Seth Godin on the Music Business

Ideas guy Seth Godin has given his thoughts on the music industry in a devastatingly good interview on

It’s a real tonic for those of us who see music differently from the major labels, and who don’t feel threatened by the download-it world.

Seth talks about how he sees traditional PR as spam. It tries to force your music into everyone’s attention, even those who will never be interested.

Instead, he says musicians should be drilling down to their niche, attempting to lead their "tribe".

That way, you target people likely to be interested. You seek permission rather than spamming.

It’s no longer a case of "how can I get the whole world to hear me?"

Instead it’s "how do I get MY group/tribe to hear me?"

Drill down to your micro niche he says, and serve it.

It certainly sounds like it offers us a more varied and vibrant music scene than having one mass market.

People are interested, he says, in what everyone else is listening to. But back then there was simply one big "everyone else" – the mass market.

Now there’s a million "everyone elses" so people are now interested in what their own "everyone else" is listening to.

Punk fans want to know what punk fans are listening to. Motown afficionados want to hear what that group are into. It’s a world of niches and Seth celebrates it.

Interestingly, as an author, he says he no longer tries to find new fans.

He argues that the cost of finding new fans is much higher than just pleasing the ones you already have.

Don’t try to find fans for your music, he argues. Just make music for your fans. Let your fans pass on the message if you’re good enough.

For those of us who seek to make authentic, honest music without being too focused on the tides of commercialism, Seth’s ideas are a welcome boost.

They also treat the music fan with the respect we deserve, instead of being chased by lawyers and corporations.

Listen in at

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