Breaking Down Music Industry Misconceptions For Artists Building Their Careers.

Untangling the web of misconceptions surrounding the music industry is crucial for anyone looking to break into this space and navigate its intricacies. There are many different misconceptions about the music industry, and breaking them down is important because the music space,  isn’t always how it seems.

Common Misconceptions.

1. Achieving and maintaining success is easy.

Contrary to the common belief in overnight success stories, I’ve found “overnight success” to be quite rare. In my experience, most artists undergo years of hard work and perseverance before hitting the mainstream. Behind that viral hit, there’s typically a tale of relentless dedication and a string of prior efforts.

Furthermore, achieving success doesn’t mean an end to challenges. Many established artists continue to face pressures, both creatively and in terms of maintaining relevance. Success often introduces a different set of complexities. After achieving success in any industry, you now have an image to maintain, so keeping up with the times and finding what your audience likes best is a new job for you.

2. Record deals guarantee success.

Securing a record deal doesn’t automatically translate to stardom. Some artists signed to labels face challenges, such as deal terms that don’t favor their creative freedom. Another challenge I’ve observed is standing out amid their label mates. Being different in the music industry is very important. The way you brand yourself can affect how your audience remembers you and your music. A lot of artists set themselves apart with their appearance; however, you can also do so through your marketing and ensure you always post and promote your best material.

3. Streaming equals wealth.

While streaming platforms offer exposure, the financial returns for artists, especially independent ones, can be meager. As such, artists might need to consider diversifying their revenue streams with high-quality projects, merchandise, ticket sales and more.

4. DIY means going it alone.

The “do it yourself” ethos doesn’t mean absolute solitude. Independent artists should still build a strong network of collaborators, managers and industry professionals. DIY is about maintaining creative control, not isolation. To build your network in the music industry, I suggest going to public venues to introduce yourself. This is one way you can get familiar with a lot of people in your area who are in the industry.

5. Social media is a cure-all.

While a strong social media presence is essential, it doesn’t guarantee success on its own. Breaking through the digital noise requires a combination of engaging content, strategic marketing and sometimes a bit of luck.

6. Quantity is more important than quality in releases.

The notion that flooding the market with constant releases is a surefire strategy is another misconception. Quality remains paramount. Thoughtful, well-crafted releases have a more lasting impact than a barrage of mediocre content.

If you are not releasing new music currently, then you should always be promoting or trying to reach a larger audience with your older material while creating snippets to give a sneak peek at new content.

7. Genres aren’t fluid.

The rigid boundaries of musical genres are fading, and  genres are more fluid than ever. Artists often blend styles and defy traditional categorization. For artists building their careers, this fluidity can allow for more creativity and challenge preconceived notions about what defines a particular genre.

8. Live shows are always lucrative.

While live performances are crucial, they aren’t guaranteed to translate into significant financial gain, especially for emerging artists. Costs associated with touring can outweigh earnings, so strategic planning is essential.

9. Educational background is a barrier.

The belief that formal music education is a prerequisite for success is a myth. There are many successful, self-taught artists, which I believe shows that passion, dedication and a unique voice have the potential to outweigh formal training.

10. You can’t balance art and commerce.

The perception that commercial success compromises artistic integrity is not universally true. Signing a record deal may not be the right choice in all situations, but many artists balance creating commercially viable music and staying true to their artistic vision.

Clearing away these misconceptions unveils a more nuanced picture of the music industry. Success often involves a combination of talent, hard work, adaptability and a keen understanding of the industry’s ever-changing landscape.

Source: Justin Grome