The music business for all intents and purposes is an abstract business model. That’s because it’s a moving target, changing all the time. There’s not much about the business that’s concrete except the music itself.
The music is real. It comes from a real place. It’s written or recorded in a manner that produces real sound on instruments created mostly from materials that came from the earth.
So why do we continually chase this illusive thing that is supposed to anchor in a safe harbor before you are able to sail into the sunset of a profitable career?
The answer is simple. We chase the illusion because lots of people profess it is true.
In theory, if you have a collection of music that’s been recorded, registered with a PRO, packaged, and ready for release you should be able to make all kinds of positive things happen through contacts you’ve made on social media and various internet platforms. There are tons of marketing experts who provide all kinds of advice on the topic daily. Still, I’ve yet to see these strategies work toward the satisfaction of the majority.
The reason for this is simple, too. No one has truly figured it out. This is not a One Size Fits All business. It’s art. And art is not objective. It’s not stagnate like measuring out and putting value on a gallon of milk. Therefore, all the theories in the world cannot leverage music marketing on the internet into a viable business model.
In the 20th century when music was a massively profitable business everything was done in real time and it worked for the majority who followed the business model. Many things have changed since then, but at the time the only option toward success meant having real connections with real people working in a three dimensional world producing results without the delusion of making something else happen in the fourth dimension we call cyberspace.
Things took time. They didn’t move at the speed of sound. Time and the speed of sound are guiding forces that make the world go round even though they, too, are illusions. They’re standardized to the point we rely on the basis of these tested theories as easily as we breathe. Digital marketing has not been tested and standardized, and likely never will be for something as subjective as music.
It is extremely frustrating for realists attempting to get something done in a theoretical world producing delusional results.
My advice is this. Do your work in a three-dimensional world in real time with real people and forget about the theories. It worked very well for hundreds of years and it will continue to work for those who pursue it.