What's Wrong with 'American Idol'?
January 2015

Happy 2015! We hope you're off to a great start for a prosperous new year!

Reality shows involving musicians can often be pretty controversial in the music world. This month, Bob Baker, author of "Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook," talks about why musicians aren't too happy with shows like 'American Idol.'

Happy rockin'!
Jackie
FNO Newsletter Editor


What's Wrong with 'American Idol'?

by Bob Baker

positive attitude

It's one of the most popular TV shows of recent years, drawing tens of millions of viewers every week. Even I admit, American Idol is fun to watch. The show provides all the elements of good pop culture entertainment: passion, emotion, the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat, dreams attained and lost...

So, what's wrong with American Idol?

Considering it's lumped into the "reality" TV category, the show is doing a great disservice to aspiring musicians (and the public at large) by distorting perceptions of how the music business really works. It sends an outdated message of "dependence" on the industry vs. the more realistic "independence" that artists have today to control their own careers.

The Talent Discovery Myth

Instead, labels look for artists who are already developing themselves, attracting fans, and selling CDs on their own. There's less risk with an act that has a track record.

Also, the American Idol auditions, in particular, create the illusion that most aspiring musicians lack talent and are delusional, struggling and starving. In reality, there are thousands of talented performers across the country who make good money, have hundreds of devoted fans, and are steadily building careers.

Here's just one example of this modern reality: Over the past seven years, the web site CD Baby has sold more than $12 million worth of CDs (1.3 million units) by independent, unsigned acts. A tremendous amount of quality music is being produced and sold outside the mainstream.

Read more here!


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