Thing is, being a professional musician nowadays is ALL about your ability to promote yourself. Being a good musician isn't even close to enough. I know a couple guys, including a guitarist in a reasonably well known metal band who has an endorsement and signature model with a major guitar company. What he spends most of his day doing is all business - promotion, interviews with whatever website/magazine, finance stuff, calling up various booking agents about domestic and foreign tours etc. He told me he spends weeks without even picking up his guitar. And you look at loads of professional musicians in successful bands now - they have all sorts of side businesses, most of which aren't even in the industry. Some have recording studios, or do paid producing. But loads have restaurants, bars, hotels, car rental companies and other things. That is to say, I don't think your approach of developing your skills first is ever going to work. If you're a kid with all the time in the world, and already have the talent, it's pretty fucking difficult to then break into the market, get recognition and earn any sort of money at all. If you're old enough to have a "proper" job and responsibilities, I'd say it's nigh on impossible. There's a huge element of luck in there too, of course. Misha obviously is talented as a musician, but he's even better at self-promotion, branding, and he capitalised perfectly on the Internet hype, the genre of djent taking off etc. His music coincided with the explosion of the Internet as a medium for music consumption. That's not replicable any more, obviously. You're totally correct about the first point. Merrow has dropped off because the guy uploads 6 videos a year. The algorithm absolutely does not reward that. And going back to an earlier topic, yet again, his popular gear review videos have 5-10x the views of his own music. Funny that his "Lila" music video has 65k views 2 years ago, but the same song as a demo of the Invective 1 year later has 114k, lol. On the second point, you're totally right. Just to give more supporting evidence, there are 300-500 hours of video uploaded per minute. And the VAST majority of total video views on YT are from the top 1-5% of videos. It's a very steep curve with a long, long tail. Around 35% of YT videos have less than 10 views in total, which is insane given that bots alone will generate that over time.