- Philip Muellerscheon
Today’s blog post is a little different than most. This morning, after wrangling our toddler into clothes and off to preschool, I was peacefully sipping on my coffee, when my eyes caught the below tweet.
— David Bowie Official (@DavidBowieReal) September 10, 2022
New technologies in the music industry
David Bowie and The Queen are without question true legends – each in their own right, an unrivaled trailblazer touching millions of us.
Nevertheless, the core message of the tweet made me do a double take, and ponder.
David Bowie, Blockchain, The Queen, Sale Postponed
I thought to myself, this single tweet encapsulates so much of tech in the music industry, that it warrants a blog post and even its own Venn diagram.
Man in the middle
Today, “Man in the Middle” is the #1 job description in music. When new technologies and trends emerge, a lot of people and businesses “in the middle” are able to connect the dots and are willing to make introductions. It usually happens top down, starting with A-Level artists, before going down the creator economy totem pole.
The reason for the hierarchy is simple: follow the money. More money is generated by the top 1% than the bottom 90% of artists combined.
While it’s great for superstar artists to have an army of middlemen do their bidding, it might not always be optimal from a cultural as well as financial point of view.
On the other hand, for most independent artists the deck is stacked against them, as they can’t attract or afford an army. That said, they also tend to like running uphill.
What to do as an independent artist?
The good news is that there are tech companies and tech-enabled teams out there that are working smarter to provide the same level of service and lift to small artists than they do to A-Listers, at a fraction of the cost.
Technology deployed the right way levels the playing field, period. A one-person operation can be as powerful as a major label marketing team, for example.