Why Nothing Can Actually Save The Music Business

We try our absolute hardest to bring as much quality content as possible. Over the last year we have upped our efforts from five posts a week to seven, and from there we have been upping our game whenever time allows. I think the most we’ve ever posted in seven days is 10 articles, and I’m not sure we would want to do many more than that. People can only take so much information in one sitting, you know?

Anyways, we wanted to try make eight weekly posts a staple of our content plan, so today we are sharing a special guest blog from our friend Andrew Jones on the topic of whether or not the industry can be saved. This blog exists to promote the future of the music industry, and to do that we need input from people like you and your music-loving friends. If you have any questions about the content in this article, or if you have an artist you would like to see featured on this blog, please contact james@haulix.com and share your thoughts. We can also be found on Twitter and Facebook.

Nothing in this world can save the music business. Not a piece of software, not a fan initiative, no radio station or big idea. Nothing can actually save the music business.


Because it doesn’t need saving.

I grow weary of articles talking about this band or that website saving music. Music is fine, and for as long as people have souls, there will always be people who make their living making music to feed those souls. That has always been the case and it will be that way until the end of time. Humans need music, being a great musician takes time, time costs money, and people are willing to pay.

We can look back to even the most ancient of civilizations and find music as a profession. The Bible talks about a professional musician who lived in the FIRST city (Gen. 4). All over the world, where there was commerce, there were musicians under the employ of religious orders, priesthoods, Kings, queens and rulers. By the time of the Roman Empire, rich patrons would hire and support musicians and other artists. It’s hard to say when exactly “ticketed” artistic events began to take full swing, but certainly by the 1500′s it was part of the landscape. And then in the early 1900′s people began to record music onto wax.

And thus in the early 1900′s the recording industry was born; not the music business, the recording industry.

Remember, the music business is untraceabley old. Let’s be very conservative and call it 5000 years. The recording industry is about 100 years old.

The recording industry first looked like it might fall apart in the 1920′s with the advent of radio, but it didn’t. It grew. It grew and it grew and it grew. It grew until it was 100 years old and made lots of dudes in suits lots of money and a couple artists along the way too.

But then the recording industry got old and sick and lazy. Instead of finding creative ways to use the internet (Apple and others did that for them later) they blamed the internet and sued their fans. As a result, the recording industry is in trouble.

BUT how is the music business doing? Well, artists can (for the first time) receive direct support from thousands of micro-patrons, record and sell their music more affordably then ever, bands can interact directly with fans and organically boost live show attendance and audience retention, kids recording with webcams are being flown around the world to perform at festivals AND PEOPLE STILL LOVE AND SUPPORT MUSIC.

So, you can try to save the recording industry if you want; but don’t try to tell me you are saving the music business, it’s not going away anytime soon.

This post was written by Andrew Jones, editor of Checkered Owl. It originally ran on his blog, but we loved it so much we felt it deserved to shared once more on ours. If you like his work and want to read more of his writing, or if you want to be super cool and offer him full time industry employment, reach out and connect with him on Twitter.

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the Director of Customer Engagement at Haulix and host of the company's podcast, Inside Music. He is also a public speaker known for promoting careers in the entertainment industry, as well as an entertainment journalist with over a decade of experience. His bylines include Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, Nu Sound, and Under The Gun Review, among other popular outlets.