Yes, Billboard Magazine is a vital part of the music business and keeps industry folks up-to-date on trends and goings on in the business. Yes, XXL and RESPECT. are key print Hip-Hop mags (with online presences) to focus on for coverage and to keep in tune to what's happening in the world of Hip-Hop, much like Revolver Magazine is key for the Hard Rock scene. But what magazines should aspiring recording artists be reading to further their career? What magazines will provide them true insight into where music (and the business of music) is going? These may not be classified as "music magazines" or publications, but these 5 mags are key to your future and the future of the music business. Subscribe to these now (digitally, print...whatever your preference).
Inc. Magazine was founed in New York City in 1979. Each month (and daily on its website) Inc. profiles growing companies, entrepreneurs, new advances in tech, the future of the digital age/social media and more. A quick search reveals some very interesting articles centred around the music biz. But it isn't the music specific articles that make Inc. valuable. It's the magazines ability to predict trends, know the next big thing before it's the next big thing and profile those who have "made it" and tell the story of how they got there. If nothing else it's an inspiring read every month. But at its core, it's an invaluable tool for aspiring recording artists, record label owners - even seasoned artists and labels can source value from it.
Wired has been publishing since 1993. This month, Wired has your favourite drummer and DJ's favourite drummer and DJ on the cover:
Fast Company is like a cooler Inc. (no disrespect to Inc., but that's pretty much what it is). Whether it's the magazine putting Pharrell on the cover (Go G I R L) or the online arm of the magazine running a story on De La Soul's free music giveaway, Fast Company has its finger on the pulse of the creative and innovative.
At some point (you hope), your music career is going to bring in a nice amount of money for you. How will you manage that money? Where will you invest? Do you even know how to manage larger sums of money? From a knowledge standpoint, Fortune is a nice resource and isn't too complex a read that it's too high level.
There are some great articles in Fortune...and then some outlandish ones like saying Twitter should charge per Tweet, but overall, it provides just enough investment and business insight that you won't get steamrolled by shady accountants.
Ok so AdAge isn't so much a magazine as it is a trade publication, but the value in an issue of AdAge might trump all other publications. Why? AdAge provides a glimpse into what big brands are doing in marketing/advertising, how they are harnessing the power of social media and what the new trends are in selling everything under the sun.
This a great resource for aspiring artists and record labels for 2 reasons. 1) Each issue provides them insight into what brands are doing - are any brands working more with music? Is there an opportunity to place your music or collaborate with these brands? And 2) what unique things are these big brands doing that you can use to promote your music?
Subscriptions to AdAge are expensive (even on the digital front) but it's well worth it in order to investigate new avenues for selling and promoting your music.