Making Music? Better Hop Online Quick

Remember the hit single? It's now a download

By Scott Budman
|  Tuesday, May 10, 2011  |  Updated 2:27 PM PDT
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Making music in the 21st Century.

Making music in the 21st Century.

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It's hard out there for a producer.  Or a songwriter, or drummer.  You've probably heard so many times about the "revolution" in the music business, you're probably sick of it.  Unless you're actually a part of the business, in which case you're likely updating your Facebook page, and tweeting madly about your next gig.

The annual SF Music Tech Summit recognizes how much the music industry has been changing, so it brings together bands and bloggers, sharing tips about how to best get the word out, and - just as importantly - how to make money from your newest release.  The days of the major label are fading, and while you may have lots of online "fans," we've all gotten used to getting our dot com content for free.  As Mashable's Jolie O'Dell said just before her panel, "It's one thing to get a million YouTube viewers, but how do you turn that into money? It's very difficult to turn eyeballs into dollars."

There are new, cool instruments that take advantage of technology to be sure - we snapped a photo of an EigenHarp as it was being played - a very cool device from London that would be right at home in the Star Wars cantina scene.  Seven thousand dollars, if you're interested. 

Most of the Summit, though, focused on how to make a living.  it's hard to go from Facebook straight to a Live Nation deal, so companies like Mashable came along to offer ways to make it a gradual rise.  Eventually, you, too, may sell albums straight through the web, a la Radiohead.  First, though, as someone said, it helps to have become Radiohead along the way.

Scott, Like Lady Gaga, can be found on Twitter:  @scottbudman

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