The music industry is changing and Steve Douglas shows how artists can succeed by staying in tune with their individuality
The music industry has come a long way since the days of vinyl records and cassettes. With the advent of digital music and streaming services, the industry is constantly evolving. Artists no longer depend on record labels to distribute their music. Instead, they can self-promote and distribute their music, reach a wider audience, and make a living from their art. This has led to a more diverse and vibrant music scene, with a much wider range of artists in the market. However, it also made it harder for new artists to break into the industry and be heard.
When Steve Douglas conceptualized Business Music, an educational resource providing foundational, non-discretionary, foundational information for all musicians, from advanced to less advanced, to navigate the business side of music, his goal was to help artists and musicians to remain true to their individuality. It offers such a different approach to the market that some say it won’t be so surprising if it shakes up the multi-billion dollar industry.
Douglas’ brand couldn’t have come at a better time considering how quickly the music scene is changing, and Business Music could arguably be the best thing that has ever happened to the industry.
Originally from Canada, Douglas started playing the piano and drums at the age of 2. In 1985, at the age of 3, he was featured in a nationally released music video and gave his first live drum performance on stage at a Toots and The Maytals concert. In Boston. From there, he performed with various musical groups on 6 continents for over a decade, including sold-out shows at iconic venues like Wembley Stadium and Madison Square Garden. Not only a seasoned live performer, he also honed his skills as a prodigal percussionist when he received a scholarship to the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music at just 10 years old. From Montreux to New Orleans, he has performed at some of the most renowned jazz festivals in the world and has toured with the Rolling Stones, Sheryl Crow, the Black Eyed Peas and Willie Nelson.
In his post-music industry career, he has worked with several Fortune 500 companies as a business advisor and operator in music/entertainment, medical, retail, consumer products, fashion, fitness, technology, education, training and development, human resources, and business operations.
Today, he combines his real-world experience in both the music industry and global corporate affairs to provide informative and fundamental knowledge about the music business.
The music industry – a look at its past, present and future
When the music industry started, it wasn’t just about the money; it was a service issue. “In the early stages of the music industry – an industry less than 100 years old – business leaders wanted to learn from customers to explore possibilities. As music and its business has matured, an assumption has developed based on notable data that consumer behavior is understood,shares Douglas.
The perceived assumption kind of paved the way for homogeneity, as artists were driven by the business side of music to adopt a survival strategy of following trends to stay relevant and appeal to a wider audience. “Artists tend to follow what’s trending, what other artists are doing and what fans are consuming instead of growing the business based on their music, personality and audience.says Douglas.
This trend-seeking behavior has propelled many musicians to stardom, but it has also resulted in artists missing out on opportunities to create something original and groundbreaking. This can lead to a loss of creativity and a sense of stagnation in their careers, as it can be difficult to stay ahead of the game and maintain a unique sound while remaining true to yourself.
“There is a general void of personal identity and, therefore, a lack of independence because the basis of the analysis is the followers who follow you, and you follow them. It’s a follow cycle in which no one leads anywhere or forges any straight lineadds Douglas. “Obsession with customer service is not synonymous with following the customer. Businesses need to understand what customers like, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they serve exactly that, because it’s the business that’s innovating.“
Fortunately, the music industry has undergone a dramatic transformation in recent years due to the advent of digital technology and the growth of the Internet. The traditional music business model, in which music was sold as physical recordings, has been replaced by a new model in which music is distributed as digital files and streamed online. While this change seems to shift the industry from its original design, it’s not good news for musicians.
Douglas clarifies:While artists are increasingly well equipped to manage their careers independently of industry and label representation, there remains a gap between the passion and creative skill needed to make music and the logistics, aspects technical and legal aspects necessary to do business.“
Business music – the solution
While Douglas accurately shines a light on the pain points of the industry, some are left to wonder how the industry can fill artists’ lack of insight on the business side. This need gave rise to Business Music, a comprehensive resource for artists struggling with business fundamentals.
“Rather than focusing on marketing and promotion, Business Music emphasizes business fundamentals for musicians such as distribution, protecting intellectual property and maximizing royalties,said Douglas.
Its library contains over 150 videos, as well as an online course for quick and direct download of the essential basics, all suitable for independent artists and people exploring label representation.
Business Music draws on case studies, artist experiences and insider details from over 30 years in the industry to give freelance musicians a working knowledge of business fundamentals for a profitable career which protects their rights and their work.
“I’m not trying to inspire people. I want people to leave informed,said Douglas.
The music industry is in a dysfunctional line of operations that has continually blocked a golden age of prosperity for all. Douglas is optimistic that Business Music will end this shattered era by helping artists regain their creative freedom and explore their individualities without fear of failure in the business of music.
It is clear that the music industry is changing. It is difficult to predict the future, but one thing is certain: the industry is evolving and becoming more democratic, where anyone can create and distribute music. Steve Douglas and Business Music are at the forefront of this change.
In a race to keep up with the changing tides in the music industry, Douglas has made his resource available to emerging artists through the official Business Music webpage.
Jank Guitar Store Records