The traditional music biz is over as CD sales dropped about 20 percent from 2006 and 2007. And revenues from that physical music business are likely to comprise just 20 percent of an up and coming band's revenue stream. There's the big business of concert tours, which continues to be strong.
But the new boost for young bands comes from other forms of entertainment. Licensing songs to TV shows, movies, and video games is a bigger business than ever.
Remember that song from the end of box office hit "Juno"? The singer, Kimya Dawson's career took off after such key placement. And movie soundtracks have long been a way to sell music -- either reviving old songs--like in the "Almost Famous" soundtrack, or introducing new artists like in the soundtrack for "Garden State," which was lushly illustrated by its indie sounds.
Now young bands are playing a larger role in TV shows. TV networks spend between $1,500, plus residuals, for a song from an unknown band, to up to $50,000 or even (gasp) $100,000 for a hit song from a famous band. ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" has been a leader in putting unknown bands in the spotlight in key scenes.