We get it. The profit potential of selling recorded music is at nearly an all-time low. Spotify spins don’t pay enough. Everyone listens to music in playlists. Most people don’t purchase physical product anymore. Record labels aren’t investing in new artists.
First of all, yes. It’s true. It’s pretty difficult to make a living primarily off writing, recording, and selling records.
This has led a number of artists to ask the question: why should I bother to make a record if I can’t turn a profit on it?
It’s not a bad question. It’s one we’ve gotten from a lot of the artists we’ve worked with over the years. We do have a good answer, though.
Recording in this music climate is more important than ever. That’s because your record is not your product. It’s the advertisement of your product (your product, if you want to make money in this environment, is your live show and the merchandise you sell there).
More artists are being discovered on Spotify and YouTube than anywhere else. It outweighs terrestrial radio and other forms of music discovery by a lot.
So not only do you need recorded product, you need that product to be outstanding! It’s BECAUSE people listen in playlists that your music has to POP. Your music can’t sound like a “local band recording” anymore, because it’ll get evaluated side by side with major records.
The good news is that the live music industry has grown year after year after year. (Sure, Covid has taken its toll on that, but the long-term trend is incredibly positive). There are massive amounts of money there for the taking if you can develop the fan base. THAT’s what you should be looking to do by making a high-quality record.