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by ANTHONY CROSS
Online content is the subject of many television and label executives’ nightmares and has been for years. Increasingly louder cries for change have forced industry giants to acknowledge streaming media, haunting them effectively into obsolescence. Hopefully now they are able to hear us over Nancy Grace and Dr. Phil, or whatever MTV has become. The main point I am struggling to make is that online content (film or otherwise) is here to stay, however, the question is to what capacity and extent. We have moved away from the typical trope of viral videos of yesteryear and now have started giving YouTube exclusive shows and musicians a chance at survival and success. However, for this pattern of exponential growth to persist, we have to understand the value that all of this video content truly holds, what worth it can have for musicians, and how to build a sustainable model for filmmakers and musicians everywhere.
In the age of new media, streaming content has raised the bar, becoming a truly unique source of promotion and entertainment for multiple industries. In addition, the limits of application and restriction of this content have been completely revised. Independent streaming content gives more control to artist concerning what want to create, and not the major TV networks or the FCC. With true freedom to publish what content creators want, it opens up possibilities for new music centric shows and music videos for artists of all disciplines.
If you are a musician trying to prove your worth in today’s market, you have a few mountains to climb, especially when it comes to getting gigs. Not only is today’s market competitive, but technology enables bands to represent themselves in different ways. Press kits with One Sheets are the industry standard, however one way to garner credibility is through a third party source. In this day and age, it is easier than ever to embellish a Facebook profile or a One Sheet. Appearing on a take away show, or making a music video gives a musician a defined edge in the crowded marketplace we live in today.
Looking at the filmmakers behind these projects locally, every single person involved is often enabling the dreams of others through projects of their own. In the past, most filmmakers who have garnered the skills to make beautiful content have moved over to the commercial sector. Some go by choice and others out of necessity, however, the creative side of film companies and independent filmmakers is vital to the artistic community we have. Support your filmmakers, and offer them decent compensation for their work. Just as it is with musicians, you don’t expect a band to play a show for free. (Hopefully).
New solutions and possibilities are coming in the future, different funding models and sponsorship on small scale being a likely answer. This new media can help small business, promoting and furthering their cause though local advertising on YouTube channels and podcasts. These new concepts and music videos are opening the doors of possibilities for our artists and businesses to garner recognition outside of this area.
In all, this is idea will take time to develop more; it certainly will not happen overnight. However, starting the process on multiple ends, be it musicians or small business, will improve matters greatly. Models such as this have worked in large scale economies, and there is no doubt in my mind that we can make it work here.