By Alex Teitz
FEMMUSIC first met Storm Gloor earlier this year presenting a lecture on the future of the music business. Since then we’ve found out more and been in contact with him more about the business in general. For our Back to School issue we thought it appropriate to speak with a professor about the music business. Mr. Gloor is a Music Business professor in the Music & Entertainment Industry Studies department in the College of Arts and Media at the University of Colorado Denver (UCD). He teaches about the future of the music business and also music marketing. For info visit http://stormcitings.com & www.ucdenver.edu/academics/colleges/CAM/faculty/MEIS_faculty/Pages/Storm-Gloor.aspx
FEMMUSIC: After reading your short description of the UCD site I was wondering if you could elaborate on your history. How did you get into music? When did you know teaching music business would be your career?
SG: Well, I became interested in the music business at age 8, started studying it then. Started working in it about three years after college and about twelve years into it I was invited to speak at a college music business program and had that big moment of clarity, which led to a career change to teaching. Been doing that for nine years now.
FEMMUSIC: What is the biggest misconception artists have about the music business?
SG: Just how competitive it really is. Not only are there so many other artists, but getting and keeping consumers’ attention for very long is also a huge challenge. There are so many other forms of entertainment competing for that attention.
FEMMUSIC: In regards to marketing, What tips would you suggest to artists about marketing themselves and their music?
SG: Well, that usually takes me a semester to cover, and even then it’s not enough. But one suggestion, actually more of a reminder, I would make is that it’s so vital to know and recognize what is truly unique about you and your music. What makes it different from anything else? Whatever it is, never lose focus of it in your marketing and branding. I know that’s really “big picture”, but it’s very important, especially in the earliest days of a career.
FEMMUSIC: What is the biggest challenge artists need to overcome in marketing?
SG: Not looking at themselves, or their marketing, from the consumer perspective. Understand who your fans and potential fans really are, what they like (or not), where they are, and what they expect from you.
FEMMUSIC: What business skills should an artist learn to be successful?
SG: That’s another one that would have a really long answer. Out of all of them, though, I’d say that these days not having a good grasp of the legal aspects of the industry could be quite dangerous and potentially career-ending.
FEMMUSIC: What should an artist, or any student look for, in a music business or entertainment college program?
SG: I think they should get to know the faculty and students as the research or visit programs and find the environment that is most comfortable for them and provides the best means for them to reach their particular goals.
FEMMUSIC: What one thing would you like to change about the music business?
SG: I’d like to see aspiring artists or music professionals better prepared for the road ahead, so it’s not simply a short-term thing, but a lifetime career.