A recent insurgence of programs like RockSTAR Music Education, Day Jams, Soundwall Rock n' Roll Camp, Rock Camp, and Willie Mae Rock Camp are setting the groundwork for a new national pastime. Programs like these teach kids cover tunes, how to write their own material, how to perform live, and even a bit about music business. It has been estimated that 26 million children between the ages 5 to 17 play a musical instrument.1 Take into consideration that guitar sales have doubled in the past four years,2 entry level guitar sales spiked by 29.6% the first quarter of 2008,3and of the 26.5 million Rock Band/Guitar Hero units sold 67% of players who do not currently play an instrument say they are likely to start in the next two years.4 The numbers are reflected in companies like Guitar Center which went from $400 million in sales in 1998 to over a billion in 2002.5 Compare these numbers to the 2 million kids who play baseball in the US,6 and it's easy to see a cultural shift emerging in America.
These statistics indicate that parent's attitudes are changing about Rock music. Where as listening to, let alone playing rock 50 years ago was considered taboo, now parents are encouraging their children to pursue careers as musicians. At myspace's peak, there were 2 million active independent artist profiles.7 Most of these in the rock and rap genres. Since most of us grow up hearing that “we can be whatever we want to be” and “dreams do come true,” many of these artists are working to make legitimate careers. This means music, much like agriculture, is a pure competitive market. So how do you get ahead in this business?
You have to look, sound, and act professional. It's no secret that major labels aren't signing new talent anymore. The only way they are making money is with back catalog. Therefore, artists must function as their own label. This means imaging, marketing, distribution, trademarks, and recording. In the past, it has been an undertaking to find different companies for each function.Now you can find all these services under one roof. New companies like E Line Music in Nashville, TN has an adapted business model to provide these needs to independent artists. “A new music industry needs a new music company,” says CEO Sonny Paradise. E Line provides everything an artist needs to succeed in the industry. They create HD quality videos, multi-functioning websites, professional photography, logo design, merch, even distribution and trademarking services. And they don't stop there. “If an artist has a need, no matter what it is, we will find a way to get it to them.” says Director of Operations Jen Hodges. E Line also provides new methods of exposure to artists (both signed and independent) with their 24 hr streaming internet music video channel, virtual record store, and underground radio. “We're bringing video jockeys back,” says Hodges.“eLMTV will have hour long shows once a week in all genres when the site is at 100%.” This will also give fans a way to discover new music, and stay connected to their favorite artists. With all the new talent and tools available, music will remain just as profound and prolific as ever.
E Line Music was founded in 1999 by Sonny Paradise in Nashville, TN. Paradise recently bought the company back, and is in the process of relaunching. E Line Music provides services to artists including videos, graphic design, web design, distribution, consulting, non exclusive management, ringtones, intellectual property, branding, marketing, and singer/songwriter services. Their website,www.elinemusic.com, will function as a portal to new releases by signed and independent artists.