Music Business #5


New Definition Of “A BIG Hit” Is 2 Billions Streams – “In fact, today a song with a million streams doesn’t really get you on the industry’s radar – you need at least 10 million for that. A very minor hit now comes in at around 50 million. Real hits start at around 100 million, but most blockbusters are in excess of 500 million. Of course an elite few reach a billion, and some of them now go to 2 billion and beyond.”

FAKE HITS: Millions Of Streams vs. A True Fan Connection – “You could have a hit on SoundCloud, have millions of plays, expose yourself to an audience bigger than any radio station or TV show, and it have precisely zero impact on the rest of your career and business. And, in the heyday of SoundCloud, you’d earn absolutely nothing from it.”

Reading A Record Deal: A How To Guide –  “Being offered a record deal can be a huge game changer, and is an exciting step in the development of your musical career, but while it may be a time for celebration, it is also a time for close and thorough scrutiny of the contract which is offered up. Remember that, though most things are negotiable depending on your leverage, what you should ask for in your deal is a decision you should make after careful consideration, preferably in consultation with an entertainment attorney.”

How To Write An Effective Musician’s Bio – “As an artist, writing a bio for yourself can be a difficult task. As difficult as writing is, writing about yourself can be even harder, but an effective bio is key to communicating to the world why they should care about you and your music.”

How To Market To Your Core Fans – “Cultivating and caring for your core fans is one of the key aspects of maintaining lively and profitable fan base. Your core audience fans are your most passionate fans. They’ll buy whatever you have to sell, work for free, recruit other fans, and basically do anything you ask. All they want is access to and communication with the artist.”


Music Business #4

To read:

DMCA Helps YouTube Underpay Music Industry Up To $1 Billion A Year, Claims New Study – “Digital Millennium Copyright Act safe harbor protections and lower than industry standard royalty rates allow YouTube to underpay musicians, songwriters, label and other rights holders between $650 million and $1 billion a year, according to a new analysis.”

Hypercreators Own The Music Industry & You Need To Become One – “why musicians should now work to make as much quality music as often as they can in order to achieve success in an industry where music creation is cheaper and easier than ever before.”

This Trial Will Determine Songwriters’ Income Over the Next 5 Years – “Big news in the world of mechanical royalties, the Copyright Royalty Board is opening up hearings to set a new mechanical royalty rate. The board will hear from both music creators and users as it makes a determination which will be in effect for the next five years.”

A New Strategy For Releasing Music – “As the music industry continues to change, so too must the strategy for releasing music. With the single once again more important than the album, artists and labels both big and small are having to reevaluate when to make their material available, and in what capacity.”

6 Tips To Improve Your YouTube Video Search Results – “Videos on any platform can be used as an effective marketing tool, but you must observe some essential SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, techniques for that to happen. Before you go live on a video, here are 5 tips that will improve its search results”

Can A Hit Be Predicted By An Algorithm? – “We like to think that everything about music is built around the tastes of the people that are both creating and listening to it, but that outlook seems to be increasingly out of step with reality. Artificial intelligence is being used more and more for all sorts of things that control our lives, so why shouldn’t what we listen to not be one of them?”


What would Brexit mean for the UK Music Biz? – “what Britain leaving the EU would mean for the UK’s music industry: absolutely nothing.”

Amazon introduces new live music and entertainment experiences for Prime members – “Amazon has announced that Prime members in the UK now have exclusive access to purchase tickets for luxury Amazon lounges, premium seating and pre-sales for concerts and entertainment shows available on Amazon Tickets.”

Music Business #3


The Power Pyramid – “The Promoter / The Agent / Record label”

101 Techniques For Breaking Into The Music Industry – “Breaking into the music industry is no easy task, but like anything there are better and worse ways of doing it. Here we look at over a hundred tips for getting your foot in the door of the music business, plus hear from some of the industry’s biggest names.”

The Music Industry is more innovative than it thinks! – “The music business should be prouder of its pioneering spirit, argues TheLynk’s founder, former head of digital at EMI and Warner Music France.”

Deezer talks artist marketing, Metallica and going ‘beyond the playlist’ – “From Pandora’s Artist Marketing Platform (AMP) to Spotify’s efforts with superfan emails, artist marketing is becoming an important part of music-streaming services’ partnerships with the music industry.”

A Guide to Roles in the Music Industry – “Building your team as an artist can be incredibly overwhelming – especially when roles in the music industry are so loosely defined and everyone does a bit of everything. Still, there are some hard and fast rules about which team members do what. To get you started, I’ve compiled all that research into one, handy mini-field guide. Happy team building!”

Why the Grammys have so many categories – “The logic behind the awards’ 84 different honors, explained”

Breaking a band in 2017: ‘1m streams on Spotify is not enough’ – “Breaking new artists is the lifeblood of labels, and independent labels are often the wildcatters of the industry, uncovering cutting-edge genres and artists and being the first to bring them to a wider audience.”

Music teams from YouTube and Google Play combine – “According to several sources familiar with the change, the product teams working on YouTube Music and Google Play Music are being combined into a single unit.”



Music Business #2

To read:

An artist – “Art is not 9-5 work, it’s about getting inspired and letting your freak flag fly.”

Time is running out – “Time is running out for you to become the person you’ve decided to be, to make the difference you seek to make, to produce the work you know you’re capable of.”

The Musicians Guide To SoundCloud: Part One

The Musicians Guide To SoundCloud: Part 2

The Musician’s Guide To SoundCloud: Part 3

How Often Should You Release New Music? – “How frequently to release new music and how releasing music often, and releasing music rarely both have their advantages.”


20 quotes from my favourite music business book

20 quotes from my favourite music business book

“The $150,000 music degree” is a book written by Rick Barker (one of the music industry’s best marketers and artist developers, having spent two years managing the day-to-day operations of superstar Taylor Swift) and Wade Sutton (spent nearly two decades working as a radio journalist before founding one of the largest artist development competitions in the eastern United States).

This book is VITAL to all singers, musicians, bands, and managers looking to navigate the modern music industry without making many common mistakes that could doom your career before it even gets started.

I chose 20 quotes I liked most because they might be useful for anyone interested in the music business.

  1. “Your level of success will be connected directly to your productivity, decision-making, and luck. Your standard of “working hard” will change forever. It will change whom you want to surround yourself with and will make you think twice about working with many of the people already close to you. You will up your game…or you will fail.”
  2. “If you act like you belong, you belong.” “If you want to be a star one day, act like a star. If you want to be equals with them, act like you are equals with them now.”
  3. “There are four pillars to any successful business. And we have to start looking at the artist as a business.
    1. Brand 2. Build 3. Cultivate 4. Sell”
  4. “The vast majority of income for most bands is brought in by their live shows, yet most of them spend little or no time trying to make those live shows more entertaining for their audiences.”
  5. “Musicians need to understand they are not just musicians. They are also Internet marketers.”
  6. “Take a long term view of collecting e-mails. Don’t expect one hundred e-mails the first night you are collecting them on your website. Getting e-mails is like getting fans: You get them one at a time.”
  7. “If you’ve got the right product and you’re the right artist, a label can absolutely change your life.
  8.  Now, is a record deal for everyone? Absolutely not. Have we heard reports of people who’ve signed bad record deals? Sure.
    Blame your attorney if you sign a bad record deal. Or don’t sign it.
    You’ve got the choice.”
  9. “The record labels have the ability to take somebody from something small to outside the stratosphere. They also have the ability to totally screw things up depending on the record label and depending on the company that you get involved with. A lot of times I find record labels, in my opinion, are signing artists’ way before they’re ready. Then the artist is getting pissed because radio didn’t play them, or this or that, or blah blah blah.”
  10. “Everyone thinks Taylor Swift came out of nowhere. Taylor Swift was building her fans and working on her craft for four years before she ever stepped foot in a radio station.”
  11. “Do you need a major label record deal to have a career in the music business? Absolutely not. Do you need a record label if you want to have world domination in the music industry? In my opinion, I believe so.”
  12. “The deal is you don’t really start making money on your single until it gets into the Top 20. That’s if you happen to own the single because the only people making money on the first radio single are the publishers and the writer of the song. It’s not the record company and it’s not the artist. Radio airplay pays whom? It pays publishers and writers!”
  13. “The hardest part is getting your song heard.”
  14. “I guess what I am trying to say is don’t go to the same places that everyone else is going. It’s crowded there. Try to create your own space.”
  15. “If you are reading this and you’d like to be a manager, work yourself into that role. Find yourself a band that you believe in and say, “Hey, I’d like to help you get better. I would like to help you achieve your dreams. I think I can be a very valuable part of your team,” and work yourself into that situation.”
  16. “All of the iconic superstar artists are also great business people. So I am also going to be looking for someone who understands and treats it like a business.”
  17. “If you are an artist, show me that you are a hard worker. Show me that you are consistently doing the things you need to do to move your career forward. Show me that you put in the initiative. Show me that you are out there busting your hump every day to move your career forward. If you are a manager, what kind of artist should you be looking for? Work ethic, work ethic, honesty, and integrity. That’s just my little bit of advice to you.”
  18. “Many singers and bands not achieving their desired level of success are being held back not by a lack of talent, but rather their lack of commitment to the business side of their act.”
  19. “If you are a brand new artist and you sound really good but you have no following, no online presence, nothing going on, you are not very attractive to them. No matter how great you sound, no matter how good you think your show is, if you don’t have anything to bring to the table, why would the venue book you? And why would the booking agent risk that relationship by putting an act in there that they know can’t sell tickets?”
  20. “Do NOT be afraid to pursue a career in commercial music. Do NOT be intimidated by what you have to learn to be successful. EDUCATE yourself to give yourself the best chance at making it.”

I learned a lot of things from this book and I highly recommend it. If you want to read it, it’s free with Kindle Unlimited.

3 free courses about music business

3 free courses about music business

Music Business Foundations / Berklee

Week 1: The Music Industry
Week 2: Recording Agreements
Week 3: Copyright Basics
Week 4: Managers, Agents, and Attorneys

Today’s Music Industry / West Virginia University

Week 1: Publishing and Copyright
Week 2: Live Music Industry
Week 3: Recording Industry
Week 4: Magnetic Recording and Multitracks
Week 5: CD, MP3, and Online Marketplace

Understanding the Music Business: What is Music Worth? / Vanderbilt University

Week 1: Recording & Record Labels, Part 1
Week 2: Recording & Record Labels, Part 2
Week 3: Copyright & Publishing
Week 4: Media
Week 5: Live Performance
Week 6: New Models, Trends & Strategies
Week 7: Wrapping Up



Music Business #1

To read:

Modern Marketing“Not everybody can make it in music, not even the talented. Under the best of circumstances there are dead ends and dashed hopes. The goal is to stay in the game long enough to succeed. You put in your hours, you get better, you step up to bat and you make your own luck.”

World Domination“But the truth is we’re only interested in great. It’s a world of 9’s and 10’s only. Sure, you might be able to gain an audience for a 7 or 8, but you can’t grow it significantly, because people are overwhelmed, they don’t have time for mediocre.

7 Holiday Music Promotion Tips To Engage Your Fanbase

Plasticity – “Each of us is capable of just a little more. A little more patience, a little more insight, a little more generosity. And if you can do a little more, then, of course, you can repeat those changes until you’ve done a lot more.

Bonus: 13 TED Talks that can teach you how to live a happier life