Music Industry Illusions

Bad Math

© 2016 Vinny Ribas

One of the biggest challenges within the indie music industry is that there are far too many illusions, misconceptions and distorted beliefs. Here are a few things that you might believe or that people will try to tell you about the music industry that are, 99% of the time, far from the truth!

1. The right ‘connection’ can make you a star. It takes much more than connections to make a breakthrough in the industry. It takes talent, money, luck, timing and a whole lot more. Even the major record labels invest in artists who they think will be a star only to find that they just didn’t click with the public!

2. The music industry is dead. The truth is that the old ways of making money in the industry are rapidly changing, making it a ‘new music industry.’ But it is still very possible to have a long and prosperous career as a musician if you plan your moves correctly.
3. You can get paid for your talent. The truth is that anyone who hires you to perform or pays for your music has their own agenda. Artists get paid for things like filling seats, keeping a crowd, selling drinks, creating unforgettable concert experiences, taking people on a pleasant emotional journey both live and with their music, touching people’s hearts or making them feel less alone and/or making people feel like someone else understands them. There are many other reasons why artists succeed. You can be the most talented singer or musician in the world, but if you don’t give people a compelling reason to hire you or buy your music you will be much less successful.
4. You just need to be ‘discovered or get ‘a lucky break’. – The truth is that you need to deliberately put yourself in the way of opportunity. And even more importantly you need to be completely prepared to take advantage of that opportunity when it presents itself. For example, you might find yourself sitting next to and chatting with a major label executive on an airplane. Here’s your big chance!  He asks you for your business card. Do you have a professionally designed one? He wants to see your website. Do you have one that looks awesome and really does a good job of selling you and your music? He wants to see your live video. Do you have one with a clear picture and great sound? He wants to hear your music. Do you have a professionally produced CD to hand him? Does it look great? Does it have your contact information on it?
5. You either have to tour or live in a big city to make money in the music industry. The truth is that modern technology has made it possible to make money right from your living room. There are artists who make a living utilizing the power of YouTube videos. There are those who build up an large following and then perform online concerts. One friend of mine who had hits in the 70s recently made $120,000 in ONE online concert!
Nothing replaces hard work. And hard work, performed with the right mindset and channeled in the right direction will always pay off.
Vinny Ribas is the founder of Indie Connect and a personal mentor to independent artists and artist managers.
About The Author

Vinny Ribas

Vinny Ribas is the founder and CEO of Indie Connect, a global business club for serious independent artists, songwriters, musicians and music professionals. Indie Connect helps its members increase their chances of success by providing practical career direction and education, combined with live and online industry networking opportunities. During his 40+ year career, Vinny has been a full time musician, an artist manager, a booking agent, songwriter and the Entertainment Director for the NV State Fair. He is a published author and popular speaker at music industry conferences.