Rapid-fire Feedback Loops
Before the Internet, music producers had to try to figure out what worked and what didn't within their productions with very slow, manual, squeaky wheel feedback loops. A producer would work on a track or beat, bring it to a local venue or open mic, and see if any listeners would be willing to give feedback. How they learned if the music was "working" was whether the audience danced or vibed to it, or found the work so dull and unimpressive they walked away. (Not exactly an efficient way to learn.)
As a result, producers would spend months or even years perfecting a piece of music. Then wait months (or years) for a record label or music distributor to consider it. Then wait months for editors or curators to review it. Then wait some more to gauge the public's reaction.
One entire cycle of feedback could take anywhere from a year all the way up to a decade.
In the Digital Age, music producers don't have to suffer this way anymore.
Digital producers can release a track on Spotify or Instagram and instantly get feedback as to whether or not their music has potential.
If it does, and listeners are engaging with it, they know that idea is worth exploring. And if listeners don't, and their music falls on deaf ears, they know to move on. These rapid-fire feedback loops have transformed the way producers learn what works in their music and what is resonating with audiences.
In fact, there's no reason to spend 1-5+ years working on a piece of music today, wondering whether or not listeners will like it. With rapid-fire, digital feedback loops, you should be able to validate every single one of your ideas as you produce—allowing you to learn faster, grow your audience faster, and create a music style that resonates with listeners faster.
Build Your Fanbase As You Produce Online
The second major benefit to producing music online and living as a Digital Producer is that instead of working on a track and then trying to figure out how to get people to listen to it, you can find your fans as you explore and refine your sound.
We call this Practicing In Public.
While most traditional producers focus on creating a piece of music and then (at the last minute) scrambling to put a marketing plan together to attract listeners, Digital Producers build their fanbase as they go. They share snippets on social media. They test tracks on streaming platforms like Soundcloud or Bandcamp. They turn tracks that clearly resonate with listeners online into full EPs or albums. They produce, release, gather data, and double-down on what's working—and attract fans along the way.
For example, when Russ started releasing music, he didn't go the conventional route of seeking out a record label and locking himself in a studio for months to produce his tracks in secret. He brought his music production process into the digital age and started sharing his tracks on social media and streaming platforms. The result? His tracks gained traction, and he started getting requests for live performances and collaborations. By the time his debut album was released, he had a dedicated fanbase eagerly waiting to listen.
This is the power of building a fanbase as you produce music online.
"Scaling Your Music Production Career Online"
Producing music for an online audience can be a game-changer in growing your fanbase and creating a sustainable online music career. Just think about how many times you've had to explain your music journey, your style, your influences, and your experiences to others, whether it's over coffee, on a call, or during networking events. But what if you could scale yourself and make all that information accessible to anyone and everyone online?
By producing music and publishing your stories, insights, and music-related content online, you're effectively "scaling yourself." You're taking those details about your music production journey that you would otherwise have to manually explain in conversations and making them available to a wider audience online.
You're providing people with a unique understanding of who you are, your creative process, your influences, and your unique sound, right from the start. The more people who know about your music and your journey (to whatever extent you feel comfortable sharing), the more opportunities will come your way. You may receive messages from potential collaborators, job offers, new clients, speaking opportunities, and more, all as a result of "scaling yourself" online.
We've seen countless examples of music producers who, halfway through a music production program or after consistently publishing their content online, receive offers and connections that propel their careers forward. By simply sharing your music production stories and insights online, you can attract like-minded individuals, create meaningful connections, and expand your network, ultimately helping you to grow your fanbase and create a sustainable online music career.
So, start scaling yourself today by creating and publishing your music production content online. You never know what opportunities may come your way as a result of sharing your passion with the world.
Empowering Music Producers: Clarifying Your Thoughts
If music production is a way to get creative, then producing music for an online audience is a measure of how your music creativity resonates with listeners.
While we certainly believe there are benefits to using music production as a means to express yourself, the real "stress test" happens once you release your music into the world. That's when people have an opportunity to listen to your tracks, think about them, and then share their own interpretations. And you arguably learn more by listening to the way your music resonates with other people than you do by producing music all by yourself.
Which is why we are such huge advocates for Practicing In Public.
Building A Library Of Content (That Connects with Fans)
And finally, producing music online has compounding effects that traditional music production does not.
Every time you release a track, you are "spinning the wheel" and playing the game of Digital Distribution. You have no idea whether the track you produce and release today will fall flat—or if it will be your most streamed, most-shared piece of music in history. Wouldn't you like to find out?
Furthermore, when your long-term focus is on building a library of music that can stand the test of time, your daily average number of listens goes up, the bigger your online presence becomes, the easier it is for new listeners to discover your work, and on and on the flywheel spins. At a certain point, your library will get to be so big that any music fan who explores your genre will inevitably come across your tracks.
You will "own" that part of the online music world.
Treat Your Music Production Like A Startup
The other way we like thinking about music production for an online audience is like this:
As a Music Producer, you are (essentially) an entrepreneur.
And your music is your startup.
Music Producers iterate quickly:
Double-down on what's working
As a result, Music Producers are usually the ones who go from never having produced anything online before to suddenly accumulating hundreds of thousands, even millions of listens—and more importantly, turning those listens and proven music genres into paid products, collaborations, services, and businesses. Why? Because they're the ones with the data. They don't have to guess what listeners want. The data is telling them, objectively, "When you produce X genre, listeners lose interest. But when you produce Y genre, listeners go crazy. Do more of Y, and less of X." They treat their music production like a science experiment.
It's no longer sufficient to just say, "Someone will discover my talent," and go on producing by yourself, alone in your studio.
If you are a music producer in the digital age, you are an entrepreneur, and your music production is a startup.
Which means you need to get your music out in front of listeners, gather feedback, and iterate.
Becoming A Prolific Music Producer
Finally, becoming a Music Producer is all about letting go of perfectionism.
Forget holding yourself to The Mozart Standard or believing anything you produce must warrant praise from The Grammy Awards. Music Producers understand that progress is more important than "perfection," because progress gives them data, and data gives them confidence in what they should produce next.
If you want to learn how to become a prolific Music Producer for an online audience, then keep reading.
These are the frameworks you need—to come up with new music ideas (every single day), to release consistently, to make your music easy to listen to (and easy to fall in love with), and to build a timeless library of music. And if you are ready to take ACTION and want to put all these frameworks into practice, grab a seat aboard the next cohort of the Create 30 in 30.
Grab your gear, Producers.
It's time to sail up the Digital Coast of Music Production.
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Learn ways to build up your audience Release music consistently to raving fans Create opportunities for yourself online Be apart of a exclusive community of like minded producers working towards the same goals
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