Tweets vs. Tours: Mike Doughty on Why Artists Still Need a Van in Age of Twitter

From Forbes:

According to Mike Doughty, tweets help, but heavy roadwork is still what matters most.

“The future’s working out great if you already have an audience. You need to box the country five or six time before you have a viable audience. In other words, you can have a hit single, but even in the old days you couldn’t make a living off it, and you wouldn’t be a reliable investment for a record company if you couldn’t reliably draw an audience around the country.”

Doughty went on to talk about how new artists, social media savvy or not, are at a significant disadvantage in today’s music industry. The main reason is that record labels don’t have the same deep pockets that allowed Doughty and artists like him to build an audience on the corporate dime a decade ago.

“You need a van. You need a van and a couple of motel rooms. Basically every night for six months a year for three or four years. And it’s more expensive than your average unknown band can raise from a Kickstarter.”

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