MusicDish e-Journal - January 21, 2017
MusicDish Advertising Network
» HOME » INSIDER SCOOP » CAREER TIPS » MUSIC SPOTLIGHT » MUSICDISH*CHINA
» INDUSTRY INTERVIEWS » NEWS BEAT » DIGITAL SKOOL » OPEN REVIEW » MUSICDISH EDELWEISS
Search MusicDish e-Journal (Advanced)
Subscribe To MusicDish e-Journal
About | Contact | Advertise | RSS | Submit Article | Submit News | Artist Development | Premium PR Distribution
Mi2N | MusicDish*China | MusicDish Network | MusicDishTV | Urban Music News Network

Opportunities and Challenges for Artists in the New Music Business
So how do artists distinguish themselves from the heard and rise above the noise?
By Steve Gordon, Esq.
(more articles from this author)
2009-11-12
Comment | Email | Print | RSS

New technologies have wrought revolutionary changes in the music business for all its players including labels, publishers, songwriters and artists. This note focuses on the new challenges and opportunities presented to artists.

Opportunities

The inspiration for my book, the Future of the Music Business (Hal Leonard 2008) was a visit to Pitman NJ. In 1995 I was still a lawyer in the business affairs Department at Sony Music. A senior attorney organized a tour of the Pitman plant, one of Sony's several CD factories. The factory was as big as a football stadium. Once inside they to the mezzanine. We looked down to see dozens of workers in white suits with clear plastic masks and white surgical gloves. They looked like astronauts and were tending to machines spewing out millions of shiny discs bearing the names of our successful artists of the day such as Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey, Pearl Jam, Celine Dion and others.

Outside were huge trucks waiting to take all those shiny discs to warehouses for delivery to music stores throughout the Northeast. A few years later an artist could use the internet to reach not only an audience in the Northeast but throughout the world. And they no longer needed that factory, the trucks and the warehouses or the music stores or all the people who worked at the factory, drove the trucks or handled the discs at the warehouse or sold the CDs to the stores. That is the magic of the internet. It makes it possible to reach a worldwide audience without any record label at all let alone a major.

In addition, digital technologies made it possible to record a commercially acceptable album for a fraction of the cost that it took in the old days. Now an artist can use a software program to simulate an orchestra, and multi-track an album on their laptop. Which is probably why Sony sold their studio on 54th street and they are selling condos there instead of recording records. And the legendary Sire recording studio, which was down the block, has been turned into a condo as well. Not good for the recording studios but great for indie artists.

Challenges

Artists have taken full advantage of the new technologies. There is more music than ever before. In fact, there are an estimated 8 million artists on MySpace. And that's the challenge. As Harry Allen a/k/a the "media assassin," who recently interviewed me for his radio show, said "anyone can be on the Internet, and now anyone is on the Internet." At the recent New Music Seminar Tommy Silverman sited some interesting statistics from SoundScan: There were 106,000 albums released in the United States alone in digital or physical form. Of those only 10,000 sold more than 1,000 units and only 1,000 albums sold more than 10,000 units. This does not include sales at gigs but it gives you a good idea of how tough it is to succeed.

Sound Advice

So how do artists distinguish themselves from the heard and rise above the noise?

As a practicing music attorney, and as host of a radio show (Future of the Music Business at www.myrealbroadcast.com) who has interviewed artists such as Moby, entrepreneurs such as Terry McBride of Netwerkk Music, and music journalists such as Greg Kott author of "Ripped," (all of these interviews are available on demand) I have developed a few ideas.

Be Good

The paradox for artists in the digital age is that the web provides a worldwide audience for their music, but if it's not great, few will listen and practically no one will buy. Mo matter how many web stores carry their music, they can't get far unless their music is brilliant, or at the very least they look fabulous. But if you are a great musician or look fabulous, the Internet can serve as the milk for your music to rise to the top. Be Good

Show up

Woody Allen said ninety percent of life is just showing up. So get yourself in front of a live audience. Living Colour performed at CBGB and Mick Jagger happened to be in the audience. Aided by a demo that he produced Jagger presented the band to Epic Records who signed them. There they had a great career including recording the "Cult of Personality" which won a Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance. Although no longer on Sony, they all have had success after the band disbanded and are now doing tour with a new record released by an indie. My friend Dan Beck, who was a senior VP at Sony, discovered Cyndie Lauper at a club in New Jersey. Ahmet Ertegun, founder of Atlantic Records discovered Ray Charles at a club. There are countless other examples.

Sell Direct

In the old days the record company would take 85% or more of receipts from selling records and even more with the deductions such as packaging (25%) and "net sales." Now you can sign up with paypal and keep more than 98%. All you need is a merchant account and some code to attach to your website, and wham you're a record company with international distribution! CD Baby or Tunecore can help you with downloads for a modest fee.

Try a New Business Model

Jill Sobule set up a website to raise $75,000 for her record. She asked fans to contribute for various rewards starting at $10 for a free digital download of the album, when it's released. To $25 for an advance copy of the CD. Weeks before the masses. For $500 at the end of my CD, "I'll do a fun instrumental track where I'll mention your name and maybe rhyme with it. And for $10,000 ("Weapons-Grade Plutonium" donation): "You get to come and sing on my CD. Don't worry if you can't sing - we can fix that on our end. Also, you can always play the cowbell." She got $88,000 in two months. That's the power of the Internet! This model was actually created by Artistshare.com. Take a look and reach out to them or do it yourself!

Conclusion

I could go on for pages, but you get the idea. Now that you can do it for yourself, just do it! Besides, now that majors are faltering, you may have no other choice.


Home » Insider Scoop » Opportunities and Challenges for Artists in the New Music Business
Permalink:http://www.musicdish.com/mag/?id=12502
Email |Print |Comment |RSS

back | top


MusicDish Advertising Network

Insider Scoop

» An Open Letter To President Donald J. Trump

» UK Festival Market Driven By "Super Fans"

» Victory Records Releases Statement On A Day To Remember Court Case

» Millennials Turn From Radio To Embrace Streaming

» CMA Research Shows Country Music Consumers Spend More On Music

Insider Scoop Directory



» [2017-01-21] China's Leading Streaming Platform To Talk Strategy At Midem 2017; Tencent Music Entertainment Group's VP Andy NG To Keynote

» [2017-01-20] An Open Letter To President Donald J. Trump; We Say 'Well Said!'

» [2017-01-18] The Wu-Force Self-Titled Debut EP Out For Lunar New Year; The Wu-Force, The Self-described Kung Fu-Appalachian-indie-folk-rock Trio Of Banjo, Guzheng And Keyboards

» [2017-01-15] Grammy Museum Plans International Expansion In China; GRAMMY Museum China Expected To Open Within The Next Three Years, Marking The Museum's First International Expansion

» [2017-01-11] Midem Artist Accelerator Call For Entries Open; First Class Industry Experts To Select Rising International Talent

» [2017-01-04] DPA Microphones Launches New Chinese Website; The Company Has Created New Resource For Chinese Speakers To Help Them Find The Right DPA Microphone For Their Needs

» [2017-01-02] Mercedes-Benz Extends Naming Rights Partnership For Mercedes-Benz Arena In Shanghai; Mercedes-Benz Has Extended Its Partnership With AEG And Oriental Pearl Group For The Naming Rights Of Mercedes-Benz Arena In Shanghai Until 2025

» [2017-01-02] MusicDish*China Caps Busy 2016 Music Touring Season Across China; Highlights From MusicDish*China Fall 2016 Tours Including Combined 44 Shows In 19 Cities, With 3 Festivals, College Events And Live Streaming

» [2016-12-26] Second Hand Rose In 2016 - Bringing Chinese Rock Into The Mainstream; Iconic Chinese Rock Band Second Hand Rose Struck To Break Down The 'glass Ceilings' That Had Prevented Rock Bands From Reaching Broader Audiences And China's Mainstream

» [2016-12-21] Fulcrum Acoustic Appoints Ease Audio Group As Distribution Representative For China; Professional Loudspeaker Manufacturer Fulcrum Acoustic Appoints Ease Audio Group As Their Exclusive Distribution Representative For China

» [2016-12-06] Black Kirin Opens 2017 With New Members At Beijing's Yugong Yishan; Black Kirin Will Arrive In Beijing To Hold The First Special Show On New Year's Day At Yugong Yishan With Their Latest Seven-man Lineup

» [2016-12-04] World Creators Forum Held In Beijing; Asia-Pacific Music Alliance Launches At The Event
MusicDish Advertising Network

follow MusicDish on
Follow MusicDish on Twitter

Mi2N Music PR

DigitalRadioTracker.com Launches Free Searchable Artist/Song Airplay Database

Versatile Haitian American Singer/Songwriter Natalie Jean Releases New Dance Remix

Troy Ave. Featured On New Single 'Crooklyn To Wacocaine' By Hustler E From 'Wacocaine' Fame On Wacocaine 5 Album

Killer Tracks Releases "Tray Dahl & The Jugtime Ragband"

Gig Performer Software Elevates Live Performing Experience Providing Complete And Effortless Control Over A Live Music Rig

Toronto's K-Slick Realeases New Music Video

Singer/Songwriter Katie Garibaldi Original Christmas Song Out Now!



Websites: Mi2N | MusicDish*China | MusicDish Network | MusicDishTV | Urban Music News Network
Services: Submit Article | Submit News | Submit Video | Artist Development | Premium PR Distribution

Copyright © 1997-2017 MusicDish LLC., all rights reserved.
About MusicDish e-Journal | Contact Us | Advertise | RSS | Internships