Major changes in the music industry throughout the last decade have meant new challenges facing record labels across the country.
While attempting to come up with that next big star, it’s getting harder and harder to break through into mainstream circles.
Sure, there are some pathways. Having a hit song on Spotify. Using big data to launch a music marketing campaign. Maximizing the advantages a record label already has. All these have their benefits but breaking an artist is incredibly difficult when there are millions of artists vying for the same ears and the same attention.
We can all mark this time period as an era where the market is flooded with music in a way it never has been before. So many artists. So many albums. So many songs and music videos.
Everyone is listening to something different. This is why the mass consumer base struggles to agree on what artists should headline Coachella, sell out an arena tour, and/or be sent internationally to expand their brands.
Needless to say, there is a lot going on in the music business. Here are a few problems with the music industry that we think record labels can solve.
How To Release An Album & Maximizing The Value Of A New Album
What is an album worth today?
A collection of music can easily come and go with very little attention, hardly making a dent in the culture.
Even established artists that have had years of success are finding it difficult to be heard among a sea of music from every which direction.
The music marketplace has essentially been driven down into smaller forms of content such as Vevo on YouTube music videos and/or individual songs that can be streamed via any of the available platforms.
If you are an entry-level artist and do not have the resources to develop an album-length video, working within that limited budget, it may not make sense anymore to flesh out an album for a beginner-level artist. If one looks at the biggest-selling albums of the year, none of them are from entry-level artists. All are either established names, compilations, or movie soundtracks.
Sure, we have the resurgence of vinyl. But think of an unknown artist. Can you rely on an unknown artist to sell big vinyl numbers – not today.
In addition, we have long been seeing the trend of streams lifting an artist up into the charts rather than direct purchases. Those are individual tracks. Dropping 12-18 tracks at a time on a full-length album doesn’t make financial sense when there is more potential in making big bucks from a single track.
While the artistry of an album can and should be highly valued, it doesn’t always make commercial sense.
In fact, it might make more sense to save the thousands of dollars in an album production and to put it towards smarter, more contemporary ideas. Then again, if a record label has an artist that falls into a category of vinyl that is demonstrating strong sales – this is where the data comes in – or if the artist is in want of a full album, taking that jump might be a risk you have to take.
How To Get Your Music Heard When You Have Millions Of Artists Competing
Streaming numbers on Spotify continue to climb. More and more artists have jumped onto different platforms, attempting to reach a growing, mass audience. Meanwhile, indie record labels continue to struggle with getting their artists noticed in this growing collection of musicians, and it is only bound to get harder.
How do you get your music heard? It’s not enough to have an amazing track! You’ve got to have a strategy.
- Create social media band/artist pages on various platforms. Promote organically. Use paid social marketing to target music listeners from around the world.
- Partner with a record company! Record companies have lots of resources to tap into.
- Submit your songs to playlists and influencers, encouraging them to use your music for future content.
- Reach out to music blogs and reviewers to get your song or album reviewed and featured.
- Release alternate versions of tracks tailored to different markets or get in touch with a remixer to reinterpret your track.
If you are an entry-level artist, there is a lot that your record label is going to have to do outside of simply putting up a song to stream in order to get you noticed.
The only way to succeed in 2023 in the world of music streaming is to build your brand outside of these platforms, i.e. through the release of music videos on YouTube, live performances, and putting creativity to the max in trying to find ways to stand out and get publicity.
Is It Better To Be A Successful Local Musician Or A Worldwide Superstar?
You may not know where to start to get your music heard worldwide but you probably have a firm grasp on what you can do locally.
Pick a region. Target it aggressively. Become the ‘hometown superstar’ and build from your base.
Independent record labels are going to have to make the call on what kind of success they are chasing. Ultimately, no musician needs to sacrifice ‘worldwide’ for ‘local’ or vice versa but chasing international success from the get-go is hard.
Attempting to appeal to a regional marketplace involves a different approach and has a higher likelihood of succeeding.
How to release an album. How to get your music heard. Targeting local success. These are all key strategies that can be used to build the brand of a musical artist.
There are no right or wrong answers with how to launch a music career other than to generate enough growth and attention to sustain it.
Musicians and indie record labels have quite the fight ahead of them. They always have, really, but it’s harder now with there being essentially no barrier of entry. How a record label succeeds in 2023 is going to be dependent on being able to change with the industry, identify where its consumer base is at, and find those customers that are willing to pay for a download, to come to a show, and to buy into the personality, brand, and music sold.