42 minutes of recorded music has a market value as close to '0' as it gets. You may be able to sing like Adele (and in my opinion, way too many people do), but that's not enough. That's not even half the story. Success - both in creating a valuable experience for people and in 'selling' music is ALL ABOUT CONTEXT. I would repeat that, but I think the capital letters do the trick.
In many of the TV talent shows they build a surprise transition into a performance because it's not enough to be amazing in one way. You have to do something unexpected. Or BE something unexpected. In one of the first talent shows I ever watched, a bin man made it to the semi finals. Not because he was more talented than 80% of the others but because his story was so engaging. 'Bin man is secretly a super talented musical genius'... And we all watched his rise to fame....
Talent is not scarce. Amazing music is not scarce. This is what industry people understand, and 99% of musicians don't. This is what branding does. It's about bringing out your context, your story. Because if you hear someone talented playing in the street - heads turn. But if people pay £20 a ticket to see the EXACT SAME PERFORMANCE in say, the Albert hall in London, folks are going to be madly disappointed!!
This is partly what has lead into me booking in a tour entirely on donation (dates coming out soon!!!). I want to REMOVE the idea that the audience are in charge and know what to expect. SASKIA and the June Apples concerts have been £12 a ticket on average, and when most people invest that, they do so because they expect to hear a certain sound. And as an artist, I'm going to go right ahead and say that it is NOT up to audience what we do on stage!! I want people to come to the concerts expecting something vaguely nice, and I want to utterly blow them away with something they've never heard before. I don't always know what I'm going to do up there. I like improvisation and above all I value authentic, unrepeatable performances, such that you can't find on recordings. And I am giving me and my band the freedom to do that, as well as giving audiences the freedom to come and take a risk on a new band without feeling concerned by money.
The intention to make music available to anyone regardless of price is part of my context. Part of my story is the thrust to GIVE music and musical experiences to people. And to do it for free. Because I know in my heart of hearts, that if I manage to communicate even a tenth of what I feel when I'm on stage, the audience will look after me in return. Besides, no matter how good I get at marketing, music is not something I create to market and make money from. My songs are integral to my whole being (whatever that may turn out to be), and are an expression of life as it occurs to this little girl from the west of England. Whether anyone listens or not. ;) But they will...