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Music Business

Music royalty basics

Music Royalties Simplified: An Income Source All Musicians Need to Know

By Music Business, Music Distribution 3 Comments

Understanding music royalties can be confusing, but very necessary for musicians who are new to the music business. I know I’m not the only one who struggled with this topic, so my goal was to put this together to help break it all down. I wanted to make it simple so that anyone who has no idea about the music business can easily understand… hopefully.

I’m by no means an expert, but this is more of an overview behind royalties through music publishing and master recordings as well as how to collect them. Read More

Music Copyright Basics

Music Copyright Basics: Do Musicians Really Need to Copyright Their Songs?

By Music Business No Comments

When we start to get into laws and legality of things, that’s when it starts to get really tricky and complicated. It’s no different in the music business, so it’s important to at least understand the basics.

If you’re a newer musician, you need to know copyright laws for:

  • Protecting your music against infringement and plagiarism
  • Receiving royalties you are legally entitled to when your music is used
  • Not infringing or breaking the law in regards to other people’s music or intellectual property

Even if you’re not a new musician, you should be familiar with these music copyright fundamentals to save yourself from any potential headaches in the future.
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Choosing the Independent Music Business Model That Works For You

By Music Business, Music Distribution, Music Streaming, Strategy One Comment

Last updated on 7/26/20

The music industry can be overwhelming. Just like running your own business (because that’s what it is!), there are a lot of things to think when it comes to managing your enterprise. When you’re working solo and can’t afford to build a team yet, it helps to have a solid overview or plan on how you should go about making a living from your music.

As an independent artist, you have 4 general business models you can adopt to mold and build your music career around. These aren’t “official” models, but it should provide some clarity about which approach is best for you.

Although I will talk about them distinctly in their purest form, their characteristics aren’t mutually exclusive. This means you can technically incorporate different aspects of all four models at once. Certain characteristics will overlap so there’s not a black and white distinction between each model. In time, more business models for music will certainly emerge as the industry and technology are constantly evolving. Read More

Zion I Merch

What Merch Should Independent Artists Make That Fans Will Actually Buy

By Merch, Music Business 2 Comments

This is part 1 of 3 about merch.

In our music streaming world, it has become much harder for independent artists to sustain a career in the music industry. Selling CDs was a large income stream that has basically vanished. To put into context how important it was, consider how much you make from music streaming.

Based on the latest numbers, to make the profit of selling one $15 CD, you would have to get roughly 3,200 streams on Spotify or 2,000 streams on Apple Music. For emerging artists, it’s a challenge just to get 1,000 streams.

It’s safe to say now that selling merch is basically a necessity now to make it as an artist on top of doing shows and tours.

Often times, the problem with merch is you need money to make money. Since the money to fund merch will most likely come out of your own pocket, you can’t afford to make items that people won’t buy.

Before you go and print a bunch of shirts with your face on it, it’s important to take a step back to evaluate your brand, what you represent and what characteristics define you as an artist. Read More

Community Mindset

What is a Community-Oriented Mindset and Tips to Find Your Community

By Music Business, Strategy One Comment

Success in the music industry is often a team effort. Even as an independent artist, you need support from those around you. This includes people who help you directly on day-to-day tasks or on certain projects, a network of industry relationships and community support.

As the saying goes, “your network is your net worth.” Your value and potential for growth are largely tied to the people you choose to surround yourself with. As emerging artists, it’s important you put yourself out there and start building these relationships. Read More

Facebook Ads for Music Video

How to Use Facebook Ads to Promote a Music Video and Sell Merch

By Facebook, Facebook Ads, Music Business, Social Media 2 Comments

SCENARIO: You have a new music video that you want everyone to see. It could even be an older video, it doesn’t matter because it’s always new to someone who’s never seen it. Facebook Ads is a great way to get more views for your music video, from both your current fans and potentially new ones.

Think of Facebook Ads as a tool that you can use to get exposure for your music video and potentially lead people into your fan funnel. Once in your fan funnel, it can be easier to sell your music and merch to your fans. The good news is you can use Facebook Ads to do this also.

There are different ways and strategies you can go about it, but I will guide you through one way to sell your music and merch to an audience that is more likely to buy based on how engaged they were by your videos. Read More

Different Ways to Get Exposure for Your Music as an Independent Artist

By Marketing Basics, Music Business No Comments

Exposure for Artists

EXPOSURE. It’s what all artists want right?

After investing so much time into creating the music, you want to make sure it gets in front of people. How can you get your music in front of new potential fans? Maybe you’re unsure of the options you have.

A few people have reached out to me and asked about how to get more exposure. To me, there’s really no big secret.

The goal of this blog is to simplify the most practical routes to get more exposure for your music. It’s less about secret tactics or hacks, and more so about an overview of all your options you have to get your music in front of new people. Read More

EPK

Everything Artists Need to Know about Electronic Press Kits (EPK)

By Music Business One Comment

Some of the most important things you need to grow your career as an artist, new gigs and press coverage, will require an EPK.

For those who don’t know, an Electronic Press Kit – or EPK – is a professional document that contains relevant information and assets about you as an artist. In a way, it’s like a music resume.

As the name implies, an EPK is generally intended for press, journalists, media or bloggers, but it can also be used for other types of industry people, like talent buyers and promoters.

EPKs serve 2 general purposes – selling yourself and making it easier for the other party to do what you want them to do.

Just like with a job resume, your EPK should be structured around educating the reader on your previous accomplishments. So, if you want publicity or press, your EPK should provide all the information that someone would need to write about you. Read More

Start Music Career

15 Essential Things You Need to Know to Start Your Music Career

By Marketing Basics, Music Business 19 Comments

Have you recently decided that you want to pursue your passion for music, but have no idea where to start? If you’ve been doing music as a hobby for a while now and you want to get more serious, you’re in the right place.

In this blog, I cover all the major pieces and beginning steps you will need to think about when setting the foundation for your music career as an independent artist. Although this guide caters more towards performing artists, singer-songwriters, bands and rappers, I feel a lot of this can still apply to producers and instrumentalists as well.

Even if your end goal is to sign with a major music label, I think you still need to apply these steps. Just know that in the current climate of the music industry, thanks to the internet, you are no longer dependent on music labels to make a career in music, especially the majors. You have the freedom to do it yourself. Read More

Super Fans Isaiah Rashad

4 Easy Communication Tweaks To Help Convert Fans Into Super Fans

By Branding, Music Business, Social Media, Strategy No Comments

Since 2008, there’s been a popular hypothesis floating around the internet about how artists can make a sustainable living if they are able to earn roughly 1,000 super fans.

Unfortunately with so much competition for attention now, that number may be more. However, the idea behind this is to help dispel this notion that you need thousands or millions of fans to make it as an independent and that living off music is more attainable than it seems. Read More