Artist Development Guide – Modern Music Consumers

This week I would like to describe modern music consumers. Your audience. The people you are dreaming will take the time to stop thinking about all of their life’s hopes and dreams, to listen to your little bit of creative work.

When was the last time you did that? Stopped and listened. The whole album of an new artist you’ve never heard of. You’ve got shit to do right? Bills to pay. People to meet. Love to make. Just like everyone else!

Modern Music Consumers

Let’s analyse the typical day of Joe Bloggs with a positive inclination for music.

The subject in our analysis quite likes music and wants to be listening as often as possible during his every day life.

  • 7AM – Radio alarm clock wakes Joe up. He gets ready for work, eats his breakfast whilst tuned into his favourite station.
  • 8AM – Commutes to work. He drives listening to his favourite album of all time, parks up and then gets the train & tube whilst listening to Spotify premium though his phone.
  • 9AM – Arrives at work. Works until lunch. He might be able to listen to music whilst he’s working, but if he does it’ll probably be something classical or ambient so as to not distract from his job.
  • 1PM – Lunch break. Leaves his office for lunch with his colleagues. Is possibly subject to a number of sources of music from mono shop speakers. But sometimes he takes a packed lunch and listens to a Spotify playlist in the park.
  • 2PM – Returns to work. Works until 5pm.
  • 5PM – Leaves work. Goes for a pint with his colleagues. The venue has their company provided music playing through their in-house system.
  • 6PM – Commutes home. Joe plugs himself into his headphones again,
  • 7PM – Goes to the gym. Headphones in.
  • 8PM – Gets home. Eats dinner to his new musical discovery.
  • 9PM – Watches a film (it’s got music in).
  • 11PM – Bed.

Joe doesn’t exist. This is a fabrication of modern living. But I am attempting to show you the maximum a person may be subjected to music throughout their day.

How often was Joe’s focus solely on music? Never. The music is supporting his day. Filling the void of silence.

Okay, as we have established, you’re an artist. You LOVE music. That might make you an exception to this idea. But Joe isn’t an artist. He’s got more important shit to worry about like showing his mum how to use Facebook.

Who Cares?

I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but modern music consumers don’t care about you or your music.

You have to convince them to care.

How you do make someone care about something?

Modern music consumers

Allow me to expand:


Lyrically. Musically. Evoke an emotion from them with strong, honest, meaningful lyrics. Compose music so inspired that it doesn’t need an explanation. Perform with integrity. Mean it. Make them laugh. Cry. Sigh. Make them FEEL something. It’s addictive. They’ll want more.


Be REALLY REALLY good. You say you want it. Prove it. Less talk, more practice. No excuse.


Market yourself in a way your audience can access and understand.

The most successful products in the music industry tend to do all three. Ideally, you want to be well balanced across the M.I.P. spectrum. Too much of either can narrow your potential reach and decrease your chances of success.

The competition

Don’t forget! You could do all of this. Perfectly. Then Trump becomes president and your brand new release is forgotten before it’s waveform hits the airwaves.

Your music and the music industry isn’t the centre of the universe. People have WAY more important things to think about. Music is an old-hat. It’s been a form of entertainment for generations and it’s fast being overtaken by brand new, fresh, interactive forms.

Don’t get me wrong. Music will never disappear, but it is quickly solely becoming a supportive component of more dominant entertainment. Artists successful enough are still able to pull crowds for an audio priority experience, but these shows are in direct competition with other entertainment industries, with which they struggle to compete. So out come the projections, extravagant lighting & pyrotechnics in live music performances.

Modern music consumers

Elbow – Live @ O2 Apollo Manchester

It’s human evolution. Our dominant sense is our sight. Modern music consumers want to SEE their entertainment. Music must be visual to compete.


NEXT WEEK: Ego V Audience. Sorry everyone, but no one cares for your 7 minute song.

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