Being a musician hasn’t always been considered the safest career path. A small percentage of musicians “make it big.” But what if the definition of success is changing? The new music business is evolving in every area: Streaming has taken over buying albums, and people have gotten discovered on platforms such as YouTube. Ari Herstand, a member of the funk band Brassroots District, wrote How to Make It in the New Music Business to encourage musicians to seize the opportunity of a changing landscape. Bold TV learns that the music business is vastly different — but possibly better — than ever before.
Define “making it.” Chances are your definition is different than anyone else’s. Because of increased fragmentation in music, there may be someone selling out Madison Square Garden, while you’ve never heard their name. Your favorite band may never have played on the radio. In the new music business, not everyone is a superstar, but thousands of artists are making six figures in relative obscurity. Musicians can now make success personal, setting goals according to what they think is the pinnacle.
The barrier of entry for the music industry is lower than before. Studio time isn’t necessary, and people are making music with their phones. Musicians don’t need an enormous team, but they can learn to be their own publicist and booking agent. Yes, 40,000 songs are uploaded to Spotify every day, creating a lot of noise. But every occupation has risk. The challenges may be worth it if music is truly your passion. Herstand’s mission is to encourage musicians to regularly reassess their goals to gain perspective. The music business has never been for everyone, but the risk pays off when musicians are passionate and persistent on their journey to whatever “success” is.