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SoloBassSteve 🎧 @solobasssteve
, 15 tweets, 5 min read Read on Twitter
This new album is doing so much better on album sales that anything I've done in years. At this rate, I'll be able to afford to replace my knackered soundcard solely with album sales 🙂 If you want delicious music and a super-warm feeling, head to…
...I've had a couple of people ask about the new album not being on streaming platforms (not many, cos most people can work out why without my help), but I would've needed over 40K streams of it so far to earn what I've earned from the relatively modest sales so far...
..and that's not factoring in my Bandcamp subscriber economics, cos those are impossible to break down per album, but constitute the VAST majority of my online earnings. So I'd need 40K over and above whatever the baseline might work out to be...
but these numbers are basically meaningless, because what I do is niche by design. I don't want a massive audience, because I know what I'd end up having to do to keep them. If they arrive by themselves, that's fine, it'll be on my terms, but I'm not chasing them...
I make music because it's how I make sense of the world, it's what I do when I run out of words to talk about things, not because I want to be a pop star. Or even a jazz star. :) My goal has always been sustainability. Keep making music. That's the goal.
If 'success' meant I needed to stop making new music, and tour an album, re-learning a bunch of initially improvised music to promote it, or delay putting out new music because it would mess up the sales of another thing, that's not a model of success that works for me at all.
The music is what matters, and its value is not index linked to the amount of money I make from it. The economy around it is about making it viable, making it possible to make more music. I can't do that if I'm broke, but it'll also be corrupted if I make music just to make money
Day jobs are not a thing to avoid, or a thing to be ashamed of. Having outside income protects your music from the shit you'll have to do to pay the bills if your only avenue is your instrument. This music life is way more complex than that.
As always happens, this conversation ends up with @Wildknees' legendary blog post, 'how to make a living playing music'. This is still pretty much the best practical advice I've ever seen on the subject.…
But, to bring it full circle, an album sale, for me, is worth 1200 streams, roughly. A new subscriber is worth 6000 streams. Those streams would require me to spend a ton of time and money on promo that I currently spend making more music for the people who've already paid for it
So I make the music available in ways that mean my sustainability threshold, in terms of audience size and sales, is as small as possible, but still doesn't exclude people who are broke. That's a tricky balance, and it's a work in progress, but we're getting there...
All of my thoughts and ideas and bullshit about the music economy is pointless if I'm not using my own music life as the test bed for whether any of it works or not. So this is still an ongoing adventure in niche sustainability at a time when the 'mainstream' is making it harder.
If you're interested in how to help out, not just me, but the wider niche/indie music economy, it's easy. Just buy the occasional record via the artist's prefered platform and for the love of God, don't rely on FB's algorithms to find new music for you.
FWIW, @bandcamp's daily editorial is my favourite music writing on the web, and will help you find artists off the beaten track from all over the world. And no, they haven't written about me yet ;)
@Bandcamp And if you specifically want to support what I'm up to, here's the new album -… - and here's the subscription, where for less than the cost of a thing that doesn't cost much, you get everything I put out: 🙂🙂🙂🙂
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