5 Things That Are Killing The Music Industry & 5 Ways To Save It

By April 5, 2016Music


You may think the music industry is already dead, but I assure you, it’s far from it, you just got to be able to recognize what the problems are and how to fix them, starting with…

5. Record Labels – Boycott Them Completely

Sometime in the last couple decades, record labels completely changed their long standing business model, up until that point, the idea was to seek out new talent, and help them grow and groom them to become financially beneficial to your label. This model was positively welcomed by both parties involved, it gave musicians a foot in the door, and gave labels the ability to mold that talent into something that would financially benefit them.  But then that all got thrown out the window. The new business model is finding talent that has already become successful, they look for musicians who have already done all the work for them, but the problem with this plan is that it simply equals out the label all together and that’s why you should…


Nowadays everything a label could do for a band, a band can do for themselves with just a little bit of money and motivation. From merch, recordings, advertising, even touring and shows, it all can be done with very minimal money spent. Oh but the big benefit is that labels pay for all that right? Well yes and no. Labels give loans that must be paid back, but unlike a bank loan, they now own rights to your image and everything you produced forever. Honestly the better deal would just be to get a bank loan instead!


4. Pirating Music – Embrace It

Back in 1999 a few little inconspicuous lines of code completely changed the music scene forever. Originally created as an easy way for users to share files with others, Napster became extremely popular as way to obtain any song a user wanted. And instead of embracing the digital age and creating online legal markets to sell high quality songs and to in turn benefit from this new trend, the industry decided to fight against it, they lobbied and fought to shut down every website and P2P program they could, hoping to squish digital music.  This was one of the most significant mistakes the industry ever made. Because as we all know, pirating of music only became more popular as time went on, and the music industry was just a little too late to the party, which is why you need to…


Digital downloads are not going away, and you can’t stop people from illegally downloading your music, so like the old saying goes, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em! Songs are now a way to advertise, they are no longer your main product, your music is what sells YOU, you are the product you’re selling! This is why many musicians have begun to give their songs away for free, as a way to hook listeners in and to turn them into fans who then want to see them play live, they want that new merch, and they will even pay for hard copies with exclusive bundled items. Now the extra revenue you’re making from these sales balance out the revenue you lost from giving your music away for free and everyone wins. On top of that, you can monetize your free music with ad revenue and make a little cash as well! Unfortunately this is one of those things that the big stubborn music CEO’s refuse to get, and as we’ve seen, its killing them.


3. Wannabe Rock Stars – Be A Business Man Instead

We all dream of being rock stars, we all have fantasies of being that 80’s rock god with all the money, fame and admiration we could ever want. But that’s not the music world we live in anymore, you don’t sound like Freddie Mercury, no one’s going to throw their panties on the stage at your local shows. A lot of musicians don’t get this, they think they can put in a small amount of effort and play the role of a rock star with all the douchebaggery, drugs and partying that comes with that and in return have the world bowing at their feet. All this mindset does is set up bands for failure and cause many fans to just hate them. Instead you need to…


Today’s music industry requires a strong business mindset, without it, you’re going to get swept away. You need to have a clear, educated head, to be able to navigate through the labyrinth that is the music industry. Finding innovative ways to create, advertise and sell your product. Rock star status comes as a result of hard work, dedication and education. It won’t come from partying your ass off, making a fool of yourself on stage or pretending to be something better than everyone else.


2. The Industry Is Congested – Be Unique

There is zero shortage when it comes to musicians wanting to make it big. With the recent rise of certain music genres, that popularized the idea that anyone can be a rock star, EVERYONE then decided they wanted to be a rock star.  So now we have endless garage bands filling up local music scenes and venues with mediocre or generic music that we’ve all heard a thousand times. With little thought or effort put into making something new or unique. This in turn has caused what I call “Music fan burnout” With so many shows, and so many bands all sounding the same, people have just lost interest in paying money to see them live, and who can blame them? That’s why you need to…


Forget what other bands are doing, forget your influences. Focus on creating something new, unique, get experimental. Try different instruments, different combinations of sound and create something people want to hear more of. You’re not doing anyone any favors by sounding just like that other band who is probably trying to sound like another band… Music is an art, and art is most impactful and loved when it is genuine. So don’t be afraid to express yourself, what you feel inside, what YOU personally think might sound good. Forget the critics, forget what your friends think is cool. Do you and you might just start a new music revolution.

1. Lack Of Talent – Improve Yourself

All the reasons I’ve stated so far for the collapse of the music industry has just been one domino that affects another domino, each one causes another issue to grow and creates this cannibalistic cycle that leads to one last result: Many musicians are simply just not talented. They don’t take lessons, they play out this role of being a rock star in their head, they play shows, singing off key, playing off tempo and then go online to cry about how no one shows up to local shows anymore. The idea of improving is incomprehensible to them, they are already perfect. They don’t need no damn lessons! But you do if you want to be successful, and that means you have to…


Find a renowned music teacher, study music theory, PRACTICE EVERY SINGLE DAY. Constantly work towards being who you want to be, this is not a hobby, this is your career. You wouldn’t become a brain surgeon without the schooling right? So then why do you think you can become a musician without first learning your craft? You won’t. You need to dedicate a certain amount of time every day to learning and practicing. Spend the money for a teacher, this is your dream career we’re talking about, don’t blow it!


Featured Photo: Avantasia playing at the Forum in London. March 8th 2016.

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Author Jesse Duffy

When Jesse is not writing for Rockably he can be found playing music, enjoying new tech and tasting unique beers!

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