The music industry has changed significantly over the last 20 years. A lot of this change has to do with distribution, with most music now distributed online. People are far less likely to buy physical records than they were in the past.
But that’s not the only change. The entire industry has shifted, and it’s important to know what this means for you as an artist.
The change in record labels
First of all, there are far more small record labels and boutique labels than before. The big players still exist, but the entire industry doesn’t revolve around getting signed to one of them. Many artists have success on smaller labels or even decide to record and release music on their own, which is now easier than ever.
Money comes from shows
Another change is that artists are now more reliant on playing live to earn money. Fans streaming the music through online services is not as lucrative as when they bought CDs. Often, this means that artists consider distributing their music simply as a means to get people to want to come to their shows. Then they make money from ticket sales, which means that setting up a tour is really the key, not going platinum. Getting millions of streams is nice, but the real benefit is that you hope a lot of those people will come to see you play live.
Navigating the new reality
If you want to succeed in this business, it can feel daunting and confusing. It helps to learn as much as you can about the process so that you can set yourself up for success.