The Music Industry’s Great Lie
By Carlos Castillo
Let's talk about the "Music Industry" for a moment.
What IS that?
According to one un-subscriber who told to me: "You don't know S@!T about the Music Industry", I'm not qualified to answer that question.
And the truth is... I don't.
I don't care to. I don't need to. And you don't either.
Things I DO KNOW are: Music and Business. I studied them separately and built a BRAND NEW bridge between them. And that bridge is a LOT easier to cross when you don't have a herd of greedy trolls weighing you down.
I've never worked for a major label, or publisher, or any of the other corporate, conglomerate, or otherwise congealed entities that make up the "Music In-DUH-stry".
If I had, I might be just another cog in their machine. Perpetuating The Music Industry’s GREAT LIE: That YOU need THEM!
They do everything they can to make you believe that in order to achieve success (which I'm sure they would define differently than us Musicpreneurs), you have to spend the Gross Domestic Product of a small country on building your audience. Or that you need connections ONLY THEY can provide in order to receive opportunities.
Well I'm here today (everyday, in fact), to call B.S. on the music industry's GREAT LIE.
This LIE causes countless musicians to spend crazy amounts of money on all the wrong things, just because they are trying to emulate the antiquated "Label System".
Well I’ve got news for ya… That system never really worked. DEFINITELY never in a FAIR way.
Musicians gradually lose support from their families and friends as they miss important events and flush unimaginable of sums down the toilet for the slightest chance at "getting discovered" only to find disappointment.
Can you blame them? They hate to see you suffer. And so do I.
Now that we have tools like email and social media that help us connect DIRECTLY with our fans and other music professionals, there's no reason to follow such a treacherous path anymore.
The path to making money is: Growth > Engagement > Monetization.
You can't skip any steps. And you MUST do them in THAT order.
Releases (like albums), are for Monetization. If you don't have anyone to sell it to, it makes NO business sense to spend a lot of money recording one REGARDLESS of what the elite, uber-expensive, studios tell you. Their interest is vested in convincing you to spend money.
Releases (like videos and other things that aren't for sale), are content for Engagement. It makes NO Business sense to spend a lot of money on video production if no one is going to see it REGARDLESS of what the fancy videographer or "music industry insider" tells you. Their interest is vested in convincing you to spend money.
Releases are not very useful for growth.
EVERYDAY I watch in horror as musicians pour ridiculous amounts of money into trying to force releases to stimulate growth, while COMPLETELY overlooking ACTUAL growth and engagement.
So Instead of spending $10,000 on an EP that you will release to NOBODY, or a radio campaign that no one involved will help you figure how to monetize, spend $1,000 on a KNOWLEGABLE coach that will help you develop and implement a REAL business plan.
The BEST growth costs time. MUCH more than it costs money.
For example: The exception to the rule about videos that I mentioned above is "Cover Songs". Since YouTube is a major search engine (2nd only to Google), if you post videos of songs that people are ALREADY LOOKING FOR you'll get some growth. Well-targeted growth at that!
It doesn't cost any money to do that. But it does cost more time than many musicians seem to be willing to invest. PROBABLY because the GREAT LIE has convinced them that they must, instead, spend money.
Spend your time online doing things that get measurable results. If anyone tells you what you should be doing online, ask how it leads to subscribers. If they can’t answer that clearly, stop listening to them.
MY favorite place for list-building online is Twitter. I know how to get upwards of 200 targeted subscribers per month there. Subscribe to my email list and I’ll tell you EXACTLY how.
The path I've forged to Success in Music is simple and MUCH more cost effective than the GREAT LIE would want you to believe. Especially for those of us who have "real life" and "day jobs" to manage along with our musical ambitions.
Through my Musicpreneur Apprentice Program, I'll be able to take you by the hand and lead you down the path to "Success in Music" at a cost to you that will make music industry insiders HATE me.
Who am I kidding, they ALREADY hate me 😉
But in the meantime...
Carlos Castillo is a Musicpreneur Educator, Artist Business Developer, International Road-Tripper, Lap Steel Player, and Captain of the Schwilly Family Musicians. Find him at SchwillyFamilyMusicians.Com, or on Twitter at @CaptainSchwilly.