Everyone but everyone is saying the music industry is in dire straits. But hang on, that's not the way I'm looking at it:
People don't buy records anymore. Well, at least not like they used to. Why would they? The internet can provide almost every song ever released - for free! Undoubtedly a bad thing for record companies but ultimately has the internet made things worse for musicians?
There might not be so many record companies going out there looking for the next big thing but if you ask me, life for musicians is as good as it has ever been. I've been living abroad for more than 6 years and last year I moved back to rural Devon. Musically what did I find? Honestly, I didn't expect to find much but in reality there is a healthy pub scene where you can find live music almost every night and many open mic nights, a few folk/singers clubs and bigger name touring acts coming regularly to places like Exeter, Plymouth and Bridport. All of this tells me that people really want to hear music and they will pay to do so - be it in the form of an entrance fee or buying a few drinks. So, there is an audience for musicians. Positive.
I've been fortunate enough to make my living as a professional musician for the last 6 years and I made my living largely from selling CDs. I did a lot of busking and a big long summer tour every year and I think we shifted round about 6000 CDs a year. Not bad considering these were self produced CDs with no record company involved and no record shops, not even a manager. i.e. all the profit went to the band. Positive.
If you have an audience, you can sell your records. All you have to do is hypnotise people long enough for them to hand over £10 or what ever you're asking. People will still buy music they like, especially if it's a spur of the moment hand-to-hand purchase where they get to meet and have a chat with the musicians. People want to help bands and musicians that they like. Especially if they're drunk.
All you musicians out there need to ask yourself what do you want? The days of you playing a gig in your local pub and Tony from Sony coming in and offering you 3 million to make a record may be over but distribution deals still exist and happen regularly. The only difference is that you the musician have to work a bit harder. In the good old days there were a thousand different job roles within a record company. Staff to do everything from admin to stylists to catering for the band so the musician could just concentrate on playing music and having a good time. BUT those thousands of people needed to be paid and it was the band that paid not the record company.
The bad news is that in the here and now you have to do it all yourself (boo says the lazy creative type), but the really good news is that it's easier to do it all yourself than ever before. With the internet (that horrible thing that ruined the music industry) you have a global audience right at your fingertips, you can connect with your fans all over the world in an instant. You have the email contacts of every record label just a google search away. In the good old days it was hard enough to get the contact of any record labels.
In the old days you would record a "demo" which you would use to get gigs and send to Tony from Sony to try to make it big. A demo would usually have been recorded quickly and badly at your local studio. These days you need to make your recordings (your product) as finished and as polished as possible. That's what record companies want these days. They're not going to pay for you to record anymore, they're not going to listen to your demo and "imagine" your potential if you were recorded with a real engineer in a big studio. You need to go to them with a finished product and when they like it they can just push a button and send it to their distributers, promote it on the web, get it reviewed in the press etc.
This is the crux. This is where I come in: At Rapunzel Studios we will enable you to have a record that sounds like a hit recorded on equipment that the top producers use. Most other local studios use consumer equipment and can make reasonable recordings but they don't have the "magic" that will get your music played over and over again on the radio. We provide that extra care to your songs that will help you get to the next level, all of this at bargain prices, even cheaper than other local studios. Remember your music is competing against every other music that has ever been released, you need to maximise your chances that people are going to choose yours! Get in touch, tell us what your budget is and what your needs are and lets get recording!
Thanks for reading everyone. We look forward to hearing from you at Rapunzel Studios.