If a musician wants to succeed in today’s music industry, one need to treat his or her music as a business. There is no two ways about it; if one aren’t wiling to put in the work to promote and market his or her music.
Why you need to learn the Music Business
So, why do artiste need to treat music as a business? Because without one carrying out proven marketing and promotion methods for their songs, people won’t even know the artiste exist.
Learning the music business involves learning how one can promote himself, how to build connections within the indusytry, learning various selling tactics, learning how to get gigs, planning out all the steps oine need to achieve his goals, and much more.
Ghana Music Industry
Ghanaians listen to hiplife, highlife, Gospel, Raggae and other African music. Musical trends have reflected changes in Ghanaian society over the last half-century. (1950s – 2000s).
Political instability and an economic downturn prompted a surge in religious activity in Ghana. Music resources and artists shifted from nightclubs to churches.
Gospel music became increasingly popular, with the Genesis Gospel Singers the most popular band of the decade.
The gospel cassette market flourished and developed into a sector which continues to play a significant role in the nation’s pop music scene to this day.
That was the attitude towards music and musicians back in the day. But has anything changed at all in this day and age of the internet and advanced technology?
What is equally clear, though, is that the value of music is almost as subjective financially as it is aesthetically. The economics of music, it turns out, is more dark art than dismal science. The lack of clarity around whether a particular work of music might be worth more or less than before has led to intensely divided opinions.
Several youngsters now believe they can make a living out of being involved in music. Unfortunately, these artists no longer make as much money from their recordings as they used to before piracy came into play. Advances in technology in modern times do not seem to have helped them. However, the successful musicians mentioned above continue to make most of their money the centuries old way, that is through live performances.
As with the rest of society, though, the lion’s share of live performance income, given our depressed economic situation, is increasingly going to only a tiny elite.
Priceless or worthless?
The question still remains whether or not music is worth anything. The answer, however, is a moving (if not almost invisible) target, which can add up to huge sums in expenditure – including anything from production, marketing and artist fees, to venue costs and road crew wages. Some will argue that after more than 36 years of cultural flux, music is now priceless. Others will argue that it is still worthless.
When compact discs came onto the scene, they became easier to manufacture. In fact, anyone with a computer could burn a music CD from another CD. The pirates discovered that this was an easy way of creating wealth (from nothing) for themselves and the big business of piracy began.
The artists who are involved in rehearsals, production costs of recording and marketing end up getting less than the pirates.
Some think that online downloads are a way of solving this problem. But perhaps not. Download sales cut out the cost of packaging, but artistes get only a slightly bigger share of revenues. Indeed, if measuring the financial ramifications of a track or stream in contemporary times is tricky, figuring out how that compares to records, CDs or downloads in years past is harder still.
The intricacies of the music industry stirred discussions about online streaming. Some argue that online streaming is an exploitation of a smaller industry that’s vastly better for artistes and listeners. Others think that free downloads and streaming should not take place, because whichever way, the artiste does not make as much money as he used to before all this technology came about.
The US, the world’s biggest market, took in 2014 revenues of just under $7 billion, according to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), down from an inflation-adjusted $20,6 billion at the 1999 peak. In other words, using 2015 amounts, the American record industry is slightly more than onethird its size before the bubble burst. That massive drop in revenues has come despite the advent of the iTunes download store, Spotify, and other potential industry saviours. And the decline hasn’t started reversing itself yet — revenues were relatively flat the last several years, according to the RIAA.