10 advantages independent musicians have today that they didn’t 10 years ago

Times have indeed changed for the better

10 short years ago we were just beginning to think of the internet as a necessary convenience of modern life and the concept of the smartphone was just emerging. Fast forward to today and nearly every adult in the world is connected via a smartphone (even in third world countries!).

Consider how advancements in technology have empowered artists to launch their music careers in ways that would have been considered impossible in the early 2000's:

  1. Worldwide reach — They can start small and local or make their art accessible to billions right out of the gate. Their choice.
  2. Ultimate engagement — They can choose from a host of mediums to interact with their fan base at scale. Meaningful engagement translates into loyal relationships.
  3. Ease of “running the business” — Online tools and services designed to efficiently run small businesses are a natural fit for musicians.
  4. Economical music production — Standard laptop hardware and reasonably priced software can deliver levels of quality that is nearly equivalent to expensive studio time.
  5. Dedicated channels — Beyond the requisite website, they can establish channels on platforms with heavy traffic to share their art (think YouTube and Vimeo). Best of all, they have 100% decision rights on the content that is shared.
  6. Self management of income streams — E-commerce platforms and services to manage royalties offer simple opportunities to source alternative streams of income.
  7. Distribution on their own terms — Artists are now capable of dictating precisely when, where and how their music is distributed.
  8. Easy branding — Logos, cover art and other graphics can be produced using simplified software or economically outsourced to designers.
  9. Access to free resources — No longer does an artist need to rely on agents to navigate the landscape of the industry. A vast range of information and resources are readily accessible at zero cost.
  10. Transparency — Less middlemen = more transparency on inflows and outflows, plus higher margins.

Today’s independent musicians should be leveraging each of these advantages to the fullest extent possible. In doing so, they will be able to concentrate the majority of their energy on creative endeavors to fuel what matters most — their art.


This article originally appeared on swaggerlabs.com. We are dedicated to helping indie musicians master the formula for self management.