The Pros and Cons of Music Industry Saturation
The music industry brings about a lot of opportunities, but those opportunities don’t always come easy. Sometimes they land right in front of you, but most often you’ll spend years trying to obtain it. This isn’t necessarily because you’re not working hard enough (although you may want to take a step back and check yourself); rather, it’s because the music industry is very saturated.
Now, saturation can be a good and bad thing. First and foremost, saturation means that there are tons and tons of opportunities out there that are readily available for you. Some of them may be extremely over-populated and in high demand, but others may not be. This just means that you’re going to have to search even harder for that opportunity.
Saturation has occurred in more realms of the music industry than one can imagine, including festivals. There’s a music festival for just about every genre; however, some of the headlining ones include South by Southwest (SXSW), Tomorrowland, Ultra Music Festival, EDC Las Vegas and Orlando, and Lollapalooza. These festivals are put together by some of the world’s most talented, creative, and innovative individuals; however, every once in a while, someone thinks they’re the next Gary Richards, Russell Faibisch, or Alex Omes and slaps together a festival, particularly one that goes up in flames (Fyre Festival).
The scam that was Fyre Festival was marketed to be this extravagant festival on the beautiful, remote island of Bahamian of Great Exuma. Festival attendees forked over thousands and tens of thousands of dollars for “VIP” access to the event, only to find out that there were no employees, security, and they’d be sleeping in tents and receive their meals in styrofoam containers. Some people are out to make a quick buck, so to desaturate they put together a festival that was put together in a matter of minutes.
Saturation within the music has proven to be difficult for a handful of people, including us here at Jamvana. We receive a lot of submissions of music from artists, managers, and labels each and every day. We sift through them and select which ones have the best sound and are most innovative. (Remember, Jamvana is not volume distributor!) Among these submissions are genres from all walks of life, including hip-hop, rap, trance, techno, and everything in-between. More often than not, everyone is doing the same exact thing. Nobody’s music sounds different. If you want to desaturate yourself from the overly saturated music industry, do something innovative and unique, not something that everyone else is doing.
When artists are writing the same exact music by using the same plugins, presets, and sample packs that their favorite producers are using, then you can’t expect to get much in return, including a unique sound. Yes, you may have produced the next “banger” that is ready to be played up against the likes of deadmau5, Skrillex, and Tiësto, but when you’re searching for placements on blogs, Spotify playlists, and other promotional avenues, you will be denied because it sounds exactly like the aforementioned artists. Create music, but be creative and innovative with it. If a Spotify playlist owner wanted Tiësto in their playlist, they would’ve added him, not you.
Original, organic content is king.
Alongside being creative comes the organic content, fans, and traffic. If you’re going to generate original, innovative, and inspiring content, then the traffic and fans will follow. Generating organic content is going to be the most beneficial element that you will utilize as a growing artist. Organic fans mean they’re following you because they enjoy your music, not the knock-off of your favorite producer’s music. A lot of artists tend to want to remain independent these days and steer clear of signing with a label. While marketing and promotion are much more difficult and time-consuming, artists can become immensely successful. For example, Lil Pump is an independent rapper and refuses to sign with a label.
It’s all about giving someone a chance.
We’ve seen it a bazillion times: A club owner or promoter won’t book an artist for [insert excuse here]. Weeks or months later, that artist is opening for a few of the largest acts and headlining some of the world’s most renowned music festivals and that same club owner and promoter comes running back, insisting that the artist play at their club. The music industry is very grueling, and everyone has to start somewhere. Give them a chance. Give them the benefit of the doubt. You might be surprised by the outcome.
Saturation within the music industry has many pros and cons and will always come with a price to pay, and it’s up to you to prioritize which pros and cons come before each other and how much you’re going to pay. The opportunities and people are there. You just have to go out and get them.