(in anything I say, I am referring to an artist that could be considered "niche", but wishes they had a larger audience. i'm speaking of those that want to make their music into a primary source of income).
Originally Posted by Tommyland
That too is a big part of it. Chris Anderson made it quite clear in The Long Tail how niche markets are becoming more widespread but obviously, will only cater to a select few people. Your bands music will eventually reach saturation point, where only a certain number of people like that kind of music. Bands, unless their music is very commercial or appeals to the lowest common denominator, now have it harder trying to take their cult following to "the next level" even if it is easier and cheaper to distribute music today (digitally) than in the past (tape trading/record labels, etc).
how do you know that a market will always be niche anyway? how can you be sure that the product has already targeted all of its demographic successfully
relating back to your original post of this thread, maybe the bands simply aren't pushing their music in the right places? but that doesn't mean they have to move country. they just need to make new connections & network a bit. networking is really important.
niche... I have seen some bands that I would have previously considered niche (before my opinions on the subject changed), suddenly get swallowed up by the internet (and genrelisation) & suddenly put forward as something with commercial sensibilities, catering to a mainstream audience. Isn't that what happened to "grunge"? (albeit with a different form of media). not all those bands had the same sound, not all of them went mainstream either, not all of the record labels involved with alternative music jumped on the bandwagon, some of them stuck to their guns.
(offtopic // A relatively interesting article
- FYI nuclear blast are now one of the worlds most important labels associated with metal).
As for metrics, that stuff is all well and good (and time consuming to study), but many indie bands/labels are already moving away from downloads (recorded music) as their main source of revenue (have been for some time, if they were even focused on it in the first place). That said, metrics does bring around good innovations, and the information is relevant. As for the long tail... the internet is very important in what Chris Anderson talks about. A good thing for the niche. The way I interpret it (when applied to music/artists) is trying to have as small overheads as possible whilst marketing & distributing your products to the correct market, because then the tail has potential.
So, I fail to see how artists from a niche market have it harder at all now really. I mean I can think of specific genres that the internet has helped immensely (depending on your viewpoint), infact without the internet I have serious doubts as to whether certain genres would come around as quickly, or even hit the mainstream at all.
Maybe these niche artists just need help with marketing their b
? Maybe what they're making just isn't viable to make a living from? Perfectly acceptable.
There are many modern "niche" artists that do perfectly well for themselves. boards of canada, aphex twin, venetian snares, infected mushroom, explosions in the sky, sufjan stevens, to name a couple. there are various forms of dance music, rock, acoustic, heavy music that have basically always been niche (I would prefer the term "underground", i.e. brutal death metal, black metal, etc - yet many of the bands with the best songs & most talent are still on the road, years later.
There are lots of little scenes popping up all over the internet, with a handful of bands with their own sound, which consumers seem to enjoy. except now they aren't necessarily based around a country/town, like grunge, punk, black metal, melodeath, death metal etc. rather they are just people who make similar sorts of music that communicate via the internet, and help each other out by cross-promoting through their collective fanbase. however when the bands tour they will often target specific places, because that makes sense to do. I hope you can understand what I'm saying, if not then that's cool. Niche is only niche until it's posted on the internet imo, if you have it and it's good, and you use your resources properly then people will find it.