Cd's will probably dissapear in about three years in mainstream retail. They will still be there but more MP3's and direct media will be involved. How to make money? good question. VERY few people are actually making money any more in music, which is part of the problem. The general idea is going to be going for smaller niche marketing. The use of Twitter, Facebook, My Space, to manage and cultivate fan base is the coming thing. It is why record companies no longer look at anyone who has less than 25,000-30,000 people on their fan bases. You have to have that to start off with.
Actual record or CD sales have acutally always been a way of advertising the aritsts live shows, merchandising,etc. And why the industry has been heading to a more self contained world (artist as the writer, elimination of outside cuts) for years. In rock or pop that has been the case since 64' with the Beatles. They rearranged the paramaters of the writer artist and why there are almost NO outside cuts in rock or pop. Country and other music is simply following suit. It is the natural evolution.
There will always be people on top of the pyramid. But now you have to build your own pyramid. For those who don't perform, they might be in the Le Brea tar pits. Getting used to playing for your self and friends. Or build a fan base. That is about the only ways it will be done.
you are true, musical forms have always matured, record, eight track, tape cd, mp3... not sure what will be next. But - the question still lingers in my mind - will I ever be able to sustain myself on music. Or will I be forever dreaming at my day job of all the songs I would rather be singing? As soon as I leave work I am networking either in person or online, I am writing, singing, and playing out... I have even started a blog to get into the discussion of music. Music, being my number one passion, is starting to be jealous about being my side gig... I want to give it my undivided attention and do it to the best of my ability. But after a few more months of late nights and unproductive work days I am either going to be out of a job or very sick from running my body down, or even worse both!
If you build fan base, you build a career. There are very few that actually make a living from music as only a songwriter. And not very many more that make it as a performer. Just not enough money in it period. Over the past few years I have friends of mine who are driving delivery routes, working as plumbers WHILE they have hit songs on the radio. Record companies have fone to "360 degree deals" for the major artists because there is not enough money in CD sales or legal downloads. That is the record companies get a percentage of everything from the artist, merchandise, touring revenue, endorsements.
If you build your fan base, you can sell CD's, do gigs, etc. The more people you bring for a bottom line of your employer, the more you make. That is what sustaining yourself in a career of music is. With more and more people in the game, the money is dissapated. Infinite supply, infinate demand, but we all have to go find the demand that works for us. That is niche marketing. That is where music is.
The future will be more people doing it and overall much less money. The people who do this in Nashville work four and five jobs while trying to get deals and then most are still working four or five jobs AFTER getting deals. A publishing deal (of which there are around 310 now, down from 1460) is usually about $125 a week and lasts a year. Unless you get some major cuts, you are not resigned.
People have always viewed the music business from the perspective of those huge marquee artists out there on television and radio. And even those are usually not doing as well as many people think. This is about building one fan one song one connection at a time.
The funny thing for me is always hearing people talking about wanting to quit their "real job" to be in the music business. What I wish they could hear are people in the music business that wished they had a "Real job."
Do what you can do and build it as you can. Expect nothing. Be dillagent and stay at it all the time. That is all anyone can do.
your comments are refreshing and on point!! Porcaro was one of the first guys in line to buy a linn drum- while drummers were circling the wagons !!
the nomenclature i think is also confusing many people- engineers and writers and producers all used to be separate disciplines and now all those skills have morphed as it has become increasingly important to take production into account when you are writing- and most every skilled producer has a strong engineering background. where is the transposition to the "how to make money question" ? well the definition of the music business is changed- people still spend lots of money on music- its just that the definition has to be broadened to include all the things that are inseparable from the content experience such as..... the players/pipelines/games ect- i know it sounds like i am just redefining the language and to some extent i am- but lemme illustrate.
in my neighborhood, every family has at least 3 kids up to 5- those households include multiple t.v.'s, gaming consoles, ipods, iphones, computers and in many- integrated household music systems. Every 13 year old and up has Guitar hero which retails around $200 with controllers- all of this is geared to propagate content of which music is an essential part.
Bands are lining up to do licensing deals with guitar hero- step one.
Guitar Hero is launching a gaming network where bands can render their songs for use in the game and distribute through their network- step two.
In the next few months, developer software will be available for programmers ( i am on the list for the developer package) which will allow developers to work directly with bands to render and distribute games built around their songs through their own networks. the best of the games will be rated and there will be charts. indie bands can now develop their songs into the gaming platform and instead of selling them for a mechanical- of .09$ or a CD of $5-10..... they can get $25 for a single song- if they have the programming skills and access to any time of fan base - they can be in the market immediately- and if their songs make good games- the amount of potential revenue dwarfs what they could have made 20 years back-
IMO perhaps the music business should start considering itself a component of larger media strategies and move away from the Maginot Line set up to protect non-existent revenue streams based on antiquated behaviors and realize we are an essential component of the technologies that are tied to new behaviors.
oh- and for those paying attention- the 360 deals are done- all the word on the street is that Live Nation is crumbling under the weight of its own largess- in order to support those deals they need people to buy records and tickets- with the exception of very few artists who still sell out- most of the major shows are being papered do to slumping sales- and the boards are full of comments by people who got free tix only to pay $40 for parking and $16/beer- everything has to get smaller and more competitive!!
ps- with respect to debra- subscribe to imogen and jill sobule and some of the other artists who are really innovative with how they are positioning themselves- it all starts with the music,,,,,,, and the production........ and the engineering...... and the strategy ;)
Joe - good thoughts... I guess the people who will be able to make a living doing music will be enterprising and see all the ways music can fit into the world. People can't rely on the box and what it says to do in the box... people have to think outside of that!