A business plan for an indie artist is like planning a vacation on a tropical island in a 3rd world country 13 years from now. But one thing is for sure. What does the music industry and the 1800 gold rush have in common? Its not the people digging for gold who made most of the money, it was the guys who sold the picks, shovels, the Levis, the booze etc.... Well thats where we are now in music. Do musicians make money? Sure. Is it hard to do? Yes. With all the artists on the net, guess who is happy? The people who are helping musicians get stuff out into the world. I got to take a class on music production from legendary jazz producer Orin Keepnews and one of the first things he said in the class was (keep in mind he has been around since they used shellac on tapes to record with) this is the most changes in the industry he has seen in recent memory. That class was over 3 years ago and making music and getting music out to people has changed a lot. I'm sure with all the blogs, books and seminars on this, if someone was going to stay on top of it they would not have time to use the restroom, let alone make music. The good news in what I have seen on popular sites like Youtube is that they are giving opportunities that did not exist when the site first opened. Around 2011 they saw there was money in advertisement using indie music. Some other sites are doing fair share programs that give the artist half of what that company makes in a month.
One new thing that most sites have that I am happier than a pig in shit about is the statistic features. A lot of musician friends of mine are overlooking it. I would've loved to know what worked back in the Myspace days. Another cool thing they have now that I remember complaining about not being accessible to me are widgets. I guess the point I'm trying to make is that its getting easier and harder to get ahead in music. It all boils down to writing good music and not expecting other people to do the dirty work for you.
Another cool thing about technology is drum machines. I know a lot of people are against them but the way I look at it is the thing does not show up to rehearsals drunk and it doesn't pick up on my wife. Good recording equipment is getting more affordable as well. Which is a good and bad thing. You could wind up with some good music or it could be like giving a blind guy a machete.