How economic factors affect the music industry
Culture has always had a relation to the conditions that surround it. Whether it’s films documenting a recent natural disaster, or a musician writing a song about their experience growing up, there has never been a shortage of content surrounding our reality (or even distorting it). For example, during the Great Depression in the USA, there were many films showing fancy cocktail parties in order to lift the spirits of people watching. Likewise, during the post-recession of 2008, many songwriters within the music industry have been writing about their success during the past decade which is relatable to fans. A great example of this is Sigala’s new song with Ella Eyre:
The true story of the past decade has been a lot harder to understand that most people would imagine. With streaming on the rise, many traditional musicians that made their money via traditional album sales have struggled just to break-even with their music career. For a lot of people in the music industry, this is just the harsh reality. Only ten years ago, the housing market collapsed, there was mass unemployment across the world, and the entire music industry was caught in a big problem. But how do money and economic factors affect the music industry? That’s what we’re going to discuss in this article.
Popular music has regularly maintained its popularity due to its ability to take people away from their daily lives. The exact same principles apply to music festivals such as Tomorrowland or Ultra Miami. Because despite the hardships (such as a recession) that someone may face, they can always turn to culture in order to feel an uplift in mood. From 2008 onwards, the lack of financial interest within the lyrics of music has certainly reflected on the world’s ability to stand together as a collective. The majority of songwriters want to please all of their fans, and so mentioning making millions of dollars isn’t the best way to appease them.
Despite all of this, it is certainly undeniable that a lot of wealth gives people in the music industry to sing/write about. Whether it’s Lil Pump with ‘Gucci Gang’, or even ‘Dirty Sexy Money’ by David Guetta, the foundational pillar of materialism within culture is definitely a great talking point when it comes to making new music. During the lyrics of ‘Royals’ by Lorde, she talks about how mispositioned the current music is in relation to the times. “But every song’s like gold teeth, Grey Goose, trippin’ in the bathroom… We don’t care, we’re driving Cadillacs in our dreams …”
Although many people on social media (and in the music industry) regularly talk about their happiness & success, the true story is often extremely different. Just because somebody is “fronting” on Instagram with a Ferrari does not necessarily mean they own it. Instead, Lorde talks about how people are driving “Cadillacs in our dreams” in response to the harsh realities that many people within both the music and entertainment industry face.
The truth is that many people will lie about their problems in life in order to make their lifestyle seem perfect. You only have to take a look at the likes of 50 Cent & Kanye West who have been in millions of dollars of debt to realize that the economics of the music industry is not as bright as many would assume to think. Similar to the days of The Great Depression, artists & singers are still portraying financial lifestyles that are different from reality in order to keep the mainstream audience’s spirits up.