9 essential newsletters every musician should read in 2021
If you’re serious about your career in the music business, it’s important that you stay in the loop and informed about evolving trends, strategies, events, and conversations happening in your field. These nine newsletters can help keep you up to date.
Guest post by Aaron Trumm of Soundfly’s Flypaper
If you’re a professional musician, or even just a passionate hobbyist who wants to rise to the top of your game, continuing education and staying informed about the conversations happening around the music industry are two musts.
But there’s a lot of information out there that’s simply noise — useless and not worth the time you spend reading it. It takes a keen observer and editor to parse through it to find and share what’s truly important to working musicians; and that’s why the team here at Soundfly subscribe to and support some fabulous newsletters across the music industry.
So, we’ve gathered a few of the most important newsletters that we personally think musicians today should consider subscribing to and following. If you’re not already subscribed, go check out these nine newsletters now. And, shameless plug alert: if you’re reading this and you aren’t signed up for Soundfly’s own in-house newsletter, well… you should change that!
1) Your Morning Coffee
Jay Gilbert runs the Your Morning Coffee newsletter — a weekly snapshot of new music business news that pairs nicely with his Your Morning Coffee podcast, co-hosted by Mike Etchart. Anyone who wants to keep up with where the music biz is actually heading, should be keeping up with Jay and Mike.
2) Cherie Hu’s Water and Music
Cherie Hu’s name is plastered all over work from Billboard to Forbes to NPR, and for good reason. Her newsletter (and podcast of the same name) Water and Music dives deeper than the headlines to really dig into the numbers, which will give you a much better understanding of what’s happening than mere industry gossip and conjecture.
3) Platform and Stream
Platform and Stream, written by Jeff Hyatt, takes the focus on new music business a step further by focusing on streaming and innovation around music tech, digital music distribution, and monetization. P&S is a perfect jumping off point if you want to be empowered with the tech side of promoting music now and in the future.
4) AmplifyYou by Amplify.link
Amplify.link seeks to empower artists with music and creator marketing tools, and a cleanly designed look. Their weekly newsletter, AmplifyYou, keeps with this intention, arriving every Thursday featuring an array of music, creator, and tech news, as well as special offers fitted especially for the independent musician.
Indepreneur may very well be the smartest, most sophisticated music marketing course on the planet (and it’s affordable too). Not just focused on surface actions, Indepreneur helps artists understand marketing fundamentals, underpinned by the relationship any business builds with its followers, fans, and customers. Even if you’re not a student, their newsletter and accompanying podcast are chock full of deep marketing education specifically geared toward indie artists.
6) Lefsetz Letter
Bob Lefsetz isn’t just any stereotypical former industry player turned raving critic – he’s THE stereotypical former industry player turned raving critic. The Lefsetz Letter is simple and no frills, run from an open-source mail platform, with no extra anything. You’ll get plain text emails weekly, daily, bi-daily — whenever Bob has something to say (and there’s always something). But the best part is: everyone in the industry is reading his words at the same time you are.
7) Bobby Owsinski’s Music 3.0 Blog
There are a gazillion production blogs, mailing lists, and courses. If you can read only one of their newsletters though, make it Bobby Owsinski’s. He’s been at it since before ears were invented and writing about it for nearly that long too. Bobby’s blog and newsletter will help you get better at making records, without worrying about the risk that he may be talking out of his you-know-what.
8) 5-Bullet Friday
Here’s a newsletter every entrepreneur and high-level goal-setter should read. Tim Ferriss is most famous for his book The 4-Hour Workweek, a must read for anyone who doesn’t want to waste time. His 5-Bullet Friday newsletter is both a nice break from constant industry and tech talk, and a good look into things you might take in to fill the creative well.
REDEF is for all intents and purposes, a curated news and conversation hub for all things media. It’s not limited to only music, but you can subscribe to the MusicREDEF newsletter curated by Matty Karas, which selects only the articles in that “set.” It’s incredibly eclectic and guaranteed quality information, being sent directly to your inbox; totally worth it.
Bonus) Your PRO’s newsletter
Here in the United States, musicians have a bunch of options to choose from when it comes to joining a Performing Rights Organization (PRO) — such as ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, and others. No matter which one you’re a member of, you’ll automatically be signed up to receive their newsletters, which are chock full of great articles and resources from around the web as well as pertinent info to your career. The question is, do you open those emails? You should! We get almost all of them and they’re fantastic, week in and week out!
Like any small business, being a music professional means a lot of different tasks and never-ending education to keep up with changes. It pays not to waste time, but you’ve got to stay in the loop — these are our favorite newsletters for accomplishing both of those tasks.