Music Business

Getting Your Act Together

»Posted by on Dec 3, 2013 in Music Business | Comments Off

On the surface, the title of this blog would imply that I’m talking about putting your band together or finding players to work with you live or in the studio. Actually, today I’m talking about you! People send me e-mails all the time wanting to know how to be successful in the music business, how to get ahead in the game, how to find a job, how to get noticed, how to get a record deal, etc and so on. Networking (who you know) is important, but how can you be successful working with others if you’re personal skills aren’t in order? Doing what you say you’re going to do, prioritizing, being honest with other people, not making excuses and being proactive-these principles are the core of success. Start with your goals, then compare them...

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What To Consider In A Management Contract

»Posted by on Nov 15, 2013 in Music Business | Comments Off

Management agreements are not the most complicated agreements an Entertainer will face, but they are certainly among the most important agreements an Entertainer will sign. A personal manager is the closest member of an Entertainer’s team, and needs to understand the entertainment industry to be able to guide an Entertainer through the variety of pitfalls in the industry. Here are the five most important things to think about when discussing a management deal from the Entertainer’s perspective. 1. Term. It may sound simple, but how long the Manager will be in charge of the Entertainer’s career is a very important question. The Entertainer wants the shortest period and the Manager wants the longest. Usually there is an initial period with options...

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Maximizing Relationships

»Posted by on Oct 20, 2013 in Music Business | Comments Off

I’m sure some of us are familiar with the movie Jerry Maguire. Throughout the film, Tom Cruise’s character has a mentor named Dicky Fox, who periodically shows up with some appropriate words of wisdom. One of those is: “The key to this business is personal relationships.” And it couldn’t be truer-especially in the music business. But how do we cultivate business relationships on a personal level? Networking is and always will be an important thing. If you’re not out there shaking hands and kissing babies, how do you ever expect to move ahead in your career? However, since the advent of social media, there has been an assumption that if you have a lot of friends, fans or contacts on your favorite networking site, then...

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Can I Trademark A Sound?

»Posted by on Sep 11, 2013 in Music Business | Comments Off

The answer is yes, but it is very difficult. According to the United States Patent and Trademark office (and stated very simplistically), a sound mark depends upon the aural perception of the listener and the sound is so inherently different or distinctive that it attaches to the subliminal mind of the listener to be awakened when heard and to be associated with the source or event with which it is struck.  Said in another way, you immediately think about a brand when you hear the sound. This is an incredibly high threshold to pass where a sound becomes so famous it is associated with a consumer good or service. Some very famous examples would be the NBC Chimes, 20th Century Fox’s fanfare composed by Alfred Newman, or Homer Simpson’s catch line,...

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Plan Your Work/Work Your Plan

»Posted by on Aug 15, 2013 in Music Business | Comments Off

Today’s music economy is all over the place, isn’t? Artists and/or bands have to work harder than ever to get ahead, sell product, book shows and of course: make some money. So, how do you do all those things? Is it who you know? Is it how good your music is? Is it how big your fan base is? Or is it how well you perform on stage? While all these things are all important, I would suggest the core part of being successful starts with the coordination and proper planning of your team members at hand. First of all, what is it exactly that you’re trying to do? Make money? Get noticed? Get a record deal? Have fun? Believe it or not there are tons of artists and bands out there that have never taken the time to sit down and establish this. Whether your...

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The 360 Deal: What The Hell Is It And When Will It Go Away

»Posted by on Jul 13, 2013 in Music Business | Comments Off

Foreword: This is a multipart blog on 360 deals. Although it is a complicated topic I have tried to keep it as simple as possible. To understand the deal points I will explain the revenue streams and their history in the music business. Once you understand where we have been I will layout the mechanics of the 360 deal as it relates to those issues. Finally we will discuss whether it is good or bad and the future of these types of deals. Without further delay, on with the show. Think of your musical career income as a whole pizza. All the money you make (or want to make) in music is represented by a slice. These pieces have names such as “tour money,” “merchandise,” “publishing,” “record sales” and “everything else.” Some pieces are bigger than others and...

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