Five Reasons Why There’s Never Been a Better Time to Be a Musician

MusicianIf you're a musician, you've probably wondered how your career would have fared if this was another decade. Would you have sold more albums if you were a musician in the late '80s or early '90s? You know, when people actually bought music?


Original Post Written By Tyler Allen on Sonicbids Blog 

To be honest, I actually don't think some of my clients could have garnered the same publicity, fan interaction, and other successes if it were any time but right here and right now. So if you've been feeling a little pessimistic about the state of the music industry lately, consider these five reasons as to why now is really the best time to be a musician. 

1. Your potential reach is infinite

Before social media, and even before the internet was a thing, artists had to rely on being "discovered" by A&R reps and talent scouts. This often led to some shady record deals because a label was really your only way of getting your music out. But in today's musical and digital landscape, you can literally garner a fanbase all on your own, as well as distribute internationally with no help from a label whatsoever. You have innumerable platforms at your fingertips that can allow you to go further than ever before, and you can genuinely make a full-time income as an unsigned artist.

2. Digital tools are more helpful than ever

Similarly, in years past, you would have to really rely on guesswork and tiny sample sizes to ensure that your music was reaching the right audiences. But today, you have Facebook Insights, Google AnalyticsTwitter Analytics, and dozens of other tools to ensure that you're meeting your mark.

There's now a clearer vision for trial and error. Something not working? Instead of losing money on it, you have real-time data for testing.

3. Networking is so much easier

Social media is also referred to as "social networking," right? And that's what it's intended to do. Social media has generated an incredible number of networking opportunities for artists.

Whether it's LinkedIn, Facebook groups, Twitter chats (such as the blossoming #ggchat), message boards, or forums, you have dozens of ways to meet other musicians and industry people. Not to mention the added benefit of simply following, commenting on, and liking social media posts of your favorite artists. In the past, even two or three years ago, networking opportunities like this simply did not exist.

4. DIY is the new normal

Every artist has access to the tools to distribute, market, and promote his or her work. Sonicbids aloneImages opens the door to hundreds upon hundreds of opportunities for your band, which makes booking and promoting much more efficient. Aside from booking, music distribution – which in the past was a very exclusive service – is now completely accessible to any and every artist. Companies like TuneCore and CD Baby put you on the same playing field as major label artists by distributing your music to all the popular online stores and streaming services (like iTunes, Spotify, and Amazon), and even collecting publishing income on your behalf.

And as far as recording the music itself, DAWs like Pro Tools and Logic are much more affordable and accessible than they've ever been! Gone are the days of spending excessive amounts of money on studio time when you can whip up a great-sounding track on your own (as long as you're willing to take the time to learn the tools of the trade and invest in the basic gear you need, of course).

5. People are consuming more music now than at any other time in history

What an amazing time to be an artist! The industry has always been wrought with change (records to cassettes to CDs to MP3s to streaming), but we're still here, and we're still finding ways to adapt and evolve. With the onslaught of streaming, the traditional record business of yesterday may be collapsing, but the music industry itself has never been more alive! Because no matter what the technology of the moment happens to be, the truth is that humankind will always want and need music.

Music consumption is currently at an all-time high – actually up 14 percent from this time last year. Now sure, that stat is from streaming, which isn't necessarily a proven revenue stream (yet!), but just think about how much more music is being broadcast, streamed, and interacted with! Musical revolutions such as smartphones, iPods, and other technologies have always led to change. We're on the brink of an incredible new journey here, and we're lucky enough to be living through this unique time in history. The fact that the music industry is more alive than ever despite the crumbling traditional, broken model is a very important distinction, and one we can – and should – be optimistic about.


As a music marketing strategist, Tyler Allen works with an extensive array of artists, labels, music tech, and music retail entities. Tyler began his music industry career with Sony Music Entertainment and RED Distribution, as well as the advertising industry. He is dedicated to giving veteran artists the tools to preserve their legacy, and new artists the tools to begin theirs (as well as everything in between). Learn more at wtylerconsulting.com. He also offers strategy and artist packages for DIY and indie artists on a budget, here.

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  1. Other than #5, I see all of these as negatives.
    I am a musician; I don’t want to be a businessperson. I happily partner with a label, and let them take their cut, so that they handle what they are good at: the business, marketing, promotion, side.
    I don’t want to spend my day networking, on social media, studying analytics, devising marketing and ad campaigns. I want to spend my time on my art, my music.
    The problem with D.I.Y. is that there are not enough hours in the day to do it all, and chances are, the same person is not good at all the required skills. A skilled artist/musician may not be at all skilled at business, marketing, finance, networking, etc. Even if he/she is good at those, time spent on those activities is time taken away from developing what matters; the actual music.
    Or doesn’t the music matter anymore?

  2. I have had a music career from the 90s to the present.
    It was definitely better in the 90s and early 2000s, before our glorious “digital revolution” decimated the recording industry, and people with no morals thought it’s a “victimless crime”, or even their “right”, to take music — the hard work of countless dedicated musicians, writers, producers, etc – for granted and for free.

  3. There’s more to this then what is posted here since I know our http://DigitalDistribitonDeal.com get’s to every outlet on the planet; Including Public Libraries (120K in USA) all which carry digital and physical music/books/films. And, there is also exporting: since the rest of the world still consume music in physical format and the US imported more then it exported – seems like a trade imbalance.
    ((( PSA)) there’s a http://MusicAct.org that would give US artists, bands and labels funding.
    IMHO In the next year there will be another wave of mergers in key areas of distribution, because of the critical function it plays. Moreover! The notion of DIY is so 2000 thinking and totally misses the Future of Entertainment Today which is to be: Digital | Physical | Global. And, this takes a team.
    In the very near future if there’s no one saying I’m BuyingThis(TM) whats the point of making it since we’ll know which (if any) distribution channel to place it into will be come part of the #CrowdFoundMusic experience.

  4. Hypebot needs to stop talking about stuff they don’t know or pandering to unsigned acts starving for help. The reality of most of these points are far from what they claim them to be. Yes, a musician’s reach is near infinite, but take it from someone who has gotten great reviews and spent thousands on press and radio that unless you have major label connections and backing you’re going to see very little in return for your efforts. Only 1% of musicians are doing really well. The middle class to struggling groups have been decimated by the economy and technology. The Internet has become a closed group to many musicians because only the top handful of sites have the reach and influence to help you spread the word about music. These sites only write about the 1%. Smaller sites are only interested in clicks and won’t write about your music. Most forums don’t allow the posting of new music because they considerate spamming and people only gravitate to the 1% anyway.

  5. Of course, music is being consumed exponentially, but then again, it happens to be free! Thanks Spotify, you upped music consumption but in the process you also happened to devalue music by lowering artist earnings. Music Industry profits have dropped by 50% since the 1990’s. Now doesn’t that sound ludicrous when music consumption goes up since then. Yes, I do seem to think that you will have a revolution in the music industry happening now or very soon. The change is that you free-loaders will eventually have to pay. There will be no choice, if the Industry is expected to survive.

  6. It’s great to be a musician, as long as you are independently wealthy or supported by your parents / sugar daddy / sugar mommy etc.
    Trying to actually make a living at it? Good luck.
    Everyone else is making money from the work of musicians, except musicians.

  7. I’m with the majority of commenters here.
    This is rehashed hype for online piracy and the misleading message that there’s more music being made and listened to today than ever before.

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