I came across a really cool article this week about the large growth in investments in the music industry for the year 2012. Many people, including myself, have the assumption that no one invests in the music business anymore. Oh contraire! Its just the investments are in different areas. Not as many investments are in the form of the traditional music business style – investing in major labels and recording artists. Investments are leaning more and more toward the digital age. Toward new media and new ways for consumers to acquire and listen to music.
With less than 2 weeks left in the 2012 year, it is reported that there is near 34% gains in investments this year, over 2011’s figures. Investments in music related startups and companies hit $613 Million dollars this year. The trend is noticed to be toward new media companies where people can stream or purchase music. Companies like Spotify, Soundcloud, My Music, Music XRay, and many other innovative sites that present new and easy ways for fans to get music, and for artists to control the distribution and circulation of their art. Against my initial assumption, Spotify wasn’t even the company with the highest investment figure. A company I was not aware of called “Sonos” tops the list with $135,000,000, followed by a quirky named “Deezer” coming in 2nd with $130,000,000. Sonos is a company that specialized in manufacturing High Fidelity Wi-Fi systems. “Deezer” is a French web-based music streaming service that allows users to listen to music on various devices. It is available online or offline. It has currently has an astounding number of songs available, more than 20 million licensed tracks, over 30,000 radio channels and 22 million users (1.5 million subscribers). Unfortunately, there service is not available yet in the U.S. Spotify, the most popular in the United States, received $100,000,000 in 2012.
Seeing this is really exciting news for us. It proves that the music business is alive and well. It’s just a NEW business. It is a very different business. Not the traditional major label driven industry that many of us once knew. Investments are moving more toward the indie/DIY artists. Not in an obvious way, but in the outlets they use to share their music with their fans. This to me is more crucial for indie/DIY artists. Yeah, we would all love to get some “investor” to front the bill for our music career. But then what? What would we do with all that money? You cannot, nor should you, spend it all on recording. If money were only being allocated and invested toward major labels, then all artists would still be dependant on major labels for the sustainability and life of their music career. But with more and more funds going toward the growth and development of forms of new media and outlets that are geared toward the career of the indie/DIY artists, this gives more opportunities for success for all artists. Not just the major label artists. It essentially levels the playing field. It gives all artists an equal opportunity to reach fans. Now your career is in your hands. With the growth and development of various forms of new media that are not controlled by major labels and corporate companies, ALL artists have an equal opportunity to make a living in the music business. Your success is not dependant on someone else deciding to play your songs or invest in your music career. Your success depends solely on you. It depends on your talent, and your willingness to work harder than everyone else.