Every artist goes through phases of their career as they evolve and mature over time. No matter how famous an artist becomes, they all started out somewhere. In the early days, a lot of bands book their own shows until it becomes necessary to seek out an agent or when an agent finds them. For serious artists, hiring a booking agent can be a big step in launching their music career to the next level. If you are wondering when you should get a booking agent, here are some things to consider:
While not the most popular year on record, there are a number of valuable takeaways from 2017, and some evidence that it is once again possible to forage a career as an independent musician. Here we look at a few important lessons from the past year to keep in mind for 2018 releases.
Is a music publishing deal the right way for you to go? Is it beneficial? These are the quesitons you need to answer before going through with it. The answer to the question of whether or not a songwriter should pursue a music publishing contract can grow complex. A quick internet search turns up many arguments for and against “signing a deal.” But only you know what kind of deal will work best for you and your career. How much time can you devote to the business side of music? Do you have a comprehensive understanding of the music business? What do you as the songwriter bring to the deal and what are your obligations?
The radio dial is more crowded than ever. The number of FM translators and boosters jumped 5% to a record 7,585 last year. There are also more noncommercial and low-power FMs licensed today than ever before. Yet even with the opportunity to reach new listeners that FM translators bring, the number of AM stations dropped by 30 last year
For those in the industry making and releasing music, one of the most common themes when it comes to their goals and concerns, is successfully building and growing a fanbase. Here we look at how it can be done.
As the new year begins, the music industry could be set for an epochal moment. Hopes are running high for the first significant reform of music licensing rules in decades. The coming year may also see Spotify go public. But before any of this happens, the Stockholm, Sweden-based streaming giant must now contend with a massive new copyright lawsuit from Wixen Music Publishing.
Top YouTube stars are seeing a major slowdown in subscriber growth and views, according to a new analysis of traffic and other stats. Some of the shift is being blamed on changes in its algorithm, but many others are speculating that Google's video behemoth may have reached peak viewership.
While much is made of inspiration and a passion for music, a more pragmatic approach is essential when it comes to improving your performance, and setting and sticking to a solid practice schedule is essential, whether you're a solo act or part of a band.
While there's plenty of controversy regarding YouTube's role in the music industry, as one of the most popular sites in the world, it still represents a huge opportunity for artists to make money through their work. Here we look at how.
UPDATED: Multiple Reddit users are reporting that their Spotify accounts were hacked, and several point to more than one hack over the last 10 days. Multiple users on Reddit say they have received emails from the music streamer that their usernames or passwords were changed without authorization. Spotify has issued this statement in response:
Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) used the House’s final scheduled day in session this year to introduce a bill that he says would simplify streaming music licensing while at the same time boost the amount of royalties that would be paid to songwriters and composers. But for over-the-air broadcasters his proposal could alter how songwriter royalties are set—and ultimately cost stations more.
Rick Carnes, president of the Songwriters Guild of America, expresses his organization's serious concerns with much of the Music Modernization Act of 2017, which seeks to reform music licensing, although not in ways which the SGA believes will benefit songwriters.
Always an area rife with legal complexity, Erin M. Jacobson here looks at the legal world of the music business industry, and four important cases too keep a close eye on as we move into 2018, and what the broader implication of the outcome of these cases might be.
Amazon, the company that has made billions selling you tons of stuff, would like you to stop hoarding … digital music, that is. The company made as much clear when it recently announced the phase-out of its cloud music locker, which had allowed consumers to upload their own MP3s and then stream them to phones, Echo speakers, and other connected devices.
Linkfire co-founder Jeppe Faurfelt joins Music Biz Weekly podcast co-host Jay Gilbert to the discuss essential and often overlooked marketing tool intelligent URLs and the use of special landing pages for all of your releases.
A group of 41 artists is calling on Congress to pass a bill introduced over the summer which would extend federal copyright protection to music recorded prior to February 1972. The legislation targets online radio and is seen as a bookend to proposals that would force AM/FM to pay for pre-‘72 song use.
When it comes to measuring album success, it has long been a practice to focus only on the 'frontline' releases, with music being relegated to a label's 'catalog' after eighteen month. Thanks to the age of streaming, however, music often sees increased increased spins in the years following its release, leading some to question if the charts are still accurate.
Facebook has announced that they will be demoting posts known as "engagement bait" that encourage fans to like, share, comment and take other actions. The move is a blow to the many artists who ask their fans to help boost engagement.
Prepare and Succeed at Open Mic Night (Rob Owen)
Many musicians have their opinions about open mic nights. Some don't support them because the artists receive no monetary compensation for their performance. Others find the opportunity a valuable tool to hone their skills as artists. But, let's face reality. If you are a musician, songwriter, and/or performer, you have more than likely played at an open mic night. Most of the major artists out there selling out stadiums probably began performing at this type of venue. Open mics are a important part of the learning process and they give us a chance to gain some stage experience and share our music.
Tuesday the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled against the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and affirmed BMI’s consent decree victory. The Second Circuit agreed with Judge Louis L. Stanton’s September 16, 2016 decision that the BMI consent decree allows for the practice of fractional licensing.
The Copyright Royalty Board has determined that Satellite Audio Radio Services, i.e. SiriusXM will pay 15.5 percent of revenue for the next five years beginning in 2018 to 2022, although the full determination has yet to be posted on the CRB's website while the participants scrutinize the document to make sure proprietary data is not publicly revealed.
2017 was the year when the shift to streaming music became undeniable, but what will 2018 bring? Here analyst Mark Mulligan, no stranger to Hypebot readers, and the team at MIDiA Research take a stab at predicting the year ahead. In case you're wondering if it's worth reading, last year their predictions came true 94% of the time.
Listenership to National Public Radio (NPR) dropped off by five percentage points in 2017, according to findings published by Civic Science. In 2016, 32% of American adults listened to NPR on the radio. This year, the research group said the number is at 27%
After spending days and possibly even a significant chunk of change on putting together the perfect music video, your going to want a way to disseminate it to the masses without breaking the bank. Here we look at some effective ways of getting your video out there beyond a lazy click of the 'share' button.
Apple has confirmed its purchase of Shazam, according to Billboard, in a deal reportedly worth around $400 million. In a statement Apple said the two companies are a “natural fit” and teased “exciting plans” it has in store for the media recognition app.
While the splash of more modern social media may make email seem antiquated, there is still a great deal of value for artists in this ancient form of communication, and making your newsletter valuable and convincing people to sign up can do a great deal for your bottom line.
YouTube is often maligned for low payments to creators, but CD Baby CEO Tracy Maddux see's the video platform differently. Here, he recounts how, thanks in large part to YouTube's open platform, more and more independent artists have been able to build a significant audience than ever before.
At the end of last week, Spotify and Tencent Music officially announced an equity ‘swap’ which saw both companies gain a 10% ownership stake in one another.There are some obvious reasons why such a deal would be strategically advantageous to both parties.For Tencent Music – in which Chinese media giant Tencent is a majority shareholder – the agreement offers a foothold in the market leading streaming service outside of its huge home territory.
It’s an elegant first step into the hotly-contested international digital music market.
Playlists are clearly becoming the next big thing online as nearly three-quarters of those who stream music in the U.S. create their own online lists both for themselves and others. More than half of all music listeners create playlists, and 32% share their lists with others, up from 24% in 2016, according to Nielsen Music’s annual Music 360 Report.
Trying to successfully book a gig can be a frustrating process for a lot of musicians, and is one the greatest challenges of building a successful career in the music industry. Here we look at how booking used to work, how it works now, and how you can be better at it.
Even if you achieve a relatively high level of commercial and artistic success, there will still be a great deal of work for you to do that is completely non-musical in nature. For this reason it's important to determine and apply the collective skillset you and your band members have outside of music.
As an opening band, how you conduct yourself can make all the difference in either spurring your career upward, or dashing your hopes for music industry success entirely. Here we look some essential etiquette tips for opening bands on the road.
You are likely to struggle in your music career when you don’t follow a proven formula for success. Musicians who reach their goals faster than everyone else follow one formula in particular.You want to maximize your value and ability to prove it. You also want to minimize the risk you carry to any company/band opportunity. Here are just a few ways to do it:
BMI and the U.S. Department of Justice squared off in a Manhattan court room Friday (Dec. 1), presenting oral arguments on whether the performance rights organization’s consent decree requires the PRO to do full-works licensing, as the government insists, or fractional licensing, as the PRO claims has been the industry practice since at least 1976.
Spotify is said to be preparing an initial public offering -- perhaps a “direct listing” that would take place next year. It still faces one significant obstacle, however: Copyright issues around compositions it didn’t license. In May, the company announced a $43.4 million settlement of a putative class-action lawsuit that would compensate publishers and songwriters for the infringement of their work, plus enable them to get paid accurately moving forward.
As someone who’s seen a lot of legal disputes between people in the music industry, it’s always a bummer when musicians give up and walk away from something they know is unfair because they believe they have no access to good legal consultation. Lawyers are expensive, the required paperwork can be complicated, and how do you even find a capable lawyer who’s willing to advise an independent musician?
Ariel Hyatt and her Cyber PR team have been working for years to teach musicians the basics of social media and online fan interaction; and we've always done our best to help spread the word. But too many musicians and music marketers don't seem to have gotten the memo.
In a move that could cost radio millions in royalties, the Dept. of Justice appears to have taken a legal left turn about whether ASCAP and BMI should be allowed to offer fractional licenses. But the NAB and RMLC, as well as companies like iHeartMedia and Google, say that position is “incorrect and dangerous.” The two sides square off in court on Friday.
The Copyright Royalty Board has set a cost of living adjustment to the rates paid to master recording copyright holders for 2018, with the rate increasing on basis point each to $0.0018 for ad-supported, non-subscription music streaming services; and $0.0023 per performance for paid subscription services. Previously, the rates had been $0.0017 and $0.0022, respectively.
Record labels have always salivated at the opportunity to re-sell you their catalog in some new, “improved” format. Their latest update comes in the form of high-resolution digital audio: Music delivered at better-than-CD quality, intended to come as close as possible to the fidelity of a record’s original masters. Audiophiles have been chasing the hi-fi dragon for decades, and it’s mostly remained a niche market. But with the proliferation of streaming services draining music fans’ wallets, the industry is looking for a way to leverage a “premium” product at likewise premium prices to one of its most fervent user bases.
Getting a solid stream count on day one when your music drops is huge indicator for success when it comes and a pre-save, much like an amazon or iTunes pre-sale, can do a lot for helping your numbers. Here we look at how to use them to your advantage
For indie artists seeking to promote their music, Spotify playlists can be an excellent way to get a new release bubbling to the surface for new listeners, but getting your song added to oft perused playlists necessitates you catching the eye of Spotify curator, something which the creation of your own playlists can expedite.
A recent Nielsen U.S. Music 360 study has found that while streaming continues to increase in popularity among music listeners, AM/FM radio still stands as the primary way listeners discover new music, according to 49 percent of study participants. The second most-popular avenue for discovering new music is recommendations from friends and relatives (40 percent), followed by online music services (27 percent) and social media (25 percent). 72 percent on study participants who stream music online also listen to some form of radio.
The word “trend” can evoke feelings of fear and uncertainty for businesses. You want to stay ahead of the curve, but you don’t want to waste time and money on something that isn’t going to stick around (or that isn’t relevant to your business). To help set you up for success, we put together our third annual social media trends report.
As the music industry landscape shifts, the ability to make a living has become the new benchmark for success in the music business. A theory exists that in order for this to happen, an artist must have at least 1000 "true" fans. Here we look at the details behind this theory.
Quality afterschool programs, particularly music programs, are on the rise. Parents and teachers who traditionally thought that academics was the most essential part of a school program now appreciate that learners need to develop emotionally and socially, just in the same way they grow academically. Different credible studies have shown that when school-going kids take part in singing or dancing after school, their chances of landing in trouble are significantly reduced. On top of that, the kids can develop positive attitudes towards academics, and as a consequence of it, their school performance relatively goes up.
Out of your online following, how many true “fans” do you actually have - people who know you, like you, trust you and would part with money to hire or support you? It's a questioned asked often by Ariel Hyatt and her team at Cyber PR. Do you know what your ultimate fan wants? And are there 50, 100, 1,000?
As an artist, it's natural to want the work you create and have consumed by other to be your best. Putting your best foot forward and trying to push the creative envelope is good, but taking perfectionism too far can end up being more detrimental to your career than beneficial.
As a band or artist, getting a tastemaking blog to express interest in your music can be both exciting and affirming, and the right mention on the right blog can go a long way towards launching a career. That said, giving exclusive debut rights to a blog can have definite downsides as well.
Press is a key part of growing and getting attention paid to your music and, when it comes knocking, dealing with that press appropriately can make or break whether an interview will help or hurt your career as an artist. We look at three tips for making sure you crush your next interview.
Here long-time recording veteran Chris Gilroy pulls from years of experience in the control to offer artists advice on how they most effectively maximize their time often costly time in the studio in order to see the kind of results they want..Studio time is expensive. Most of us are working with finite budgets, primarily financed through day jobs. Let's talk about some key points that when the studio clock starts running will help you can get the most out of your time there. Even the seasoned studio musicians can take heed.
You must build your music career in many areas besides musical talent if you want to succeed. Here are the main reasons why musical talent isn’t enough:
It's no secret that music streaming is exploding, with Spotify leading the way. But examining the month-to-month trajectory of that growth tells a more nuanced story. Can Apple Music ever catch Spotify, for example? And is it actually possible that Spotify free growth has slowed just enough and Spotify paid growth accelerated just enough, that Spotify paid users could someday surpass free?
Pandora is in trouble, as explained by the consistently excellent Tim Ingham at Music Business Worldwide, after losing a billion dollars over the last four years and monthly active users (MAU) fell to 73.7 million – its lowest point since Q1 2014. Regular readers will know that I’m a long-time advocate of Pandora’s model. Indeed, Pandora’s model is the future of radio. However, it now appears that Pandora may not be the future of Pandora’s model. In fact, with Liberty Media subsidiary Sirius XM waiting in the wings for Pandora’s market cap to fall even lower than its current $1.4 billion (down from $8 billion in Q1 2014), Pandora might not even be the future of Pandora. In fact, Pandora’s struggles could be Sirius XM’s gain, exactly when it needs the help.
The simplest kind of business entity, registering your band as an Limited Liability Corporation can offer a number of advantages, both when it comes to taxes and if your band should ever be sued. It's a litigious world out there, after all.
A technical problem has caused the follower counts on many independent Spotify playlists to drop, often by the thousands. Several independent record labels who curate their own playlists first noticed the problem.