1. Studios are the past. There was a time when a musician’s best hope was to be noticed by one of the mythical studio executive fairies. These fairies would come from the heavens, flip open their magical cell phones, and make all your dreams come true.
The studios are crippled and their tried-and-true methods have fallen apart like the house of cards they were. If you plan to make it as a musician, you can forget about a studio.
2. Entertainment first, music second. In the past, minstrels would travel from town to town, playing in bars and local establishments, singing songs their audience could sing along too. If they were any good, a Minstrel might find she has a fuller purse and a full belly as reward at the end of her night.
Times have changed, but the ideas are the same. A musician’s audience no longer wants to buy CDs or wait in long lines, they want entertainment. Adele has one of the best shows in the business because she has mini-stand up sets between songs. Lady Gaga puts on one of the most outrageous (and entertaining) shows you’ll ever see, even if you don’t care for her music.
Your audience doesn’t come for your music anymore, they come for you. Musicians who don’t connect with their audience through comedy, showmanship, and especially YouTube will find themselves penniless and abandoning their dreams.
3. More work than ever. There is more work for musicians to do than ever before. Business partnerships are a must. Cold calling and marketing are new and necessary phenomenon for artists. So is developing a personality and learning the ins-and-outs of interesting video editing. When music is about connecting with your audience, the true musician accepts that their job starts at 9am, not as the curtains go up. Practice no longer stops at an instrument.
While it takes more effort, the opportunity is greater than ever. A musician willing to put in the work, learn their market, and focus their entire lives on their craft will learn that opportunity, money, and an audience are waiting.
To say there is more work is not a barrier but an encouragement.
There is more to be said, but this is a good place to stop. Give up your dreams of a studio magically giving you everything you want, work on entertainment with music as a piece of a greater whole, and do the hard work of marketing and partnerships, and you can make it in the music business.
Otherwise, get out of the way. The walls have fallen and many others are doing what you won’t.