Originally published by So’lano Music Group.
Pop musicians carry with them a reputation for being packaged products. They have a certain style to which they adhere, their names and faces grace innumerable novelty products, and they make as active an effort to become a brand as any other commercial offering.
And yet, with few exceptions, the career of a pop star is relatively brief: a first album that establishes their name before their fame, a “breakthrough” album that puts them on the map, and, if they’re lucky, a sophomore follow-up that proves a worthy successor before a new trend sweeps them off the headlines.
So what is the music industry really about? The song. A song is a product far more versatile, and thus more valuable, than the average musician. Between initial albums and rereleases, placement in movies or television, samples, covers, and karaoke versions, a song isn’t simply a chip in the industry’s poker game, it’s the pot.
Being a performer, you have the potential to earn an income when your recordings are used. If you are the songwriter in the performing group, you can earn income above and beyond the rest of the band. Even if you aren’t in a group, being a writer of in-demand songs has the potential to be highly profitable.
The process of becoming a songwriter is not a simple one, but neither is it an impossible task for those lacking an apparent, natural gift. Various skills can be developed, patterns learned, and tools acquired. Conventions, conferences, and workshops abound for those seeking professional nurturing.
Once you have a song, you can play it yourself, shop it around to friends, crowdsource performers, submit it to A&R organizations, or even get an agent who will connect you with a publisher to position your music to earn an income.
Finally, there are various organizations around the world who will happily sign you up to earn royalties: ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, CMRRA, SOCAN, SODRAC, and the Harry Fox Agency are only the tip of a long list, and those are just the major players in North America.
Creating and marketing a song is just as challenging as creating and marketing any product in any industry. But it cannot be said that the means do not exist, it is simply a matter of tracking them down, and offering them exactly what the industry thrives on: a really good song.by