I have been an independent artist for over 14 years, in bands on major and indie labels, and I’ve witnessed first-hand some amazing disruptions within our industry. Recording technologies have evolved so much that artists now have the ability to make high-dollar sounding records from apps in their bedrooms and deliver those recordings digitally to fans in their bedrooms. The early signs of digital disruptions with peer-to-peer sharing seemed likely to be the final nail in the coffin for the music industry, as physical music revenues declined 76% over the last 10-year span.
But then, in 2015, digital music sales surpassed physical sales for the first time ever, while paid streaming subscribers grew from 20 to 68 million over three years. This digital revolution has ushered in a new on-demand economy, one where independent artists can successfully build management and publicity teams as needed to supplement the work that they can do on their own. But replacing a full-time team has its tradeoffs, leading to dozens of additional administrative hours per week.
Now, digital marketing and management tools, many of which are available for free, make it easier than ever for independent artists to stay independent, retaining their precious music rights and revenue streams, and extending the longevity of their musical careers.
While I’ve come to rely on a few dozen digital tech tools to co-manage our band, Fialta, here are 10 cloud-based free apps that are revolutionizing the music industry…