. Instead, we are left with the choice of whether to pay or not to pay for music.

As record stores closed across the country, online retailers like Apple's iTunes took over the retail market. However, the act of piracy still continued. This brings us to the concept of streaming. Streaming services like Pandora & Spotify now make most music available for free to its listeners. Unfortunately, streams accumulate revenue at a much smaller rate than typical digital download sales. Therefore, we are left with the hope that people feel like buying our music or are at least willing to use a streaming service that pays very little in comparison.

The question we are left with is, "what does a recording artist need to do to sustain a career in music?" There are numerous ways for a gigging musician to make money, but from the perspective of a recording artist, times have sure changed. You now have to be a self promoting social media master to stay relevant in this ever changing market. & In this day in age, you either change with the times or get left behind.

Share your thoughts in the comments. Mahalo!

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