The early oughts marked a huge change for the music industry. Consumers suddenly had programs like Napster at their fingertips, which made downloading music a breeze — not to mention free. Meanwhile, the growing influence of social media has made breaking into the music business that much easier, and acclaimed Audioammer Studios engineer and musician Eyal Levi (Whitechapel, August Burns Red, The Black Dahlia Murder) points out there’s no longer a barrier to entering the industry — despite the fact that sales are dropping.
“While it’s true that people don’t make as much money as they used to, it’s not like that many people made that much money in the old days anyway,” Eyal tells Metal Insider. “More than likely, they have more of a shot at something in a career now than they would have back then. There’s no barrier to entry now.”
So, how does social media lead to increased opportunities for, say, an aspiring guitarist of a death metal band? “I’ve seen social media do nothing but help if it gets used correctly,” he says. “It has helped me tremendously since I started taking it seriously. Yeah, there’s definitely a lot of static on there, which can be harmful, but it’s the same thing as having radio and nothing good on. People eventually find a way to find what they’re looking for. I don’t see the negative.”
Social media’s place in the music industry definitely favors the consumer as opposed to the artist / record company (it’s easy enough to share songs through Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr), but Eyal sees this as a natural progression stemming from the industry’s own reluctance to kick CDs to the curb and embrace file sharing.
“The public adapted and figured out their own ways to use technology to get music. You snooze you lose. The industry lost,” he explains. “I think they waited a little bit too long. And then you totaled out with things like Guitar Center being huge and existing, and social media being huge. And then no wonder you have market saturation the way you do. It totally makes sense. No barrier to entry plus unlimited outlets equals market saturation.”
Market saturation may not be a bad thing for an aspiring musician hoping to get exposure, but it does mean that musicians might not make as much money –– and it’s more important than ever to be business savvy when navigating through the industry. As Eyal says “you need to approach the things you want to do with a business sense and find the angles on how you can profit from your endeavors.”
Source: Metal Insider