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Book details
  • Genre:MUSIC
  • SubGenre:Business Aspects
  • Language:English
  • Pages:133
  • eBook ISBN:9780989522106

The New Rules of Music Marketing

by Michael Barry

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An indispensable new eBook from marketing consultant Michael Barry and Princeton Creative Marketing written specifically for the independent music business. Learn how to combine time-tested marketing principles with new online tools for marketing and selling your music or services.


The average independent musician, that is, a musician without a major label or publishing contract, struggles to earn a living even in the best of times. Those lucky enough to be salaried musicians, such as music directors or staff composers, earn an average salary of about $35,000 a year. Of the roughly 250,000 or so who list themselves as musicians on their tax returns, 40 percent are employed only part-time, and almost half are self-employed. About 85% of all CDs released every year sell fewer than 100 copies, and most musicians will never be able to earn a full time living from the music business. It doesn’t really sound like the best business to be in, does it? On the other hand, in May of 2012, without any major label support, independent musician Amanda Palmer raised $1,192,793 (in thirty days!) from fans and supporters through “crowdfunding” on Kickstarter.com. That same month, thousands of good musicians struggled to pay the rent. Clearly, for many musicians, there is a problem here, yet a handful seem to have found a goldmine. What enables one of these musicians to pull in over a million dollars in a month, while so many others muddle along for years barely earning a living wage? There is no simple answer, but if I had to choose one factor, it would be marketing. Not talent, not luck, not money. Marketing. Unfortunately, most musicians don’t understand what marketing is. To succeed in this business, you have to first understand the rules. It would be nice to believe that there aren’t any, but in fact there are. The good news is that The New Rules of Music Marketing is here to help.

About the author

Michael Barry, M.B.A., B.A. started his career in music performance and production and eventually moved to the marketing side of the music business. For the past decade he has worked as a marketing consultant for music and arts, small businesses and non-profits. He is currently the owner of Princeton Creative Marketing, a consultancy that specializes in those same areas. In the world of music, he has continually worked to help musicians navigate the uncertain world of today’s independent music business. He has taught marketing, business, writing and music courses at the New School in New York City, Norwalk Community College in Connecticut and at the International Studio of Music. He is a frequent industry panelist, guest lecturer and instructor and has published his work in journals, newspapers, magazines and online. Some of his recent marketing consulting clients include ETS, H&R Block, Laughing Buddha Music, the Global Language Project, Studios Rouges, World Music TV, S4 Holdings, and Ahlara International. He can be reached at mike@princetoncreative.com.