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Archive for Music Marketing

Below you’ll find posts that deal with how musicians be better at marketing their art. Whether it’s shows, merch, music, etc. It can all be found in Music Marketing.

The Problem With Music by Steve Albini

For those of you who's only dream is to get a record deal I highly suggest you read this article. It's from the 90's, but the story is practically the same today.

Thanks to the folks over at Negativland.com for sharing it with us. They wrote "This oft-referenced article is from the early '90s, and originally appeared in Maximum Rock 'n' Roll magazine. While some of the information and figures listed here are dated, it is still a useful and informative article. And no, we don't know how to reach Steve Albini."

The Problem With Music

by Steve Albini
Steve AlbiniSteve Albini is not happy wdsith record companies.

Whenever I talk to a band who are about to sign with a major label, I always end up thinking of them in a particular context. I imagine a trench, about four feet wide and five feet deep, maybe sixty yards long, filled with runny, decaying shit. I imagine these people, some of them good friends, some of them barely acquaintances, at one end of this trench. I also imagine a faceless industry lackey at the other end holding a fountain pen and a contract waiting to be signed. Nobody can see what's printed on the contract. It's too far away, and besides, the shit stench is making everybody's eyes water. The lackey shouts to everybody that the first one to swim the trench gets to sign the contract. Everybody dives in the trench and they struggle furiously to get to the other end. Two people arrive simultaneously and begin wrestling furiously, clawing each other and dunking each other under the shit. Eventually, one of them capitulates, and there's only one contestant left. He reaches for the pen, but the Lackey says "Actually, I think you need a little more development. Swim again, please. Backstroke". And he does of course.

Every major label involved in the hunt for new bands now has on staff a high-profile point man, an "A & R" rep who can present a comfortable face to any prospective band. The initials stand for "Artist and Repertoire." because historically, the A & R staff would select artists to record music that they had also selected, out of an available pool of each. This is still the case, though not openly. These guys are universally young [about the same age as the bands being wooed], and nowadays they always have some obvious underground rock credibility flag they can wave.

This is a very long and interesting article so I'm going to cut to the chase. A band got a deal and found money being thrown at them and taken from them at an astounding rate with many people taking a cut. In the end, per Albini, "the band members have each earned about 1/3 as much as they would working at a 7-11..."

 

Advance: $ 250,000
Manager's cut: $ 37,500
Legal fees: $ 10,000
Recording Budget: $ 150,000
Producer's advance: $ 50,000
Studio fee: $ 52,500
Drum Amp, Mic and Phase "Doctors": $ 3,000
Recording tape: $ 8,000
Equipment rental: $ 5,000
Cartage and Transportation: $ 5,000
Lodgings while in studio: $ 10,000
Catering: $ 3,000
Mastering: $ 10,000
Tape copies, reference CDs, shipping tapes, misc. expenses: $ 2,000
Video budget: $ 30,000
Cameras: $ 8,000
Crew: $ 5,000
Processing and transfers: $ 3,000
Off-line: $ 2,000
On-line editing: $ 3,000
Catering: $ 1,000
Stage and construction: $ 3,000
Copies, couriers, transportation: $ 2,000
Director's fee: $ 3,000
Album Artwork: $ 5,000
Promotional photo shoot and duplication: $ 2,000
Band fund: $ 15,000
New fancy professional drum kit: $ 5,000
New fancy professional guitars [2]: $ 3,000
New fancy professional guitar amp rigs [2]: $ 4,000
New fancy potato-shaped bass guitar: $ 1,000
New fancy rack of lights bass amp: $ 1,000
Rehearsal space rental: $ 500
Big blowout party for their friends: $ 500
Tour expense [5 weeks]: $ 50,875
Bus: $ 25,000
Crew [3]: $ 7,500
Food and per diems: $ 7,875
Fuel: $ 3,000
Consumable supplies: $ 3,500
Wardrobe: $ 1,000
Promotion: $ 3,000
Tour gross income: $ 50,000
Agent's cut: $ 7,500
Manager's cut: $ 7,500
Merchandising advance: $ 20,000
Manager's cut: $ 3,000
Lawyer's fee: $ 1,000
Publishing advance: $ 20,000
Manager's cut: $ 3,000
Lawyer's fee: $ 1,000
Record sales: 250,000 @ $12 =
$3,000,000
Gross retail revenue Royalty: [13% of 90% of retail]:
$ 351,000
Less advance: $ 250,000
Producer's points: [3% less $50,000 advance]:
$ 40,000
Promotional budget: $ 25,000
Recoupable buyout from previous label: $ 50,000
Net royalty: $ -14,000

Record company income:

 

Record wholesale price: $6.50 x 250,000 =
$1,625,000 gross income
Artist Royalties: $ 351,000
Deficit from royalties: $ 14,000
Manufacturing, packaging and distribution: @ $2.20 per record: $ 550,000
Gross profit: $ 7l0,000

The Balance Sheet: This is how much each player got paid at the end of the game.

 

Record company: $ 710,000
Producer: $ 90,000
Manager: $ 51,000
Studio: $ 52,500
Previous label: $ 50,000
Agent: $ 7,500
Lawyer: $ 12,000
Band member net income each: $ 4,031.25

"The band is now 1/4 of the way through its contract, has made the music industry more than 3 million dollars richer, but is in the hole $14,000 on royalties. The band members have each earned about 1/3 as much as they would working at a 7-11..."

You can read everything that happened in between here, The Problem With Music.

Music Marketing Lessons (from a Furniture Store)

This is a repost from David Hooper over at Music Marketing [dot] com. It describes how excellent customer service can really enhance the experience you provide to your customer/client/artist. I like to think that I provide this type of service as well and if I don't I wish you, my clients, would tell what I can do better.

After all, it's you I really want to help make great art. I want the experience of helping you make that art to be the best it can possibly be. Enjoy the article.


Written by David Hooper

If you're wondering how companies like Apple, Amazon, and Google are kicking ass and taking names, even in a "down" economy, here's the answer...

User experience.

This stuff isn't just for the supernerds who program iPhone apps and websites; it's something you can use in your music marketing and it's a lot more simple than people make it out to be.

For example, take a look at this letter I received in my mailbox yesterday...

 

Music Marketing Lessons (from a Furniture Store)

Try this in your Music Marketing

 

You can read the rest of the article over at Music Marketing [dot] com

“Look out”, The Ross Sea Party aired on ABC’s Private Practice.

The Ross Sea Party, a CrazyEye Music Service mastering client.

Featured on ABC's Private Practice

On March 15th CrazyEye Music Services mastering client, The Ross Sea Party had their song "Look Out" featured on ABC's hit show, Private Practice.

This is huge for the LA based group of "five friends who wanted to transcend the disconnected and nonsensical nature of life in the city to create something consequential, the band embarked with hollow-body guitars, well-tuned drums, and a glockenspiel."

Read More »

Marketing tool: Create a SMS Marketing Campaign

Create an SMS Marketing Campaign

"The key to SMS marketing is knowing that less is more."

A SMS Marketing Campaign seems like a great and simple way to connect with fans. It can be used as a gentle reminder to your fans that you're thinking of them and maybe even doing something special for them very soon.

It can also see it used for...

  • Show updates
  • A coupon for merchandise discounts
  • Happy birthday notes to fans
  • Or just to say Hi!

The possibilities are practically endless with the only limit being your own imagination.

Below is an excerpt from a great article by ImagePR founder, Jem Bahaijoub. Jem is an established creative and strategic leader with over a decade of experience in the international music and entertainment industry.

Read More »

Branding vs Positioning

Guest post by Cliff Zellman

Cliff Zellman

Cliff Zellman

This is a guest post by engineer extraordinaire and my audio engineering mentor, Cliff Zellman. Starting out as his assistant quite a few years ago, Cliff and I worked together making records for internationally renowned recording artists, as well as, local musicians in the LA area. Since then he's become the go-to guy for voice over performing, original music compositions and script writing at RadioVision in Dallas, Texas.

Having been in the production industry for over 30+ years, Cliff has pretty much recorded, produced, directed and edited just about anything & everything audio. Below is a very insightful piece he wrote on the differences between Branding and Positioning.

Take it away, Cliff!

Lately, there has been an over abundance of self-injected philosophies on Branding. It seems to be an easy subject to sell for coaches and mentors offering voice performance related services. Some come in the way of a “webinar” (insert unnecessary definition of webinar here), blogs, social media postings and face-to-face classes and seminars. What they mostly offer is a list of “example brands”, nationals such as Campbell’s Soup, Levi’s, CNN, Chevy, and Kleenex or tagged to an individual like Cher, Lady Gaga, Don LaFontaine, Oprah, or Elton. They follow by saying, “These are brands. You need to have a brand. You need to stick out from the crowd. Be noticed.” OK, I just signed up, paid my money and invested my time to be in your audience– how do I do it? Most likely you will hear that same line repeated and I will spare you that. Just go back a few sentences and read it again if you must.

What I rarely hear being discussed is Positioning. Why? Maybe it’s not as sexy as branding. BRANDING! Wow that’s a cool word, so instant and so final at the same time. It sounds so powerful. This is MINE!

Read More »

Are Music Listeners Ready to Move to the Cloud?

Many consumers still want to own their tunes

Music in the Cloud

New options for media consumption on the web as well as mobile and smart devices are continually emerging, and Spotify’s launch in the US is just one of the latest changes to shake things up. With Apple’s iCloud debuting in iOS 5, what do consumers think of storing and streaming their music from the cloud—and the concept of renting vs. owning it?

"Even buying physical copies of CDs or vinyl edged out free online streaming options..."

Read More »

Teddy Riley talks about K-Pop and Dangerous Music equipment.

Teddy Riley talking about K-Pop and Dangerous Music

Super producer Teddy Riley talks about the new style he's working in, K-Pop, and how he set-up shop in South Korea to work within the genre. In this Mix article he also mentions his love of Dangerous Music hardware equipment like the 2-Bus LT, Monitor ST and D-Box.

About working in Korea he says...

“I came out to Korea because there was a song that was released that I produced,” says Riley. “The company didn’t tell my team what was going on with the song, so I wound up taking a trip there, and it turned into a two-month visit. The first three weeks we were in the apartment making beats. Then we met a friend who became a partner in our company, TRXTeddy Riley Xperience. He showed us the ropes in Korea and connected us to all the major companies, including SM Entertainment, the largest record company in Korea, maybe in all of Asia.”

When talking about the Dangerous product line he mentions...

"I can only say that the Dangerous 2-Bus is the closest thing to the analog SSL I used back in the day. That’s a real strong and prominent sound for me. Using the Dangerous gear has gotten me into that sonic landscape. The Dangerous gear is ‘Warm’ – I can make anything have ‘punch’ in the box, but I can’t make it sound warm, and that’s the thing that I get with Dangerous gear. I can also get a ‘grimy’ sound with Dangerous, and I get ‘presence’ as well. It takes me back to Dolby SR with tape where you feel the warmness of it.”

Read the entire article here.

 

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