The last couple of days, I have been watching countless of hours of TEDx Talks on YouTube about the Music Industry.
The first ones date from 2011 and we are already talking about saving the Music Industry. How we can change the game, what will be its future and how we can overcome it.
The truth is that none of the speakers had an actual solution. They had answers, mainly by pushing how “amazing” their business is but at the end of the day, that was a very short term proposition that would never bring anything new to the table.
The speakers were all professionals in the Music Business, they all had nice backgrounds, worked with a lot of nice people, labels and majors… All having different ways of speaking, some were really confident, others were pretty awkward to watch and hear (the microphone always transcribing perfectly the sounds of mouth and saliva). That was a whole panel of very interesting people with nothing to say.
At some point, somebody even had Time Travel as a solution to the question “How to save the Music Industry?”.
Just to tell you how desperate the ecosystem seems to be about the situation.
Granted, the “Time Travel” choice of words was mainly some clickbait because the purpose was a 360 degrees camera that you could use in festivals like Woodstock so you can watch everything with a VR headset, but is that the solution? No.
I have been working with Universal, Bad Boy Records and Sony BMG on the artist side as a performer and later on as Advisor and Social Media Marketing Strategist. I have seen it all, the nice and the (very) ugly.
The Industry is dead.
It’s dead but there’s hope.
Why is it dead?
The Music Industry has fallen because we are not selling Music anymore. Music has never been sold by musicians, Music has always been sold by businessmen.
In fact, people don’t realize that it is because someone decided to sell vinyls that musicians comprehended they could put their music on it and then make money.
People don’t realize that it is because at some point, we had a radio manufacturer who wanted to sell his invention that musicians decided to air on it.
People still don’t realize that it is because someone wanted to make money with an app that musicians rushed to put their art on Spotify.
The problem here is that we sold vinyls, we sold tapes, we sold radios, we sold walkmans, we sold CDs, we sold mp3 players…
But now, we are not even selling a CD player built in your laptop. Radios and music players in cars have been replaced by tablets and mini computers for you to log in with your Sirius Xm account.
Therefore, if music is not selling, the Music Industry is dead.
What’s the future, then?
Everybody wants to save the Music Industry because they are not seeing the long term game. They are not seeing the fact that you will not save the Music Industry, you will save the Businessmen of the Music Industry.
You will save the majors that sign an artist by owning 89% of their revenues.
You will save the guy that decided to inject millions of dollars in an app that will make you consume music a certain way.
Musicians can’t save the Music Industry.
But they can save themselves.
Absolutely. If Artists, Singers, Musicians, Producers and Beat Makers decided to accept that it is dead and that they will not make money out of their music, then they will crush it and earn 100 times more than what they were expecting.
Self branding, my friends. That’s the way.