Category Archives: Labels

Careers in the Music Industry – Getting Into a Music Career

The year may be different, but some things about the music business are still the same. One must find the right door to make it in successfully. You may be a singer, songwriter, dancer, or a music technician. Getting your start in the music industry can be a matter of being in the right place at the right time.

If you have followed the music industry over the years, then this is no secret. In certain circumstances, it is as much who you know as it is what you know. That is the “mystique” of the music business.

The entertainment business has changed. There are more ways for musical artists to break into the biz. They seem to be springing up from everywhere. Shows like “American Idol” started the reality show craze to find new talent. It’s like “Star Search” gone wild.

Technology has advanced as well. music used to be available on vinyl records or eight-track tapes. Now, there are CD’s, mp3 players, cell phones with music capabilities, and other electronic ways to hear and capture music. With new advances come more jobs for technicians who want to try their hand at laying tracks and creating new sounds.

Even with all of this, one has to be creative to break into the music business. It is a challenge but if music is in your blood, you will find a way. Start with your education.

No one wants to hear that an education is important. We all heard that speech in high school. Well, it’s true. And, education in the arts is more sophisticated than you think. You won’t be sitting in a stuffy classroom all day listening to a Ben Stein-esque teacher quote music theory.

To get the most from your college education, you need to be sure that the professors have had practical experience in the music industry and that they keep current with music trends. The class sizes are small enough that you get hands-on time with the equipment. Both of these things will benefit you when you look for a job.

Beyond education, get your name out there. Free Internet sites like MySpace and YouTube can be used to your advantage. Create a page and upload videos of your work. If you are a sound mixer, broadcast new sounds. Copyright your work so that no one can steal it from you. Millions of people surf the net so you never know who might discover your talent.

Everyone wants a permanent job over temporary work. It is steady income that puts food on the table and pays the bills. But, consider contract work as a way to gain experience and make industry contacts. music videos are staffed on a job by job basis. You can get work on one of these productions.

Treat your contract work as a once in a lifetime shot. You will be there for the duration of the job, so make every moment count. Show them what you can do. Follow all instructions to the letter and, if there is an opportunity to make a suggestion, offer a bit of your artistic creativity. Grandstanding is not necessary. In fact, it may get you booted out. Your bosses want to see that you work hard and know how to do the job efficiently.

Gain more experience through your church. Yes, I said church. Many churches these days are high tech. They record their services including the musical worship for sale to members and on the Internet. music technicians are needed to facilitate the production and to create the multimedia output. The gospel music industry is booming, too.

Don’t sell yourself short. Use all avenues to gain experience for that ultimate music job that you seek. A resume filled with a variety of work experience is a plus.

-By: Lisa Jenkins

With a wide variety of ways to get music jobs people are finding opportunities around every corner. The advancement of technologies and the popularity of reality television have opened doors to those who didn’t think it possible to follow their dreams. careers in music are not hard to get if you continue with schooling and gain helpful hands-on experience. Lisa Jenkins, a freelance writer for, has done research on getting into the music industry and offers insightful information on music producer jobs and just about every other type of job in the business.

Can New Up-and-Coming Artists Or Labels Afford to Give Away Music For Free?

With the proliferation of large megastar artists giving away their music for free, think Prince, Oasis, NIN Radiohead and Coldplay, is giving away music just a brief trend or is it here for the long-haul? Where does it leave young new artists who have not had the benefit of large marketing budgets to build national and international audiences? Will young up and coming artists be able to derive an income from other income sources if they give their recorded music away for free? Where does this, leave record labels in terms of investment in new talent?

This last year has witnessed numerous free or quasai free music giveaway models where large globally recognized artists primarily of megastar status have given away their music for free. Quite often these artist were actually paid and it was a brand whether that be a newspaper or a radio station that paid the artist a fee to give away the music to their customers for free. So to the consumer it appeared as a free giveaway but in reality the artist was paid a fee. The Prince giveaway was a hardcopy CD with the aim to drive footfall at concerts, whilst Oasis was a digital giveaway by a radio station, NIN was a straight digital album giveaway and Radiohead was a set your own price mechanism for a digital album with the aim to release a high cost physical album at a later date.

Now are any of the above variations feasible for new and upcoming artists? I seriously doubt it, as all of the above artists had seriously large marketing budgets put behind them at the beginning of their careers to which played a significant role in the international audience levels they now command. To gain exposure and build an international career in the music business requires serious marketing budgets, none of which, new and upcoming artist have access to. New artists, have none of the income streams available to massive megastar stature artists. Subsequently, I personally believe that giving away recorded music for free will actually lead to a further downward cycle in the sale of recorded music.

Implicit in the giving away of music for free, is a direct association with the devaluation of recorded music in the eyes of the consumer. So are these megastars playing a direct part in the devaluation of music in the eyes of the fan? Reluctantly, I would state that they are, as whilst it increases there own income potential, on the flip side it adversely effect’s the income streams available to new and un-established artist’s. If new artist do not have significant marketing budgets behind them to build and grow an audience base from which they can afford to give away their recorded music for free, obviously larger artists giving away their music for free is detrimental to new and upcoming artists career potential.

Does creating the perception of recorded music being given away for free even if that is not the case ie. It was paid for by some brand so it would be free to the consumer do artists, songwriters, labels and publishers any favors? If anything it reinforces the perception of music being valueless in the eyes of the music consumer. The argument follows that if consumers are expecting their recorded music for free where is the money for a label to sign an artist or a publisher a songwriter, going to come from if that label cannot sell that recorded music to music consumers? Faced with ever-receding incoming revenue labels cannot afford for music to be given away for free.

If free is the model of the future, how will labels and artists make their income? Flogging artists to endorse other consumer brands may be one option. But realistically, how many artists would even consider such tie-ups? As obviously, if brands are paying for a release they are going to want to have a much high level of control not yet seen over artistic creativity and style of the artists they are funding. Is such a model sustainable in the longer-term? It may have a part to play in large manufactured pop artists careers, but apart from that in my mind it has limited viability.

Sadly, I do believe that due to the increasing number of megastars demonstrating the appearance of giving away their music for free that it may be a model which is here for the long haul. My main concern is that it is the 360 deals artists are doing with the likes of Live Nation that are driving this freebee model. Perhaps they can sustain it, yet the record labels certainly cannot. If recorded music is being given away for free, what money will labels have to invest in new artists? If labels have less to invest in artists due to recorded music being devalued in such a manner how can an artist expect to have a reasonable chance at a long-term career as an artist like the megastar artists. What happens when these massive global stars pass away? What will there be left for the industry and artists if the music we all love is unsustainable as a business?

-By: Jakomi Mathews

Jakomi Mathews – Digital/mobile music consultant, speaker and innovator