Loren Weisman On The ‘Pretty Lights Way’

TThis is the full version of Loren Weisman’s commentary for the “Has Pretty Lights Shown Indie Musicians The Way?” article. Loren is a music business consultant, speaker and author, working to help, assist & consult independent artists, musicians, businesses, labels & managers to achieve sustainable success. He has been a part of over 700 albums as a drummer and music producer. For more on Loren Weisman’s music industry speaking, music business consulting, and his new book, The Artists Guide to Success in the Music Business 2nd Edition, visit lorenweisman.com.

Loren Weisman

Loren Weisman

Pretty Lights shined brighter with a plan because of a higher wattage audience.

The basic elements of the Pretty Lights approach is great and each aspect can be applied to artists, but it has to be applied in specified ways to make sure you garner the results you are looking for.

Everyone thought Amanda Palmer was trailblazing with Kickstarter. The part most missed was that she had an established, pre-existing and larger fan base already in place. The same story goes for Pretty Lights. Derek has been going strong well before he established his label and his new format. These elements are working for him and aspects of these elements can work for you, but if you don’t have the fan base he does, you might want to adjust to a plan that will work for you.

Should artists give away tracks?

I think so. But not everything. Once you give something away, how do you expect to ever make money for potential licensing opportunities or sales as you are building up your audience. There is a happy medium. With Pretty Lights, it doesn’t need to be there and maybe once you get to that level of success, you can give away everything to, but for right now, you may want to split it up some.

Posting tracks where some are on a donation or free type level, while some others are charged for can help you find some of those new metrics when you are new and less established. It can also keep opportunities open for some of those tracks that were not given away.

Content is king and it doesn’t need to be crowned in to an album.

Putting out these smaller EP’s as well as additional tracks both for free, for donation and some tracks that are priced allows an artist to not only test those waters, but constantly engage their audience with new content, songs and information.

This falls in to the idea of attracting and retaining the audience which Derek does very well, while at the same time helps you deliver new things instead of spending 12 months spamming over and over for people to buy previous product.

Apply individually – Do not copy completely

Aspects of Pretty Lights are excellent marketing and promotional ideas that artists would be smart to apply. BUT… These elements need to be applied with the consideration of where an artist is at as well as being able to track for themselves what is working and what isn’t.

The world of music is radically changing, but looking at singular success formats with out deconstructing, researching and understanding will set you up for failure. When you see that something is working, look in to it, see what you can draw from it and how it can personally apply to your project, that will allow for the best chances of success.

Read more opinion on the topic at Has Pretty Lights Shown Indie Musicians The Way?