How to Hack the Music Industry

How to Hack the Music Industry

Let’s be honest. The music industry is not easy to break into. Forget the odds of becoming a national or worldwide sensation… It can be difficult to make a comfortable living as a musician.

Bookings, promotions, signings, recordings, and funding can sometimes seem to be totally out of your control. Is there a better way? What if you could “hack” the music industry?

There are several musicians making a name for themselves by doing just that. Below are a few tips and examples for hacking the music industry.


It’s not always easy to get booked for shows, especially when you are first getting started and building your following. You have probably even heard stories of bands paying for the opportunity to play at a venue. A strategy that is becoming more popular among musicians is something called a house show.

As Matthew Moran explains, house concerts are a great way to build a community of passionate and loyal fans who truly connect with your music. Not only will you build a following more quickly by booking house shows, you can actually make some decent money from them as well.


Getting signed to a label is no easy task. Another music hacking trend that is becoming more popular is crowdfunding albums. Kickstarter or GoFundMe projects are becoming more popular ways to acquire the necessary funding to release an album.

Artists will usually offer different incentives for helping to fund their projects, based on tiers of contributions. Examples are signed items, early releases, or private parties. The neat thing about crowdfunding is that it allows your fans to really feel as though they have helped contribute to your music, because they absolutely have.


Promotional and marketing costs can add up very quickly, but are still necessary to help you build your presence. Putting together a street team of a few committed fans and friends can help you achieve your promotional goals without the steep price tag of a large PR firm or agent. Get your team to help distribute mp3s, hang flyers, and spread the word on social media. Again, you can offer incentives to those who are interested in helping with marketing and promotion.

Sometimes it’s not enough to simply be a great musician. You may have to take matters into your own hands and make your own luck. Staying focused on promoting yourself and creating your following will eventually pay dividends. Remembering that music is a business can help you accelerate your career.