“The music business is dying, destroyed by an avalanche of home created music and piracy.
This is actually very far from the truth. The ‘Music Business’ is a long way from dying, in fact it is the healthiest it’s ever been. It is the ‘Record Industry’ that is having problems. The reason is simple. Why do you need to pay a record company ninety percent of the retail value to produce your music when home studios are available for a few hundred pounds? When you can create your own CDs for pennies each? When you can link to one of a hundred sites to sell your music in either disc or electronic forms? And if you don’t need a record company then the agent also becomes redundant.
For five years John Lennon and Paul McCartney worked hard writing and playing their music. Eventually they managed to interest Brian Epstein who agreed to act as their Manager/Agent. After years of struggle, The Beatles were taken under the wing of George Martin, a producer for a little known music label Parlophone. Despite producing millions or records The Beatles were very poorly paid. Many years later they created their own record company, Apple, in order gain more control over their own business.
Today creating, producing and promoting you own music is the preferred option by most musicians. From small local bands through to the likes of Pink Floyd, all self publish in one form or another. Even street buskers are now selling their own CDs! Self publishing is a sound business model and not to be confused with ‘Vanity Publishing’. After all, who would accuse Pink Floyd of vanity publishing?
Yes, piracy is still a problem in the music business but it is the loyalty generated with the fan base that is halfway to solving this. The personal contact with the record buying public creates more support, sometimes with fans actually helping the band fund further projects. This level of contact is lost when huge international conglomerations are involved.
“There is a tide in the affairs of men, which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. We must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures.” William Shakespeare.
Compared to the Publishing industry the music business is a relative youngster. Perhaps this is what has allowed it to adapt so well to the modern markets. The time is right for the publishing industry to learn a few lessons from its younger sibling! With new methods of printing and new distribution channels opening every day there is no longer a requirement for the huge infrastructure that has to be supported on the back of each of your books sold. Self Publishing or Partnership Publishing is the favoured model for the new era.