Confusion Is Next Part 1
July 11th, 2013 by
Confusion Is Next: A 4-part Look at Music SEO In A New Era of The Music Industry
Part 1 – Well, How Did We Get Here?
It’s hard to even discuss the impact of the Internet on the music industry in 2013 without feeling like that annoying guy in a faded Pearl Jam t-shirt still whining about the good old days when MTV actually played MUSIC, maaaaaan. It seems like all conversations about the Internet and music tend to pretty quickly veer toward creative property and ethics and the death of the record industry and piracy, which are all completely valid and occasionally interesting ways of thinking.
They’re also all completely moot points. The game has changed, the record industry is largely irrelevant to anyone not dead-set on Lady Gaga-level superstardom, and people are going to continue to get music for free, legally or not.
We are where we are. There’s very little out there to encourage anyone to pursue a career in music from a financial perspective. Music listeners will increasingly start to feel the effects of this if no one is able to effectively fill the sizable void left by that same record industry we all spent the late 90’s and early 00’s actively and systematically trying to obliterate. I’m not defending the record industry here. Still, we can thank the recording industry for one-time revolutionary, now pleasantly nostalgic institutions like flexi-discs, maxi-singles, huge cardboard boxes for compact discs and the concept that musicians should be paid something – anything, no matter how shamefully miniscule – for their recorded work. It all seems so delightfully quaint now, doesn’t it?
The problem is that the whole process of starting a band or being a musician had been predicated on the idea of being discovered and getting signed by a record label for so long that no one knows what to do now that “getting signed” is kind of an obsolete concept. As approximately everyone with a writing job for a music or music industry magazine has written that around every 4 seconds for the last 5-15 years, the Internet has made it easier than ever before to make and share music. The problem is getting those billions of potential listeners, to whom any musician has access at any given time, to care.
So wait, we have a crowded, Internet-centric market with more options available to Internet users than anyone knows what to do with? This sounds like exactly the kind of problem that SEO is designed to handle, right?
Yes, it does. But thinking about how to make that actually work very quickly veers away from the beaten path of optimization and promotion techniques that might typically be applied to more traditional businesses.
In Part 2, we’ll take a closer look at how promoting music online differs from standard SEO practices.