Alex touched a tiny bit on this in the Evolution of Hip Hop but I wanted to go a little more in depth on it. What percentage of people exposed to the artist, become interested. I call this stat the Potency Percentage, or PO%.



Out of all the people that hear an artists music, what percentage of those people either, spread the word, subscribe, like, post on Facebook, download a song or buy a ticket? That is the only number that matters right now. The higher this percentage is, the better chance of success. Once it gets to a certain level, the artist is guaranteed success. It’s that influential of a factor.

Imagine the worst emcee ever (besides Lil B). Now imagine he has 1,000 friends on Facebook and he posts up some of his songs. So his music was exposed to 1,000 people. What percentage of those 1,000 people liked what they heard enough to spread the word or thumbs up etc…? Ideally, it would be 0% because he’s the worst ever.

Now lets take the opposite. The best emcee ever. He came from the future to save Hip Hop. Every line of his (or hers actually) is flawless. So imagine an artist like that. What percentage of people exposed to their music liked what they heard enough to spread the word or subscribe etc…? Ideally it would be 100%.

When you have a high PO%, it’s insane how fast things happen for you and what makes it even more crazy is the fact that it all happens for free, independent of the artists themselves.


10 years ago, the marketing firms and campaigns that labels would spend millions upon millions on, weren’t half as effective as what is now free for everyone.

This is because the fans and the listeners have so much more power in their hands, individually. Alex mentioned this as well, how just a single fan can get thousands of other people onto an artist in a matter of seconds. Then it repeats, growing exponentially. However, you can see how important the PO% is in this.

Fan growth with low PO%: 1 – 10 – 100 – 1,000

Fan growth with high PO%: 1 – 1000 – 1,000,000 – 1,000,000,000

The difference between a thousand and a billion is how much the PO% matters.

All you really have to be is ‘good’ now, and everything else takes care of itself. When someone likes what they’re hearing, no one pays them to tell their friends or anything like that, they do it on their own.


One of the big flaws of the traditional business model is the fact that it completely ignores this number. The most important variable there is, and it doesn’t even address it.

The traditional models main focus is on the total number of people exposed to the artist. That’s it. Just do whatever it takes to get the artist out to as many people as possible. Not a horrible strategy, but if it’s the only factor guiding the ship, chances are your going to hit a couple icebergs.

Of course maximizing the number of people exposed to an artist is a perfectly acceptable goal but the old model ignores the real crux of the matter, which is what those people do after words.

Down the road I’ll dive deeper into some more flaws of the traditional business model, like:

(1) How it moves to dumb down the content in order to appeal to the broadest audience possible.

(2) It doesn’t factor in how much harder it is to get money from the listeners and fans now. Or in other words, it doesn’t address the problem of turning Youtube hits into revenue.

I’ll be posting how exactly you go about getting a high PO% as well.

Thanks for reading and don’t be afraid to share your two cents below, or is it too sense?

-PW Writer 3

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  1. James Reply

    Yeah it really is crazy how fast word can spread now. You guys make some very interesting points that I’ve never heard before, both on this new blog thing but also on the main site. Potency Percentage? Who the hell analyzes shit so deep haha. I was reading the comparison of actors and scripts to rappers and lyrics today. Pure genius.

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