5 Reasons You Would Fail Epically, If You Ran a Business Like the Music Business!

I don’t know about you, but these days when somebody draws reference to the “music industry” or “the business” I  cringe a little. In fact, the “inner goings-on” of any world dominating business induces images of shadowy silhouettes devoid of all emotion, reacting only to the sound of a “kerching” – Although it’s quite possible I’ve watched way too many movies about soulless businesses…(The Firm/Network).

Conspiracy theories aside, one thing is clear –  there is no way you could succeed running a business the way the music business is run:

1)  Broken contracts

In music:

Forget verbal promises from one pal to another, I’m talking legally binding contracts where money has changed hands. The kind of things that create disgruntled fans, like celebrities being absent for appearances or cancelling shows at a moments’ notice (usually due to sudden illness), these happen all the time!

In real life:

Imagine hiring someone on the basis that they’d receive a salary, and then choosing to pay them in teabags. I’ll admit that it that took me a millisecond to conclude this would be ridiculous, but in all truth you’d probably be dealing with a highly caffeinated and very soon to be ex-employee!

2)  Excessive misogyny

In music:

“Bitch”, “ho”, “slut” (and several others) are terms that are readily accepted in music today – popular examples include Ludacris’ Move Bitch or Dr. Dre’s Bitches Ain’t Shit. While I’m not condoning them, it’s true such pejorative terms have caught on good and proper, have grossed large sums of money in sales and are even embraced by women across the globe!

In real life:

Imagine your employee Jane turned up late for work to which you yelled, “bitch, where were you?” It’s likely this incident would be swiftly followed by a heated tribunal leaving you jobless; whilst feminists everywhere gathered to burn effigies of you!

3)  Secrets and lies

In music:

The music industry is flooded with covert attempts at controversy, from phony album leaks to lying celebrity show-offs and fake YouTube views! Forget reality, it’s all about perception…

In real life:

Remember Matilda’s fantasy depiction of school in the movie? And then the actuality of school, with a terrifying Miss Trunchbull who’s idea of a fitting punishment was to lock children in a claustrophobic closet filled with spikes – absolutely inconceivable, right?

4)  Blatant nepotism

In music:

Music is full of platforms created simply because two people are well acquainted or share the same bloodline.

Whilst this is totally acceptable when it is clear the famous offspring was created for the spotlight much like the late but über-talented Whitney Houston (niece of Dionne Warrick), sometimes this is just not the case. Sometimes the music ain’t great and sometimes for every Whitney Houston, there is a Brooke Hogan…

In real life:

It’s actually quite common that a business is passed through the ages, generation to generation from grandfather to father, to son. However this is usually based on the offspring taking the reins and learning the ropes – not by pushing little Jr. into a pair of shoes 3 sizes too big.

5)  Confusing rebrands

In music:

So it was Puff daddy, then it was P. Diddy and sometimes still it’s Puffy, or Puff or simply, Diddy.  And it was Snoop Dogg but we all just called him Snoop and now he’s Snoop Lion? So we had Lil Bow Wow, but now he’s just Bow Wow and I’ve heard Lil Wayne is sometimes known as Lil Tunechi, too. And hold on, is Prince still just a symbol? I’m so confused…

In real life:

Once you create a business, spend time and money building the brand and creating a rapport with customers – the last thing you want to do is change the name. Unless out of complete necessity, no good can come from confusing loyal customers and you are likely to end up with two mindsets; those who refuse to adapt to the new name, and those who are confused, become weary of the reasons for change and so jump ship!

These are just a fraction of the many questionable ethics and morals behind the business of music yet despite its many flaws, it is a business that continues to function, year after year.

Does this prove that when a product is genuinely valuable, room for error expands? Or perhaps this sheds light on the consumers made up of artists and fans; who buy into a business so well honed in escapism, that room for reality is limited…

This article was contributed by musician Dreama; who describes herself as ‘a girl-emcee sat somewhere sipping tea’. You can read more of her musings or jam-out to her tunes on her official website: http://dreamasreality.com.

Posted in Music MarketingTagged , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply