All this talk of the music business being worth half of what it was some 10 years ago, I even heard comments of: "The artists just aren't the same anymore". As I trawl the streets of London from meeting to meeting trying to break that deal, I get a mixed vibe! The top exec whining about the industry whilst driving his Bentley doesn't seem to genuinely care, and to be honest there are few of these people left. On the other hand, the fresher, hungry go-getters of the business seem to feel its tough but thriving, they are all fuelled by the creativity and excitement of this industry. So is it on its knees? No!
Artists like Lana del Rey and Ed Sheeran fill me with confidence that the negativity written about this industry is rubbish. Ed Sheeran selling 58,000 copies of his single in week one and close to a million copies of his album, the dude is rockin' it! We all know Lana is going to smash it and soon to be another respectful break through for the industry, she also started out independently which is even more impressive. It proves that records are shifting and artists still have real talent.
Okay, maybe the days of Floyd and the Eagles topping 40 million records are not around anymore, but artists and the business now have other revenues of income, depending on how people look at their figures. Ed Sheeran may have shifted three million copies, if illegal downloads were accounted for. Yes, it is a definite loss financially, but there are bound to be genuine fans who saved up for Ed's concert tickets, who also illegally downloaded the record. I'm sure that the price that artists can charge for endorsements and private gigs these days help make up the loss.
I think this new age of online has set a lot of confusion around the creative walls of music buildings. It has been detrimental to record sales, but there are so many positives. Awareness of bands, artists and projects and it has made it so much more accessible for fresh unsupported talent to get an audience. Also at the high end of the business, jobs have been created, if you can learn Facebook like a mofo you can be in the business. I'm all for the online world and believe it has only helped shape the future for music. With crazy new online developments and marketing ideas coming by the week, it can only be a benefit. I think more people need to understand and hone in on online skills, including me, in order to prepare for the future we can't hide from.
At the same time having more platforms to display music and video content has made the brand world wake up, another ca-ching for the music world. I know of artists who are being built into a brand, either for themselves or for an existing brand. The celebrity world has become an outlet to the public, artists even earn money for a tweet now! Some may think this ridiculous but where you're losing it in records, you can make up for it in a tweet.
When people talk of the music business they always say how great the live scene is, even with headline acts dropping dates from tours, it seems that generally live is thriving. However there is a gap for performers pre-bigtime. Yes you can travel doing the gigs you never dreamed of, and there is a reason you never dreamed of them, they're crap. So next you do the credible "so and so made it here" venues. Offensively some of these pits expect bands etc to create and perform a show, oh and... pay for it!!! The only thing I see on its knees are the promoters responsible, come on you make a packet four out of seven nights a week, why not invest a little in the cost of the artists?
People think I'm crazy living through this business. Personally I love it! It's far from on its knees, stop being dramatic. This business is expanding!
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