MusicDish Writer Profile: Tim Sweeny, TSA Associates
Career Tips Contributor
In 2004, Tim Sweeney & Associates entered its 22nd year of artist development. TSA Associates provides artists, signed or independent, the opportunity to use their established relationships with radio stations, record stores, distributors, press and special live venues. While at the same time, they develop every aspect of artists' careers, including educating artists on the industry and the future opportunities to further their music career.
Tim Sweeny's company was originally the Artist Development & Creative Marketing department of one of the largest major labels in the world. The overall program goal was to develop the careers of artists signed to the company by providing the valuable "personalized marketing" services they needed. The most important individual objective was to "educate" each and every artist on how the music business actually worked (not what they believed was true) and how they could create greater advantages for financial success.
It worked remarkably well for a couple of years. The record company enjoyed having the largest market share in the world and every artist on the label wanted to get into the program. When the label thought the artists had reached the point where they would just know how to do all this on their own, it was decided by the label, to discontinue spending the time or money on their developing artists. Oops!
After a couple of years of directing this department, Tim Sweeney, who had personally worked with each artist, became the "Jerry Maguire" of his day. Tim actually left the company, taking some of the employees with him.
Starting with one artist, Tim redesigned what the new, "Tim Sweeney & Associates" would do. His first action was to invite independent artists to participate in what the company would offer.
This change provided independent artists with a unique opportunity. They were "developed" as artists who were "taught" how to be self sufficient and profitable on their own label and how not to need a major label for their future success.
Through their help, guidance and development, independent artists received airplay on commercial radio stations, sold their independent releases in major record stores, and they were featured in articles in various music industry magazines. They learned the techniques of how to double their audience at their next live show in one week. Most importantly, they were able to generate thousands of record sales. But with all that, it wasn't enough.
Using his own experience of once being an independent artist on his own label and then signed to a major, Tim's value came when he began to personally educate both independent and major label artists working with TSA as to how each aspect of the industry actually worked and how they could use it to their advantage. This made an interesting combination. While the staff was using TSA's relationships to acquire the radio airplay, placement in the record stores and development of reviews and stories in the press, as well as the live show, Tim was secretly teaching artists the "inside" knowledge they needed to know to succeed. It was a matter of enhancing the artist's basic understanding of the music business by empowering them with the right information that would get them the money, sales and position in the industry they desired.
Soon, he was developing independent artists with a proper sales history and marketing foundation who could confidently state to any interested major label, "what can you do for me that I can't do myself?!" Hence, the artists had a "position of strength" to negotiate from.
This philosophy has been "personally" installed in over 1,300 artists in Tim's 19 years in the music business. Some of his artists have become the most successful of all time. You might even consider a few of them to be your musical influences.
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