The point of today’s Tipscast is to drive home the point that artists need to stop chasing the money. Don’t let the industry’s smoke and mirrors game distract you or get you down.
I’ve been working with an artist who has been knocking on the industry’s door trying to move his career to the next level and with that process has come some valuable insight into the realities of the current state of the music business.
Most importantly…NO ONE buys music anymore 🙁
Most money (on the higher levels) is being made from product placement and/or sponsorships. Touring used to be the breadwinner for most musicians but now, with 360 deals becoming the standard, even touring is losing it’s financial punch.
Unless you are Drake or Taylor Swift or happen to have built a huge following and support system independently (aka Tech N9ne and Strange Music), you are owned by and in debt to the major labels supporting you.
It is said that when Drake drops a new project, he receives 1 million streams in a matter of 10 hours. How much money that actually brings in is up for debate.
Most of the “bigger” artists who are not Drake but still competing at the major level are not able to pull those numbers. From conversations this week, I am under the impression that artists under a major deal have quotas to meet; say 1 million streams and 30,000 downloads in a 12 month period (for example).
If you fail to meet your quota, the label doesn’t have to replenish your budget when contracts come up for renewal.
With that said, if you’ve noticed “famous” rappers dropping mixtape after mixtape in a short period of time…more than likely that particular artist is trying to meet their quota. Artists on Drake or Taylor Swift’s level don’t have to worry about it.
When Taylor Swift refuses to put her albums on Spotify, everyone at Spotify cringes and feels the pain. However, that’s not going to stop Spotify from hiring someone to create an album of Swift covers so they can at least provide something Taylor-esque to their loyal streamers.
You might have heard of the rapper Young Thug. Having received a lot of press and publicity over controversy with Lil Wayne, Baby Williams, and Cash Money Reocrds; Young Thug was only able to sell 19,000 units during the first week of his latest album release.
If Young Thug has a quota to meet, he’s probably stressing right now…
The moral of the story is to stay focused on your passion, don’t chase the money, and don’t become distracted by the industry or it’s big game of smoke and mirrors.
Stay on course and make the best music you can.