Part of the Music Industry will Die and that’s OK

Part of the music industry is going to die…and I’m okay with that.


Before you grab your pitchforks, hear me out..


There is nothing I love more than working with bands and putting together events for fans. For as long as I can remember, there have been people taking advantage of young, independent artists to make a quick buck. A part of the industry seems to have forgotten that we exist to create and innovate for the true fans of music.


I am ready for the people who don’t care, to fail, and for those that do, to succeed.


With that said..


I’m ready for pay to play promoters/venues to go out of business.


I’m ready for bands with no accountability to stop touring. (aka Trapt)


I’m ready for racist/transphobic/misogynist people to stop getting hired. (aka Lee Runestad)


I’m ready for Ticketmaster to go out of business.
(And all the other businesses who charge exponentially more with little innovation)


I’m ready for StubHub to go out of business.
(basically Ticketmaster with a different hat on)


I’m ready for Standby Records to go out of business. And all the other awful labels. I’ve seen these deals – they aren’t good for anyone.


I’m ready for all these “managers”, “consultants” and washed up A&R types who charge $1000+/month to give musicians basic advice to go out of business. If they “A&R’d a deal with so and so in 2001, you have to wonder why they haven’t done anything in the last 19 years. Youtube is free! Podcasts are free! Please utilize these tools before dishing out money.


I’m ready for awful venues to go out of business. I’m talking about the venues where the fans are uncomfortable attending and bands are uncomfortable playing. The ones where the staff doesn’t care, the owners don’t fix things, and the bands don’t want to come back. I realize this is harsh – but your music scene will be better off without them.


Some of the types I’ve mentioned, will return to business as usual. Just remember, the bands & the fans have the power. You can choose who you work with and how much you’re willing to pay. We can tell the sub-par operators in our scene that we’ve had enough.


We can grow from this very difficult time, and we can be better.



“There’s No Money In Music”

The world’s biggest lie. 

If you have decided to pursue being a professional musician, or work in the industry at all, you have likely heard this more times than you can count.

According to Live Nation Entertainment’s income statement, their revenue in 2014 was over $6.8 billion. More recently, Forbes reports that One Direction made $130 million in 2015. Sure the label and management take a cut, but that is proof of cold hard cash.

What about recording revenue declining every year?  

The money hasn’t disappeared; it is finding itself in a different place. For example, vinyl is on its way toward being a billion dollar industry. Touring seems to be another place where the money has moved. Live entertainment will never cease to exist, and fortunately for us, it will never cease to bring in money.

What about the bands claiming to lose money on tour?  

If you have read this article, you see that a band made $135,983, only to spend $147,802 and result in a net loss of $11,819.

The key here is that they generated $135k doing something your parents told you wasn’t possible. For every budget there need to be constraints, and if you can’t afford to lose money, don’t spend it. The glam of rock and roll and spending $50,000 on a music video is a thing of the past.

A good example of a more reigned in budget was the response to the previously mentioned article, where each band member could take home about $5,000 after a month long tour. [click here to see if I’m lying]

The purpose of this article is not to denounce your every doubt, but if you are still not convinced, go to Google and type in “music industry revenue” or something of a similar fashion. Numbers don’t lie. The trick to making money in this business is getting creative.

Explore multiple revenue streams, keep your budget efficient and effective, treat your band like a business and never forget those people who told you “there’s no money in music”. Don’t wave the first dollar you make in their face, it’s much more entertaining for them to just see you on TV one day.


Live Nation Income Statement:
Forbes – One Direction earnings –
Photo by Desi Mendoza