Outside The Box - The New Gold Rush in Music

Published 30 days ago • 2 min read

Hey, Reader, it's Jerome -

Is it the end of the industry?

A bold question, I know.

In recent months, the music industry has been undergoing massive shifts. Giants like Sony and Warner have initiated massive layoffs, and most recently UMG announced a workforce reduction of 40%. This brings many talented professionals into the market, sparking a mix of concern and speculation about the future.

So, what does this mean for the industry in general, for artists, and its ecosystem as we know it? Here are a few thoughts I've been pondering:

  • Are labels cutting loose new artists as they trim down their A&R teams?
  • Are all these music industry startups signaling a new "gold rush," echoing Silicon Valley's early days?
  • Are the Majors still relevant? Especially as indie artists claim a growing share of the market?

For those finding themselves on the outside looking in, the paths are as varied as they are intriguing:

  • Shifting career trajectories, moving away from the music industry's craziness.
  • Getting back in with one of the big 3, using all that experience and those connections they've got.
  • Launching new initiatives tailored to support the growing indie scene.

With the latter, why am I betting on a spike in interest for indie artists and labels?

Simply put, the indie scene has not only grown significantly but has also demonstrated a robust model of success. It’s becoming really common to find independent artists with millions of streams and fans, sometimes even outperforming some signed artists.

How? Because they manage to nurture their audience, they sell merch directly to their fans, bypassing third parties, and they have full control of their creativity.

The potential flow of industry veterans into the indie scene could start a new wave of growth and innovation.

They would bring a lot of experience and connections, previously reserved for A-listers, to a hungry and passionate pool of artists.

The question, however, remains: What specific value will they bring?

The comparison to full-stack developers is apt—they possess deep expertise in certain areas while maintaining a broad understanding of an artist's needs for growth and exposure.

Yet, this mix raises an important question: Will this collaboration pave the way for a new generation of genuine, independent A&R and modern marketing firms, or will it mislead artists in a different dependency?

So, yes - a lot is happening.

I believe we entered a new chapter of the industry, similar to the startup boom Silicon Valley experienced. Is success in the music industry about to change?

On that note, you know where to find me.

Best,
Jerome

P.S. My apologies for missing last week's issue. I've been delving into broader topics that feel like peeling an onion—layer after layer I need to figure out a smart way to cut them down. Stay tuned!

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