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A lot has been said about Spotify, but Lefsetz said it best. After talking about his own Spotify experience and the songs he found or rediscovered, he got down to the point and made his comment about all the current ruckus:
If it weren’t for Spotify, these songs would go unheard.
If everything’s available, we’re enticed to dive in. Suddenly, it’s not about the hit. A song can percolate online for years, passed from listener to listener until you stumble upon it and are thrilled.
Everything you know is wrong, everything has changed.
You can put out an album on a drop date, but don’t expect everyone to care. But if there are a few good tracks, eventually people will find them. Whereas it used to be unsold albums were shipped back to manufacturers to be buried or destroyed and the only way you could hear these songs was if you knew someone who owned the disc.
Go out and shoot a famous person and everybody will read about you on TMZ.
But if you’re a musician, chances are you’re a lover, not a fighter. If so, you’ve got to change your perspective. You’re an artist, music is a calling, you’re a lifer, you’ve got no idea when your breakthrough will occur.
Sure, you can dance, you can work with Dr. Luke, but if you want a career, you’re gonna have to do it for yourself, you’re gonna have to find your own way and create music that sells itself, that’s its own calling card.
And when you do, it’ll be eminently hearable. You won’t have to pay radio. The public will not have to cough up a buck to experience it. Attention will come from the music itself, which will be sitting in plain sight, forever, waiting to be discovered.
Monetization does not come at the beginning, but closer to the end. Just like a house. You don’t move in when you pour the foundation, when you frame it, it’s not inhabitable until it’s complete.
Don’t think about charging upfront.
Know we live in an attention economy.
And that attention is at a premium.
But when you create something as great as “The Difficult Kind” I’ll stumble upon it, I won’t be able to stop playing it.