The Evolving Music Industry
Evan Murray's Blog
When I was a performer in Canada years ago, hustling in the music industry was a matter of hunting down press, getting on the radio, shooting cinematic videos, trying to get into major festivals and making a pitch to open for bigger bands, We were selling T Shirts and CDs at merch booths, hiring PR agents, radio trackers, booking agents. Record deals were around $250,000 give or take depending on the deal with seven to twelve cents return per CD
By the time I started touring in Europe, no one was buying CD's anymore. Instead, people were asking if you were on Spotify. Print media was still something but on-line media was becoming very present. And major record deals were becoming a thing of the past. It was like the entire music industry ship had sprung some leaks and deep down inside we knew it was only a matter of time before this ship would sink.
By the time I became a music showcase coordinator, print media was barely kicking, no one cared about radio anymore and everyone that I knew, knew how to farm likes on YouTube, Spotify and Facebook. Everyone was trying to crack the internet and take control. The technology was more important than the artist, and appearing to be popular was more valuable than the truth.
Would artistry survive? Could it reinvent itself?
Enter Covid. A barren field or a blank canvass? People are trying to move their events online and most would agree it's better than nothing. They also agree that it's not by much, and not for much longer. We are waiting to see who will win, who will rise and from what platform in the time of Covid.
From what I observe, it's the talented bedroom artists. Artists like Arya Dhayal of India who used split screen duets to beautiful advantage, adding gorgeous harmony and riffing with cultural mystique. In no time, her youtube numbers, her IG numbers, her engagement, comments, subscribers, avid and true fan base were multiplying almost miraculously, but absolutely organically. This is the change, I predict. The change brought to us by Covid and perhaps lingering far after it's gone because, it's the convenience by necessity we've all grown used to but also because it's honest. It's there. It's already happening.
Facebook fan page: 31 906
Personal Facebook page: 69 316
What's even more interesting is that Arya's live videos are getting more engagement on IG in the immediate release time, but as time goes on Arya's YouTube numbers start vastly outweighing the IG numbers on the same released content. Very interesting!
There are very noticeable changes happening right under our noses.
Facebook is becoming more a place for news and 35+ people's personal space. Younger people are far more attracted to Youtube and IG for checking out music and artists. We have celebrities from all different walks of life now, countless countries, ethnicities, cultures, languages. The world has literally become 2 places. The physical world and the internet, and the internet, all to its own.
Keep it organic, or sink like the titanic.
Farm clicking may make people believe you're something special, but having natural followers is lasting and rewarding. It can be monetized!!
Without the expense of finding the radio plugger, the PR agent, the booking agent, without travelling to the festival and securing the equipment, without giving 93% of your money away to a record label. For export offices alike, there is FINALLY real viability of R.O.I's. This will potentially save governments millions of dollars over time. There is success lingering here... waiting to be realized!!
While these bedroom artists have been emerging for some time now, it's Covid that is helping more and more people find them as music lovers and potential fans also stay home and search for something to be passionate about. But, it goes deeper than that, it's what's trending in the music world today.
About Evan Murray
Evan is deeply passionate about Music Business education, and sharing insight and knowledge with government agencies and private companies around the world, from his own successful independent 20 year career. He’s been an international touring musician, booking agent, artist manager, and now federally funded music business conference, and showcase festival coordinator.
Here are some links to learn about Evan Murray's career.