How The Music Business Works - For Artists Like Me


I think we all can appreciate how tough it can be to try and work in the music business.  I'm speaking from a musician's perspective.  I think it's easier to get involved in the business side of music than it is to be responsible for the creation of the music.  I'm sure many of you have heard how little streaming services pay musicians, yet you still use them knowing full well that the artist you think you are supporting by streaming their music is making less than sweat shop wages.  I suppose it's just like buying clothes from well-known retailers who employ children and poverty-wage workers.  You know it's wrong, but you do it anyway.

Once upon a time record labels used to send out A&R (Artist & Repertoire) representatives from the label to listen to bands performing at clubs.  Or they would attend a showcase event when they were invited by the band who put the showcase on.  If they like them they would begin to develop the band.  Work on their live show.  Develop their songwriting and so on.  Today, that doesn't happen.

Before approaching any label an artist must demonstrate that they have a serious following on all their social media channels and on their streaming channels.  If you don't have substantial numbers across all these media channels they are not interested.  We are not talking about 1000 streams or listeners.  We are talking about tens of thousands.

Besides that hurdle we have to overcome, we are also up against the giant artists who have huge media companies with resources we cannot compete with.  When those resources are brought to bear for the artist, their engagement will skyrocket taking attention away from independent artists.  Bottom line - a small, independent artist like myself has a few Mount Everests to climb.

Thanks for reading.  Watch for the next post where I will continue with this story.