7 Music Business Basics You Need to Know

There are few industries as fragmented and difficult to define as the music industry.

From independent musicians and recording studios to major labels and prestigious music venues, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of elements that make up the industry as a whole – and they’re not always connected or integrated in any recognizable way.

But if you’re passionate about music and determined to start your own music business or become part of the industry at some level, here are seven things you should know about the state of the music business.

1. Most musicians are early adopters of new technologies. Whether it’s the latest social media or crowdfunding platform, musicians are often the first to try new tools, and some succeed. For example, independent musician Daria Musk resonated with Google Hangouts.

2. Sometimes there is no rhyme or reason for success. This is especially true for something as personal and subjective as music.

3. Technology is changing the way studios work. LANDR is an online tool that automatically masters recorded music — and reportedly the end results are pretty good. Ongoing developments in technology continue to reduce the need for traditional big-budget recording studios, and the production process is becoming more automated. Home recording equipment is also affordable and of high quality.

4. The blockchain could be the future of the industry. Known as blockchain, the technology underlying popular cryptocurrencies like bitcoin may offer more music companies and musicians a way to monetize their work without third parties getting a bigger slice of the pie. But the current industry structure prevents this from progressing.

5. It is the only branch with Payola. It is illegal for radio stations to play music on air for money unless they list it as “sponsored airtime”. Unfortunately corruption continues and the mainstream is dominated by the top 40 music which is the extremely popular minority. If you thought Arctic Monkeys was “independent,” you’re not even scratching the surface of the independent majority.

6. Music streaming is a growing market. And we will continue to see innovations and new developments in this area. There may be dozens of streaming sites now, but that number is likely to grow to hundreds and maybe even thousands.

7. People’s creativity may not be cornered. As it turns out, machines are capable of producing beautiful, emotional music, something that was long thought impossible. Will this change the way music is made? Does it make musicians obsolete? It’s difficult to say.

Thanks to David Andrew Wiebe | #Music #Business #Basics

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