I think it’s safe to say that there is currently more music being listened to now than at any other point in human history. Modern technologies have democratized music making to the point that everyone and their mom is uploading their ‘newest single’. While this is wonderful, it has also increased the amount of music made available for consumption.
How does a modern music listener navigate through all that’s provided by the internet? Listen to everything? No. It’s too much of a fast paced world to do that. A listener has to carefully choose what to dip into. A random three minute song is a risk many listeners aren’t willing to take. Three minutes isn’t what three minutes used to be. Three minutes could be worth getting some coffee, replying to emails, feeding the dog, or all three.
So how does a modern music listener choose? Although they may have thousands of ‘friends’ on social networking websites, listeners usually rely on credible sources that they know personally: their friends. While a small number of indie artists are circulated on the popular indie channels, there are hundreds more indie musicians left unexposed to either be ‘found’ or wither away on a digital indie music grave site.
I sincerely believe that obscurity is the single most important problem that indie musicians face today.