Tag Archive: Music

  1. Is DIY the Way To Go?

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    Many artists are turning to labels in the hope they’ll become the superstars they dream of. But sometimes going for a label isn’t the best option. That’s what singer-songwriter Milow thought before he jumpstarted his career. He made the very wise decision to go DIY on everything. This is not only smart, this is also very positive for your career.

    Is DIY the Way To Go?

    Milow is pretty small compared to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. They started off DIY with the knowledge of how powerful the internet can be.

    The Good

    Distribution: You can use an online distributor to distribute your music to the digital and physical stores. This means that you maintain your rights as a musician and get a lot more income than in a label deal with royalties.

    Direct to Fan: You can also build a very close relationship with your fans. Just like Macklemore and Ryan Lewis believed that the power of the internet would be strong enough to build a fanbase. They connected to the fans through YouTube and Tumblr, which was their ‘label’ they used to do their marketing.

    Crowdfunding: This is connected to the last point above. If you’re willing to give your fans an exclusive view of what you’re doing, you can invite them to your crowdfunding website. Just don’t forget that crowdfunding (like Kickstarter, GoFundMe…) isn’t a charity. It’s a pre-sale of the actual work you’re going to deliver.

    Marketing: This can be a good and a bad thing. You have everything in hand if you do it DIY. In other words, you decide what you put out there and have full control of what you want to do. But this also means you have to invest into your own brand. Bear in mind that labels will see this as an ‘advance’ and would ask for the money back at one point.

    Making cover songs can help your career. Milow made a cover of ‘Ayo Technology’ by 50 Cent in 2008 on his acoustic guitar with a videoclip along with it. The Belgian artist got his international breakthrough and got in the top charts in like Finland, Italy, Germany and even Canada.

    Music Rights: With a label they’ll ask you to sign a contract where you have to part ways with your music (giving a piece of your music rights to them). They do this so they can distribute your music etc. You don’t have to do this when you go DIY.

    The Bad

    Funding (for recordings, videoclips…): If you are signed to a label, they will have a budget to promote you or to record your songs. You don’t have this when you go DIY. But then again, this is an opportunity to be very creative with your crowdfunding page.

    Marketing: DIY is a great way to go, but it doesn’t mean that marketing will be any easier. A label has the right connections to get your music to new potential fans. But, the thing about labels is that they won’t (most of the times) sign an artist that doesn’t already have an existing fanbase. If you look at the majors doing marketing campaigns, it doesn’t really feel human and feels more like a well oiled machine.

    Is DIY Right for Me?

    Labels are there to make it easier, but it’s really a choice you have to think about.

    Do you want to invest hours and hours into thinking of strategies to get your music to your old and new potential fans, and probably invest tons of your own money?

    Or do you want to get stuck in advances and probably get no royalties for the first years of your career?

    This doesn’t mean that all labels work the same way, but you have to be careful what you sign in regards of your music.

  2. An Introduction to the Music Industry – Part 2

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    Catch up on part 1 here and find out how you can make money from the rights you own.

    An Introduction to the Music Industry - Part 2

    Live Performance

    Unlike copyright, which can be harder to understand, the are two other forms of revenue streams that artists will use. These two forms of making money are Live Performance and Fan Relationship.

    To make money from Live Performance is to simply monetise live performances in front of people. However, ticket income is not the only stream of revenue within the live performance setting, for instance money can be made from:

    • Tickets
    • Ticket commissions
    • Ticket resale mark-ups
    • Food and drink
    • Other services – i.e. cloak room, parking, VIP.
    • Sponsorships – the live sector has the most revenue wth brands (i.e. O2, branded beers at gigs).

    As a an artist’s fan base grows and have greater success and exposure, the live setting will change (naturally getting bigger). Here are the steps that most artists and bands traditionally follow as their live setting changes:

    1. Self promoted gigs, pay to play.
    2. ‘Gig’ or ‘Club’ nights, festival new bands stages.
    3. Club and pub venue touring, festival stages.
    4. Theatre venue, festival main stages – this is the stage where artists will start to make ‘real’ money.
    5. Arena touring, potentially headline slots at festivals
    6. Stadium touring, headlining festivals.

    Fan Relationship

    In the digital age, as record sales diminish and the popularity of streaming services have drastically increased, using a fanbase as a source of revenue has become a major focus for new bands and artists. With the use of social media, artists now have a way of communicating with their fanbase and to get to know them better. This means that artists can find out what the core fans want, and consequently, can find out what to sell to them.

    As an artist, once you have an engaged, growing fanbase, you can start to sell them products and services, such as:

    • A subscription service (i.e. an online fan club)
    • Signed records
    • Deluxe records (with extra content such as, B-sides, demos, acoustic versions etc.)
    • Premium merchandise

    Using the combination of you (the artist), your music and your live shows, you can sell content, experiences and a relationship to your fanbase. In addition, if a sizeable fanbase is created, brands and companies may want to start a partnership with the artistic order to reach that audience, as well as exposing you to their customers.

    These three revenue streams are all built on and rely upon building a group of core fans. To provide them with content, different experiences and an ongoing, engaging relationship, artists will usually have to depend on creating partnerships with other roles within the music industry.

  3. Get your Profiles Verified

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    Getting your profiles verified offers more than just validation, but it definitely does feel exciting! Generally, the main networks to be looking at getting verified on are Apple Music, Spotify, Facebook and Twitter. In this article we’ll give you a brief but informative guide on how to get verified on each of these platforms.

    Get your Profiles Verified

    Apple Music verification requires you to log into Apple Connect using your Apple ID. From here, you must select the type of content you’d like to manage. Next, you can add an artist/label. It is recommended that you add your artist/label page URL from the iTunes Store on your browser to avoid any confusion. Generally, it takes 7-10 business days to process the request, and so making sure you have the right page before you submit your request can save you a lot of time.

    Over on Spotify, there are different routes depending on what you want to verify. For artists – head over to artists.spotify. For labels – you must have at least 250 followers, have music currently appearing on the service and a working user profile that is not merged with an artist page. If you can prove this, then the next step to verification is to fill out this form. If eligible, your verification should be within two weeks.

    To get the blue tick on Facebook, go to the top of your page and follow: Settings – General – Page Verification. The process asks you to provide a publicly listed phone number, your country and language and for Facebook to call you. The call will give you a 4-digit code to verify yourself.

    For Twitter verification, the blue bird asks quite simply that you fill out this form. Like the other platforms, Twitter insists that you meet their small list of requirements, which can be found here).