It’s been a long while since I attended a music biz conference, but I was reminiscing the other day about some of the things that panellists say at these outings.

One common theme is that artists need to ‘hone their craft’ by performing live, building an audience, selling recordings direct-to-market, growing a media profile, and so forth.

What the label execs are really saying is, “test market you product, show us a market exists, with willing buyers, and define the market for us”.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with this (it makes good investment sense), but let’s at least be honest about the advice we’re giving. And artists should be aware of what is being asked of them.