The music industry is an ever changing entity. Not too long ago playing that one
good show at the Troubadour was all it took to get your career going. Today, a simple
10 second clip of you singing on Tiktok can you send you into stardom. Couple this with
the major decline in tangible record sales and the now overwhelming dominance of
streaming, it means there is simply no longer a conventional source of income for
musicians. Touring can make some money if it is structured well, but really this only
applies to professionals and the upper echelon of the industry. This being said, the
creation of the online music world has led to many incredible opportunities for all artists.
You are now more accessible than ever and the ability for your music to be heard and
monetarily utilized in the online realm is endless. So assuming that record sales and
touring is no longer the same driving financial force as they once were, what is the point
of playing shows then?
Shows are the bread and butter of musicianship aren’t they? I believe this still
rings true. However, the reality is profit margins have shrunk significantly. Venues are
more difficult to book and they often require you to pay up front just to play. In my
opinion, shows are our reward now. It is our opportunity as artists to share those 12
songs that you wrote and are so proud of. Shows are your path to artistic legitimacy and
human connection. However, the modern musician needs to have multiple sources of
income from a variety of artistic ventures. Shows will always be the most gratifying and
rewarding thing you will do. Can you still make some decent money? Hell yeah you can.
But instead of trying to scrape by playing seven nights a week at your local bar, diversify
your portfolio and think outside of the conventional confines of the industry norms. View
every show as the gift it is and dream to become your own record label.
Photo : Hailey Krakana