Sunday, October 18, 2015

The State of the Music (Ministry) Business

Every single day, folks call, email, or get in touch with us through social media about how to get started in Christian Music Ministry and what that means. They want to know what they might be getting themselves into, can they still get signed, how, where, and even if they should record music, and mostly, how they can find success in the new, kind of confusing world of music.

The music business itself is in a state of turmoil, yet still thriving if that makes any sense. People may not be paying what they used to for music, but they are listening as much as ever. Apps like Pandora, Spotify, and Apple Music are the new radio, and people are listening in this new way. Music is everywhere we are, from restaurants, to movies & TV, all over our phones and mobile computing devices, and in our cars.

“The more things change, the more they are the same.” - Alphonse Karr

But what I find the most exciting for music ministries is the fact that none of the “traditional music business” issues, even in Christian music, mean much to us. Why? Because our world of music ministry really hasn’t changed.

Sure, we need to do all the things for promotion that we should, including social media, online music stores and streaming, and radio if available. But what we do as music ministries, especially in the independent, real world, is get out and minister.

That business of in-person, live music ministry, similar to live music performing in the secular world, hasn’t changed almost since music itself began. Singing in the church will always be the mainstay of music ministries. We hope that other possibilities may arise like outdoor concerts, tours, house concerts, festivals, and of course the ever popular conference gig. But churches, church sponsored events, and events created and sponsored by church members will always be on our radar of activity.

“The music business is not a good place for people who don't know things.” - Mary J. Blige

All the advances, woes, new tech, and issues of the “music industry” proper should only touch us tangentially. As responsible music marketers, we will always want to take advantages of new possibilities that help us find success. And the focus of this brand is to highlight all these each month.

Social Media is something we focus on here every month, highlighting a specific platform and interviewing those who have found success using it for their music ministry. Whether you like it or not, social media is the new marketing. We work in it every day (and you’re reading it now!) so we will try and shed as much light on this topic and the ever-changing information that we can.

Suffice to say, it’s a very important part of finding success for your music ministry.

Working in the Studio is something we should be doing all the time to produce new exciting music projects for our ministries. As you may know, this blog is sponsored by Creative Soul Records, whose main work for the last 20 years has been very high quality Christian music production. We interview players, engineers, and spotlight processes and equipment that help us produce the artists we work with.

Music Business Issues, including record labels of all sizes, radio, promotion, publicity, and marketing are also a focus for us monthly. What things are worth your time and money to pursue, and what are people who work in these industries saying that might help you on your way?

So, what is the State of the Music (Ministry) Business? It’s alive and well, constantly changing in some ways, and also, kind of staying the same in other ways.

We’d love to hear your opinions on how you think the music and/or ministry business is changing. What are the things you are excited about? What are the challenges you’re facing? Who knows, you may the subject of a future week here on The Music (Ministry) Business!

Have a great week!


Eric Copeland is the president and lead producer of Creative Soul, a full time music ministry consulting, production, and marketing company, based in Nashville, TN, in association with Word Entertainment. Got questions? Want more info? Check out


Unknown said...

I've just recently embarked on my music ministry at the age of 57.
I am learning new things everyday. I will say that I am seeing things in a different way than I initially saw them
As this has progressed I have learned that there is a battle between
My human self/ego and my desire todo this for God.
Maybe this is normal, don't know if others have the same issue.
But I can say that when I truly focus on putting God first and his message
That I see his hand move!
Music ministry has to be done for God !
Putting off the self is something that must be dealt with by staying in Gods word!

Eric Copeland said...

Great thoughts Robert. I was having a conversation with an artist recently and we were talking about specific ministry results - real people, having real encounters with God, because of the music we were making and getting out there.

Now that is success.

Frances Drost said...

I am excited about the way social media has changed the landscape for us. It gives us access to audiences we would never have had before. It allows us to communicate with fans long after the show and build relationships and speak into their lives. It allows us to do much of our own promotion and help get more people to shows. It takes a LONG time to build but I'm finally starting to see some fruit from the long hard years of sowing.

The hard part of the music ministry/business is managing everything myself. Social media, blogging, booking details, concert planning, e-mail communication and still finding time to write new music. I don't mind doing all of it, but I feel like more and more of my time is spent on managing and not creating. But as I've taken more time to focus on prayer over my ministry this year I have begun to see God bring people into my life that are helping me with details. I can't do this alone anymore and thanks to others who are stepping forward who believe in what I'm doing, I'm able to stick with it.

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