WHY GO INDEPENDENT?
The record industry often calls itself the music business, and they stress this in their recent IFPI report. That makes them sound quite grand but they only play a small part and most musicians will only encounter a big label when they buy a Led Zeppelin CD. The current “crisis in the music business” is really in part of the record industry and part of music retail.
The global music business constitutes a powerful oligopoly—a market condition in which a few firms dominate most of an industry’s music production and distribution. Major record labels make up over 85 percent of the music industry.
The global reach of these few companies means that they have the promotion and marketing muscle to determine which types of music reach listeners’ ears and which become obsolete. Each of the major record labels has a strong infrastructure that oversees every aspect of the music business, from production, manufacture, and distribution to marketing and promotion.
You CAN still make it in the music industry. The truth is, though, you may not be making it quite like Taylor Swift, Adele, Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars, or any big name artist that is known internationally. There are, however, a few very rare cases, like Chance the Rapper and The Civil Wars that make it pretty big without a major record label. But then there are artists that “make it” but on a completely different level.
There are many reasons that people fail, but why focus on them? What’s the point? Are med students constantly being subjected to articles about the “Top 10 reasons Med Students Fail”? Of course not, that would be absurd. It’s assumed (because it’s a RESPECTABLE PROFESSION) that if they work hard and graduate med school, and then continue to work hard in their field, they will be successful. So why is it soooo different in the music industry? Because you mix up people who are halfheartedly pursuing a career, replete with delusions of grandeur and dreams of rock stardom , with musicians who spend eight hours a day for decades perfecting their craft, and then eight hours a day for decades more working their way into the industry . That’s the mistake that musicians are making, and I would love to see the climate change to a more simultaneously positive and realistic one in the future.
So if you are pursuing a career in the music industry, as an aspiring artist, promoter, manager, or working for a label, you need to be very creative and become an expert in marketing. Regardless of what area in the business you are in, marketing is always something useful to have part of your repertoire.
THE RIGHT EXPERIENCE AND CONNECTIONS
jumpstart a career in the music industry.
The cold, hard reality is that, while education is important, experience counts just a little bit more in the music business. Your music business degree will not give you a competitive edge over another job applicant if you do not have any experience.
The multi-billion dollar music and entertainment industry is the eighth largest industry in the United States. It is an exciting, but ever burgeoning and competitive field comprised of a multitude of interrelated jobs that help move music and music related products from artist or manufacturer to consumer—songwriters, music publishers, attorneys, artist managers, sound technicians, music promoton agencies, recording engineers, distributors, retailers, publicists, and on and on. For years now, the music industry has demanded college-educated and trainable personnel for its entry level positions.
The life of a professional n the music biz is not for everyone, and I would say that it’s really not for the majority of “musicians.” I would also say that for the small portion of people who truly and seriously consider the pro and cons and decide that they ARE going to be a professional in the field, the numbers are probably surprisingly low when it comes to failure as compared to success. That is, a person that is completely dedicated to being a professional and understands what it entails is successful much more often than music journalists and bloggers give them credit for.
In Latin America, drug traffickers have used the music industry as a money-laundering scheme. Unknown artists will suddenly gain major promotion on radio stations or at concert venues and then just as suddenly disappear off the radar. So much money changes hands so quickly, it is hard to figure out where it all came from, or where it all goes.
In an ideal world, artists would be able to deliver their music directly to fans and take the majority, if not all, of the profit. But the music business is still largely operating on the systems that it used to use decades ago, when songs were sold in stores and owned in homes and not licensed and leased via the Internet . Consequently, there’s a tremendous amount of money that gets away from the artist as other players step in and help with music distribution and sales.
Collaborating is a very useful tip, networking, constantly meeting and working with new people is healthy for your career and chances of breaking into the music industry. You never really want to have a closed mindset when working on your craft in the music industry.
Our goal in AMAZONICA is to strengthen your brand with greater exposure to make it sustainable through the execution of personalized marketing plan to increase fans.
We are a team of artists and experts with more than 15 years of experience in the music industry who believe that it is fair to use the same tools of a big agency so that any professional musician or on the way to be, can capitalize and build the foundations of a successful career.
NEW RULES, NEW MARKET, MORE OPPORTUNITIES!
And now, because of some major restructuring, the Music Industry, which has been tightly controlled by record and radio conglomerates, is now opening to new, independent artists and businesses. Today, there is more opportunity for more people to enjoy a successful career in the Music Business than ever before.
A new report finds that artists are still poorly paid — but they stand to make more money as the music industry rebounds.
The nature of the independent production process may also prove advantageous. A shorter path from creation of the music to distribution and promotion makes it easier to maintain the artist’s original vision. For this reason, many artists prefer to work with independent labels, believing the final product to be more authentic. This argument is also used by some fans of independent labels, who trust companies that only produce one brand of music to adhere to a consistent sound and musical style.
Although they frequently lose their talent to industry heavyweights, indie labels hold several advantages over major record companies. They are generally smaller, enabling them to respond to changing popular musical tastes more quickly than can large companies with more cumbersome processes and procedures in place. This enables them to pick up on emerging trends and bring them to market quickly. Although unable to compete with the distribution and promotion power of the major labels, indie labels can focus on niche markets, tapping into regional trends. For example, hip-hop’s initial commercial successes in the late 1970s and early 1980s came through small independent labels such as Tommy Boy and Sugar Hill. Realizing that record executives would find the raw street version of hip-hop unworkable, the labels came up with the idea of using house bands to play with emcees to improve the commercial viability of the genre. An early example of this process was Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight,” which was a worldwide hit.
Universal Music Group’s catalog of artists includes U2, Amy Winehouse, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, and the Black Eyed Peas. Despite its powerful status, the company has suffered from declining sales of physical products along with the rest of the music industry. As of 2010, UMG plans to lure customers back to purchasing physical CDs by lowering prices to under $10 .
This has opened the door for independent music labels and artists to record, promote, distribute and sell their own music—to, in effect, be their own record label. As in any endeavor, there are both risks and rewards to doing so. Done right, an independent record label can be lucrative and maintain control of your own music. Done wrong, and you could be on the receiving end of legal woes.
For smaller labels, recording costs average $15K per album. For large labels, the average cost can be from $100K to $500K and up. The artists bear this debt which is repaid from royalties.
Musicians may not be selling CDs like they used to, but streaming platforms have taken up the mantle. According to research by MusicWatch, 29% of music listeners share songs, albums or playlists from streaming services. More than 50% of listeners use Twitter to follow or get updates from musicians and bands. Statistics show that our interactions with music have shifted, which ultimately affects the music business and the management roles behind it.
There’s more to a career in music than just performance — it can involve one or many disciplines. The more versatile you are, the more opportunities you will have to work in the music business.
When you think of a career in music, you might start with the performers who are center stage. But when you pull back the curtain, you’ll find people with an array of music business jobs and careers that help make performances possible. You have the people who coordinate and promote the music, the folks in the recording studios and on the soundboard who make the musical act sound topnotch, the writers who compose and arrange the music, and much more.
In the end, you need the combination of education and experience - not one or the other - to do well in the music biz.