Google+ Q Dot: Indies are in the drivers seat.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Indies are in the drivers seat.

Guess what.

The game is changing. It's been changing. Did you get the memo?

Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but this ultimately means the music economy as it sits today has changed how musicians do business. And for a lot of hip hop artists this means changing DRASTICALLY the goals of your career and how you approach them. 

I know a lot of musicians don't think of themselves as businesses and only want to focus on the creative aspect of what they do. Those days are over if you actually want to make a living sooner than later.

Why?

Streaming.

Streaming makes up 40% of record label income and same is true for musicians. But that's scary. Because in order to make $1000 a month you've gotta be pulling 200,000+ streams a month. 1M streams per month means you're making over 5 grand a month but lets' be honest. Majority of musicians aren't pulling those types of numbers and if you're with a label, they're getting the lion's share of that money.

What else is standing in the way?

Touring.

For majority of artists out there, touring is the #1 source of income but most can't afford to hit the road. You'd have to plan the tour while working that day job, you have to book it yourself because no agent is going to work with a new artist with no history, then hit the road which has a whole other set of logistics and costs attached to it that you'd better be prepared for. But say you're the average Hip Hop artist and your doing 185 tickets a night. At a $10 ticket that 1850 a night before you hit expenses. Again, at 185 tickets that leaves your agent with $185-370 dollars a night of which he probably spent the better part of a week trying to book. So again, you don't have an agent and if you do, you're both eating top ramen.

So let's say you have a label and you go on a 10 city tour and you're ACTUALLY getting 200K streams a month. Yes you're "on" but are your lights? 

Long story short, the economics of the music business are favoring the independents these days and competing could require a lot of formal training in the artists part or hiring staff on minimal budgets to make things happen.