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It Takes at Least $500,000 to Break a New Artist….

By Paul Resnikoff

If you don’t have half-a-million dollars, then maybe you should go home. In a study released this morning by major label organization IFPI, breaking an artist in a major market requires at least $500,000, and sometimes as much as $2 million.

Overall, the IFPI counted $4.3 billion in upfront talent-scouting and marketing costs coming from labels last year alone, with virtually zero upfront investment coming from Spotify, iTunes, Google, or SoundCloud. “Record companies remain the largest upfront investors in artists’ careers,” the IFPI noted. “Common features of contracts signed with emerging artists include the payment of advances, recording costs, tour support, video production and marketing and promotion costs.”

Signed artists aren’t taking much financial risk, either. “These upfront payments are recoupable against royalties generated from the recorded music created, but in many cases artists do not break even and do not have to repay the money.”

“The burden of risk lies with the record company.” The complete report can be found here.
The post It Takes at Least $500,000 to Break a New Artist…. appeared first on Digital Music News.
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Via:: Digital Music News

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More Than Royalties - It’s Time We Bring the Open Web to Music

By Guest Post By Jesse von Doom on Medium.com

We talk endlessly about royalties, which is really a way of talking about centralization — giving power to a service or organization and asking them to sort out the model that pays people. Centralization will always lead to a system that can be gamed. Anything less than every participant acting altruistically means things go funny. And the truth about our world is that things always go funny. In art as in business there are ebbs and flows of power. In those tides decisions are made and people find ways to break models to their own advantage. A break is a break whether it comes from Thom Yorke or Taylor Swift — let’s take them their word that they’re after a greater good — or if it happens when a major label demands equity. Things collapse and people can get hurt.

Right now we have a wide range of centralized for-profit services. Walled gardens. This is a good thing. When one model breaks artists can move to another. But slowly and very surely some of the largest corporations in the world are becoming the dominant players in that market. The costs and overhead needed for a massive centralized model to work are huge, …read more

Via:: Hypebot

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5 Ways to Impress Music Journalists With Your Promo Photo

By jamieludwig01@gmail.com (Jamie Ludwig)

Promotional photos serve many purposes for music journalists beyond just being something to feast our eyes upon. They introduce us to the people behind the music and help create or reinforce a narrative of a band, which can aid us in our writing process. They grab readers’ attention and can make more people inclined to check out a story. They sometimes even make our articles easier to read by breaking up otherwise dense chunks of text. We love promo photos and who can blame us?

One thing most people don’t know is that from where we’re sitting, the functionality of a promo photo is often as important as any other element. In our deadline-centric worlds, we need to round up artwork fast, and those images often have to meet exacting standards of size or style (for example, some magazines won’t run live shots outside of concert reviews). With all of that in mind, here are five elements essential to music journalists when it comes to promo photos.

1. Accessibility
What’s the use of great press photos if they can’t be easily found? Don’t let the words “Google image search” ever enter even the laziest journalist’s …read more

Via:: Sonic Bids

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SoundOut, TuneCore Track Smarts, ReverbNation Crowd Review, AudioKite, and Music Xray Compared

By Brian Hazard

This is the story of a mediocre song. An objectively mediocre song. My song. Curse you, data! If you’re looking for unbiased feedback on your latest track, you’ve got five options. Well, five-ish. There’s SoundOut, which I wrote about way back in 2010. Then there’s ReverbNation Crowd Review and TuneCore Track Smarts, both of which are powered by SoundOut. Are all three SoundOut services the same? We’ll find out.

I reviewed AudioKite earlier this year, gushingly. A new and improved version launched just this month. Finally, Music Xray offers a diagnostics feature, which presents your track to 5 music professionals and 20 potential fans. Which is right for you?

Time for a good old-fashioned market research shootout!

I submitted a brand new Color Theory song to all five:

Pricing and Options

Of the three SoundOut flavors, ReverbNation Crowd Review offers the lowest point of entry at $10 for 20 reviews. TuneCore Track Smarts starts at $15 for 40 reviews. Both of these …read more

Via:: Music Think Tank

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The Difference Between Being 'Undiscovered' and 'Epic' on Social Media

By Liv Buli Rihanna is an example of a social media superstar. (Image via forbes.com)
This article originally appeared on Forbes.com.
Editor’s note: All of the data included in this article is via research conducted by Next Big Sound.

There is little doubt that Rihanna is the definition of a superstar. Her discography is littered with multiplatinum albums and singles. She has successful worldwide tours under her belt, countless Grammys, AMAs, Brit Awards, and even a nod for The World’s 100 Most Influential People from Time magazine in 2012. And her level of celebrity is reflected in a vast online following.

With close to 90 million page likes, Rihanna is one of the most popular artists on Facebook. She counts more than 37 million followers on Twitter, and has surpassed 7 billion total video views on Vevo. But that hasn’t always been the case. As artists increase in popularity, so does the size of their social following. In fact, it does so by the rule of proportionate growth, meaning that the more fans you already have, the more fans you will add.
Research shows there are no natural thresholds that stand out on the journey from 10 to 10 million. …read more

Via:: Sonic Bids

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How house concerts can help you grown your fan base

By Guest Blogger

We all know the scenario: you play at your local club to the same group of fans time and time again. Every week there may be a few new people there, but not enough to make a significant impact on the size of your fan base. On top of that, a lot of the new faces tend to be more interested in their drinks and friends than they are in your music. This is a very common situation that many indie musicians face when trying to climb the gigging ladder.

Consider House Concerts as a way to completely change this gigging dynamic.

On December 3rd, Dave Kusek is hosting a free webinar with Shannon Curtis, who was able to make $25,000 from a tour of 50 house concerts all while building her fan base.

On top of the very real potential to make more money, house concerts can help you forge a deeper, lasting relationship with new fans, allowing you to engage on a far more intimate level than you would be able to in any other gig setting. Here are some simple tips you can use to solidify long-term relationships with new fans. …read more

Via:: CD Baby Blog

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A guide to getting gigs (part 3): how to promote your shows

By Guest Blogger [This article was written by guest contributor Yannick Ilunga of The Jazz Spotlight.]

This is the final part of the three-article series A Guide to Getting Gigs. As the title suggests, in What to Do Before Looking for Gigs I talked about what indie musicians should do before trying to get booked.

In How to Look for Gigs, on the other hand, I went over some of the tools you can use if you have decided to look for gigs by yourself.
This post is all about what you should think about and do once your show dates have been confirmed.

Take care of logistics, transportation, and accommodations
This is kind of a no-brainer, but make sure to take care of the bureaucratic things if you are performing abroad. Are you set to perform in a country and you require a visa? Sort that out as soon as possible so that you won’t have to worry about it anymore.

The next step is thinking about transportation and accommodations. If you’ll be flying, websites like SkyScanner, Kayak and Hipmunk can help you find offers and get an overview of different ticket prices.

Once you have found what works for you, purchase the ticket from the airline’s site (to avoid …read more

Via:: CD Baby Blog

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5 Things You Should Always Do After Playing a Gig

By kathleen.parrish@hotmail.com (Kathleen Parrish) What to do after the final bow. (Image via tbo.com)

You just played an awesome show – but now what? Even though the gig is over, there’s still work to be done. Some tasks need to be taken care of while you’re still at the venue, while others should be completed in the following days. Here are five things you should always do after every gig, no matter how big or small it may be.

1. Eat
When you’re playing a show, you’re high on adrenaline. You’re burning more calories than you’d think, which can leave you feeling quite tired after the show is over. Make sure to grab a bite to eat after the show to replace the energy you spent. In most cases, the venue should offer band discounts on food and drink, which is always great for after your set.

2. Thank the venue manager and sound tech
After your set is over, make sure you thank the venue manager and sound tech. Sound technicians rarely get as much appreciation as they should, so they’re bound to remember those who took the time to thank them for their hard work. Showing gratitude to the sound tech and …read more

Via:: Sonic Bids

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How to transcribe sheet music for your songs

By Guest Blogger Make rehearsals, sessions, and gigs easier by creating sheet music (and sell it at your merch booth too!)
[This article was written by the folks at Sheet Music Plus.]

If you’re a guitarist or a songwriter, you may think that sheet music had it’s day in the sun some time ago and is now a fading product. Nothing could be further from the truth. 1 out of 10 Americans know how to read music. Most musicians learn to play via reading sheet music. It’s an important tool for easily collaborating with other musicians and building your fan base. So what do you do if your song only exists in your head? Get it transcribed into sheet music!

Transcribing
In music, transcribing means writing out a piece or musical thought that was previously not notated — for example, an improvised jazz solo. There are lots of situations when you, the musician, would need transcribing work done:

* “What was that riff again?” When you have lots of melodies and harmonies in your brain and under your fingers, it’s easy to get mixed up and forget subtle the details and nuances of every song. Having sheet music to read gives you a quick reference point if …read more

Via:: CD Baby Blog

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Streaming Leads to Three Times More Sales Than Radio, Study Finds…

By Paul Resnikoff

Taylor Swift is all over FM radio. But should she be?
Not according to the Country Music Association (CMA), who found that people who discover music while streaming are three times more likely to buy that music than traditional AM/FM radio listeners. The study focused on listeners over the age of 18 across a range of streaming services, including Spotify, YouTube, and Pandora.

But daddy, what’s a ‘music purchase’? Welcome to the future of the music business — you know, the one you’re living in right now. Perhaps music analyst Mark Mulligan captured the tectonic shift best when he noted that discovery and acquisition have now become the same thing. So, for example, when someone discovers something on YouTube, that music has already effectively been acquired. More and more, that person doesn’t want to download anything, doesn’t need to hold anything physical, and most importantly, doesn’t need to pay anything.

Enter Taylor critics like Dave Grohl, who argue that getting people to listen to — and engage — is the most difficult challenge. In that light, the study also found that half of those who discovered music they liked through streaming did further research on …read more

Via:: Digital Music News