The Ever Changing Music Business
Life in the music business is difficult these days. Gone are the days when an act can walk into a Major Record Office and get signed on the spot. Gone are the days where multi million dollar contracts are thrown around like an old newspaper.
Record sales are down, recording studios are closing and physical record stores are going extinct. Music will always be here, but the major record labels are dying, and while important, aren’t an absolute necessity for making it in the business.
Today, producing and distributing an album is easier. Home studios are becoming common place in many musicians homes as digital recording gear has become more affordable. Manufacturing copies of the recording is simple through the many companies who offer CD duplication. Selling and distributing music has become more simple. For digital distribution, one can choose from companies such as TuneCore, InGrooves and ITunes. Physical distribution can be done through CD Baby.
If artists, are able to record and manufacture CD’s, why is there a benefit to be signed to a record label? One of the primary reasons is that record labels control what is heard on terrestrial radio. Independent artists and labels are often blocked from getting their music played on terrestrial radio.
However, terrestrial radio isn’t the be all and end all for an artist to get noticed. Today, online radio with stations such as NightOutRadio.org are booming. Pandora, Last.fm and AOL Music combined have over 100 million listeners. Online radio offers something that terrestrial radio doesn’t. They offer a larger variety of music and less commercials.
As stated in the first paragraph of this article “Life in the music business is difficult.” I would like to change that thought. Yes, Life in the music business is difficult. That is why people call it the music BUSINESS. Any business is difficult. However, Life in the music business is changing. There are more opportunities than ever before to get one’s music out there to the masses. Musicians now have more control over their own careers as they are able to run it themselves. Artists have the opportunity to try new things and don’t have to be pigeon holed into a specific genre of music or sound. These are exciting and ever changing times in the music business. It is up to the musician to take advantage of the opportunities presented them. Those who sit back and wait for the knock on the door from the Record Company are going to fail. Those who take a proactive stance in their careers and get out there will be the one’s who succeed.