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3 Thoughts on the Music Industry | Entreprelife

3 Thoughts on the Music Industry

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.

Not anymore.

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.

6 Responses to “3 Thoughts on the Music Industry”

  1. Trevor November 15, 2012 at 9:28 AM #

    Okay, I think your new nickname should be holiday blogger or maybe blog holiday. The only way I’m not going to think of you this way is if you post sometime before Christmas and long enough after Thanks­giving that it is not a holiday post! But you know it’s just a thought.

    I think what you said about connecting with your audience is essen­tially what makes or breaks any artist not just musicians. Attention is a new form of money and connec­tion is key in acquiring it.

    • Alex November 21, 2012 at 9:43 AM #

      Working on more consis­tency. Just getting back into it after a long dry spell is more difficult than you might think.

      • Johnie August 11, 2014 at 9:45 PM #

        A really good answer, full of ratilnaoity!

  2. Mike Luna November 15, 2012 at 6:58 PM #

    I (disre­spect­fully) disagree with point #2.

    You and I differ on the appeal of live shows. You don’t want to just hear the music because you could just listen to it at home. You crave something bigger, like the light show at a TSO concert.

    I love the light show at a TSO concert, but that’s not the only draw. I’m in it for the energy that a live show brings. Even listening to a live album is a different expe­ri­ence for me.

    Live shows aren’t as clean and sterile. They’ve got more grit and person­ality. While it’s neat that Adele does her stand-up bit, it doesn’t make me want to spend money on her rather than on The Shins or Flogging Molly.

    I want to see bands that I connect with because a live show gives them a chance to connect with me on that next level.

    Make sense?

    • Alex November 21, 2012 at 9:45 AM #

      Yes, that makes perfect sense.

      I would probably add an addendum to point 2 that basically agrees with you.

      I guess my main point was, if the audience doesn’t like the music, they probably won’t go to your show. But if they don’t like the live show (say, the music is good but the live show is boring), they probably won’t return for a second, third, or fourth show.

      • Mike Luna November 27, 2012 at 3:18 AM #

        Exactly right. Regard­less of how you present it, you should present it well.

        I don’t want to just hear the music. I want energy. I want some kind of inter­ac­tion with the crowd. I want something that makes this a wholly unique experience.

        So, on that, we agree (though I now maintain that I agree just as disre­spect­fully as I disagreed before).

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