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How to Hack the Music Industry: The Audience Problem

The hardest thing to do as an artist is to identify and monetize an audience that will allow you to create full time

Danny Quick
Sep 1, 2015 · 7 min read

“The hard part isn’t solving problems, but deciding what problems to solve.” Paul Graham

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“The hardest thing to do as an artist is to identify and monetize an audience that will allow you to create full time.”

Less than 10 % of backers on any given Kickstarter campaign come from discovery within the platform itself. If you want your campaign to be successful, you simply point your current audience there to support you.

“The smart people are building community and a deeper relationship whenever they can. The people stuck to the old model think that what they really need is as many eyeballs as possible.” Ryan Holiday

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1. Increase the number of people you sell to

2. Increase the size of each sale

3. Increase the frequency of purchases

The Audience Problem has been solved by “increasing the number of people you sell to” for the last hundred years. This is how Taylor Swift solves her Audience Problem — selling relatively low priced items to the masses once every album cycle.

“If the twentieth-century entertainment industry was about hits, the twenty-first will be equally about niches.” Chris Anderson

The internet is small. Despite the 3.17 billion people online, we as individuals tend to congregate same the digital spaces. Day after day, we return to the same subreddits, retweet the same followers, and like the same people’s photos.

“The new environment may well select for artists who are particularly adept at inventing new career paths rather than single-­mindedly focusing on their craft.” Steven Johnson

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“Avoid the limelight; talk only to your audience. Even if your idea is so good that everyone will eventually get it, tell it to your core first. They’ll tell everyone else afterward, and it will sound a lot better coming from them.” Matt Mason

You’re looking for your top fans who are going to spend at least $100 a year on you. The average music consumer spends $40 a year annually on all music related purchases. If you’re going to capture over 200 % of their yearly spend, you better be going above and beyond to earn it.


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