Tion Bukue of FME Culture is an MC, skateboarder and graffiti artist, in addition to managing Del The Funky Homosapien. Here’s Tion with an article called ‘Deaf Ears’, about FME Culture’s association with various action sports brands.
In the last 5-10 years, most recording and touring artists have felt significant declines in their music-related incomes, both from shows and album sales. Overall, according to industry research, music revenue in the U.S. has gone down dramatically – from $14.6 billion in 1999 to $10.4 billion in 2008 and Forrester forecasts it to hit $9.2 billion by 2013. That is a 37% decline in revenue since 1999, all the while cost of living and other expenses have gone up just as dramatically, if not more.
There are a number of reasons for the dramatic decline, with the main ones being:
- Free music sharing/downloads coupled with less promotion by labels
- Overall lower show guarantees due to more touring artists and less promotion
1. Less promotion = lower album sales = even less promotion
Labels have been facing lots of uncertainty as album sales have gone down dramatically with the rise of free downloads. With that uncertainty, labels have been much more cautious with their promotional budgets. With less promotional funds, they heavily rely on the artist creating their own buzz, whether via their engagement with fans through social media or touring. Overall, it means less record sales, less revenue created for the label and the artist and lower sound scans for the artist. In turn, lower sound scans mean that the next release from that artist will most likely be allotted an even smaller budget from the label due to low album sales. The downward spiral continues.
2. Lower album sales = more shows = less promotion
Lower income from album sales has resulted in more artists touring, and touring more. Which, in turn, means that local promoters have more shows to promote. At the same time, because fans have more shows to choose from and less money to spend in the middle of the recession, both promoters and artists are likely to make less money per show. Which means – less local promotion before your show. Which means – lower attendance and lower guarantees. The downward spiral continues.
The loss of marketing and promotion is having huge effects on artists’ record sales, show attendances and overall ability to grow or just sustain relevance today.
We as artists, indie labels and managers need to find a way to supplement or replace marketing and promotion and stop the downward spiral by finding a way to gain NEW fans.
FME Consulting and Marketing
Free promotion via brands = increased visibility and growing fan base
With the realization that marketing and promotion is no longer coming from the labels and show promoters due to the uncertainty of their return on investment, FME actively sought out other avenues to fill in the gaps for our artists.
Over the last 5 years we have been aligning ourselves with the action sports industry (skateboarding, surf, snowboarding, Bmx, etc.) through working with a number of different brands. The action sports industry has always played a passive but very influential role in bringing up the awareness of various artists. Artists like Green Day, Del the Funky Homosapien, Slightly Stoopid, and Sublime benefitted early and throughout their career by having their songs used as soundtracks in Skate, Surf, and Snow videos.
Now more than ever, with the rise of viral marketing, more and more videos are being produced by all brands in the action sports industry, opening up great opportunities for artists to get their music heard.
By connecting the brands with the artists, we are filling in the gap between these action sports brands needing music for their promo videos and the artists who will benefit from the free promotion. As an added bonus to the artists, the brands’ fan demographic starts with around 9 year olds and continues up, allowing the music to be exposed to new younger fans.
Action sports brands are always looking for new music for their videos and we are always looking for new music to offer to the brands. The music we provide to them is ONLY for their promotional videos and is free for the brands to use. Brands who are interested in exclusive use of particular track(s) will be given an option to license that music, in which case FME will negotiate licensing fee on your behalf.
By Tion Bukue