I came across this great graphic today, pointing out how just about everyone in the music industry blames someone else for their misfortune. As is life. But perhaps there isn’t any one person to blame for the downfall of the music industry. Is the system just backwards in general?
The only way to get anywhere in this business is to take responsibility for yourself. How many times have we heard “Industry Rule #4080” as the main excuse for an indie artist hitting rock bottom? Major labels aren’t the devil. They are just another option. There are so many outlets that an artist can use to their advantage to get their music out there, and no one is preventing them from doing just that. In fact, it has never been easier. But for whatever reason, the big guns still take the heat for ruining everything beautiful in music. The industry collapsed years ago. It is time to move on. Things change, but apparently the music industry hasn’t been able to get with the times. The system, while possibly showing some signs of life as of late, still needs a ton of work.
Take a look at the beer industry. A few years ago you had a few choices in beer. The big boys (Budweiser, Miller, Coors, etc.) and the little guys (Sam Adams, Sierra Nevada, etc.). If any of you have walked into a liquor store lately you will notice the huge spike in the presence of microbreweries. Similar to indie labels, these guys have little to no resources to get their product out there other than word-of-mouth. Obviously, people value alcohol higher than music, for whatever reason, and it is a lot more difficult to pirate (without prohibition there is no need). But people’s taste has changed, they crave flavor that they can’t get from watered down Bud Light. And just like the beer business, music fans are beginning to crave quality tunes (see: Adele). There just isn’t the system in place to capitalize on this desire for discovering new music.
With that said, there is absolutely no one to blame but yourself when it comes to failing in the music industry. Whether you don’t know how to market your music, or it just flat out sucks, take a step back and evaluate your situation. The music industry has never been more wide open. Just because there isn’t a sturdy system in place doesn’t mean you can’t make one of your own. Get in there, get your hands dirty, and look in the mirror every night knowing that you did all you could to make quality music that you can be proud of and your fans can enjoy. [via]