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Entries in music business advice (10)


A Plea To The Industry: Don't Let Your Hunger For Success In The Music Biz Override Being A Good Person

There’s no litmus test or bar or SAT you must pass to hold an influential job in the music industry that affects the lives of many others. The industry doesn’t require years of schooling or the ‘daunting’ requirements of being psychologically sound and thinking carefully about your decisions. I would even argue that this industry attracts those of us who are slightly delusional, self-centered, under or over medicated, and rebellious. In fact, those exact things could allow you to excel in this industry. That is what makes it a pretty futile environment to work and live in – because being a skeezy asshole could in some cases get you further ahead than being kind and generous.

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Online Music Marketing Strategies for Indie Musicians 

These days online music marketing is one of the most widely used forms of advertising and marketing used by musicians. But oddly enough most musicians do not have a plan in place as to how they plan on marketing their music. Most consists of random twitter and facebook posts, but have no strategy in place. I’m going to touch on a few things you can do right now to improve your music marketing. So here are 4 basic strategies you can put in place right now to take your online music marketing to the next level. 

1. Master a Few Proven Strategies Instead of Being “Good” at Several

Every day there is a new social website popping up. And many artists run to that new site and post all their information and where does it go? Nowhere. It is better to become a master of a few than to be good at many. For instance the three that I like to focus my time on is Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. They all integrate extremely well, and so I can maximize my efforts. I also like to use a program called Hootsuite, because I can make several posts at once without ever going to a social page.

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Why I Left Spotify and Why You Should Too

The conventional wisdom among music technology theorists is that the traditional model of listening to music has changed, that music fans listen to streaming services like Spotify instead of buying music. I haven’t seen data or research to support that argument yet, only industry buzz, but I imagine it’s true for a strong minority of music fans. And industry data may support the trend as well; however my own, admittedly anecdotal, experience doesn’t.

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Make Money From Your Music - Songwriter Royalties

Making money from your music.

All those hours spent working out tunes on the guitar, or those long nights in front of the computer finishing your hip-hop track. You obviously enjoy making music, but you would like to see some financial reward for your effort. We all know making money is hard work, but this article looks at songwriter royalties and some of the issues you need to be aware of.

If you are a songwriter and wish to earn money from your songs then you will most likely need to sign an agreement with a publisher.

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As a leader it is important for me to bring my A game for the team 24/7. Informed decisions, keeping the team motivated by sharing new insights in the industry, and being the person they want to be someday makes a great leader. It comes from within, but can be learned.

A good leader has to not only do what they say but keep up on their toes. It is important for me, and any leader, to wake up early and start the day in the am, 6am for me, what about you? I get more work done, and a jump on the industry with the extra time in the day.

Anytime I have a meeting I dress the part, and prepare myself accordingly to bring my A game. Doing research on the client, and digging deeper into the industry on a particular topic sets me apart. I strive myself on being professional, and always on top of my game.

Knowing how to conduct myself around a client is paramount in the music industry. People in the Hip Hop world, for instance, never change a thing about themselves for anyone. It can be a tool for branding themselves, but does hold them back when trying to get further in their career. Sagging pants, talking in e-mails like they would if I were a homey, and not being respectful really hurts their career. An opportunity to communicate with a high level executive does not happen everyday. Give respect to another person on there level, not yours.

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7 Tips For Maintaining Relationships In The Music Business

In my dealings and conversations with successful artists, managers, labels, and other industry workers, it has become abundantly clear that increasing your chance of success can be done by embracing two very simple concepts: create great music, and develop great relationships.

Unfortunately, the second half of that equation is sometimes (mis)labeled as simply ‘who you know,’ which implies that an existing connection is required in order to succeed. Sure, having an uncle that works for a label, or having a friend from high school who is now the guitar tech for Coldplay can help, but that’s rare. Those who have succeeded have done so by working hard at developing, and maintaining, great relationships with those they work with.

Here are some tips for developing contacts with meaning:

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Everyone Is Lying To You On Facebook 

I mean this in a tongue in cheek way somewhat.

The reason I say this is because of this question I got one time on a karate forum (More about THAT experience later)

“What are your thoughts on pushing information out to people on the web?”

This is a fair question but it details a common error when it comes to social networking. Social networks are not I repeat NOT TV, radio and press.

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Don't Get Screwed!!! Music Contract Terms Every Artist Should Know, In Plain English-Part 2

In Part 1 of this list, I began listing common terminology you will see over and over again in the contracts you receive. And although an entertainment attorney and other experienced professionals should be reviewing and explaining them to you, it is always good to have at least a basic understanding of some of the jargon. So here is Part 2 of Music Contract Terms Every Artist Should Know, In Plain English…

Common Contract Terms Every Artist Should Know

License - This has nothing to do with your driving…A license in the entertainment business is permission a company or any other 3rd party gets when they want to use your music. If you write a song, and Lady Gaga wants to sing it, she has to get a license from you to use it. If “Ride Or Die San Andreas-The Movie” wants to then use her version of that song in their new game, they need a license from you AND her…Radio gets a license for every song they play. So does every bar, club, and restaurant! (Well, they’re suppose to anyway…) This license is needed because under copyright law, you own the song, and therefore have a right to decide who gets to use it (for an exception, see compulsory license below).

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7 Words Every Artist NEEDS To Know: Publishing

If you’re serious about making this business of music your full time career, then one of the first things you need to understand is the lingo of the business! Today we will discuss, in plain English, the top 7 terms you need to understand about publishing. Something important to remember about publishing is, this is how songwriters earn their living. If you are an artist who only records other peoples music, you are usually not entitled to the publishing income. However, if you are an artist who rights some or all of your own material, or a writer/ composer (beat-maker for the rap producers), this is where ALL of your money is coming from! So without any more chatter, here is:

7 Words Every Artist NEEDS To Know: Publishing

1. Copyright
- Copyrights are the rights given to you under US law that states, once you create an original work (known as Intellectual Property), you are the only one who is allowed to profit from it for a specified amount of time (for most of you, that would be the rest of your life, plus 70 years). Now, by law, as soon as you put the song in a form that anyone else can hear it or read it, it is considered copywritten. The question is, how do you prove you did it first? Although there are a lot of suggested ideas out there on how this can be done (ie. mail it to yourself and don’t open it, upload it to a website so the date is saved, etc…) they are ALL wrong. The ONLY way to ensure that your music is protected and will stand up in court when you sue someone for stealing your song, is to register the song with the US Library of Congress. Once submitted, your copyright is secure, and you can rest assured that your music is safe.

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Unsigned Acts and Drawing Fans - Part 2

The 2nd main reason it’s hard to draw new fans revolves around the word “Perception”. Perception includes, in part, the Artist’s perception or view of their “job”, and how it affects the potential fans perception of the “Unsigned Artists Scene”.

Now, let me say here, the problem of perception and the answers to this problem do not lie totally on the Artist’s shoulders, but also fall on the Artists’ Managers, Venues, Promoters and Fans, which I will also cover later and throughout…

It should be made clear here, that Artists should still care about attracting both the over 21 crowd as well as the younger potential fans. For everyone, even those over 21, there is still the need to discover something new and different, something “to do” that people will know will at least be a lot of fun; an escape. 

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