Streaming music services create crowded field for hopeful artists

Singer songwriter Leon Majcen perfects his craft so he can have a lucrative recording career but he's not taking a traditional path.

"A record label takes a great chunk of what you make. To even get signed today you basically have to have a pretty significant following," Majcen explained.

Like many others before him, Majcen hopes to be discovered online. He posts his original music to gain a following.

"Sometimes when I see an artist that's really doing well out there and they're doing it themselves, that's kind of inspiring," he said.

A big record label can charge performers for things like recording costs, tour support, promotion, and advances, and that's after taking up to 85% of total sales.

Don Miggs is a Tampa-based singer, songwriter, and producer who's worked with artists like Billy Corgan and Boyz II Men.

He believes, whether you sign with a label or not, the odds are long if you're planning to get rich.

"You have a better chance of winning the lottery than making money in music and that's a reality," Miggs said.

But he also says money can be made on tours, provided you earn a following.

"A lot of these bands and artists are getting involved in [ThinkSync Music] so they're doing music for film, TV, and commercials. If you get hooked up in that world, there's a lot of money to be made," Miggs explained.

He's also seeing more artists who are willing to self-publish their songs.

"Right now there's a lot of, 'You don't need anybody, you can put the music on the web and everybody's going to pay attention,'" he said.

Digital distribution sites like "TuneCore" and "CD Baby" have been outlets for frustrated artists. Spotify recently began allowing some independent performers to upload music directly, and then stream the songs for a profit.

"Right now, we're at a clip of a million songs going up a year. That's a thousand a week just on Spotify. So there's so much music going in, there's no quality control," Miggs said.

He has a piece of advice for musicians and singers, no matter which route they take: "With music right now, we have too many artists trying to be everything to everyone, when really the key is, the biggest artists are everything to someone. So, make music for one person. Make it a very singular thing, pick your lane, and try not to pick a lane that's already crowded."

To learn more about Miggs Music, visit