4 facts you need to survive in the new music industry
There was a time when the music industry was filled with corrupt politics and businessman scamming artists for profits. To make it as an artist you had to play ball with certain people to reach your goals. Those days aren’t completely behind us yet, but they are evaporating quickly. Advances in tech and the rise in streaming totals have set the climate for a new and better music industry to take root. With this new music industry comes new rules for making it as an artist or professional. Below I will touch on the four facts you need to survive in the new music industry.
It’s an artist based industry
This may have raised a few eyebrows as historically, big businesses and corporate suits have stepped on artists in the past. However, the power is now going to the artist. Artist, (singers, songwriters, and producers) have developed the talent to create music that people love. Maybe the advances in AI will one day overtake the importance of actual real artist (doubtful) but today this is not the case. Now more than ever because of tech, artist are in more control of their career than ever before. The future looks even brighter as the industry continues to evolve to match the needs of the artist rather than corporate heads.
For those who are not themselves an artist seeking a career in the music industry. They must begin finding ways to add value directly to the artist. Forming connections with people who will be an asset down the road, keeping an eye out for new and smarter ways to help an artist make money, and getting their brand attention is a great way to start.
For the artist, this means they no longer have to look for a contract to sign. However, artists are now in a position where their value must be visible and proven. Potential as an artist in these times are null. Soon there will be no more artist development funded by labels. Talented people are going to appear and they are going to come with a fan base and prepared to put on a show. Yes, artists have more power, but they also have more pressure to perform.
Top revenue streams in music
The first thing I learned in my business life is that you must provide value. Understanding where the value is in music is the first step to being able to provide it. Revenue streams are wide and varying as streaming companies are now compensating artists for their music. Not to mention the overly complicated method of splitting up royalties and getting them to the appropriate parties (which will be changed soon)
If artists are the center of the music industry then knowing how they get paid is essential. Touring, publishing, and branding are the top three money makers for artists. Selling tickets, and merchandise (touring and branding) is a direct result of the quality of music an artist can produce and how well received they are by audiences. Publishing opportunities come through networking and rubbing shoulders with the right people. Touring and branding can produce great upfront money but publishing is where the long lasting residual income is created.
You must invest
Whether you’re an artist or industry pro looking to cement a career, you’re going to have to sweat. Money, time, effort, and creativity must be properly invested in order to make it in an industry this saturated. Some have found success in quitting their job to focus solely on their careers, others funded their careers with the cash earned from a day job. Regardless, you must prepare for the long haul as money typically doesn’t come instantly. The music industry is a grind and is solely performance based. Those who have a background in sales (as I do) know what this means and how hard it can be. Unlike conventional jobs where you learn a skill and assimilate into a culture. In the music industry, you’re fighting to stand out. And standing out (pre-fame) is the quickest way to get bashed.
In this industry and like any good salesman you must have tough skin! The average struggle will incorporate times of financial hardship, times of emotional struggle, and times of loneliness and isolation. People you’ve known for years will view you differently. Others will flat out make up things about you. Let them. One day they will all talk about how they know you.
The music industry is transitioning and it’s BIG
As mentioned above, the advancements in the tech industry have allowed the tables to begin to turn in the music industry. With new legislation being introduced and the music blockchain on the horizon, the music industry is entering a new era. Tech companies are the new labels (or the closest thing to them). Artists are taking control of their brands and succeeding. And soon they will be getting paid properly for their hard work. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. With songwriters and artist seemingly on the verge of a big win for the culture, there are other oppressed people in the industry who are already beginning to ask for equality. Producers and engineers will soon begin wanting their piece of the pie which I believe will continue to disrupt the status quo of the industry.
As more issues reveal themselves more solutions will be created. These solutions will continue to change the landscape of the industry creating opportunities that before did not exist. This is absolutely great news for anyone aspiring to break into the business. The opportunity for innovation has never been greater. The next music industry greats (artistically and not) will emerge from this and change the game forever. Where will you be when it all happens?
Thanks for reading, leave a comment in the section provided below for any questions or concerns you may have and I will respond as quickly as possible. Artists and music pro’s alike, feel free to email at firstname.lastname@example.org.