Starting any type of career in today’s music industry means that you need to be aware that the internet has dramatically changed (all) the rules.
Surely, there are numerous benefits you can leverage, yet it is important to be well informed on all details.
Keep reading to find out all important changes that the new era has brought to the music industry, how to utilize them in order to have a successful career
The most important problem – Music Piracy
According to book by Donald S. Passman – All You Need to Know About the Music Business: CD sales are continuing to drop year by year, yet it’s just 25% of the whole music industry business. Same goes for the downloads, they’ve fallen more than 15% per year.
On the other hand, Piracy online is alive and doing great, hiding under cyber-rocks – as stated in the report. Despite many opinions that music piracy is the main reason for turning the growing music industry into a dying business model, that isn’t quite the case.
The sole ability to download songs, music videos, and recorded concerts over the Internet was the key in that story, explained by SupremeTracks, a professional online recording- studio.
Online music streaming services are doing their best to protect artists and prevent their content from being downloaded for free, yet it is hard to cope with all the hackers out there.
Moreover, even if it was possible to forbid content download, that would result in a very bad approach made both by the artists and streaming services.
So, what’s the solution?
Let’s face it, the facts about piracy are not encouraging at all.
The question is: How to make money despite them?
If you are an artist this may sound contradictory, yet by agreeing to the Spotify’s, SoundCloud’s or YouTube’s terms, at the end of the day you are showcasing your music to over a billion users.
Furthermore, the price of leveraging streaming services can’t be compared to the budget you would spend on self-promotion and marketing in general.
Surely, if you make it on your own would benefit much more than your colleagues that are sharing their revenue with streaming services, yet it’s up to you to decide if you are willing to take that risk.
Not to mention all the difficulties of finding the needed budget to kickstart – that’s why reaching out to music publishers is a solution worth considering.
Are you ready to start? Here are some ideas:
As always in the marketing world, the biggest obstacle for every single artist is to get the attention of their targeted audience in the first place. Yes, there are over a billion people who listen to music on a day to day basis, but the cost of advertising each new artist should be as high as paying for a huge billboard, right? Absolutely not! – claim in SupremeTracks.
Here are some tips on how to get started from their experience:
- Create a website or at least a landing page. There are a bunch of website builders to use for this matter, no need to pay extra money for a developer.
- Work on your promotion on social networks
- Set up an online store
If you are persistent enough, your efforts can result in distributing your music to the world’s biggest publishers for approximately $100!
“A large social-media presence is important because it’s one of the last ways to conduct cost-effective marketing. Everything else involves buying eyeballs and ears. Social media enables anyone to earn those eyeballs and ears.” – claims one of the most successful online entrepreneurs nowadays, Guy Kawasaki.
Reap the benefits of the mighty Internet!
In spite of the above-mentioned problems that the Internet has brought to the industry, there are plenty of opportunities for you to take. After all, it has brought you a unique chance to make money in the music industry nowadays.
As an artist, you can create music online, bring attention to it and even sell it. That’s something that hasn’t been possible before. On top of that, a recent study published by Nielsen showed that the majority of fans are willing to pay more for the opportunity to buy more content from their favorite musicians.
Old school is still doing the trick
Regardless of all the changed the digital era has brought, live performances still remain a good method to earn money. Live performance experience isn’t something a gadget can replace. Some predictions claim that live concerts are safe for another decade or even two.
Fans appreciate exclusivity more than ever and are even willing to pay a (symbolic) fee for supporting their favorite artist. This usually goes through a platform called Patreon that gives artists a chance to gain followers and by hearing their comments to improve their work.
Your music is your product – treat it accordingly!
Keep in mind that being a music artist means that you are involved in a serious business. That’s why you need to think of your music as if it is a typical product.
Develop an entrepreneurial mindset, work on your brand and choose your partners wisely. All of the mentioned means that no matter how much you are just into music you will need to work on your marketing strategy, accounting, brand awareness, business plan, legal stuff etc.
Once you monetize your product you’ll be able to hire more team members that would help you to focus just on your music.
Get familiar with the copywriting laws
As stated above, you should at least get some basic knowledge of music industry terms and laws. Even though you choose to leave this part to a professional, you need to be familiar with the basics.
Copywriting your music will prevent it to become a victim of intellectual property robbery (have you read the chapter on piracy?). Make sure you have proper evidence that you are the originator of your music, just in case.
If you are a producer, get well informed on details regarding the (re) usage of loops, beats and other samples.
Hopefully that your music career will develop that much that you need a proper industry lawyer.
A quick sum up:
- Don’t try to fight against piracy on your own. Instead, comply with the terms music streaming platforms offer and leverage their popularity.
- Work on your self-promotion! Invest time (and money) in creating a website, your marketing, social media etc.
- Create your own online store!
- Don’t underestimate live performances.
- Be exclusive.
- Develop your music product as if you are any other entrepreneur.
- Learn the basics of music copyright laws
No matter what career path in music you choose, you need to be ready to invest time into learning, to put a lot of effort and patience.
The music industry is still a growing place where no matter what type of artist you choose to be – you are more than welcome!