Consider This:

Micro Music Industry

By Vernon P. Thomas

In today's world of "micro" – as in "micro manager" or "micro brewery" – it's time to examine "micro music industries."

The current trend toward "micro" is partly a response to the centralization or franchising of American society. Small coffee shops proliferate along with Wal-Marts. The concept of micro business has existed for years in the music world. Indie Magazine and the Cutting Edge Music Business Conference have long championed independent efforts: "Prove yourself to be a solid commodity before grabbing blindly for that brass ring!" Now, consider a plan that would unite individual efforts and could perhaps ensure more success a little earlier in the game.

The theory is to create a local music industry. What defines a local music industry is simple – music is produced, marketed, promoted and distributed completely locally. Local bands are developed and recorded locally. Music is then promoted in the local media and sold locally, before any national marketing or promotion occurs. The secret lies in the fact that the distribution is through your very own network of stores. Thus, your initial production costs are low as well as promotion and distribution costs.

The goal is to produce a "micro hit." This is 5,000 unit sales of a CD of a least 9 songs. Therefore, with a per unit profit of $5, your "micro hit" will produce a profit of $25,OOO. Put together a string of "micro hits" and you have a micro music industry.

That's the plan in its simplest form. There are other details to be dealt with, like creating vertical integration, production capacity, use of multi-media, co-op and in-kind services, deals and, of course, financial backing.

In addition, although a "micro music industry" is conceived and developed as a stand-alone enterprise, the concept does not preclude eventual integration with wider ranging and larger scale plans, such as national and international recording. On the contrary, for those interested in broadening the scope, nothing attracts success like success. You come to the bargaining table with a loaded portfolio.

Indie has a plan. We want to share it with anyone who is interested.

Ultimately, it is the "can do" spirit that will create a successful micro music industry – as well as a successful independent.

Reprinted with permission from Indie Magazine