Ummm…. Nilsson comes to mind (and that was in the 1960’s).
The list of non-touring pop stars is probably not very long; but it IS possible to get national exposure without performing, especially now that so many social media tools are available to DIY musicians.
The world of viral video and sync licensing knows no prejudice when it comes to your band’s road miles or performance schedule. In fact, if you’re a musician who doesn’t play live (because of stage-fright, family commitments, technological constraints, unreceptive music markets, etc.), you’ll actually have more time to put into some of the other aspects of your music career– aspects that are becoming just as important as your live show.
Here are a few ways you can promote your music career without having to lift an amplifier:
1) Create music videos worth sharing- A viral video can arguably do more for you than any tour. And the better your videos, the better chance you have of them going viral; the more time you spend on videos (time you might’ve spent rehearsing and performing), the better your videos will be. Check out The DIY Musician’s Complete Guide to YouTube for some advice on how to make the most of your video presence.
2) License your music- The industry has changed significantly over the past decade. The folks who choose the music for TV and film no longer care if the song is recognizable or has a big name attached to it. They want the song that best fits the scene, no matter who it’s by, and they want it cleared NOW!
Because indie musicians are more… accessible, they’re often more nimble in terms of approving their music’s use for sync licensing, and they’ve started to earn significant income from traditional licensing opportunities in film, TV, and video games. CD Baby can help you earn money from both traditional and onlin sync opportunities.
3) Stream your concert to the world- If you’re not touring because of logistical or financial concerns but you still have the jones to PLAY, consider streaming a concert from your living room. Check out Episode #65 of CD Baby’s DIY Musician Podcast, where we speak about live concert streaming with Matthew Ebel.
I’d love to hear from any of the musicians out there who do not perform live (or at least don’t tour); how do you promote your music? Why don’t you perform live? Have you explored alternate ways of connecting with “an audience?” Let us know in the comments section below.