Up until the start of 2012 I had no connection with any social media sites. As the new album was getting closer to being released and as I looked at the new landscape in front of me regarding promotion and album sales I realized that I had to get on the bandwagon if I wanted to promote my music effectively. I did many of the usual promoting that I had done for my previous albums, such as mass mailings of the hard copy to print media, regular and internet radio, friends. It was here where it hit me that album sales had completely changed since even my 2005 release of Full Circle. People were purchasing less and less hard copy versions of music, opting instead for digital sales. It seemed to me that I did not need to concern myself with a packaged presentation of artwork and liner notes, instead people were interested in the music, which is a good thing; however it wasn't the music as it told a story through the 15 composition suite, but people were opting for individual songs. It's as though the project didn't matter. I find this aspect of music presentation very sad. In live concert performance the song order is a vital element of keeping audience interest and the slow simmer as the concert build to a climax for both performer and participant. This simply does not seem to be the case anymore when we look at the complete album statement. Individual songs, individual playlists have become the focus of how music is listened to today.
I'm not indicating whether that is a good or bad thing, only that much of this may have passed me by as I get older and think about the excitement I once felt when an artist such as Miles Davis came out with a new album. The anticipation of knowing the album would hit the stores, thumbing through the stacks until you found it, rushing home to listen and then trying to comp what you could from the album to get everything out of it. The thought of playing one cut did not really come to mind. I wanted to hear a side and listen to how each song purposefully led to the next. I have not known this feeling for a very long time; although there have been several new artists that I have begun to anticipate their new releases, Nils Petter Molvaer's new album Baboon Moon was one such album.
Not wanting to stay in the past, in January and February, I joined the social media ranks - Facebook, Twitter, Reverbnation, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube, as well as getting my music on internet radio and Spotify. As I discovered through March and April, this became a full time job. Each night I was checking out all of the sites, setting up and updating my profile and adding music and videos, pictures and whatever. After a while I began to see the absurdity in all of this and I began to cut back. It was madness. I found myself being obsessed with trying to move my ranking on Reverbnation up and I did reach in the 150's in Jazz for NYC which actually doesn't mean anything. Through much reflection and re-evaluation I have slowly but surely tried to get a handle on all of this and bring it under control. I believe that I will actually begin to maintain the sites as locations on the internet with the sole purpose of bringing people to my website as more of a central hub for all of my musical activity. I would really like your opinions and thoughts on these topics. How do you deal with the environment of creating a packaged product? How do you maintain visibility on your social media sites without being all consumed in updating and responding, liking and fanning?
Thanks for reading and I look forward to hearing your responses.