Although the music model has changed in the last several years, one thing remains the same; the fans will choose what will be successful and what won't. This means that as a musician, trying to make a living, your main concern should be to make music that is honest and can connect with the listener. The reason it seams that less artists are making it these days, is because now every kid with a laptop thinks he's a musician; too many wannabes.
My good friend, musician and chef extraordinaire Danny Ashe, has written a few words about achieving success in music. Although what "success" is is different for every musician, the general idea for most musicians I talk to is to make a living from their art. And even the term "make a living" is rather vague, especially when talking to someone who makes $500.00 a week vs. someone who's easily pulling in $100,000.00 a week or more.
I know this to be true because I interact with people of both of the above income levels daily and everyone has a completely different idea of what success is and what a good living is. To some, being successful is being on tour, playing 200 shows a year to adoring fans, to others it's seeing their album in the number one spot in Billboard or on iTunes or maybe it's when they purchase that 2nd 10,000 square foot home and are prepping to launch their new clothing line... which has a lot to do with music of course. ;) For many though success is just learning a few chords so they can play in the garage with their friends on the weekends or learn how to write their own songs.
Everyone has a different goal in mind, but the way you get their is all the same. You have to be good, you must have something to say that's honest or at the very least interesting and you have to keep working at it. And really the that last bit is the most important. You have to keep at it. That simple step will make you a better player/writer/etc. but will also give you the time to have something to say lyrically, musically or both.
So whatever your goal in music is, keep at it! Unless your goal is to have a couple of 10,000 Sqft. homes spread across the globe, then I'd suggest you consider getting your MBA and start chasing those short term profit opportunities and supersized bonuses. You'll get there much faster.