The music industry is constantly changing. If you have been out of the game for a while, you’ll probably need to do some research to catch yourself back up. Nothing is impossible, and you can do it. You just need to get out of your old habits and learn about everything that has transpired since you have been out of touch with the music business.
First, we would like to congratulate you for blowing the dust off of your guitar and joining the world of music again. We are sure people have missed your talents. Here is what has changed in the music industry over the last 15 years.
Music is no longer about CD sales. We know, this may come as a shock. It is no longer about getting your fans to purchase an album, but more so about getting them to share your music on social media or to stream it through a Spotify playlist. This is how you now make your money from “sales”. Let people have your music. If they like it, they will share it with everyone they know. YouTube videos have beat out the nonexistent MTV and VH1 stations. They have pretty much become extinct.
There are way too many online blogs to compete with what Rolling Stone or SPIN magazine have to say. Yes, it would be totally cool to get a review in one of those magazines, but getting published like that doesn’t hold as much weight as it used to. Now, almost every website has a blog that will push your music to just as many new people, if not more because they don’t have to pay for it. When was the last time you picked up a copy of Rolling Stone to see who the next big artist was??
15 years ago, getting in your car and turning on the radio was the only (well, one of the only) ways that you would get to experience new music. Now that podcasts are taking over the world, Pandora, Spotify and iHeartRadio are taking over the air waves. It’s now easier to get your music onto these podcasts as well as college radio. The Billboard Chart is even considering streaming to calculate who lands what spot in the top 200. We bet you never thought you would see that!
“Back in the day” chasing after a major label was the dream! Now, musicians are staying as far away from them as they can. Most bands have their own home recording studios and have done enough research that they can successfully market and promote their own CD release. So many bands without a label backing them are doing just as much as if they were signed. The only real difference is they may not have $100,000, but they do have the freedom to make all of the decisions they want to make for their own music.