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  • Writer's pictureKimmy Dickson

Sustainability of the Music Industry: Entrepreneurial Musicians

Updated: Oct 8, 2021

Venturing into the entrepreneurial landscape is a rising trend amongst musicians. Music forges a social bond; it enables the audience to connect, to feel, and to act, leaving a sense of familiarity etched within their minds and hearts.

Providing music artists with an outlet to project their perceptions and their thought processes in a creative manner, entrepreneurship contributes holistically to transforming the very fabric of the music culture. Each individual injects their individual taste, their individual aesthetic, and their individual flair into the music scene, leading to the creation of something truly unique. In the 21st century, pushing forward business endeavors, against the backdrop of music is the perfect opportunity, as it creates immeasurable inroads and pushes the envelope.

With the advent of technology and with the autonomy it allows musicians to wield, music creators have transformed themselves into self-sufficient businesses and brands. Technology being the driving force, gig artists, now possess the ability to break down barriers, set their own standards, and create a gateway to unfathomable potential, due to lower costs and a democratised system, resulting in easier access to support services and production equipment.

The Age of Digital Distribution

The lack of inclusivity, diversity, and equity has long been a centre of debate within the music industry. But, matters turn a corner with digital music retail, as each individual gets to exhibit their creative genius and gets to exhibit their culture, with no ceilings blurring their pathway or vision. Digital distribution empowers an artist to transmit their music produced within small recording studios to a global platform, leading them to gain global recognition and global appreciation.

The digital realm and age encourage musicians to employ smart strategies, leading them to use their resources in a creative, yet smart manner. Taking the reins and driving ahead is the new motto of the industry, as financial or creative bounds fail to deter musicians from creating their impact or spreading their message. This capacity to build their brand empowers musicians to not just create prospects for themselves, but also for the talent that feeds off of the music industry.

Being at the mercy of the record label is a phenomenon of the past. Today, each musician has transformed themselves into a music micro-influencer, thus pulling in their own listeners and their acquired niche music fans. These musicians have turned themselves into brands, as owing to their following, they rake in the numbers, the revenue and the much-required breakthrough for each music piece they publish through their self-owned music publishing company.

Survival of the Fittest

The decision to bootstrap not only cultivates a culture of self-sustenance, but it also demolishes any predatory behaviour prevalent within the music industry. A business operating within the ambit of the music industry, requires a producer, needs to produce merchandise, and needs tour support. With these elements being expensive, a self-sustaining business needs to invest money coming in from their fans into their business, to survive through its nascent stage.

Funding their own art, musicians are at the forefront of marketing their music passionately, as getting their music featured on the best music apps for Android or on the best music apps for iPhone, requires ample marketing and the right connections. The digital space provides numerous streams for entrepreneurs to market and promotes themselves. It, however, is supported by the underlying need to tour and maintain physical contact with the fan base. Immersing fans into a meaningful experience through live music is at the very epicentre of connecting with fans, and extending the longevity of one’s brand.

Developing Business Acumen

A balancing amalgamation of creativity and commercial cognisance is at the core of succeeding as a music entrepreneur. Learning through trial and error, music entrepreneurs can contribute wholeheartedly in bringing about a paradigm shift, as advancing technology allows musicians to gain from the multiple pathways that start opening up.

Embracing change, being open to challenges, and pushing out music pieces as often as possible is imperative for an artist to stay relevant in an age where the audience consistently craves something fresh and new.


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