The year is 2023. The future is here. Have yet to witness any literal flying cars yet but must say down South at least this can only be a good thing. These folks are definitely not ready for that particular wrinkle on the Z axis. In other news we’ve probably got some explaining to do as there hasn’t been much in the way of news and updates of late…
Here’s the deal: Late 2022 We did the math (and then re-did it multiple times) for music release timing and found the situation wanting. A big part of that is the way platforms like Spotify and YouTube try to maximize their advertising revenue really isn’t very compatible with new artists attempting to maximize revenue from a new release. You’d think it would be thrilling to put the thing out there and hit 50,000 to 100,000 streams in several months but the truth is that particular result won’t pay any bills much less cover your overhead.
We need a more comprehensive approach approximating what major labels used to do for major artists- but only completely in the absence of what those labels would do when signing artists that A&R folks judged to be up and coming because hello, that doesn’t even exist anymore ! Is there some optimal approach out there in light of the current situation ?
Maybe , But whatever that may turn out to be it’s going to be entirely up to you (the artist) to foot those costs going forward. If your timing goes south and a COVID surge or some other catastrophe knocks out your support dates (or a band member that can’t be replaced) that’s just tough luck. The only insurance policy you have is whatever else you have going on to pay the bills. Still, in spite of those challenges there are always reasons for hope.First of all, we as musicians are all propelled by love of music and performance – a thing by itself mostly petulent and unreasonable but stubborn in persistence. Secondly , there are signs that some kind of rebalance is going on down there beneath the surface. The music industry , after all and as a whole must want to survive at least as much as everyone else. If sustainability doesn’t include artists then what survives…isn’t music. If your ready to imagine a world without live music your obviously not a working musician.
It’s a safe bet that most folks that enjoy live music are not professional musicians. The underlying statistics for a robust music industry that includes thriving new artists, in spite of all the recent disasters, have not changed because we as humans love hitting the high notes.
In that regard music isn’t any more on the ropes than our major sports are – that passion is immutable. So what do we do ? It’s about getting better at noticing where the opportunities are and at understanding what the hell is going on out there. Sometimes it’s about working on the next big thing while waiting for yet another storm to pass.