In the 21st century, musicians seem to have their work cut out for them. With the ever changing consumption of media, musicians are continuously finding themselves trying to rise above the contrived noise asking themselves, “is more better than less?” With articles that read “23 ways musicians can make money” “8 Lucrative Marketplaces for Musicians to Make Money” or books such as “All you Need to Know About Music Business” – Don Passman or “The Indie Band Survival Guide, 2nd Ed” – Randy Chertkow & Jason Feehan, it would seem that there has to be plenty of ways for musicians to be successful, right? Unfortunately most musicians haven’t read these articles or books. This isn’t to say that two articles and a couple of books are going to make you a successful musician; but what if you were to read these among many other notable articles and books?
There’s so much happening and changing in the music industry right now. You have 2112 inc. + Fort Knox Studios (Chicago/Nashville), Project Music (Nashville), Techstars (Los Angeles), Zoo Labs (Oakland), Abbey Road Red (United Kingdom), Marathon Labs (Multi National), Musitec (Australia) & many more, all playing their role to help move the industry forward.
Most startups, cities, labels, incubators, and accelerators are continuously developing and finding solutions to help the music industry/musicians. With all eyes on innovation, who’s focused on raising awareness and helping musicians learn how to utilize these tools?
How many artists know about utilizing:
Twitch – a social live stream platform that has gained major success in the gaming industry, seeing almost 10million user daily. What’s great for musicians, is that it has become a new and exciting way to engage your fan base. Even gaining new fans from being a part of a massive, fanatic community.
Patreon – “we want to help every creator in the world achieve sustainable income.” What else do you need to know about these beautiful people!?
On Vinyl Media – A B2B company providing retailers with a unique streaming service that helps support the local music community, while developing original content. “Our mission is to build hyperlocal communities centered around local music by sustaining the local music culture, creating a framework of support for local artists through content creation and press, and providing businesses and communities with commercial streaming solutions that support legal, licensed, and local music while sustaining a culture of divergence.”
JamFeed – A platform for artists and fans to engage in realtime 100% of the time. With many social media sites starting to become more of an advertising channel, JamFeed goes directly for what fans and musicians really want, additional access/content. “JamFeed is the easiest way to keep up to date with the music that you love!”
Music Gateway – “Music Gateway is a B2B platform, specifically designed to allow creative and music industry professionals to connect and work together in a global capacity. Developed by industry professionals from all sectors, we help break down barriers that hinder career development by empowering individuals and companies alike. Our unique software helps streamline the way people connect and progress whether this is through hiring music professionals, collaborating or using it as an A&R vehicle to find new talent.”
Tip Cow – “Smash the Jar.” As their slogan applies, here’s an electronic way to capture tips from your fan base/audience. A fun and creative way for fans and patrons to give back, and you no longer have to worry about walking up to the stage and putting money in a jar.
While all of these tools are fantastic, how many musicians/industry reps/fans are currently on these platforms? The answer, probably not as many as there should be!
there is plenty of innovation happening in the music industry right now. One large area of opportunity is education & engagement. For example, there are over 130 non-for profits in Austin alone, to help musicians. To get a good idea of what that ecosystem looks like, just check out Austin Music Foundation‘s website; with an impressive catalogue highlighted in their non profit directory. The issue again is, how many have you heard of? What do they all do? There are plenty of music industry professionals in Austin that are looking for ways to collaborate and leverage one another. What if music industry professionals were working more closely together? What if we started focusing on helping develop the music industry of Austin while the city races after the omnibus resolution?
With so much available and so much opportunity, it’s an amazing time to be in the music industry. Austin is in the process of nurturing and developing a world class industry while solving the Music Census opportunities, and I think we’re all excited to see how it plays out.