It’s no secret that the music industry, more than others, was rocked by the astounding growth of digital. The new formats and methods of distribution (not to mention rampant piracy) turned the entire industry on its head.
While the major record companies and big acts such as Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails have figured out new models to succeed in a radically changed consumer environment, new artists are still struggling to figure things out.
For the most part, they remain focused on the traditional method of putting out demos and gigging until they get ‘discovered’ by a label. But in the wake of dwindling record sales, labels slashing rosters and doubling down on acts that are expected to have hits, opportunities for new and truly original artists have become scarcer and scarcer.
Speaking at the Midem music conference, NERD frontman, Pharrell Williams offered some advice for new artists, that new artists don’t need to be as reliant on a label to make it big if they know how to market themselves.
“I would probably build a site, a home for my music, a destination where people could come and see me and what I do and what I’m thinking about.”
“I would want to establish myself and show the world that I have interesting music, but I would create that world. The more dimension that you give your music and your website, the more creative it becomes.”
For new acts, there couldn’t be a better time to start taking control of their own destiny. You need only look at Lady Gaga to know there are now endless opportunities to get heard and be seen, all without the support of a label. The challenge is in being savvy enough and brave enough to get onto those digital channels, publish your content and start building a following.