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Artist digital transformation today




“Every knowledge that you seek to mature on the path of the ennoblement of man and the evolution of the world takes you one step forward.”

Rudolf Steiner



Artists on the web

Welcome and welcome back to my blog!

In this new article we continue the journey into the Digital Transformation of the artist with an investigation of "digital culture" within the artistic sector.



Art and digital marketing in art during the pandemic


Creating synergy between the offline and online worlds quickly became a necessity during the Covid19 pandemic.

The need was felt to make the interaction between the artist and the interlocutor bidirectional, thus arousing their attention.


In Italy the lockdown has led to the cancellation of live performances, contracts and exhibitions for all artists in the various art sectors. In a moment of great suffering for artists, the need has therefore been felt to express themselves and strengthen the relationship with their public.

Social networks were fundamental and during 2020 they were filled with streaming performances by various artists, meetings with the public, videos and online collaborations between artists with the dual purpose of the artist continuing to express himself through his art and for the user to continue to nourish themselves with art and cultural experiences also to cope with the psychological situation of dismay and suffering caused by the pandemic and the resulting restrictions.


During the pandemic emergency, the theaters reorganized themselves by programming the opera and concert seasons in streaming, without an audience in the theater and by starting collaborations with public and private television networks and web TVs, simultaneously accelerating their digitalization processes such as updating websites and strategic management of social networks, transforming the dramatic situation into opportunities for growth and digital evolution in a winning offline and online combination that will then be maintained in the post-pandemic period.



Statistical data on the digitization of the Artist today


I carried out a statistical survey by asking professional artists in various fields of art the following questions:




  • Do you have a website?




If yes: Do you manage it yourself and update it regularly or do you have it managed by an agency? Where did the need for a website come from for you?

If not: Why? (E.g. useless, expensive, difficult, I don't have time to manage it, ...)

Do you use social networks? Which? With what purpose? (e.g. self promotion,

disclosure, private life, ...)

  • Do you think digital represents an opportunity for art and artists?

  • Are you thinking of implementing your web presence in the future (website, social media networks, podcasts, videos, articles, ...)

  • Have you ever created (you or together with a professional) a business plan for your professional artistic activity?


Over 70 professionals responded to the interview, of which 54% were musicians (instrumentalists, conductors, composers), 33% were opera singers (Soprano, Mezzo-soprano, Tenor, Bass) and the remaining 13% were Artists of various categories (Directors of opera and theatre, event and festival organisers, DJs, visual artists, figurative arts, literary arts).




Let's run the numbers.




More than half of those interviewed say they do not have a website.



artists on the internet

Around 30% of those who don't have a website say that managing their social profiles is equivalent to owning a website (Spoiler!! It's not equivalent at all), 20% of them consider the website useless for their professional activity and the 20% of those who don't have a website exclude the possibility of creating one peremptorily.


I don't want a website


60% of those who have a website use it to increase their visibility on the market, 30% to disseminate informative/artistic material and 10% use it to advertise.

Almost 70% of those who have a website declare that they are able to manage it independently by updating its contents more or less constantly.





Artist's use of the internet

All of the interviewees declare that they use social media, mainly Facebook and many, although using YouTube as a content creator, do not consider it a social network or are unaware that it is one.



How Artists use Social Networks

Social networks are used in more than 50% of cases in combination between private and professional life, especially for the purpose of disclosure, self-promotion, telling about oneself and creating new contacts, by 40% of interviewees it is used for professional purposes only.




To the question,


Does the web represent an opportunity for art and artists?”,


more than 90% say yes, but only 70% say they want to implement their web presence in the future (10% want to create their own website, 5% plan to create self-promotional videos).

Finally, almost 80% of the total respondents have never developed a business plan for their business and only 20% consider doing so in the future.



Below are the relevant statements of some interviewees.


“The fact is one. I can't call my job Business. I think of my profession as an enormous personal development, an endless path of exploration, discovery, growth.”

A. Piroli, soprano

“Laura, I do think that digital marketing is necessary for freelance artists. If I were younger and in the heart of trying to move my career forward I would be very much engaged in trying to use it. Even as it is, if a late career flurry of activity seems possible, I will explore doing it more systematically.”

L. Siegel, composer


“I lack enough self-esteem to promote myself on the web, I also lack the necessary time (although perhaps this is an excuse).”

A. Consolaro, soprano


“You can use social media but if someone wants to go deeper (an agent, an artistic director) and better understand your business, they can find the answers on the site.”

L. Franceschelli, bassoonist


“Profile locking has sometimes been a problem that has caused me to lose material and time to restore it. I do a lot of events and without appeal on social media I wouldn't have enough visibility. It would have been detrimental not to be able to recover the Instagram profile."

G. Vazzoler, pianist and influencer


“I preferred a less digital world.”

M. Serpi, violinist


In a sector already inadequately regulated by regulations and pervaded by prejudices, the lack of information and knowledge in the digital and business fields is evident. The concept of free internet recurs several times in the contributions collected, defined as a place where one can advertise for free, but one is not willing to invest time in it.

Almost no one knows what a Business plan is and demonstrates that they have never addressed issues such as objectives, strengths, weaknesses, external environment, potential, markets of interest, costs and investment returns in a structured and thoughtful way by correlating the various elements together .

Everyone recognizes great potential in the Internet, but few are willing to invest in it and very few do so in a structured and conscious way.



Outside of the market survey, I interviewed three important professional figures in the musical artistic sector, specifically opera.


To the question,


What importance and weight does it have for an artist today to have a website that collects CVs, information and material (photographic, audio and video) that can be used by the artistic directors of theaters and agencies?”,


Laura Brioli (Artistic consultant, mezzo-soprano and vocal coach), Sofia Nagast (General Manager of YOSCA - Young Opera Singers Consultant&Advisor) and Mario Menicagli (General Director of the Goldoni Theater in Livorno) responded.


Laura Brioli

“The artistic market today is fundamentally based on artists' videos and recordings because it is the first channel that artistic directors or agents look for and consult to understand who an artist is. For this reason, it is essential to remove videos that are not good at a vocal level or of adequate sound quality and to always update the site and the YouTube channel with your own professional videos because more often than not, auditions are held online, that is, if a person is proposed in an artistic direction, the person first goes to see how he sings and, if he sings badly or if there is bad audio, already at this stage he is judged and there is the possibility that he will be put aside. So clearly, it is essential to have good and updated material that is representative of the artist because so much of the work comes from the web: you read reviews, you watch videos and photos precisely at the level of professional choices.

The site is indispensable because it collects all the material, while social media can serve the artist more for self-promotion; in the case of professional opportunities, social media is generally not taken into consideration and in most cases not even consulted by agents and artistic directors, with the exception of YouTube. For example, there is OperaBase.com which collects information, videos and photographic material inserted directly by traditional theaters or by the artists themselves, therefore it is very important to be at least within sector sites like this or to have one of your own."

L. Brioli, Artistic consultant, mezzo-soprano and vocal coach


Sofia Nagast

“The website is practically a container for the portfolio which is mostly used by the press. If the artist doesn't have an agency, for the first year it's fine not to have a website.

Instead, I would recommend everyone to make a profile on OperaBase.com, because the site only appears in the search for the exact name and surname (unless you want to invest in SEM as if there were no tomorrow). OperaBase, on the other hand, has cross-reference search and has many users."

S. Nagast, General Manager of YOSCA - Young Opera Singers Consultant&Advisor



Mario Menicagli

“It is absolutely important for artists to be present on the web, as making themselves known and making their name known, beyond what an agent can do, is a need. Therefore having a website with the curriculum vitae inside, clearly without exaggerating, therefore concise and easily readable, is desirable.

It must be said that the artistic director of a theater rarely goes to see a profile, a CV or the website of some artist without having heard of him or without his name having been mentioned to him by someone regarding his abilities and his potential, but when looking for material on the web it is advisable that this material is there and of good quality. Singers, for example, must get it into their heads that they have to make people hear how they sing and to do so they must equip themselves with sufficient technical material. A nice video with good audio that highlights what someone is, without retouching or anything else, because what is heard on video will have to correspond in the subsequent live audition. This is important and only a small part of singers are aware of it. We invest in this to make the listener understand whether the artist and her vocal material are right for her or not."

M. Menicagli, General Director of the Goldoni Theater in Livorno


The contribution of the over 70 people who agreed to be interviewed is precious and provides a fairly plausible picture of the current state of affairs and the average level of digital culture.

Many professional artists are aware that digital represents an opportunity, but they don't know how to seize it, they don't know the tools well and they don't have the vision for developing their business.


Art is certainly much more than doing business, but if instead of an audience of 200 people you can reach an audience of 200 thousand without detracting from the qualitative aspect of the work, if the website represents your extended business card and the social media as the sounding board, it will be appropriate and indispensable for the contemporary artist to evolve and seize these opportunities, also understanding that this involves an investment of time, energy and budget which however will bring a benefit, an important return on the economic, reputational, credibility and visibility in the medium and long term.

Finally, it is necessary to be aware that agencies, traditional theatres1, public and private institutions, will hardly take into consideration artists who do not have qualitatively and quantitatively satisfactory digital material, therefore a lack of online presence will equate to the loss of important offline opportunities.


In the next articles we will see one by one the tools to use for your digitalization.



Thank you for reading this far, leave a heart if you liked the article and write to me here, by email or on social media Instagram\Facebook\TikTok\LinkedIn if you have questions on the topic of digital transformation that you would like to learn more about.


 

1 Ministry of Culture, General Directorate of Entertainment - Music

Traditional theaters are governed by art. 28 of Law 14 August 1967 n. 800 and have the task of promoting, facilitating and coordinating musical activities in the territory of their respective provinces. Law 14 August 1967 n. 800 provides that the Minister, having consulted the Consultative Commission for the Music sector, can with his own decree recognize the qualification of "Traditional Theatre" to theaters that demonstrate that they have given particular impetus to local artistic and musical traditions.

Traditional theaters receive funding according to the criteria and methods for the disbursement, advance and payment of contributions to live performances, from the Single Entertainment Fund referred to in law no. 30 April 1985. 163, established by the ministerial decrees in force at the time.


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