In April 2010, the "Guardian" reported that becoming a pop singer ranked among the top three career aspirations of British children aged 5 to 11. Lots of kids share that hope. The Chicago Public Library has a teen program featuring recording studio time and mentoring by local musicians. Help your child define terms before discussing odds. The odds of making a living as a pop singer differ from those of being an internationally known pop star. Success could mean paying the bills by doing something she loves, rather than the far narrower superstar definition. Technology has changed the industry, and its odds.
It's Not a Bad Gig
According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, in 2010 there were 176,200 musicians and singers working in the U.S. By 2020, a labor force expansion of 10 percent is expected. In 2010, the median rate per hour for singers was $22.39. There are a variety of venues a pop singer can work in besides the nightclub scene. Pop singers can perform at fairs, weddings, parties, dances and other local entertainment events. Success on the local band circuit can lead to larger audiences, like concert halls and, eventually, an arena.
Hit the Recording Studio
A pop singer making money is also an independent marketer. Hitting the recording studio puts a product in hand to sell at gigs, earning cash and increasing exposure. The Internet is a powerful tool. Used well, it can increase the odds of pop singer success. As noted in a 2007 article in "The New York Times," today's technologies allow people to create their own celebrity. Set up a website to sell music, but also offer some free listening and downloads. Use a blog to help publicize upcoming gigs and as a base for today's relationship-based marketing strategies. Post frequently and engage commenters, building online relationships, communities and networks to create an established market for future music and additional products, like T-shirts.
Touch the World
Many pop singers are using technology to touch the world, making their music available to the global marketplace, via services like YouTube. And, those with an eye for business are making money, satisfying the basic definition of becoming a pop singer. A 2013 Bloomberg News article described YouTube's opportunities for singers. A pop singer can post a video of a song, set it up to run advertisements and collect the ad revenue. Another way a pop singer can make money is via an agreement that pays her every time one of her videos is played. A 2013 NPR Music report told of another way to make money on YouTube, by doing covers of pop hits. There's money to be made by the enterprising pop singer.
One Thing Hasn't Changed
There's one thing that hasn't changed about the music industry. As a 2012 NPR Music Report article made clear, that one thing is hard work. In the arts, the generally accepted definition of becoming something is being paid to do it, and if that happens frequently enough to live on, that is success. Perhaps the first of many, greater successes, but a success it certainly is. Today, there are many ways to make money as a pop singer. The smart pop singer is using as many as she can to create multiple streams of income. If a child can sing and works hard, the opportunities today bring the odds completely in her favor. She can be a pop singer and make a decent living.