A Beginner’s Guide to the Music Business

Music is a powerful tool for connecting people. It bridges cultural and linguistic divides and is a vehicle for expression and identity. Collectively, music generates rich cultural, social, and economic benefits. For instance, it can fuel job creation, artistic growth, and tourism development. 

Unfortunately, the music industry faces challenges through the copyright of music, live music, popular music, and the challenges musicians face. Luckily, here is the ultimate guide to help you enter the music industry. 

Perfect Your Skills 

Create a list of your musical skills and keep it updated. Then, of course, practise these skills until they feel natural. For instance, if you play the guitar competently but you aren’t better in harmony or lyrics, improve on those areas. Keep in mind that musicians who play anything are more marketable. So sign up at Prime Sound to master vocals, a musical instrument, or the world of sound production. 

Be consistent and persistent, and don’t despair too quickly. Most musicians start not knowing where their skills need tweaking. 

Network! Network! Network! 

You don’t have to be a good singer to succeed in the music industry. However, playing an instrument and singing shouldn’t be your only tactic to become successful. Even popular musicians can’t sing perfectly!

If you’re starting, focus on networking as much as possible. Understand what fans are looking for and how the market works. It would be best to have a background in public relations, advertising, or marketing—fields that give you the skills to market your music. 

Utilise Digital Distribution  

As an artist, digital distribution is a MUST if you want to reach your prospective fans. Smart distribution can grow your visibility and help you get paid for your music. However, you need first to understand the difference between a streaming service and a distribution network

  • A streaming service is a platform we use to listen to different music. For example, the internet has streaming services like Google Play Music, Apple Music, Amazon Music, and Spotify; the list is practically endless! 

A distribution network helps to manage your earnings through streaming services. They distribute your music to streaming companies and collect the revenues you get from these platforms. 

Apple Music and Spotify are the most popular platforms, so target your music to these services. Alongside these two, you can also target Google Play, Amazon Music, and YouTube Music.  

Moreover, most fans use TikTok to discover new music. This app has changed how users engage with content for all types of entertainment genres. TikTok, Instagram, and other platforms can help boost your music sales. 

Start Performing Live 

Performing live comes with good returns. It can also help you build your fan base over time. Unlike media fans, gig fans spend money to buy tickets to watch you perform live. 

Use gig booking platforms like The Bash, Gigmor, and GigSalad to help book local venues to perform live. These sites organise corporate shows for a broader audience, but you’ll also find many coffee shops, bars, and smaller venues. 

These small platforms can get you a decent paycheck but expose you to a small fan base. Start by booking small venues that welcome new acts to help build your fan base.  

Sell Your Samples and Beats  

You can do a lot with good beats and samples. If you have never used samples in your mixes, you’ve likely heard them used. Nu Metal, Pop, Electronic Music, and Hip Hop use samples for all various reasons. Samples can create a unique motif, thicken an instrument, or introduce a surprising element. Whatever the case, samples can be advantageous. 

Consider selling your samples and beats on platforms like AirGigs and MelodyNest. This step might generate your first income in the music industry! These platforms allow you to earn income while helping you to become more professional and proficient in music production. 

Remember that selling your samples and beats requires specific mastering and mixing skills. Therefore, the level of your technical proficiency can determine your earnings. Brush up on these skills if you aren’t good at music production. 

Most importantly, give rights to your clients when you’re selling the samples and beats to them. There are different types of licensing agreements. So, decide what best works for you. Generally, it will either be a non-exclusive or exclusive licence. 

Wrap Up

This guide is helpful, especially if you’re new to the music business or would like a refresher on what it means to be in one. Remember: Don’t despair! This can be a profitable business. Just aim and work towards what you can achieve! 


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