The Changing Face Of The Music Industry

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The music industry has always been more or less recession-proof, despite how fickle success in it can be. While some things never change, the rise of various technologies has caused a few significant shifts in this business. Today, getting your music produced and heard by the right people is easier than ever, and labels don’t have the kind of power they once did. Here, we’ll take a closer look at how the music business has changed…

The Changing Face of Media

A decade or two ago, it was a huge deal if an up and coming band got a mention in magazines like Rolling Stone, The Source, SPIN, and so on. These media platforms held a massive sway over how new artists were received, if they were received at all. These days, there are countless media platforms serving every genre and subgenre you can think of. The good news is that press coverage is now much more accessible. The bad news is that the reviews on these platforms don’t matter so much. Because there are so many blogs putting out so many articles every day, one-off reviews, interviews and features won’t resound in the community like they used to.

YouTube Is More Important Than Ever

Today, YouTube is the most popular tool on earth for discovering new music, particularly among the younger generation. Ask anyone who’s had some experience in PR for a rap artist, and they’ll tell you that YouTube is the single best thing to happen to hip-hop since 8-tracks. Aside from its popularity as a place to find new music, YouTube videos are also extremely shareable, and has a very intimate link with ever-popular social media channels. Sure, it may mean that some people won’t bother to actually buy your tracks, but YouTube is absolutely essential for any artist hoping to make it in 2017. If you’re not publishing all of your material on the world’s most popular video platform, you’ll be cheating yourself out of huge amounts of exposure, and giving your main rivals a lot of wiggling room to stimulate their own reputation.

Labels Have Taken a Back Seat

Not too long ago, if you wanted to make it in the music business and really expand your audience, you had to get on a label as a matter of urgency. This rule is quickly being phased out. Anyone in the business will tell you that it’s now financially smarter for artists to stay independent, own their master recordings, control their own publishing, and generally determine the course of their own careers. As artists gain traction, they’ll gradually build a team around them to help with everything a label would usually do, including PR, distribution, production, and so on, without ever having to sell their soul to a major record label! While there are still advantages to being on a label, artists are foregoing this at a noticeably larger rate than before.

There you have just three of the ways the face of the music industry has completely warped in just a few years.


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  1. Frank

    May 19, 2017 at 5:28 pm

    I posted my music video on YouTube last week, and it’s already getting hits.

  2. Mary

    May 22, 2017 at 4:15 pm

    A label approached me and wanted me to sign with them. I’m rethinking signing after reading this.

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