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DIY Is Dead: Why The Team Is The New Label – Our SXSW 2012 Panel Idea

Click here to vote for our SXSW 2012 Panel Idea: DIY is Dead: Why the Team Is the New Label.

The music industry’s DIY movement as we know it is dead. The trend is transitioning from “lone wolf” musicians who record, promote, and write everything themselves to musicians who have a consistent support team around them to help with noncreative tasks.  In order to help musicians understand when and how to build support teams, Go Forth Music has proposed a panel for the 2012 SXSW Music Programming, DIY is Dead: Why the Team Is the New Label. You can vote for our panel now through September 2. SXSW uses PanelPicker votes as 30% of their score when deciding what panels will be selected for programming, so every vote counts!

DIY is Dead: Why the Team Is the New Label: The Panel Idea

The proliferation of technological advances such as social media, digital recording, and content aggregators has drastically changed costs and practices in the music industry. As a result, a new demographic of artists has emerged, defined by Bruce Houghton (editor of HypeBot and member of MidemNet’s Visionary board) as the “Musical Middle Class.” These musicians fall between “superstar” and “starving artist” status, make a steady income, and maintain a level of control over their careers. With the advent of new possibilities, the Musical Middle Class now has immediate access to the tools they need to grow their own music careers.

A survey of independent musicians revealed that, while they have access to these tools, many do not have the time to sort through them or the knowledge to implement them effectively. Teams are needed to help artists decide which tools to use and how they should use them while staying within their budgets. While the traditional record label business model is becoming outdated, there is still value in the support services a team can provide to artists such as A&R, marketing, and career management/administration. A well-composed team closes the gap between fledgling artists and established independents and fills the void created by the obsolescence and unavailability of record label support. As a result, artists can focus on their creativity and continue to develop profitable careers.

Our panel will address issues such as when artists should consider transitioning from DIY and build a support team, what roles these team members should play, and what tasks can be delegated to team members without losing authenticity with fans.

Our panelist include Walter Randolph (manager for multi-platinum producer Bangladesh [Lil’ Wayne’s “A Milli” & “6 Foot 7 Foot”, Beyonce’s “Diva” and “Video Phone”], Liz Imler (social media/publicity/jack-of-all-trades for Jerry Fuentes [independent musician] and Donnell Rawlings [“Ashy Larry” from Chappelle’s Show]), and Go Forth Music’s own La-Vaughnda Taylor (J.D. from American University with a focus in Intellectual Property and Entertainment Law).

How to Vote

  1. Create a free PanelPicker account (or sign in if you already have one).
  2. Go to our panel “DIY is Dead: Why the Team Is the New Label” at http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/ideas/view/9485
  3. Please click on the “thumbs up” icon underneath the panel title if you like it.  Also feel free to leave a comment. We’d love to hear your reasoning for liking the panel as well as ideas on how to improve/enhance the panel if it gets selected.
That’s it! If you want to help even more, please spread the word by retweeting this post and inviting your friends to vote for our panel idea on Facebook.
Stay tuned to Go Forth Music. This September, we’ll bring you our “DIY is Dead” series consisting of five articles that outline how DIY has evolved into a team effort and how you can make the transition.
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