Why Study Music Business?[Video]

Here James Shotwell explains why being a music fan isn’t enough to support a career in the music business, and why anyone interested in a music industry career must study (and WANT to study) how it actually works if they want to get ahead.

Guest post by James Shotwell of Haulix

Going to college is an option for aspiring professionals, but learning about the music business is not.

It takes more than being a fan of your favorite artists to build a career in entertainment, and in today’s Music Biz 101 video, we’ll give you tips on how to get ahead. 

But let’s back up. Why study music business? The answer is simple. Not a single person working full-time in the music business today got their job by accident. The idea of big fans becoming hardworking industry movers and shakers is a myth perpetuated by movies and other works of fiction to entertain dreamers. If all you want is to dream, that’s fine, but if you’re going to excel, you’re going to have to work for every step you take.

Learning about the business of music goes beyond understanding how your favorite artists built careers, though that is an excellent place to start. Today’s music professionals need to have a strong understanding of how the business works in every way possible. You need to know how streaming companies operate and what ASCAP does. You need to know how songs get on the radio and how to find a good publicist.

More importantly, you should WANT to know these things. The most successful professionals know this business better than anyone else. You should aspire to know as much as possible. That is what will help you excel.

Aspiring to work in music is like dreaming of starting a fight that never ends. You have to fight for everything you get in this business, and the weapons at your disposal are the pieces of knowledge you gain along the way. Education is the best way to make a place for yourself, and that can happen with or without student loans. There are a million ways to get ahead without spending more than a few hundred dollars, and we share a few of the best methods in this Music Biz 101 update. 

James Shotwell is the Director of Customer Engagement at Haulix and host of the company’s podcast, Inside Music. He is also a public speaker known for promoting careers in the entertainment industry, as well as an entertainment journalist with over a decade of experience. His bylines include Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, Nu Sound, and Under The Gun Review, among other popular outlets.

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