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Why Market Research Doesn't Matter

There's a time and place for it.

· Music Business,Inspiration

A lot of artists are using platforms like Audiokite, SoundOut, and Reverbnation Crowd Review to get feedback on their music.

These platforms get feedback from listeners of different demographics and compile the ratings and feedback into a report. These reports break down the demographics of the people who listened your music - gender, location, age, etc. You can also see the areas of your song that ranked well (melody, production, vocals etc.) and the areas that didn't rank well. You can also get personal comments from the listeners.

It's a pretty cool concept, and I definitely see the appeal of these platforms.. But I think they are more hurtful than helpful to independent artists, especially in the early stages of an artist's career.

Most of the feedback is not constructive.

I think getting feedback on your music is important. But only when it’s constructive feedback. Comments like “it made my ears bleed.” “It was just…terrible.” “I hated it.” not only hurt you, but they don’t give you any sense of direction on what area you need to improve.

From my experience from these sites, the vast majority of the feedback was similar to the comments from YouTube trolls - cruel and not helpful.

If you’re going to spend your time listening to negative feedback, get feedback from people who care about you. Honest feedback from people who are invested in you and want you to succeed will be SO much more valuable than insults from people who were forced to listen to 15 seconds of your song.

It's (probably) not in your budget.

Market research does have its place. To a major record label, spending a few thousand dollars to find which songs should make the cut on the album is a wise investment. Because to them, it’s a small percentage of their budget to make sure they will get the best return on their investment.

Most independent artists aren't in a place in their career when they need to be spending money on market research.

To you, your money would probably be better spent elsewhere – facebook advertising, professional photos, studio fees, mixing and mastering, a PR campaign, hiring a virtual assistant, a manager - the list could go on and on!

You SHOULD be excluding people.

The typical goal of a top 40 hit is to please as many people as possible. That shouldn’t be your goal.

Your music should be attracting a small group of people who LOVE your music. It should be repelling the people who aren’t into it. If there are people who hate your music, you’re doing something right.

(Of course, if everyone in the world hates your music…that’s another story!)

But it’s better to have 100 people who are OBSESSED with your music than 1000 people who are mildly interested in your music.

Good music will attract a core group of superfans. And repel everyone else. Just remember - those people weren’t meant to be your fans in the first place. They don’t matter.

So study your craft. Make your songs the best they can be. But follow your instinct. Don’t measure your worth from a rating or score that comes from strangers - If you make music that is well-crafted, heartfelt, and authentic, the fans will come.

I'd love to hear your thoughts - what have your experiences been when market research sites? Do you find them helpful or hurtful?

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