Future of the Music IndustryI wanted to dig in a little deeper about a blog I wrote a couple weeks ago about the Future of the Music Industry. Remember the acronym T.E.A.M from your high school sports? Together everyone achieves more. We all give lip service to it, but at the end of the day, it seems most people think that if someone else succeeds, then there is less success to go around for themselves. I’ve actually found the reverse to be true. JFK had it right: a rising tide lifts all boats.

A Brief Music History Lesson

Way back in 1991, Nirvana was just a small-time band from Aberdeen, Washington, getting ready to emerge onto the national scene. They had been around since 1988 under various names and drummer lineups, and after working very hard and touring for years with modest results, the band finally released their breakthrough album, Nevermind. At one point they were selling 400,000 albums a week!

Do you remember what happened shortly after that?

Artists Nirvana knew and respected all of a sudden started seeing huge success as well. Bands like Soundgarden, Alice In Chains and Pearl Jam were witnessing huge rises in their own record sales. They paved the way for bands like Smashing Pumpkins, Weezer and Green Day.

What Bands Working Together Actually Looks Like

Success follows success. So why not start working to build a community of local bands? With bands working together, you can actually:

  • Promote each other’s music. Five or ten bands working with five or ten fan bases is a big boost all around. Leverage each other’s skills and talents.
  • Tour together. Pool your resources, gig swap and switch off opening for one another, especially for long distance groups (bands in Cleveland open for bands in Columbus and Cincinnati and vice versa)
  • Release more CD’s. When bands can pool their resources to put out compilation CD’s, they can save money, and keep their material fresh. Everyone loves singles, so why not just put out one or two songs at a time?
  • Push people to shows for the full artist catalog. This ties into the compilation CD’s. Use your music as a promotional tool. Drive traffic to the live shows, where you’ll sell more CD’s! It’s win-win.

A word of caution is warranted here. One of the biggest reasons for failure is ego.Take it out of the equation. Too many bands and relationships have been torn apart due to the simple fact that someone’s ego got in the way. Focus on what you want to achieve, not who gets the credit. I would rather be successful than right.

Cary Crichlow, Senior Producer and Engineer
RCR Recording Studios