Derek Webb Blog: The Long Tail of Noisetrade


There has been a lot of talk about how the music industry is changing. Indie solo artists , labeled bands & mega bands are giving away music. Bloggersare blogging about it. Living in Nashvegas, it’s kind of hard not to be touched by the music industry or at least learn be intrigued by it. 

What I found intriguing tonight was an interview with Derek Webb on Stereo Subversion. Here’s a man who gets it.  What’s ‘it’? The marketing, the connection, the long tail. Here’s what Derek had to say…

There are two other factors which make Noisetrade different – the main one for me being the aggregate aspect, what some might call the ‘Long Tail’ aspect. You get all these artists giving away music and put them in one place, especially blue collar artists, like I said who make their living between the head and the tail of the sales curve, and little by little, you get 50 niche artists, none of whom have more than several thousand fans but suddenly there are a lot of fans in one place. They start finding other artists and it really does start to make up for the time difference. Two years ago, it was very progressive and radical to give away a record for free. It’s interesting how quickly perception changes. People don’t remember that it was unheard of even a few years ago. But now, and rightfully so, it’s par for the course.  Check out the full article here.

I found this article on the new blog at Noisetrade. The only part of it i didn’t get was his 3 sentences on his first post. Here’s what he had to say…

WELCOME NOISETRADERS – i can’t imagine that i’m writing this blog, for a few reasons.  first of all, i don’t blog.  almost as a rule.   

This “I don’t blog. almost as a rule.” statement just throws me. It seems a bit of a contradiction in terms. So I think he’s only getting part of it. The part that many artists are reluctant to dive into and that’s connecting with their fans directly at that personal level ~ the blog. What Derek writes in the balance of that post is great…

for those who have walked with us through the dreaming and development of the site you realize what we’ve gone through to get here.  this idea died and came back to life a dozen times.  but we persisted and fought for what we believed to be something truly beneficial and effective towards connecting artists to music fans.

So, he’s almost there because ‘connecting artists to music fans’ is what blogging is all about. Now I’ve poured my heart out here at times and posting your deepest fears for the world to read is not for everyone. But that’s not what artists do on their blogs in general. I’m not an artist so I wouldnt know, but maybe it’s easier to hide behind the curtain in the land of Oz, than to put yourself out there. But then I look at what Skor, Inc is doing with Mercy Me and Natalie Grant and I’m thinking it totally ROCKS! Both of their blogs are real and fun and a great connecting point with the fans. So why doesn’t Derek Webb blog about his life, his music? Dont get me wrong, I think it’s amazing what he’s done and that he is blogging on Noisetrade. But what the fans want to see is Derek Webb’s blog about Derek Webb. 

So I’ve bounced around in this post quite a bit. But overall, I think it’s an amazing journey Derek’s been on to make this happen. I always find it exciting to run across someone who is wanting to take things to a new level. Like Brody & Randywith Skor Inc. People who want to make a difference in their industry, their church, the lives of others in a way that is unique and creative. For me that’s inspiring and challenging. It challenges me to think of my life and the choices I’m making. How can I reach the next level? What difference am I making in this world?

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One thought on “Derek Webb Blog: The Long Tail of Noisetrade

  1. I’ve seen bands now doing this as well. I’ve even seen some folks asking people to download for free and if they like it to purchase it. I think there is change coming, and talking with lots of music industry folks right now it’s very hard to make money in just performing, the real money is in writing.

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