It's not the tools, it's the mindset.

Rejecting music's default setting

Welcome, artists & builders.

Today I’m diving into the mindset shift happening around the music business, and how that’s even more important than the tools.

Inside Issue #29

  • 💡 Music’s mindset shift

  • 📊 Physical sales outgrowing streaming

Before we get into it today:

If you have a new album (or tour) campaign coming up, I'm working on something with a partner to change how it's done.

- Drive early buys
- Give way more value to fans
- Build momentum into launch

Essentially, turn the campaign into one big, connected party.

If you want in early, reply here.

Reject the Default Setting

On Thursday, James Blake helped launch an app called Vault, where you can pay $5/month for unreleased tacks & chat.

People took issue with the roll-out, as Blake slammed streaming & labels, then billed this as a solution, before launching something that resembles Patreon or Bandcamp subscriptions.

Let’s talk about it.

Is Vault revolutionary? No.

But that’s beside the point.

The real shift we're seeing is in mindset:

→ Music has value
→ Artists should own fan relationships
→ We need to stop playing the platform's game

That's what matters.

I welcome his voice to the movement.

And listen...

Maybe it doesn't take revolutionary tech.
Maybe it's just in how we use the tools.

Maybe it's how we decide to play the game.

Tools & models like this have existed, but they've been under-utilized in music. Moved to the fringes.

But, this is changing.

In just the last 2 weeks:

→ James Blake dropped Vault
→ JVKE dropped his fvm subscription
→ Nicki Minaj dropped the Gag City fan app
→ Avenged Sevenfold dropped Season Pass

All join a growing wave.

Artists are going direct & creating their own channels.

This is the future, regardless of the tech that gets us there.

It's a mindset.
It's a mission.
It's a rejection of music's default setting.

We need more of this - however it looks: New models, new experiments, new experiences.

Maybe this ain’t it, but let’s keep building.

Because the reality is we DO need a better Bandcamp & we DO need Patreon-like apps centered on music. And many other solutions.

There will be no 'one-size-fits-all' - and that's sort of the point.

But we must reject the default setting.

And start playing your own game.
Become your own platform.


PS: Blake replied to my tweet of this rant:

Artists should be able to choose where, how & when they release their music. Consciousness upgrade incoming.


Physical album sales grew faster than streaming globally in 2023.

Streaming: +10.4%
Physical: +13.4%

Fandom is rearing its head everywhere.

That’s it for this week. Back to my regular format next time.

- Rob