Today’s Music Biz – is it better or worse than the past?

I’ve been thinking about the business of music and taking some time to learn more.⁣ I’m starting to feel that now may be one of the best times ever to be an independent musician. 🎼🎶

Not to say it’s easy! I think you need an entrepreneur mindset, which may or may not come naturally to creatives. (Doesn’t really come easy to me. It’s a new muscle I’m learning to flex.)

You have to do a lot more of the work that was once done e.g. by booking agents, promoters, managers, even studio engineers and producers. And oh, by the way, you have to create the music, too!😎 ⁣

What I like about that is…more control! How many hundreds of artists over the years have been signed to major labels and then put on the shelf to gather dust? 😞⁣ I’m pretty certain there are artists even today who are signed to contracts that they wish they could escape.

One very exciting thing (again, my view), is that many of the previous barriers between the artist and their fanbase have been removed by social media and by the interwebs in general.

When it comes to the streaming services (Spotify, Apple, etc.) I like the idea that someone else has done the work and put in the capital to gather together an audience of millions, even billions, of people. If we have quality music to put into their ears, score! By that, I’m not speaking so much in a monetary sense, but as an effective place for potential fans to find you. Imagine having to build that fanbase yourself by gigging and touring! 😱

The internet levels the playing field and it’s less of a young person‘s game than it once was. That part is particularly appealing to me! 😉

One resource I’ve found who has a wealth of knowledge on the biz is a guy named Rick Barker. You can find him on YouTube and his podcast has over 250 episodes and counting. He also offers paid programs that give tremendous value, especially compared to the price tag of a Berklee College degree.💸⁣

No disrespect to institutes of higher learning is intended. I’ve always regretted not going to university, so that could be a subtext. (Maybe a subject for a different blog post?🤔)

That said, the value of a ‘school of hard knocks’ education might be overrated. In today’s music business, you really don’t have to figure everything out yourself. In fact, the resources for learning how to launch your own career are so plentiful that it can be a bit overwhelming. That’s why I believe it’s so valuable to have guys like Rick Barker out there to help separate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak.

In the final analysis, I’m of the opinion that the music business is in the midst of a paradigm shift decades in the making and that’s a good thing. For artists to succeed they will need to develop new ways of thinking. Time to learn some new tricks! 🐕 😃

What do you think? Are you a working musician? 🎼🎶👏 Do you have one in your life?

I welcome your respectful comments.🗣


~ Maura

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