I just saw a local government that is supporting local artists doing another meet-up. This time it was that their local artists should learn social media. It’s nice for the artist that they get a chance to learn something around the business. Still, it won’t help their career. Social media today is so advanced that the normal artist really can’t be their own social media manager. This course will just get them some small tip-offs and people think that they can do it on their own.
Instead, if they were serious about it, they should hire a social media manager. The artist will have enough problems to keep up with all that content that should be produced then be able to follow up on the information they got from that government sponsor meeting. In the end, the information they get is old by the time that meeting is over. To handle social media today you need to follow the trends and be active all the time to find out about the new functions and what is working. That is a professional's job. Either the artist must choose from being an artist or a social media manager. There is a reason even small businesses hire a social media manager.
I see this as a trend in many things. We think since many things now have been pushed over to the artists to take care of, we should educate them in these things. Sorry to say that is really counter-productive. If you have a factory you don’t teach all your employees to drive the trucks. Not all the employees can run all the machinery in the factory and all of them cannot have an economic education. No, the factory is run like a team. You are hired because you are a specialist in something. I see too much of this new Covid stuff is to teach everybody everything which leads to that you just know a bit of everything when you really need the deeper information.
It’s nice that people get information. The problem is that we don’t have unlimited money to build up the industry after Covid. What these artists need is the tool to build their own teams, not learning what the team is doing. The artist is the one that makes the product the music. Which is the essential part of the whole operation. My beliefs are though do what you are really good at. There is a good reason why I don’t write the songs I promote. I am really not good at writing songs. And a two-hour seminar on writing music won’t get me to be the next big thing in songwriting. I will only be good at it if spend hours and hours writing songs and will get better. I had a bigger interest in the music business, so I have spent countless hours learning that and became an expert in that area.
Last week I saw another seminar on how to place your music in movies. Most of the attendees didn’t have the background information of the legal aspects of the quality of the recordings to even send to these supervisors. The same stands true here, there are professionals working in this area. It would have been so much easier to just hook up the artists to them or these services instead of going to the top and try to contact the artist supervisors directly.
In the end, most of the logistics inside the music industry are very personal. The strategy for Metallica looks way different than the strategy for Taylor Swift. By trying to teach something that is just working on the surface is a waste of time. In reality, the artist just looks for someone that can take care of all this stuff that is needed. They want to focus on being artists and getting their expressions out. The idea of teaching people is not wrong but right now it’s aimed at the totally wrong source. You won’t get a better artist on doing this you will just end up with people feeling confused and demoralized that they can’t handle all the things that are going on all the time.
You are not building a music infrastructure in this way. Rethink and do it right. What is needed now is not another course, it is networking. These artist needs to know where they should find the people that can handle these tasks, not learning a small part of the task and think that is enough. The artist needs to learn what they should expect by hiring a professional, not what they are doing. They also need to learn to hire the right people for the right job.
Editor’s Note: Peter Åstedt has been working in the music industry for over 30 years. He has started record labels, distribution systems, and publishing companies. Peter also runs several major showcase festivals and is an advisor for INES and co-founder of MusicHelp/Discover Sensation. He has worked with the Top Ten most streamed songs and had music on both the Olympics and Super Bowl. Peter has currently taken up the seat of Station Manager of Cashbox Radio, working with MD, PD and station owner, Sandy Graham. His latest venture is a new Showcase Festival in Sweden, Future Echoes scheduled for September 16-18, 2021.