5 Things They Won’t Tell You About The Music Business. Whether you went to music school or learned about the music business on your own, there are some things about the industry that you won’t find written in any manual.
The business of music is so much more than just singing, playing an instrument, and having fun. There are a variety of other aspects that musicians generally would love to leave alone, but would be foolish in doing so.
Here are five things they won’t tell you about the music business.
1. You’ll Get Rejected More Than Ever
You won’t get into every venue you call or send an email to. You won’t always get spun on the radio. Your tour plans could change at the last minute because an event planner or venue decides to drop you. A record deal could quickly turn into a nightmare when you realize you signed a contract that funnels all of the money away from you.
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There are some things within your control (i.e. how hard you work), but there are also things outside of your control (like whether or not an industry influencer likes your music).
The point is not that you can avoid rejection. Rather, the point is that you can learn from every experience. If someone is unhappy with how you communicated with them, you can try another approach. If a radio station refuses to play your music, you might want to try a different radio station.
You will get rejected, and you can’t do anything about that, so focus on what you can control.
2. Some Genres Of Music Are Easier To Monetize Than Others
This doesn’t necessarily mean that you should sell out and go do something that a commercial audience will love. It’s just something you should be aware of if you’re planning to start a career with a particular genre in mind.
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Consider Country music. Fan bases are still willing to support Country artists through CD sales (yes, you heard right; Compact Discs), and in some parts of the world, Country acts get paid a lot more money to play live than Rock acts.
Jazz and Classical can be really hard genres to break through in, mostly because the audience is limited. It’s not that there isn’t room for more respected acts in these styles, it’s just that there are only so many people who appreciate and support the genre.
Of course, the favoritism towards Pop music shouldn’t even need to be addressed. Just remember that your musical style could have an impact on the direction of your career.
3. Costs Quickly Add Up
Music careers can be quite expensive. As an independent artist, recordings, album artwork, marketing, equipment, merchandise, clothing, gas, and a variety of other costs come right out of your own pocket. No one else is going to pay for that stuff.
It’s easy to say “we need to record a new song”, but it’s quite another to be budget-conscious as you continue to produce new music and marketing materials. You shouldn’t overextend yourself, because you have no idea whether or not you’re going to make your money back.
The key thing here is to treat your music career like a business, and have a separate bank account where you pay all of your music-related income into (if at all possible). That way, you’ll be able to scale up your efforts as you continue to save up every cent you earn.
Ok, here are a few more important things they don’t tell you about success in the music industry (number 4 and 5 is especially important).