How The Media Is Essential In A New Musician’s Career Growth

Gyakie Forever 3Music Awards. Photo credit: 3Music Awards

Starting a career in any field is difficult. Breaking through the industry and being known and celebrated for what you do is a task.

Even more so for people who want to break into the entertainment industry and more specifically the saturated business of making music.

Gone are the days when big music record labels acted as gatekeepers of the music industry and determine which artistes to promote for whom.

Thanks to advancements in music recording instruments and music promotion platforms which include streaming services, it is very easy for one to become a recording artiste with or without a record label supporting them.

With the democratisation of the music business, many have discussed what new artistes have to go through to be able to break into the industry and gain broad appeal from the fans of the genre he or she creates.

One key way to do so according to many artiste managers who have successfully helped new artistes break into the industry is media management. They have classified this in four very distinct ways which are owned, earned, shared and paid media.

Owned Media

This talks about the artiste creating their owned media. These can be photographs, music videos and others that helps the musician to control their narrative and tell their story the way they want.

King Promise. Image via Instagram/ King Promise (shot by Stnlens)

Also, since all musicians cannot own a newspaper, TV or radio station, experts recommend artists to set up their own websites or blogs. The goal here is to help you define your own identity, establish your presence both on and offline in a way that directly reflects your goals and values and not that of others.

Earned Media

This is what you get when you have done a good job in creating your owned media. This is where you gain publicity for your photos, music videos, and information on your websites become news articles. Earned media is basically the media exposure you get without paying the media for that exposure. It’s like being profiled on as a new musician without you paying for the feature.

Kwesi Arthur in Emergers 2017. Photo credit: Rogue Lens &

This is the best way to get media exposure as it confirms that you have something to offer as an artiste that your rise to the topic is based on your hard and not because you paid your way through. Also, as a new musician, you probably do not have enough budget to pay for every single interview.

Shared Media

Thanks to the internet it has become easy to reach fans or potential fan bases. Utilising the great power of social media is one of the most popular ways to rise to the top. Gyakie got her breakthrough by tweeting about her music.

Paid Media

You know when you post something on Facebook or Instagram and it’s not gain the attention you want so you pay Facebook some dollars to make sure that a lot more people see it (boosting or promotion)? That is what this is. However, as a new musician, you’d want your art to be discovered the best way possible. If you have the money and you can pay your way through, so be it. However, remember that if your art is great and you have done the above well, you would use that money for more important things.

At the end of the day, you must see yourself as a brand, a startup and you are the entrepreneur. Until you start hitting those big streaming numbers, endorsement deals and headlining concerts, you got to keep your feet on the ground and grind.


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