Thursday, August 17, 2006

Visibility and Profitability

If it wasn’t for the Internet, bands like Scene Aesthetic would barely be more than a local sensation. But social networking websites like MySpace and PureVolume have amplified their sound and carried it to more listeners.

Click on a band’s MySpace page and you’ll hear the band’s music right away. MySpace members are asked by numerous bands to include them in their friends’ list, providing an instant coffee-house sized audience and more chances to be heard by a wider audience.

One social networking website entirely devoted to music is aptly named PureVolume which has a whopping 300,000 bands. But despite having a presence on this website, only a fraction of them get heard thousands of times.

Another band used the Internet to launch an album one song at a time. The Brooklyn-based duo behind the Bishop Allen band released four new songs each month on the band’s website. They have sold 1,500 CDs from their website at $5 each and are on course to earn $35,000 each this year.

Thanks to the Internet, an infinite number of websites are available for one’s use. But conversely, with a multitude of options available, it goes without saying that competition for users’ attention is fierce.

Just as websites enabled local retailers to expose their businesses to a much wider audience, MySpace and PureVolume have upped the ante to facilitate word-of-mouth and allow bands to create a greater impact on listeners. But just because the systems are in place to grow a band’s following beyond their local nightclub, it won’t matter if people don’t like what they hear. Talent is still important. If you figure out the right way to use the Internet to amplify your company, you’ll build a stronger business.

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