The Carrot Method and the You’re Not Big Enough Card
February 25, 2012 § Leave a Comment
I do realize that I am a small fish when it comes to the big ocean filled with plenty of small fish podcasters. And I do realize that a lot of people do a much better job than I do, some are in a much better location geographically to leverage people to secure interviews, have multiple people working on their show, etc. This is why I was close to hanging things up a few months back. It was the if a tree falls in the woods type deal. In other words if I put a podcast out, does anyone listen? It seems as if people do, and it’s funny to see how certain topics, groups, or comments can spark more visitors to my sites.
The one thing that seems odd (maybe just to me) is how the “carrot method” is still applied within the industry. Everything around the music industry is evolving, but you still have people that are steadfast to ensure that certain aspects don’t change. The carrot method is basically someone baiting you with their biggest band as a way to make you interview a much smaller band (usually only known to them or their immediate relatives, and friends). Which, hey, everyone needs to start somewhere, which is why I usually say yes. Anything to help a band whose music I enjoy. What bugs me (and you can accuse me of being a sell out, or whatever for doing the deed) is having a band forced on you, with an empty promise they’re reserving a big act for you. They never deliver that other band. I’ve even mentioned this to artists once I finally get to speak to them (usually setup through a third party, and not the person I originally dealt with), and most of them seem annoyed, or dumbfounded that someone they’re paying to help promote their band is doing this.
Now I’m not dumb, I realize that (as I mentioned above) I’m not the only fish in the water. If I pass, there are another 300 people waiting to do that very interview.
There is also you’re not big enough card that is played all of the time. Hey I’d like to interview so and so. The response varies, a lot of times it’s remind me who you are again? In fairness to the person on the other end, they probably have hundreds of people contacting them on a daily basis. You also have them asking how many visitors frequent your site, again, their trying to weed out who they want their artists to speak to. Given my relationship to a certain big name podcast, I have been allowed to use their name in the past, and I’ve even received well if you can promise that the artist ends up on their show, I’ll allow them to interview my artist. This leaves you scratching your head wondering if the old “what am I chopped liver?” statement applies? Hello, I was the person making the request after all, I’m assuming if they had interest in interviewing this person, they would have reached out to you? It can all be discouraging at times. I’ve even had someone tell me flat that I wasn’t big enough to merit speaking to her artist. “My artist only speaks to national press”, huh? So, ok, it’s cool they spend 2 minutes with someone that doesn’t know who they are, doesn’t care who they are, hates their biggest hit, but is obligated to have them on their show because someone at the corporate office says so. I don’t know, this doesn’t make sense to me. Why waste someone’s time with a station that treats you like a token artist, and only dusts off your music when you’re in town? I can honestly say most of the people I speak to say they enjoy speaking to me, and thank me for not asking them the same old, same old. Maybe an artist being happy doesn’t sell, who knows?
I realize that I’m in a very privileged position to be able to speak to a lot of the people I do, and I’m very thankful for that, but seriously 500 fiery hoops every time? I am also lucky enough to count on being associated to a bunch of cool sites, and thanks to them they’ve given me the kick in the ass that I need to get things going again.
I’ll leave you with this, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal once told me, “I don’t get paid to play music, that I enjoy, I get paid to deal with all of the other shit!”. Which is a brilliant statement, if only I got paid!