Old business heads who cling to the past have no vision for the future. They know what the music business was in (what they think were) the glory days and desperately are trying to return to that era. Make the music business great again!
That's the view of music entrepreneur Ari Herstand, a successful one-man dynamo who is finding loopholes and blazing new trails in earning a living as a musician in today's brave new world.
If you don't know Herstand (pronounced Ar*ee Her*stand), he's the guy who has helped musicians fly with their instruments, book national tours, get songs placed on TV and make more money with their music career - without the help of a label.
In just under three years, Herstand's music business advice blog, Ari's Take, has been nominated by the LA Weekly as the best music blog in Los Angeles and has become a go to resource for millions of DIY (Do It Yourself) musicians worldwide. Herstand started the blog to help musicians from his own experiences managing his music career.
"Before the blog, I was getting so many questions from other DIY musicians on how to get their bands off the ground. It got to a point where I just didn't have time to respond to everyone anymore, so I started Ari's Take and just started pointing people there," he explains.
Herstand has played over 600 shows, toured with the Milk Carton Kids and Ron Pope, opened for Ben Folds, Cake, Matt Nathanson, Joshua Radin and Eric Hutchinson, and performed with Thirty Seconds To Mars on the Ellen Degeneres Show. He's had countless songs placed on TV shows and charted in the top ten on iTunes - all as a DIY musician. As an actor, he has co-starred in TV shows like Mad Men, 2 Broke Girls, The Fosters, Sam & Cat and Touch. Best known for his live looping shows, Herstand records and layers the acoustic guitar, keys, beat boxing, trumpet and vocals for a full sonic live experience. He also makes himself widely available for living room shows. As he says on his blog, "If I'm touring through your town and have a night off (or couldn't book a club date) we may be able to setup a house concert. Basically, you provide the space and the attendees and I provide the music. I have a small fee (much lower than my private performance rate), but this is typically covered by charging your guests admission of about $15."
But back to the old business heads who cling to the past and have no vision for the future....
"The music business was never truly great for artists and no matter how hard you try to move backwards, through frivolous lawsuits (see Lowery v Spotify) or take down notices (see Facebook / UMG), we’re never returning to the days of sleazy record men, ignorant artists, opaque accounting practices, plastic discs, clunky file transfers or, how can I put this, no internet," he reasons in a column posted to Digital Music News.
"What am I talking about?
"Well after I posted Facebook Is Aggressively Ripping Down Cover Videos, David “Get Off My Lawn” Lowery wrote “David Benjamin (UMG) Stands Up To Facebook for Songwriters, Ari Herstand? Not So Much.” And synch-license music library company owner, Matt Thompson, wrote a self-serving piece on DMN, “Stop Blaming The Victim of Facebook’s Blatant Copyright Theft.”
David Benjamin is not standing up for songwriters. He’s standing up for Universal Music Publishing Group.
"Do not conflate the two. What most people don’t realize is that when major publishing companies and major labels strike deals with new platforms like YouTube, Spotify and Soundcloud, they get these platforms to pay them huge ‘advances,’ guarantees and sometimes even equity in the company that never finds its way down to songwriters or artists they supposedly represent. UMG is trying to shake down Facebook to pay UMG. They don’t give two f*cks about songwriters."