What You Need to Know About the Music Business

The music business is probably one of the most challenging industries to gain and maintain both popularity and success. It’s also one of the most rewarding and fulfilling. Not everyone is going to get a lucky break. If you’ve got the talent, you’ll need to work on your strategy.

Don’t Leave Out a Band Manager

You will most likely be too preoccupied with the developing your music and have no time for the grueling business side. A manager can take the lead in getting you record and production deals, booking you gigs, and pitching you to music executives. Musicians haven’t always been convincing in translating their passions into a business deal. Therefore, you should look for someone with an MBA or a bachelor’s degree in music business. Or he could have been a successful musician, in the past. Just make sure he has a plan for your music career and walks you through it. His salary should be 10% to 30% of your total music revenue – but the average deal is around 20%.

You Don’t Need a Publicist

At least not right away. It’s better you personally manage social media, email lists, or have a manager do it and save money. Unless the publicist has close connections with radio hosts, magazines, and/or TV producers, you can easily do most of the promotion work yourself.

Do Not Rely on Venues Alone to Promote You

Many starting musicians think that venues will do all of their show promotion for them. The venue is really going to put the most effort in promoting their most popular acts — established bands that will make the most profit. So, if you booked a gig, it’s good to get the word out there yourself. Use social media and emailing to your advantage.

Do Not Window Your Music

Windowing is essentially holding back on posting music to streaming sites like Spotify, in an attempt to make more money off sales. Taylor Swift, for example, used this strategy. But why shouldn’t you? Because if people can’t listen to your music conveniently, they’ll listen to someone else’s. In effect, you risk fading out of public view. You should instead make your music as accessible as possible.

Make sure you’re playing your cards (and not just your instruments) right!

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Michelle Nguyen is a writer whose passions include music, sports, health, and wellness. She loves playing drums and bass guitar, as well as swimming. If she indirectly helps you write the next “Stairway to Heaven,” she will be very happy.