The ever-growing importance of professionalism for netlabels

With the release of the 2nd netBloc, there's one thing that's come to mind – the apparent effort that's taken by various artists/netlabels in presenting their releases. This apparent effort varies greatly and at times belies the quality of the music provided. When I venture out on the wild wild web to find net audio gems to feature, I'm greeted by sites of all qualities and types. Some make it easier to find their music then others do. Since I'm going out of my way to dig and find these gems, I don't let the look or usability of the site deter me from checking the music that's offered, but that's me. I'm not average Joe. When it comes to your average web user, they're attention span is far shorter than someone like me who sets out to take the time to filter the great from the average. To average Joe, the ease of use and first impression of the site is the difference between listening and not listening. To average joe, the more polished the site, the more polished the music. However, I've found that generally, this isn't so. Yet I do think that it may become very important that netlabels/net artists think about this. Especially as the proliferation of netlabels/net artists explodes. It's quite true that you can't judge a book by it's cover, but that shouldn't stop a publisher from taking the time to present any book in the best way possible to help draw attention to it. The same should go for anyone wanting to draw listeners from out of the mass of web users.

If the growing netlabel 'industry' is to be taken seriously, netlabels and net artists need to take the time to develop sites which present their releases in the best possible way. The fact that netlabel music is generally offered for free download is both good and bad. People tend to enjoy getting something for free and that's good, yet at the same time, they place less value on that free item and that's bad. As such they treat that item as a throw-away. Music should never be considered a throw-away... so to counteract the reduced attached value, netlabels/artists should take the time to give value to the music by polishing the web presentation and by providing high-quality art for each release. The art can help to give the music a 'collectable' value. If the provided art is of a high enough quality and the music matches, listeners will want to 'collect' your music and not miss a release. This attached value can generate more listeners by generating word of mouth buzz. More listeners means more support... either via donations, concerts or sales of related goods.

A new industry has a chance to make it's mark. Now's the time to take your netlabel, music, or releases seriously. You can't expect anyone else to take you seriously, if you don't take the time to show that you take yourself seriously as well.