Major Problems of The Global Music Industry
Music is a global force to be reckoned with. Yes, it does generate billions of dollars every year, churns out a lot of artists, contents, labels, tech, and much more. Yet, it is not without its attendant major problems. As you’ll get to see, these problems suck the life out of the music industry. As such, even a career as an artist, or key player in the industry, begins to assume a daunting proposition.
1. Lack of Funds
Lack of funds is a growing problem across all spheres of life, and the global music industry is not left out. In fact, many would argue that it’s one of the worst hit in terms of funds needed for a host of things including running labels, paying vital workers, and young prospects having none of it to chase their ambitions. It’s therefore becoming more expensive to keep a tab on things. Records can’t be made without money, and even if they were made, distribution of copies take funds even though selling the records will generate some. Furthermore, many brands can’t afford marketing campaigns. Neither do they have the ability to ensure artist’s merchandise get out to fans that need them. This is why it’s been suggested that the global music industry is very much like life itself – the richest and most famous artists and labels will only get richer.
It’s hard to proffer a solution to the menace that is paucity of funds. However, one way to help involves those who want to make a career out of the music industry. They should get enough knowledge about what they’re getting into. Also, global music industry players must search out more means to generate funds for different projects.
2. The Album Problems
Releasing an album used to be the stuff of legend. How else were artists like the legendary Michael Jackson, Fela Kuti, The Beatles, and much more supposed to keep fans coming back for more? But the times have sure changed a lot because there has been a collapse of the ideals an album transmits. Perhaps this is as a result of huge drops in revenue generated or the fact that fans are no longer interested in ‘buying the whole package.’
At the moment, it’s a ‘singles’ world because consumers of global music only have a nose for the best tracks in any album. As such, artists can barely recoup what they spent making beautiful music. In addition, this is a major problem that’s not common to one region. Executives, artists, and labels, are currently figuring out how to make the whole package an album represents, more lucrative.
3. Short-term Record Deals Have Become the Norm
Short-term deals have become a regular on the landscape that is the global music industry. Sure, it has its benefits. However, it has slowly snowballed into a major problem. This is because would-be high-profile artists had to go through a process of growth in order to learn their craft, and build up a steam of experience.
In the global music industry, there’s now an emphasis on the finished product. Young stars are now mandated to have polished tracks, a swirling personality, and a marketable profile that brings in the big bucks. There’s no longer an art to what they do because money is the sole aim of it all.
Of course, money is great, and the first point in this article pointed to the fact that the industry is facing a lack of funds. But, money being the overall agenda is a disaster in the waiting.
4. No Guaranteed Return on Investment
In a bid to make money, many artists are willing to do anything including use all they have to be rich and famous. So they throw in everything; the bath, sink, and the whole bathroom in terms of finances, to get what they want.
However, music, as time has shown, isn’t a fool-proof industry where you immediately get what you put in or get anything at all. Recording, artworks, promotions, tours, and other expenses are expensive. As such, it doesn’t make sense to expect a guaranteed profit because that’s never the case. For example, many bands started off the same year The Beatles did; the same year Boys to Men did; and the same year the Jackson 5 did. Were they all successful? History has answered that question. Furthermore, the global music industry is rife with stars trying to live a lavish lifestyle. As a result, most of them are left without a bank balance to support their music, let alone themselves. Perhaps a bit of orientation to help upcoming artist learn the economic side of the music industry would be beneficial.
5 . The Rise in Technology and the Talent Drain
Since artists are now globally considered as brands, there has been more drive to unearth new talent. Also, with technology, music reaches far and wide. The global music industry also depends on technology to fine tune processes involved with the creation of music. But there’s a rising question that doesn’t seem to have an answer. Has technology aided the problems in the global music industry?
There are different sides to this, but the take of this article is that, technology has only papered over the cracks. This is because talent is now the least requirement to be a bonafide global star. Sure, we still have one-off, talented, stars such as Adele, Angelique Kidjo, Beyoncé, Eminem, and much more. But the next generation of stars simply aren’t fit to lace their boots. As such, the legacy of the global music industry is under threat.
Music is a great endeavor. But problems like those mentioned above only serve to ridicule its progress. The global music industry must find ways to solve such issues before they become tradition.