2. The internet is the cause of all of the music industry’s problems because with it came piracy.
Piracy existed long before the internet became popular, and it even existed back in the 1960s and 70s when the music cassette became mainstream. In the 1980s most teenagers owned more illegal copies on MCs than they legally bought singles or albums already.
PIRACY ALWAYS EXISTED, AND THIS HAS NEVER BEEN A REAL PROBLEM.
It’s even quite the opposite, as illegal copies may help artists to become more popular and thus to become more successful over time. You’ll soon learn more about the causes and the possible effects of piracy, illegal copies, and downloads.
THE REAL PROBLEM IS THAT THERE AREN’T MANY ALBUMS PEOPLE WANT OR NEED TO BUY, AND MUSIC IS NO LONGER DESIRABLE.
So in this manual, you’ll learn how to produce a relevant album that people will love to spend money on.
3. Forget about record sales — if you wish to make money as an artist nowadays, then this will only be possible with live performances.
This is true, of course, but only because the quality of today’s records is really low. As most artists believe that they won’t earn much money with their records anyway, they no longer invest as much time, energy and creativity into producing them — it’s a vicious circle, low expectations lead to lower quality, this again leads to lower sales, which then confirms the initial fears.
The fact that many artists sell fewer albums leads to higher concert ticket prices — especially as many stars still want to earn millions, despite the fact that their records are utter crap — which again frustrates fans and fuels the hatred against the music industry as a whole.
IF YOU MANAGE TO PRODUCE A REAL KILLER ALBUM, THEN YOU EVEN WON’T HAVE TO PERFORM LIVE AT ALL.
You may not believe this yet, but you’ll soon understand how things may work out for you. Of course you should perform live if possible, and being a great live artist is always a big advantage, but for now, you should just keep in mind that live performances are highly overrated, while the need to produce really great records is underrated.
You also shouldn’t forget that you will never be booked and you’ll never make a lot of money with live performances if people don’t know you and if you don’t have a lot of fans already. And this will only happen if you produce music that’s desirable and that will make people go crazy.
YOU FIRST NEED TO RELEASE SOME REALLY GREAT MUSIC, ONLY THEN LOTS OF PEOPLE WILL EVER WANT TO SEE YOU LIVE.
It won’t work the other way around unless it will be okay for you to play in front of only a few people for the rest of your life. And this has always been the case, even back in the Golden Age.
4. Follow the trends — if you wish to become successful, then you’ll have to see what’s popular.
One of the biggest problems of today’s music is that everything sounds more or less the same, which means that nothing is outstanding anymore, while everything has become irrelevant. Following the trends — I’m talking about the Top 40 singles charts or whatever’s popular in your genre — will mean that you’ll do more of the same stuff that already exists out there and that people are obviously NOT buying.
AND THIS WILL PUT YOU INTO A HIGHLY UNCOMFORTABLE SITUATION WHERE YOU WILL BE COMPETING WITH ARTISTS WHO WILL BE HEAVILY PUSHED BY THEIR RECORD LABELS.
If people are not buying a certain product, then why does everyone think they’d start buying if you just produce more of the same, or just some very similar product?
IF YOU REALLY WANT TO MAKE A DENT, THEN YOU WILL NEED TO STAND OUT OF THE MASSES BY BEING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT FROM EVERYTHING ELSE OUT THERE.
You will soon understand why this is the case, and you’ll also learn how to achieve that.
5. The youth rules — you will have to see what kind of music the youth likes because that’s the future.
The first thing you’ll need to understand is that the music buying population is much larger than just the youth. It may even be that younger people (ages 14-24) are less likely to buy a lot of music than older people (ages 25-59), as they may not yet have a job, as they may need to spend their money on other things, or as they’re just not ready yet to understand what it means to pay for art and to support real artists.
While popular music was traditionally targeted at young people (ages 15-24) in the 20th century, the music industry has been mainly focusing on music targeted at kids (ages 8-14) since the early 2000s, and the only thing we surely know is that this strategy went terribly wrong. So making music for kids can’t be your plan.
YOU SHOULD NOT MAKE MUSIC FOR A SPECIFIC AGE GROUP, BUT FOR A SPECIFIC AUDIENCE THAT APPRECIATES ART AND THAT’S WILLING TO PAY FOR IT.
You’ll soon also learn that people who like good music are often more intelligent, more educated, and sometimes even wealthier* than those listening to all kinds of mainstream crap. So you should not care about the average age of your audience, but about the quality of your audience. Music lovers will buy great music, no matter if they’re young or old.