So let’s ask the question again. Is the music industry dead? Absolutely not. The leading faction and revenue generator (the recording industry) is going through some major changes as people are spending less on music in the form of media. But what about other parts of the industry?
Live music, publishing, and the management there of, are shifting into position to dominate the industry as the recording industry did to music publishing so long ago. All of the support that major record labels could provide an artist is very hard to come by today, not to mention they are demanding more of a piece of artists’ revenue streams. So it is important that an artist learn to do as all businesses do in order to position themselves strongly within the industry. This will not only bring them personal success but give them more leverage if and when conducting business with major labels, publishing, agencies etc. An artist must treat their careers as a business by:
Because of the dramatic shift in the industry, the leaders are no longer available to be involved because they are too busy figuring out their own place in the new landscape. What was thought would be settled in a couple of years is still being figured out to this day, over a decade later. The divisions of labor no longer exist and cannot be relied upon. You are now the Artist, Producer, Engineer, Manager, and Agent. Not only are you required to do this but knowing all aspects of YOUR business, beyond the creative, will make you much more attractive to those who work in the business.
1. You must learn how to capture your musical talent to a high quality medium by learning Audio Technology and New Media Technologies. Their is a higher demand for full production demos and this is allowing those with technical abilities to garner more attention then those with creativity. Right now YouTube is being dominated by people who have technical and/or marketing talent. They may or may not have Musical talent. The world needs your Musical talent.
2. You must learn the Music business and legal aspects on some level. You must do this to protect yourself so you can continue to make music for us. You must also do this to be more attractive to those who influence the business as a whole.
3. Learn to lead people. Not only your audience but your team who supports you. This team could be only you or an entourage of 50 people. You are now the boss.
4. Learn to market yourself like any business would. No one else knows who your are and why you matter, better than you do.
5. Support your fans and make it easy for them to connect with more of you more often, either with the music, your words, or a conversation between fans
6. Support your fellow musicians. They are not your competition. Your real competition is everything else that can entertain a person, that popped up over the last decade while the Music industry was in a panic.
7. Support yourself and make it possible to continually be involved in music in some way. Much of us are taught that performing, or writing, or engineering, or teaching will be the only thing we do. However, given that there is much more opportunity than before, and the lines that define “who does what” are now blurred or have evaporated, you need to adopt the concept that you will make money doing the following: Performing, and teaching, and composing, and producing, and “something else.”
8. Do not wait to be discovered or chosen. Take everything you learn from the above and tell the world who you are and let them listen.
9. Define who you are before anyone else can. If you do not, then someone else will. Do not allow the current of the world decide that you are something you are not.
Do this and defy common logic. Allow talent and merit to once again be equal weighted along with everything else that makes one a “success” in the industry.