Posts Tagged ‘music business’

Future of Music coming to DC

August 10, 2010

October 3-5 at George Washington University

The 10th Anniversary Future of Music Policy Summit brings together an incredible array of musicians, arts advocates, policymakers, technologists, media representatives and industry figures to discuss issues at the intersection of music, technology, policy and law. Over three days, connections will be made, challenges will be identified, and solutions will be considered. Your participation in these conversations is crucial to the future of music.

The Summit puts the focus where it belongs: on the artists who are the very reason for their existence. It is the talent and creativity of musicians, songwriters and composers that bring clarity and focus to the pressing issues facing the entire music community.

In ten years of fighting for musicians, Future of Music Coalition has witnessed tremendous changes in the music ecosystem — from to disruptions in traditional business models to alternative revenue streams for creators. Throughout our history, FMC has been guided by the conviction that musicians need access to audiences and adequate compensation to truly thrive.

Check out the confirmed speakers and panelists and the presentations and activities at Future of Music Policy Summit.

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Going independent

November 3, 2008

Most of us don’t have to choose between going with a major record label and going independent. Most of us are indie by default. That, it turns out, is not a bad thing.

The majors, as we keep hearing in the press, are doing terrible these days. But every time you hear a statistic about music sales being down, it’s always about the major record labels, who make up the old guard, the mainstream music industry. By contrast, independent labels are doing better than ever and the press is starting to cover us.

Here are a few interesting numbers I ran across. First, how much do you think it costs to get a song played on the radio in the U.S.? What, you didn’t realize you have to buy your way in? Better go back to the Songwriter’s Tip Jar issue #53 and read about payola.

One figure I read was $300,000 US to get one song played on the radio. Another source said it’s more like $400,000 – 500,000 per song.

Or how about paying $20,000 a month to get your CD in a listening station at a record store? No wonder major record labels are losing money so fast. And no wonder they try to recoup all that money from their artists.

From an article in the Christian Science Monitor by Lynne Margolis:

When rock critic and author Dave Marsh spoke on a panel at South By Southwest music conference in Austin, Texas, he pronounced bigger-label contracts a bad deal for artists from Day 1, ‘because of unequal leverage.’

Independent labels tend to stay away from radio, music videos and the like, for obvious reasons. Instead they use live performances and the internet to spread the word and sell product. Many indie artists are able to make a living selling CDs and T-shirts at gigs. The overhead is so much lower.

I heard a story on public radio about the annual International Folk Alliance convention. They interviewed several people, including Arlo Guthrie. And the message was the same: while major labels and the mainstream music industry may be outdated and going down, independent artists and labels may be pointing the way of the future.

One thing Arlo Guthrie mentioned was that, when he was with a major label, they would sell him his own records back, so he could sell them at gigs. Needless to say, the price was quite high. Now as an indie, he can sell his CDs at gigs and make a reasonable profit.

Controlling your own destiny and making a profit – the promise of indie.

Five things that are still true about music

June 27, 2008

If you caught yesterday’s blog post, you know about Andrew Dubber and his New Music Strategies blog. His free e-book is my new bible. It’s called 20 Things You Must Know About Music Online.

I can’t wait for his full book, 100 Questions I Keep Getting Asked about Music Online, but frankly, I’ve got my plate full just implementing the advice in the 20 Things book for my own band.

I just noticed he has a new pamphlet called Five things that are still true about music. It’s a short pdf booklet and it’s free to distribute. Get it here.

Making money with your music

June 26, 2008

Today I digress from the topic of songwriting to talk about money.

If you’re like me, you’ve spent way too much time scouring the web for a way to promote your band and make money with your music. I’ve read articles and e-books, joined social networks, created web sites, submitted to contests, and on and on. Some were very useful, others were marginally helpful. And nothing really stood out as a comprehensive solution.

Recently, I ran across the most direct, helpful, up-to-date and seemingly complete source of nuts and bolts information and advice and it’s completely free. I have nothing to gain from mentioning it, and I don’t know the person, but I couldn’t, in good conscience, keep it to myself.

I suspect if you follow all his advice…you will be using the web to your best advantage.

The resource is a blog called New Music Strategies and the free e-book called The 20 Things You Must Know about Music Online by Andrew Dubber. You may already know about it, but for me, it was a real eye-opener. The book is spot on and to the point. The advice is not too general and not too techie.

I suspect if you follow all his advice and extrapolate it to apply to your specific situation, then you will be using the web to your best advantage.

So for myself, I took a few immediate action steps. First, I got my bandmate to read it, and I read it through once again (96 pages, but with big print and lots of white space, so it’s a quick read), and then we started to implement the ideas, one by one. I’ll report back to let you know our progress and our results.

Get your copy here.