The music industry is changing, and Steve Douglas is showing how artists can succeed by staying in tune with their individualities

The music industry has come a long way since the days of vinyl records and cassette tapes. With the advent of digital music and streaming services, the industry is in a constant state of change. Artists are no longer reliant on record labels to get their music out there. Instead, they can promote and distribute their music themselves, reach a wider audience, and make a living from their art. This has led to a more diverse and vibrant music scene, with a far wider range of artists in the market. However, it has 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 fundamental, non-discretionary, foundational information to all musicians from the most to the least advanced to navigate music's business side, his goal was to support artists and musicians staying true to their individualities. He proposes such a different approach to the market, some say it will not be so surprising if he upends the multi-billion dollar industry.

Douglas' brand couldn't have come at a better time considering how quickly the music scene is evolving, and Business Music might arguably be the best thing that has ever happened to the industry.

About Douglas

A native of Canada, Douglas began playing piano and drums at the tender age of 2. In 1985 at age 3, he was featured in a nationally syndicated music video and gave his first live on-stage drum performance at a Toots and The Maytals concert in Boston. From there he performed with various musical groups on 6 continents for well 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 was awarded a scholarship to the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami at just 10 years old. From Montreux to New Orleans he's performed at some of the most renowned jazz festivals in the world, and has performed on tour with the likes of The Rolling Stones, Sheryl Crow, the Black Eyed Peas and Willie Nelson.

In his post-music-industry career, he's worked with several Fortune 500 companies as a business advisor and operator in the fields of music/entertainment, medical, retail, consumer products, fashion, fitness, technology, education, L&D, human resources, and business operations.

Today he combines his real-world experience in both the music industry and global corporate affairs to provide informative, fundamental knowledge on the business of music.

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 about service. "In the early stages of the music industry - an industry less than 100 years old - business executives wanted to learn from customers to explore possibilities. As music and its business matured, an assumption developed based on notable data that consumer behavior is understood," shares Douglas.

The perceived assumption has somehow paved the way for homogeneity, as artists have been pushed by the business side of music to adopt a survival strategy of following trends to stay relevant and to appeal to a broader audience. "Artists tend to follow what's trendy, what other artists are doing, and what fans are consuming instead of making the business move relative to their music, personality, and audience," says Douglas.

This trend-chasing behavior has propelled several 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 feeling of stagnation in their careers, as it can be challenging to stay ahead of the curve and maintain a unique sound while also staying true to oneself.

"There is a general void of personal identity and, therefore, a lack of independence because the basis of the analysis is the followers that follow you, and you're following them. It's a cycle of following in which no one is leading anywhere or forging any straight lines," adds Douglas. "Obsession over customer service is not synonymous with following the customer. Businesses must understand what the customers like, but that doesn't mean they're necessarily serving exactly that because the business is the one 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 all good news for musicians.

Douglas points out, "As artists are increasingly well-equipped to manage their careers independent of the industry and label representation, there remains a gap between the passion and creative competence required to make music and the logistics, technicalities, and legalities required to do business."

Business Music - the solution

As Douglas accurately shines a light on the pain points in the industry, some are led to question how the industry can bridge the gap on artists' lack of insight on the business side. This need has given birth to Business Music, a comprehensive resource for artists struggling with business fundamentals.

"Rather than focus on marketing and promotion, Business Music emphasizes business fundamentals for musicians such as distribution, protection of intellectual property, and maximizing royalties," said Douglas.

Its library has over 150 videos, as well as an online course for a quick and direct download of need-to-know basics, all of which are tailored toward independent artists and individuals exploring label representation.

Business Music takes from case studies, artists' experiences, and insider details from over 30 years in the industry to give independent musicians a working knowledge of business fundamentals for a profitable career that protects their rights and their work.

"I'm not aiming to inspire people. I want individuals to walk away being informed," said Douglas.

The music business is in a line of dysfunctional operations that have continually stalled a golden age of prosperity for all. Douglas is optimistic that Business Music will put an end to this broken era by helping artists regain their creative freedom and explore their individualities without the fear of failing in the business side of music.

It's clear that the music industry is in a state of flux. It's hard to predict the future, but one thing is for sure: the industry is changing and becoming more democratized, where anyone can create and release music. At the forefront of this change is Steve Douglas and Business Music.

In a race to keep up with the changing tides in the music industry, Douglas has made his resource available for subscription to rising artists via the Business Music's official web page.

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