Survey: Obtaining Jazz Music from Independent Artists in the 21st Century

With my new CD coming out next month, I’ve been thinking a lot about how people are sharing and buying music these days. I don’t necessarily have any aspiration in terms of actually making a living off of album sales (although that would, of course, be nice) but I’m always hearing how the new climate of the music industry is so great for independent artists. Because of digital distribution, we can sell our music directly to our audiences online, and we don’t necessarily have to produce physical copies of CD’s if we don’t want to. But I have several questions: Why does it seem like almost every artist that I know is still struggling to get their music out there into the world? Why is it still a challenge for a jazz artist to break even from sales of his/her CD? Is it because we’re still trying to figure out the implications of the “new paradigm” of digital music? Is it because we’re all still hanging on so tightly to the past that we’re just too afraid to move forward? Or is there the possibility that the digital platform may actually not be a viable method of music distribution for jazz?
Although these questions are just the tip of the iceberg, I thought rather than sitting around chewing my fingernails and wondering what the state of digital distribution is these days, it would be fun and informative to create a survey that would help shed some light on a few of these questions. Please take a moment to complete. I think that the collective answers will help not only myself in how to deliver my music to audiences, but also can assist my peers in the jazz community.


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