About Kevin

Kevin is a Grammy nominated artist, podcaster, and indie musician advocate. He resides in Portland, OR where he is the Director of Marketing for CD Baby (cdbaby.com). Oh, yeah, he also plays guitar in Smalltown Poets.
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    Is Your Music Career All About The Money?

    What are your thoughts?  Please leave your comments below.

    • Michael

      I think more musicians are making more money than ever. What we don’t have much of are centralized profits from sales of recordings that are making business investors wealthy. I agree that it’s a great time to be an artist with accessible recording gear and worldwide distribution.

    • Andy Dingley

      I couldn’t agree more. There needs to be a clear goal separation between sharing ones creativity and making money. We all need money to survive, but I think that too many of us (and I include myself) have measured success in terms of monetary benefits. The fact that we can make music and share it with the world so easily should have all of us jumping for joy. Instead we look at the decline of the old distribution model and fear that without the major record companies music is dead.

      The old model (major label distribution) did more to restrict access to music than any other factor in the last 50 years by making the consumer pay dearly for their music. They could easily have done more to make music available but chose to focus on a few artists, and make the consumer pay through the nose. Their decline should be celebrated. I think the future will mean many more artists getting a smaller slice of a very big pie, with fewer big stars making vast sums from record sales. Here’s to a bright future…

    • http://kevinbreuner.com KevinB

      I definitely agree. I wouldn’t want to go back to the old way of trying to please someone at a label just so artists would have the chance of making a record. Too much great music went unheard because of that system.

    • http://www.canalh.info Canalh

      what money ??? We are dancing !!

    • http://www.audiblehype.com Justin Boland

      Am I missing something? Yes, of course a music career is all about the money. If you’re not making money at music, you’re not having a successful career — this is a pretty clear cut distinction. In fact, it’s damn refreshing how simple this question is…I appreciate the opportunity to deliver at least one clear answer today, thanks Kevin.

    • http://www.davidhill.org david hill

      Hey Kevin,
      Valid question, I have been playing music for quite some time. The most money ” I ” made was when I played in a busy top 40 band (I got in @ 17 years old). Since then I have had the experience of working with a major label, and watching the label sink about $100,000.00 for a record (cd), we recorded this in Princes studio A (Paisley Park)…the experience was looked on as cool by all my friends but the end result was marginal – we never charted and we were cut. I have been a freelance musician playing weekly, and played many a gig and done recordings as a paid musician and free of charge. As far as I can tell money has no direct effect on my personal joy and satisfaction of the creative process. If anything – I have reminded myself I am being paid for many a gig I did not enjoy.

      Unfortunately we live in a rather “rich” society that costs money – so if I am not willing to be a troubadour living on peoples floors – the ching has to come from somewhere. I can write now in a home studio, and work with a jingle company, and try to figure out the business model with hopes of earning a living…if I have to do “other” things to make money – so what. There aren’t many things on this good earth that burn like the passion of creating music. I don’t want too much – or too little, just enough. AND I want to be an old man someday – still writing and discovering…paid or not.

    • http://kevinbreuner.com KevinB


      I would make a distinction. I specifically said “music career” and not “music business.” A music career is not like a regular job where you go somewhere to get paid for your work. It takes talent, skill, and passion. If the pursuit of music as an artist is all about the money, it’s probably not the best career choice (in my opinion of course).


    • http://kevinbreuner.com KevinB


      Thanks for sharing a little of your story! I know that feeling. It’s a life long pursuit.