This is 2018, and you cannot successfully pursue music without the involvement of the internet. After recording, an artiste releases the music via the internet. Distribution is done through the internet. Like hell, Kanye West released the platinum-selling “The Life of Pablo” album exclusively online via streaming platforms. Artistes connect with their fans through social media. If we listened to certain DJs and radio presenters to know who’s hot, bloggers are the new guys who have taken over that.
In Ghana, free music is distributed largely by bloggers. Music management bodies send official releases to bloggers, even before some radio giants get hold of it. Music bloggers can make or break artistes in this era. There’s significant friction between upcoming artistes and music bloggers, and I don’t think it’s going to end anytime soon. Well, I am here to break it down.
Upcoming artistes have a problem with bloggers refusing to upload their songs (and promote it), just as they do for mainstream acts. Mostly, upcoming artistes pay for song uploads on blogs. On the other hand, mainstream acts don’t give a penny to bloggers, but they still sweat, track release dates and time to get theirs uploaded. So it gets the upcoming artistes wondering if bloggers are really in support of GH music, and their craft.
Now, this is the untold story of a music blogger. What people have to see is, music blogging is a business, unless the person emphatically states it’s a hobby or a charity. In the end we all have to eat. Just as the artiste is searching for popular songs to see exciting paydays, a blogger pursues his/her passion and yearns to make a living off it. The big question here is, how does the blogger makes his/her money?
One of the most important terms in the dictionary of a blogger is “traffic.” The more people visit a website, to get new information or download music, etc., the more internet traffic is directed to a website. If a blogger has subscribed to an advertisement deal for ads to be displayed on the website, this traffic converts to money, which the blogger withdraws to maintain the site. And that’s the major source of capital for most bloggers. So it is left to the blogger to decide how to gain traffic.
From personal experience, I’ve known that outputs of mainstream acts drive traffic more than that of upcoming acts. Knowing this, would you choose focusing on uploads of upcoming acts if you were a blogger? Hell no! However, a few blogs, including SteezeHub.com have taken the risk of uploading songs from upcoming acts for free, just as is done for mainstream ones. But again, from experience, most of these guys don’t appreciate it. They’re selfish! They can be on a blogger’s neck to upload their songs, and after going through hell to do it, they turn around and share SoundCloud links, trashing your link. They forget it’s a win-win affair. I used my own internet bundle, time, energy, creativity and effort to upload your song, and the least you can do which is sharing the link to enable me get traffic you refuse to do?
In the end, it gives the blogger little to no reason to upload songs from upcoming artistes. Yes, we want to push GH music, but we don’t want to starve to death while at it. Bloggers invest a lot of money into the business — buying domains and hosting subscriptions, renewals, internet charges, and a whole lot. And just like any other business, we have to gain profit from it. This is what upcoming artistes should know and change their attitude. Maybe then can we see change.