The tragedy of music industry advice books

It's all In-The-Office-Mix & no YouTube; learnings from the 2006 book Get Media Airplay

The tragedy of music industry advice books

I found a music industry advice book from 2006: Get Media Airplay by Rick Davis, published by Hal Leonard.

Unfortunately, reading this book led me to a tragic flaw – the tragedy of all music industry advice books.

In this Update I'll show you what that tragedy is. But first, let's set the scene...

Imagine being a DIY musician in 2006

Maybe you don't have to imagine – maybe you were one. This book assumes you have the fundamentals in place; it's not for people who have never tried the industry before.

You have confidence, but you need more, because you're trying to play the game of music business. You're looking for the route to opportunity in the industry.

Radio is king. You can't get played on the radio without first getting your product into physical stores. After that, getting in front of people is the struggle: working the phones and the streets to get your name out.

But you have a sense that in the early days of Web 2.0, this game can be learned and practiced. If you had someone in your corner rooting for you and showing you tactics to get in front of people, you could play the system and win a bit for yourself.

Enter Get Media Airplay

Rick Davis' book title is not just an exhortation, it's spiritual: "'Get Media Airplay' is my term for making progress daily on the inside (believing in yourself) and outside (conducting business) beyond the radio world."

The author promises that, based on his tactics, you can secure some key placements in stores and on the radio. Once you introduce yourself confidently and properly to those people, you're on your way and can build from there.

But back to our armchairs in 2022, I can confirm your first impression about the book: that the details must be hopelessly out-of-date. Did anyone's most recent album budget look like this?