Friday, 20 November 2009
As I write this I have the one hundredth most subscribed youtube channel in the UK. By the time you're reading this there's a good chance I won't anymore! I've been slipping down the list for several months now and as I'm on the way out it's got me thinking about the last two years and what I've accomplished on the site. I always say that I'm doing better than I thought I would be when I joined up, but now that I think about it, I'm not so sure that's true.
I doubt I would have thought 20,000 subscribers was achievable in my first two years. Though I was confident my channel could do well, back then even Mr Coollike didn't have those kind of numbers. So in terms of subscribers I am doing better than I thought I would be. But that's no measure of success. My life goal right now is to be able to afford to live by selling music. Of course music is much more than that, but I'm only looking at the business side of things right now.* I've always had the idea in my head, and I believe it's a well known theory in the industry, that if I were to have 1000 hardcore fans - by which I mean people who buy every album or EP I offer them - then I could live off that, and so my life goal could be translated into 'finding 1000 hardcore fans.'
My subscriber count may have exceeded expectations, but I definitely overestimated the percentage of subscribers that would turn into the 'hardcore fans'. Right now I think I'm at about 100. That's 10% of the aim, after two years. So it'll be another 18 years if I continue at that rate, and realistically I'm not picking up speed right now, I'm slowing down. Six months ago I'd be getting 40 - 50 new subscribers to my channel every day, now it's half of that on a good day.
This isn't me being depressed and moaning about life, I'm fairly optimistic about the future. I think I will accomplish that goal, and a long time before 2027 as well! I'm just re-evaluating. The internet is a powerful tool for a musician, but maybe not as much as I've given it credit for. Right now I just want to move to London, turn some friends into some band members and start gigging, a lot. You may not reach as many people that way, but I think it's a better way to find those 1000 (and it's fun!) Of course the real answer is to do both. But there's a balance there and I think I've let the internet side take up too much time so far.
Overall I wouldn't say that was a mistake, if I'd gone the traditional route from the beginning I don't think I'd have made it this far. I'd have given up on the dream and gotten a real job, letting music remain a hobby. I owe so much of my confidence to the people who have supported me online, and even if Blue Skies didn't exist, I'd still be obsessed with being a part of this community - so many ridiculously important people in my life right now were introduced to me thanks to one website or another.
I'm sorry for talking business (ish) I don't usually talk about this side of things, it's just been on my mind lately. I don't even like calling people 'fans' it sounds ridiculous. I'll wrap up with some thoughts on the future...
It's gonna be pretty great. I'm gonna move to London. I'm gonna gig more. I've been speaking to Paul a lot lately and we have so many ideas and plans that at least one of them is going to make us rich and then none of this business stuff will matter. I'm going to stay at his in December with Ian and we're gonna be very productive, both in terms of actually making some kind of EP or album and in terms of making plans for the new year.
This has been pretty long and probably vague or missing some massively important points. You probably don't care, but if you do have any questions about what I've said or about anything really, just ask.
Goodnight, and thanks for reading this... I appreciate all of the support you guys have given more than I can express.
p.s. Fairytale of New York just came on itunes shuffle, but not the version I have on The Pogues album... It's a one off and I don't know where I got it, but the album name it's listed under is 'Irish Punk Drinking Songs Compilation'. That sounds like the greatest album in the world, I might have to track it down.
*If I were to ignore business for a moment, and compare my musical output to what two years ago I had thought I'd be creating, I believe I have exceeded my expectations, though they were not particularly high! I still consider myself a beginner and am looking forward to the coming year as I think it will be very exciting musically. That fact alone is more important that the whole of this blog, but it doesn't mean I shouldn't be thinking about these things.