If you’ve been following our Kickstarter campaign this past month, by now you probably know that it was unsuccessful. It’s hard to really get my mind around what that means, but the cold hard fact is that MK837 cannot continue on in its current form. This doesn’t mean that MK837’s ideals are dead, but the business side of MK837 has to end. What that looks like, how it comes to pass, these are things that I don’t know yet, but I am going to have to find out.
When Chris, Kevin and I started the label, we didn’t expect it to last this long. We were greatly encouraged when we had more than 230 tracks sold in our first full quarter of business. We peaked at the end of 2011, switched distributors and it was downhill from there. I don’t believe that switching distributors was the issue that did us in though.
MK837 had pretty much the same problems that most small businesses had. We were under funded from the start. We did not have the time to invest in getting our publicity and media relations in place like we needed. Our product from the start was lacking the polish of professional mastering. I could go on, but the fact is that 37% of all businesses fail within their first four years. We were pushing things with five, especially after Kevin’s death ten, almost eleven, months ago.
MK837 was created as a test bed for new artists. In our five year journey, we’ve done a great job of finding new talent and exposing it. In the end, this was probably also part of our downfall. MK837 was a label that took risks when the market became amazingly too formulaic. The truth is that I have no doubt that the artist we helped to launch will continue releasing on even better labels. Some already have.
If there is one lesson to learn, it’s take a chance. Invest a little. Run the ball hard. You may trip on a landmine, but it was an amazing adventure to get here. Also, don’t be afraid of the occasional mixed metaphor.
To those of you who supported our latest Kickstarter, thank you. Your pledges mean a lot and could have kept us going for a while longer. To those of you who supported our previous Indiegogo, thank you as well. You helped us to stay going one final year and some of our best releases came because of your support. Most of all, thank you for all who bought our music or showed up for a streaming event, told your friends about us or even downloaded some of our music for free. You rock. Thank you for believing in us and supporting us even when we weren’t begging for money. You might feel like you’re a fan, but we are actually your fans.
Soon, I’ll feed Mark the Winged Lion one more meal of prime rib, but not just yet. We still have a couple of releases that are already out to the distributor and I have two more that are just about ready to go. I won’t commit to those last two releases unless the artists approve, but they deserve to be heard. We’ll let you know when those are out or if they will be coming out. Until then, have a great fall and see you on the dance floor.