Be It Resolved That Musicians Are Much Better Off Than Ever Before. Discuss.

This should generate some comments.  Jeff Price, the former CEO of an US organization called TuneCore (and now a consultant for the Canadian industry group, CARAS) believes that musicians are better off now than they’ve ever been at any point in history.


As the former CEO and Founder of TuneCore, I can tell you that between just CD Baby and TuneCore there were at least 20,000-30,000 newly recorded releases distributed each month. Each major label currently signs/distributes/releases about 110 releases a year. That’s about 9 a month.
In its heyday in 1998, Warner was releasing about 365 releases a year, one a day.
This means there is more new music being recorded and distributed in just one month than all of the majors combined release in over 100 years.
Now add the fact that barriers to becoming a musician are lower due to technology – it costs less to record and you don’t need the same type of talent in order to create/write/record music (its easier now).
Therefore, there are more musicians, not fewer.


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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3 thoughts on “Be It Resolved That Musicians Are Much Better Off Than Ever Before. Discuss.

  • Sounds believable to me. I think people have gotten side tracked. We all like to look at the mega hit makers and say to ourselves its much harder to be a platinum selling artist today. While that is probably true, I think the main reason for that is the multitude of distribution methods and low cost of getting product made in the first place. There is simply way more choice out there.

    Before we had no choice but to head on over to the record store and see what we could find or just go with what we heard on the radio or saw on TV. Now, add the efficiency of the web and its myriad distribution methods (on-line radio, iTunes, and the rest). The consumer has so much to choose from and such an easy way to find it that the smaller guys get more time and the bigger guys get less.

    I for one welcome the little guys. I've heard enough Beatles, Metallica etc.

  • "Therefore, there are more musicians, not fewer", "'There are fewer people trying to make money as musicians today". True. But how do you vie for people's attention? The biggest hurdle for bands is to overcome obscurity, being remarkable enough to make an impact. Obviously the biggest vehicle is the Internet. One one hand, it's a free global radio station to promote yourself. On the other hand, the Internet is one big digital toilet, where what you put out there gets flushed away.

  • Well said. I'm a firm believer that social media can help a great deal in ones ability to promote oneself. I would argue that to be heard one only needs to have something go viral once to have a pretty significant impact. If stories are to be believed, Justin Beiber is actually proof of that. Once something has gone viral, you hopefully would have an audience that will remain after the tidal wave.

    Twitter, Facebook, You Tube, MySpace, and many more can all be utilized for little to no cost. A wise musician/band will hire an expert to help them develop a strategy but that could be down the road.


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