It’s hard being a musician these days. In addition to writing/performing music, we’re often bombarded with the need to maintain an online presence, deal with licensing contracts, book tours, work with promoters, find sponsors, record/mix/master/distribute CD’s, and more. Because the work can be overwhelming, it’s easy to fall into bad habits and do things that hurt, not help our careers. Here are some of the bad habits that musicians are guilty of:
Matthew Jones: Talent VS. Taste. The Ugly Truth.
Yes – YOU the artist manager/label owner skimming through this blog. Have a hard time keeping up with your personal social media platforms when you’re in and out of meetings all day or on the phone? I hear ya! I’ll keep this short and sweet. Here are my tips for managing your social media when you’re mega busy, you’re not alone!
3 Wise Monkeys masterclass in Melbourne
Greetings from the land of AUS! I have just wrapped up an incredible nationwide tour of this gorgeous country called The 3 Wise Monkeys and Ralph Murphy (hear No Evil), Tom Jackson (See No Evil) and I (Speak No Evil) met some amazing and inspiring artists as well as managers, producers and songwriters. We each delivered 6 hour master classes in Perth, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne & Adelaide.
In 2012, we at Gracie Management created a model to predict high music consumption among Millennials and what drives music consumption, which led to great conversation. Since then, we have conducted new research and analysis, this time among the next generation – The Pluralist Generation (Plurals). The Plurals, as coined by Magid Generational Strategies, are those born beginning in 1997 and defined as least likely to believe in the American Dream, affected blended gender roles, last generation with a Caucasian majority, etc.
You can read the Gracie Management full report on the influence of music-based communities on Plurals’ music consumption habits – click here. For a quick take, here are the core findings and implications:
Let’s look at this idea a little closer. I wanted to discuss this certain ugly truth, which plagues the music industry, and great musicians everywhere. The music industry is flawed, and unfortunately not very fair. Best to know the truth and move on accordingly.
As you look around the industry this is highly apparent. I’m talking about he highest paid musicians vs. the level of musical talent. The popular attractive pop star vs. the refined musician. For example, Britney Spears vs. Diana Krawl. Lil Jon vs. Christian Scott. Unfortunately salary is not dictated by the level of talent in our capitalist structure, but the most in demand style of music.
Dillon Roulet: Religiously Recorded: Why The Studio Is Still Relevant
This piece is sure to be the enemy of home studio manufacturers, yet it’s something that must be said. Call me orthodox, but I still find the process of constructing a studio record to be imperative to superior quality music production. While the digital revolution has made it possible for recording technologies to be made available to the masses, there are so many reasons why producing a top notch album can only come from hours spent in the live room. Artists who take the studio experience seriously will find that the ritualistic nature of this process adds an enormous amount of non-tangible value to a record.
Hey guys. Today I want to look at one very important music business skill that will greatly benefit you in your quest for a ‘successful’ music career. We all have our own idea of what success is, but if to you it involves getting known on a wider scale then you already are, the below strategy will definitely help.
I’ve already looked at three other essential business skills for musicians, but this additional skill is just as important, if not more so. You should use it alongside the others for a more professional and faster moving music career.
So, let’s have a look at what the subject of today’s guide is:
Leveraging other people and platforms who currently command more influence than you.
With that in mind, let’s get into it!
The key to establishing yourself online and within your niche, is building a strong brand. Unfortunately this is far easier said than done. The process of designing, building and nurturing a new brand means you have established:
- A unique voice
- Consistent compelling content
- A trustworthy reputation
The problem for most comes down to the simple fact that there is no single path to achieving any one of these things. And yet, you need to achieve them all in order for your brand to blossom.
This is an essay by Jay Frank (DigSin) from Divergent Streams, a collection of essays edited by Kyle Bylin (@sidewinderfm) and written by influential executives, startup founders, and thinkers in the music industry. Download a free copy of the e-book here.
Independent artists can make more money than ever before. The walls of major label distribution have crumbled, and have been down for a decade. Social networks make promotion to fans easier and cheaper. Add in home recording, crowd-sourced artwork, and other cost cutting maneuvers and DIY musicians can be financially successful.
Or so goes the myth.
Reality is far murkier. Yes, it is possible to make money as a DIY artist and many are doing it. However, they are not making it from selling recorded music. That can certainly bring in money, but even modestly successful DIY artists generally gross $20,000 to $50,000 from sound recordings annually. These are artists who have many songs in their catalog with some momentum. After you take into account recording costs and splitting revenue amongst band members and the producer, there’s not a lot left. Even those with a big enough fan base to do deluxe packages get a decent gross, but profits can be elusive.
Yet, DIY artists living below stardom are consistently finding profitable careers. How are they achieving this if iTunes and Spotify revenues aren’t paying the bills? The ones who are making a profit mostly fall into one of these three buckets:
Entering concert dates is one of the most annoying parts of playing live. It’s both time-consuming and annoying to keep up with. Thankfully, it gets easier and easier each year to do this menial task. Entering dates into the services we have outlined below increases the chance of getting both fans and potential fans to your shows. Some of them can put them in the places where your fans go to hear and discover your music, where as others alert your fans who have liked you on Facebook that you will be in their town. Entering your dates into these services also increases your chance of being added to local concert calendars in local papers and radio stations. Making sure your dates are always up to date in these four services will increase the likelihood of getting fans out to shows and we will explain why.
1. Start with some good gear A good microphone coupled with a good audio interface is the very foundation of a good recording. You don’t need a $1000 mic, but a decent microphone will do the job. The audio interface needs to have clear preamps and introduce minimal noise in the recordings. Your recording software needs to be good, so that there are no latency issues. Take some time to know your gear well before starting to record.
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(Updated January 13, 2016)