In this giant machinery, music, art, and artists are just goods. Both the music as well as the musicians themselves are products, and those products are owned by the record companies.
ARTISTS AND RECORDS ARE PRODUCTS THAT HAVE TO BE SOLD, IN ORDER TO KEEP THE MACHINE RUNNING.
Of course, this is not what people are perceiving. People out there only see the artists and listen to the records, while the industry itself remains invisible to them – well, maybe except for the store where they’re buying their music, if they’re buying at all.
Artists usually don't care about record companies and the music industry
And this is also not what most artists want to hear or want to believe. Many artists live in some fictional world where everything is just about art and creativity. Many artists do not understand the most basic principles of the industry, as those are really boring, down to earth, and even disgusting sometimes. Of course, there are also artists who understand very well how to run themselves as a business, but I guess that’s a minority.
While both record companies and the media want us to believe that this business is all about art and creative people, the truth is a very different one:
THE ARTIST IS AT THE VERY BOTTOM OF THE HIERARCHY.
Record companies limit the artist's freedom and options
This means that you won’t be able to take lots of decisions on your own and that you will be completely stuck, as the music industry is not innovating at all. Which means that it may be time to break out of this broken system.
But breaking out of the system and becoming successful on your own won’t be easy if you don’t know how the system works, and therefore it will be important to learn what the rules are. Those rules have been about the same since the 1950s, and you’ll never be able to become successful if you make all of those common mistakes every amateur musician seems to be making.
Break music industry rules to become a successful artist
Learn to play by the rules and you’ll make some progress. Or — even better — learn how the rules can be broken, and take fate into your own hands. In the distant past, artists were breaking rules on a regular basis, while today’s entertainers are now mostly following trends. You’ll need to start making a difference again, and you’ll learn how this can be done very soon.
TIMES ARE CHANGING, AND CHANCES TO BECOME SUCCESSFUL ON YOUR OWN HAVE NEVER BEEN HIGHER.
Nowadays you can produce your music at home (at least partly, also depending on the genre) and you’re able to distribute and to promote it on a global scale. And you can do this all on your own, while you’ll only need a quite small amount of money, at least when compared to the amount of cash that was still required 20 years ago. There are a number of good reasons to make it on your own instead of signing a deal with a record company by the way.
For many artists, record companies may become obsolete
YOU’LL SOON FIND OUT THAT GETTING A RECORD DEAL WILL MEAN THE END OF A MUSICIAN’S CAREER IN MOST CASES, AND NOT THE BEGINNING OF IT.
This may sound weird at first, but you’ll soon understand why this is the case. More than 80% of all signed artists fail and never recover, no matter if we talk about deals with independent or major labels. So maybe you should be careful before signing anything. If you intend to make it on your own, however, then you’ll need to know the rules, and you’ll need to understand how things have to be done. The world is changing, the music industry is changing*, but the basic rules for artists are not, and so we will need to explore those rules in the next few subchapters.
*) Record companies may not be innovating, but the industry is still changing because they’re forced to change by external factors, mostly by technology and by tech companies. The music industry is not taking any real action, they are just reacting to those external forces, which means that record companies are no longer in control.