Seth Godin’s latest blog post reminds us how we can be relaying misconceptions to the students we teach.
The internet certainly presents us with possibilities. We can become creators and have our work appreciated by others. We can make a name for ourselves and reap the rewards that come from this. But we can also become part of the long tail of creators who are vying for voice and attention who don’t get noticed and don’t reap rewards.
Seth quotes a report from Charles Blow in the NY Times about the music industry;
“A study last year conducted by members of PRS for Music, a nonprofit royalty collection agency, found that of the 13 million songs for sale online last year, 10 million never got a single buyer and 80 percent of all revenue came from about 52,000 songs. That’s less than one percent of the songs.”
Pretty staggering figures really. So for every young band out there vying for an audience, the odds are pretty much not stacked in your favour.
That’s not to say we shouldn’t be encouraging our students to use this medium to be heard. What we should be doing is presenting them with the realities of the medium. You can’t expect that loading your latest and greatest effort onto YouTube is your entry point to worldwide noteriety. You need to face the reality that if you are going to take a crack at it you need to explore the medium to it’s full potential. You need to know how to market your online presence to full effect.
Even more reason why educators need to get up to speed. These are skills that need to be taught. The business model is changing. It’s a new world out there.