An Open Letter to IBMA From the Assoc. of Bluegrass DJs

ABDJ Logo GLOW You Tube ArtDear IBMA
RE: Monetizing Your Music Seminar

On behalf of the Association of Bluegrass Disc Jockeys numbering nearly 100 members, it is with some concern that I read your comments on Facebook today regarding the upcoming seminar with Arial Hyatt ...specifically your comments about “NO RADIO.”

We realize that these may be catch phrases used by Arial and only parroted by you in your post. But we must request that you think deeper before publishing such as this and possibly even before committing to promoting a seminar of this kind.

The way this is stated, it appears to imply that “Radio” is the enemy of the struggling musician. Wherein the fact is that Radio has furthered the careers of every single one of the superstars of today and yesterday. The mere idea that one doesn't need radio to help in their music career any longer now that social media has arrived is much like saying  we can throw out the first child now that the second one has arrived.

Radio is your partner, every artists' partner, every record label's partner. We need you just as much as you need us. We derive no money from the playing of any artist's songs. That is free time gladly given to the artists and to the listeners. The value of the time given away by radio for the playing of anyone's music is incalculable, but safe to say: “exceeding millions of dollars.”

There is no doubt that Ariel Hyatt has been able to achieve success for her clients using her methods but a miracle pill for one patient may be the death pill for another. The idea that social media can cure all of an artists problems is folderal. Social media is new, has value and can be an important part of any artist's plans but it is not the only tool in the shed. To suggest otherwise is not good stewardship on behalf of the IBMA.

We realize that many artists struggle to gain a foot-hold in this industry and we are not against using social media or any other available methods. But it greatly befuddles us to think that any musician would WANT to attempt a career without radio. It more-so greatly shames us to think an organization we support, and of which many are members, would promote something contrary to our industry and, for some, our livelihood.
We're confident you would be somewhat dismayed if radio stations across the country started saying that bluegrass music was unnecessary and that we could live perfectly fine without it, just as we are sure that other IBMA members might have something to say if you were to promote ideas that musicians can do without festivals or concerts or record labels.

While the pure truth is that none of us in any industry are absolutely necessary for any artist's success, and any artist is capable of achieving their own goals with whatever tools and services are available from the community, it all works much better when we operate as a team and pull with all of our individual strengths.
So please give a thought to what you're saying before saying it. Promoting one side of an industry at the expense of another side is not “Working together for high standards of professionalism, a greater appreciation for our music, and the success of the worldwide bluegrass community,” which is what the IBMA mission statement says.

Brian McNeal,  Spokesperson for:
The Association of Bluegrass Disc Jockeys.

1 comment:

Prescription Bluegrass Blog said...

A response to the above commentary was posted by Nancy Cardwell, Executive Director of the IBMA, on their Facebook page saying:

Brian, my impression is that Ariel is talking about having a successful career in music without mainstream, top-40 terrestrial radio airplay, although she would have to answer that herself. IBMA staff's sharing of info about free webinars we hear about that we think might be of interest to some of our members in no way suggest that IBMA (staff, leadership members) think bluegrass radio is unimportant. We appreciate all media out there playing and promoting bluegrass music--terrestrial and online radio, satellite radio, television, print & online journalists & bloggers, etc. I'd love to hear more about the Association of Bluegrass DJs! Tell us more. And thank you for everything you do personally to promote bluegrass music at Prescription Bluegrass! -Nancy Cardwell