I think fewer people than ever are succeeding in music. First, you must define success. Getting rich? Just make a living? It varies from person to person. The problem, as I see it as a gigging/recording guy, is that there is too much competition and music has no value anymore. The creative/recording process is devalued by the ease of home recording. Any joe blow can sit in his room and record and release his stuff for free. There is very little skill or technique involved. A guy can record an entire album without so much as making an actual sound, except for vocals. Drums, guitars, bass, keys, it can all be done in a spare bedroom without any actual noise being made and without needing to know how to do any of it. That devalues and marginalizes the actual dedicated recording studio’s place in recorded music. This potentially hurts those that are educated and invested in recording-for-hire. Next, the cosmos is literally flooded with this abundance of self-produced music. The internet has enabled anyone anywhere to release their music and make it accessible to all corners of the globe - often for free. Music is worth what someone will pay for it. If you give it away with the hope of gaining a following, then it’s worth exactly that - nothing. Now all of this can be good and bad. But it has definitely added to the devaluation of music. Let’s not even get into streaming. From the gigging side of it, things may be even worse! Original music is not lucrative at all, and there are way too many bands fighting for the same space. The power has left the bands and now rests solely with club/bar owners and halfassed promoters. You don’t like sharing a bill with 6 other bands and only getting a 20 minute slot? Cool, some other band will gladly fill in. You don’t like buying your own tickets to your own show that you have to resell to make your money back, which basically equates to pay-to-play? No problem, some other dumb band will gladly take the hit.You can stay home. Gone are the days that a club/bar had to hunt for “talent”. Bands are abundant and all too willing to play for free just so they can get out and play. Lots of people make actual money off of live music. None of those people are in the actual band. All of this conspires to make music tougher than ever.
Basically, for me, I just do it because I love it.
I bet sim-software and plug-in designers are rolling in the dough though! That’s probably the smartest area to get into.