Music business and lockdown—has the industry gone digital?
Would you like to start your own business as a musician or with your band? In the music industry, there are many ways open to you to be successful with your business idea and your passion. Above all, creativity and a certain recognition value are important here. However, this post shouldn't be about tips about your music, but about independence itself. We'll tell you what to look out for when founding a company and how you can successfully set up your own business as a musician.
With good planning, you have very promising opportunities in the music industry. First of all, however, it should be said that very few newcomers can live directly from their music. For this reason, you should calculate what income you can expect and how the business is likely to develop before founding the company. A cooperation with more than 10,000 music companies in Germany can help you on the way to your goal.
Instead of being a lone fighter, you can also go into business for yourself with the support of music companies. As a rule, a specific contract is negotiated first, with which the framework conditions of your music and its publication are clarified and recorded in detail. Depending on the music company, it will be checked in advance whether you and your music are suitable for a partnership. Make sure that the work and artist contracts are always made at a fair level. Gag contracts with low earning potential are not the rule, but cannot generally be ruled out in music companies.
A look at the figures in the music industry shows that the willingness to invest has declined somewhat in recent years. Dominant corporations such as Sony Music and Warner Music are primarily responsible for this, which makes the path difficult for many small musicians. For this reason, large record companies are usually only of help if the numbers are already correct - in other words, more interesting for somewhat larger artists. Anyone who wants to be successful in self-employment in the music industry must therefore not only rely on large corporations. Independent labels and associations can also help to become self-employed as musicians.
It is not only as a singer, instrumentalist or with an interesting band that you can pave the way to your own independence. There are also vacancies in many positions as a freelance music teacher or conductor. Just see what offers and opportunities are available in your region and how high the potential is to establish yourself there. As a self-employed person, it can even be an advantage if, for example, there are not yet many freelance music teachers or the like. So you can establish yourself faster and build up a clientele. Depending on the region, you can also search for DJs and DJanes, party singers and entertainers.
Before you can fully focus on music professionally, a complete and well-thought-out business plan is required. With this you determine your start-up capital, check the actual effort and answer all questions that you may have before starting a business. The following questions should never be missing in a good business plan:
As in any other industry, you also need a certain amount of start-up capital in the music industry to set up your own business. Opportunities like crowdfunding can help you to fulfill your dream of your own music business, to gain awareness and to be financially secure through crowdfunding. Measures such as a new website, suitable instruments and possibly your own office or studio often have to be financed before the actual “product” for making money can be created. After that, profits can gradually be built up.
Crowdfunding: The word crowdfunding describes project-oriented financing through many small investments, also known as crowd financing. Artists formulate a specific goal that they want to achieve with the money they have raised. Example: 5,000 euros for a new drum set. Crowdfunding is therefore a popular option to support young companies and to start self-employment with little financial means out of their own pocket.
In order to become more successful with your music step by step, it is above all a good and well thought-out marketing that is important. Social media such as Instagram and YouTube, for example, but also large platforms such as Spotify, are suitable for this. A current homepage with some impressions of your work as a musician can also be useful for collaborations and fans.
In addition, make sure to regularly upload new content and keep your fans up to date. You can also create content on TikTok, for example, where music sometimes works particularly well. A good networking of your marketing channels in general is very important and can help you on your way to musical independence. It is best to ensure that there are visible links between the individual platforms in order to be able to build up more reach quickly and to successfully shape independence in the music industry. Cooperations with well-known artists can also catapult you to the top very quickly.
In order to become self-employed as a musician, you first have to take care of a few formalities and details. This includes, for example, the choice of the relevant status, common insurance issues and the legal framework. But what exactly has to be communicated and what are the prerequisites for self-employment?
For many musicians, it is a lifelong dream to live from their own music and to be creative. This not only includes writing new songs and recording them, but also planning and, above all, carrying out live performances, communicating with other artists and giving yourself the freedom to work your way. As a freelance and self-employed musician, you have to like the lifestyle that goes hand in hand with an artistic and extremely creative business idea.
From a financial point of view, it is not always easy to gain a foothold in the music industry in the long term without help. In many cases, it's the live performances that move the business forward and cover the rest of the costs. Income from streams on Spotify or GEMA's holdings provide a small amount of extra income, but are only significant if they are well known.
Many musicians would still answer yes at any time to the question of whether self-employment in the music industry was worth it for them. This is mainly due to the attitude to life that connects many musicians and creates such a strong sense of community. We at mukken would also like to help you make new contacts with other musicians and find your way into the industry. With our musician search, we connect you with other self-employed people and music enthusiasts.
As a musician, you have the chance to become successfully self-employed in many areas. Even if investments in the music industry have gradually declined, there are of course still good prospects in many parts of the industry - and besides the money, for us musicians, above all, our passion is also important. Right here on our platform, we would like to help you get to know other musicians and get in touch. We look forward to you!
Originally published on July 19, 2021, updated on January 7, 2022