The production industry will change

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Production businesses (including professional freelancers) that help artists produce audio and visual materials include producers, recording studios, video producers, photographers and anyone else who helps artists make the artefacts of their art.

Many of these businesses will adapt as the independent music industry matures and develops. As artists get better at achieving financial sustainability, they will become more demanding of the production businesses that help them. Artists’ deep understanding of their audience will more clearly shape their creative direction and allow them to be more specific in articulating what they need from production businesses.

Some artists will focus on their live show as their primary art form and product, treating their recordings and other artefacts as merchandise. Their live show will be the focus of their artistic decisions and creative direction. For these artists, a recording needs to be an unambitious high quality product. Some production businesses will specialise in serving these artists by providing a reliable no-frills service. The lack of ‘customisation’ will allow the production to be relatively quick and predictable with standardised equipment and methods.

Other artists will focus on their recordings and other artefacts as their primary art form and product. They will treat their live show as an adjunct or ‘supporting experience’ to the recorded product. The focus of their artistic decisions and creative direction will be the recorded product. For these artists, the recording must be creative and ambitious. Some production businesses will specialise in serving these artists. They will employ particular methods, experience and equipment to create a unique product. These projects, however, will be much less predictable and likely take much longer.

Production businesses will claim to serve both, but many will ultimately focus on one of the two types of projects.