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Music Business

Does Spotify and Apple Music Owe You Money? What Songwriters Need to Know About the MLC

By Music Business, Music Streaming, Spotify No Comments

As a musician, the last thing you want to do is leave money on the table. So what can you do to make sure you’re getting all the money you’re owed from your music?

Many musicians may not realize this, but there’s a lot of music royalties floating out there waiting to be claimed by their rightful owners. Over 424 million dollars in mechanical royalties generated from digital service providers (DSPs) were left unclaimed due to the lack of data or having the incorrect information to match and pay out the rightful copyright owners.

Thankfully for artists, the Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC) officially launched in January of 2021 to help address this issue. How does the MLC help exactly? Read More

How to NOT Get Scammed with “Music Promotion” Services

By Music Business, Music Promotion No Comments

Navigating the music business can be very tricky, especially for newer musicians. It’s hard to know who to trust when there are many people looking to exploit and take advantage of impressionable artists who will try anything to make it in this business.

The music business, like other entertainment industries, is filled with scammers. It is such a lucrative career path that many have set up operations to take advantage of these artists to make money. The area you’ll most likely encounter scammers in the music industry is in music promotion. After all, one of the biggest struggles artists have is getting their music heard and gaining exposure to build a fanbase.

There are a lot of music promotion companies out there, but not all will serve your best interests. This blog will help you make better decisions when looking for ways to promote your music while avoiding potential scams. It’s already challenging for musicians not making enough money from music so the last thing you want to do is spend on something that doesn’t work. Read More

Team

Level Up: The Musicians Guide for Building a Team

By Music Business No Comments

Being an independent artist doesn’t mean you have to do everything alone. In fact, you shouldn’t.

The best advice that Tierra Whack received came from Andre 3000 (Outkast). He told her it was very important to build a strong team to help exponentiate her career. Having this support system isn’t just about handling specific tasks for your business, it’s also to help you plan your next steps, keep you grounded and offer emotional support when needed.

If you really want to take your music career to the next level, you will eventually need a team. They don’t necessarily have to be people who you hire to work exclusively with you. At the very least, you need to form relationships and a network with skilled people who are good at what they do.

As someone who works on a number of artist teams myself, I’m going to cover what types of people you may need as an independent, how you may find them and what qualities to look for in each member of your team. Read More

Single Release Checklist for Independent Artists

The Ultimate Single Release Checklist for Independent Artist

By Music Business, Music Distribution 6 Comments

Planning to release new singles? Don’t want to miss any steps?

Putting out a new song is relatively straightforward, but there are a lot of things that go into the process of a successful release.

In this blog, I will discuss everything independent artists need to know about releasing singles. On top of that, I will share all my personal checklists that I use for my clients. I will literally cover the entire process in depth so you don’t have to worry about forgetting any steps. Whenever you release music, feel free to use this blog as a reference so you have all your bases covered. Read More

Canva Cover Art Banner

How to Make FREE Cover Art for Your Upcoming Album or Single Release

By Music Business, Music Distribution One Comment

Are you an independent artist on a budget looking to create album or single cover art for your upcoming release?

In this blog, I will go over everything you’ll need to know about cover art, including requirements to upload to your music distributor, cover ideas and other free tools you might need. It’s very easy for anyone to do, even without graphic design experience.

Most importantly, I’m going to show you how you can do it yourself with free apps online, so it doesn’t cost you anything. Read More

Patreon

Patreon for Musicians: My eBook Preview + Guest Blogs

By Music Business, Patreon No Comments

Instead of publishing a blog on my website for the month of April, I decided to write 2 guest contributions on other blogs. Because a lot of musicians are looking for alternative income sources right now with the COVID-19 pandemic, I decided to write the first edition of my Patreon guide for musicians.

What people may not know is that I currently manage one of the top-ranked music creator pages on Patreon. I’ve helped launch and manage Patreon campaigns for 3 separate artists so I’m quite familiar with the platform. In this eBook, I wanted to reveal everything I know on how to set up, launch and grow a membership business.

As much as I advocate and support a membership model through a platform like Patreon, I want to emphasize that Patreon is not for everyone. The concept sounds great for artists, but in reality, it’s not easy to execute. This is especially true if you’ve not an established artist with a larger following.

If you’ve thought about Patreon or just want to learn more, check out the articles I’ve written below and consider downloading the eBook. Keep in mind that I’m making the first edition free. I plan to charge for future editions when I add more content to it. Read More

Income Streams for Musicians Guide: How To Survive as an Independent Artist

By Music Business No Comments

“How do I make enough money as a musician so I can transition into a full-time music career?”

I imagine that’s the big question many aspiring and emerging independent artists wonder about.

After all, it’s believed by some that there’s no real money in music. After seeing the total music revenue in the U.S. dip in 2006, things have started to show growth again since 2015.

According to a 2018 report cited in Rolling Stones:

  • U.S. listeners are spending more money on music than ever before: over $20 billion a year.
  • Total music revenues have risen to about $43 billion a year, which includes on-demand streams, CD sales, radio play, live events, advertising.

There’s definitely money to be made from music, but unfortunately, most of that money isn’t going to the artists themselves. Artists only take home $5 billion, or about 12 percent of total music revenues. So what can you do about it? Read More

What’s the Best Music Distribution Service To Release Your Music – CD Baby, TuneCore or DistroKid?

By Music Business, Music Distribution, Music Streaming 2 Comments

Looking to get your songs in places like Apple Music, Spotify, Google Play and Amazon Music? You should, because as of 2019, music streaming now makes up 80 percent of the U.S. music industry’s revenue. Globally, it’s as high as 47%.

The good news is, getting your music into digital music stores and streaming services as an independent artist couldn’t be any easier. Finding the right company that makes sense for you can be a challenge. There are a bunch of music distribution companies you can go with to make your music accessible all around the world, but there are pros and cons with each of them. Read More

Smartest Music Investments

12 Smartest Investments Musicians Can Make Towards a Full-Time Music Career

By Music Business No Comments

Many musicians want to make music a full-time gig, but many of them aren’t taking music seriously enough. More specifically, they’re not willing to invest their money back into their business to grow their music career properly. With so much market saturation in music, only focusing on free promotion tactics and looking for shortcuts or hacks is not enough to turn a hobby into a career for most artists.

To be fair, it’s not easy. It can even be overwhelming at times. The decline in record sales and the rise in streaming has made it more difficult for emerging musicians to earn a stable income off physical music. This is why it’s important for all musicians to know the various income sources that are available to you.

Even with consistent income, it takes smart investments in yourself to increase your chances of making it in this industry. In general, there are two things you can use to invest – time and money. Time will always be your most valuable asset, and what you have the most control over, so use it wisely. Read More

Ordering Merch

Bulk Ordering or Print On-Demand? What’s the Best Way for Musicians to Order Merch

By Merch, Music Business No Comments

This is part 2 of 3 about merch.

It’s no surprise that one of the key components to making a living off music is selling merch. Not only is merch an income stream, it’s also a marketing / advertising tool to raise brand awareness.

At this point, you should have some designs on hand in the proper graphic file format. If you don’t have your designs yet, before sure to read this first.

You have merch designs ready to go. Now you need to find out what’s the best way to get it made, and into the hands of your fans. There are some factors to consider when getting merch made. Read More