It’s obvious even to the casual observer that the whole artist commerce world has radically changed and is continuing to change.
One of the fundamental discussions that I hardly ever hear though, is the difference between what an artist – a content creator or whatever you want to call them these days – what they feel as opposed to what labels, publishers, and those who manage the process feel.
Bottom line is, up until this point, publishing has been a business. It doesn’t make it good or bad. It simply means that the numbers have to work. A publisher can’t afford to publish a book, market a book, distribute a book, unless they recuperate their expenses plus more to continue to do business. That’s fundamental and no one would object to that.
But now we’re in a very different world where the gatekeepers are key-less. The gates are open and the barbarians have entered the court. By that I mean the artist now can be not only the content creator, but the publisher, the marketer, and the distributor. And while very few artists want all of those responsibilities, their willingness to accept them is based on a very different motive than publishers and record labels. And that’s why all the confusion and the miscommunication between them.
The bottom line is those who dare to moo out loud whether it be with music, art, audio, video, or print, simply want to be heard above everything else. They want to be read and listened to. They want their views to matter. They want to feel like they’ve had an impact. And oh yes, by the way, they’d like to make a living doing it. But if they don’t, they’ll find a way to do it anyway. That was the genius of how artists have always worked anyway. Writing, singing, performing have only recently been full time jobs. They’ve been in previous generations, passions; passions that went out and found patrons or some way to subsidize their art.
I’m not saying that writers, singers, and bloggers don’t want to get paid. But first they want to be heard. And they understand if they can be heard, and if their ideas, and views, and contributions are valuable, they will eventually get paid.