Monday, February 22, 2010

Can You Handle the Truth?

~ This is an excerpt from an article I found on you can read the entire piece here:

The tried and true methods of creating success in the music industry are over and are never coming back. The economics just don’t work for most acts anymore. The greatest risk in the next 5-10 years for music is that no one will want to fund the development and promotion of new musical acts the way the major labels did in the past, until we see a new financial model.

To survive, musicians and their managers need to innovate and break out of the old ways of thinking about the business. The oft quoted conventional wisdom that artists can survive on touring and merchandise income is simply not going to work for most bands. Instead, real blockbuster success in the future belongs to those ready to break the rules and create new engaging musical experiences, and unique products and services that cannot be duplicated.

Musicians of the future need to face the fact that living a life in music is a privilege that they will have to earn through hard work, preparation, innovation and collaboration. Young artists need to be willing to take risks and push the edges of creative expression by embracing the reality that nothing about music is normal anymore.

We need fresh thinking and risk capital to fund the next wave of musical innovators. The Challenge for the Music Business is to create value in the place of falling revenue and to energize the new generation of music fans to really support music. Do you have what it takes to reinvent the business? What ideas do you have that could light the way into the future?


  1. Only a complete culture shift in the way the market views and values music will help anyone in the future. Mediocrity is rewarded and even expoited by autotune, programmed music, tech geeks with marketing tricks, and television/music execs who are selling all this pablum to the masses. To quote the stock world, this commodity is oversold.

    Despite what most think, there is and will always be a TRUE talent pool out there. A successful music career has always been a crap shoot, a lottery ticket, a shot in the dark for even those most talented in the field. Now it is all of those AND a lightning strike and a bear attack all at the same time. (right, what are the odds?)

    I say, do it because you love it. Work hard and make solid connections. That will get you somewhere....but always, always have a Plan B.

    Music is not like an athelete where if you run the fastest, you win.

  2. The fall of the traditional music model has both positive and negative implications for musicians today.

    Obviously the "rock star" life we used to dream about is no longer a feasible reality. Record labels can only afford a few "mainstream" acts, and have no money for up-and-coming bands or more niched groups (such as extreme metal). Even bands that are signed often have to do their own promotions and recording without monetary help from the label.

    But, this may not be so bad. How many bands and musicians have we heard of that "made it" but are now penniless due to terrible recording contracts? The "dream" that many of us romanticized was often nothing more than indentured servitude, with musicians OWING thier labels money while signing away their creative rights.

    The new model is based on a direct, independent relationship with your audience. Through combined music, merchandising, and performance sales a musician can theoretically earn a middle-class or at least comfortable income. While the multi-platinum lifestyle is out of reach, it is now becoming increasibly possible to at least live off your work. This is something that the majority of musicians have not experienced.