Check out one of the latest episodes of “This Week In Music” with host Ian Rogers as he interviews Debbie Cavalier, the newly-named CEO of Berklee College of Music. Ian and Debbie talk a lot about what Berklee can do for students that want to study music, music business, and so many other topics in the music industry.
Music has changed, all around, plain and simple. Ideals that were formerly thought of as standard and set in stone are now shaky at best in the eyes of many a music business professional and music consumer. And one of the people on the front lines of the changing music business model has been Jeff Price, the former CEO of TuneCore, the famous digital music distribution service that helped independent artists get on the shelves of many of the world’s top digital music services. Price, who also started TuneCore’s Global Publishing Administration and ran independent label spinART, recently contributed an article to Hypebot.com that gives a short history of the changes that have been happening to the music industry in the last 10-15 years. Price exudes an unparalleled confidence in his knowledge and experience in the music industry and does a masterful job of breaking down both where the industry has been and the direction it’s beginning to go in, as consumers and their tastes continue to drive the industry more and more. True, Price’s takes a very hard-lined stance against the major/mainstream music industry, but this is still a great and informative read that anyone interested in the business side of music would do well to read and learn from.
OK folks, it’s about that time for Hip Hop and the 2012 Presidential Election to converge and cross paths again! And what better way to highlight it with easily one of the most intelligent, informed and enlightened Hip Hop artists the world has ever known in Immortal Technique. IT has been trying to bring the light to people’s eyes through his music for many years now, all the while doing so independently and pretty successfully. His lyrics are visceral, hard-hitting, uncompromising, informative and sometimes even riot inciting, but always with a purpose and a method to the madness. In the video below, Technique chops it up with VLAD TV on the election, how Obama and Romney respectively stack up, and what direction the country is headed in if we elect either.
Hip Hop websites are pretty much a dime a dozen these days, especially if you’re a music consumer or fan that’s plugged into social media and technology (which is pretty much all of us.) Which in turn has increased the reach of artists, website owners, music producers and distributors of Hip Hop music. And because of that, it’s not a secret that many a music site that features promotional music, mixtapes, videos, merchandise and products have been shut down and shuttered because of whatever law they have been considered to have broken. One of the latest examples is dajaz1.com. I won’t go into too much detail and basically let you read the story yourself on their website, but I must say that I think it’s very interesting that Hip Hop sites that Dajaz1 have felt the brunt and wrath of music and governmental bodies such as ICE (Immigrations & Customs Enforcement), the Senate Judiciary Committee and the RIAA. Yup…pretty interesting stuff.
Are you like me in that you sometimes wonder how today’s music artists are making a living? I mean, seriously, it seems as if music these days has become ultra-digital and disposable. But one of the key things to remember is that mainstream music SALES may be suffering badly (unless you’re an uber-powerful or popular artist like a Jay-Z, 50 Cent, Rhianna or Gaga). And truthfully, we don’t even know what their bank accounts are looking like these days, or if they’re experiencing the continuous slump. But have no fear…the Future of Music Coalition is here!
The Future of Music Coalition has put together an exclusive case study on the many different ways that today’s music artist can and does make their money. Upon interviewing 80 different musicians and composers, FMC found some information that aspiring artists might want to pay attention to, including 42 different streams of income (potentially) for artists, information from dozens of financial case studies, and whether artists are benefiting from the many advances in music technology.
There’s definitely some good information for artists experienced and aspiring alike to use. But one of the biggest drawbacks here is that there is not much of a presence of how Hip Hop artists make their music. As a Hip Hop head, I’m pretty sure there are artists in Hip Hop that are very much on the DIY tip, trying to make a living out of this music thing, but they don’t seem to be included here. I’m definitely gonna go back through the study to see if this is the case. But if it is, it’s pretty sad.
Other than that, be sure to get your hands on the Artist Revenue Streams study right here. Hopefully it can do something for you and your career in music!
OK, so I’m hoping that this post will be the beginning of me doing these things on a weekly basis so that I can provide readers with a good stream of timely, up-to-date information on the music business and industry. We’ll start today with a story I came across this week that pits music promotion and sales company c against the Recording Industry Association of America. On February 7, RIAA chief executive Cary Sherman took out an op-ed piece in The New York Times that essentially blasted companies like Wikipedia and Google for their stance on the issues of SOPA (the Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (the Protect Intellectual Property Act), saying that the companies take a hypocritical stance by being against the two bills and using their huge communities of customers and their online platforms to force Congress into eventually rejecting the bills. The entire piece, entitled “What Wikipedia Won’t Tell You”, can be read online at the previous link.
In response to the piece, Tunecore’s Jeff Price fired back at Sherman and the RIAA in a piece on the Tunecorner Music Blog entitled “What the RIAA Won’t Tell You - TuneCore’s Response to the NY Times Op-Ed by RIAA CEO Cary H. Sherman”, which can be read in its entirety at the link I’ve provided. In this piece, Price admits that Tunecore has had many run-ins with the RIAA on the question of piracy and copyright. He goes on to say that the RIAA has lost its credibility long ago because of alleged underhanded tactics and having potentially unchecked power as an industry music body because of bills such as SOPA and PIPA.
I’m not putting this entry up to comment about who’s right and who’s wrong, who should be on what side and what someone’s opinion should be. What I do want to do is present just a bit of information on an issue that will clearly continue to affect those that are in the music business and industry (artists, producers, engineers, managers, students, teachers, policymakers) for a long time to come, an issue that we can count on as not going a way any time soon. The facts are that the industry is nowhere near what it used to be, what with the sharing economy now in full swing through new forms of technology, social media and continually growing/experimental business models for music.
So which side do you, the reader, fall on? Are you with RIAA? Of do you lean towards what Tunecore has to say? Here’s a great video from Tunecore on their website and music blog that give a little more information and gets the conversation started. Feel free to share your thoughts here and share this article. Thanks so much for supporting!
As many in the professional music and entertainment space know good and well, there’s a lot more to the music industry that just music, artistry and creativity. There’s a whole well-oiled machine behind what many of us see on a daily basis, including issues of media, marketing, management, the constant flow of information about music on the Internet, music technology, royalty rates for artists at all levels, and a whole lot more. And one of the most interesting and increasingly important topics in music, beginning in the early 2000s, has been legal and policy issues. One of the organizations that is leading the conversation on who controls what, and where this control stands, is the Future of Music Coalition. Below is an informative interview, “This Week in Music” host and music business expert Ian Rogers talks exclusively with Kristen Thomas of Future of Music on topics ranging from her beginnings in the music industry as head of a local indie label in Washington, D.C. to the new survey that has been created by Future of Music about how artists and musicians make money from music. Lots of great information here, and probably on stuff you wouldn’t have thought of before. Be sure to check it out and pass it along. And if you’re an artist, be sure to take the new survey at http://futureofmusic.org/article/research/artist-revenue-streams.
At this point, the Midwest isn’t known as the most upwardly mobile place to be in the U.S. When lots of people think about cities like Detroit, St. Louis, Cleveland and Gary, some of the first things that come to mind are violence, decay and mass exodus of citizens. But there’s still a lot of life left in these and many other Midwestern cities, especially when it comes to music and those that want to make a name in the industry as entrepreneurs, artists and business people. One of the strongest cases that could be made for such a fact is the Chicago Music Commission, a six-year-old non-profit foundation in the Windy City focused on growing and maintaining the music business base of Chicago and growing a new culture of music business entrepreneurship by any means necessary.
One of the biggest goals of the Chicago Music Commission is to grow and transform Chicago’s relationship with its world-class music community. CMC looks to help Chicago, as a music city, thrive and grow on its own terms. This is done primarily through CMC looking to build strong ties between the arts, business, government and music communities with bi-monthly workshops, online podcast discussions and forums, and newly introduced music community programs.
Resources are, many times, exactly what today’s music business entrepreneur both lacks and needs, and the Chicago Music Commission offers a wide array of them, from the CMC Blog to the Musicians at Work Forums ( a free, monthly forum featuring some of Chicago’s most sought-after music biz professionals) to ChicagoFestivals.net, a site where you can find information about all of Chicago’s music festivals in one place.
Need more info on a certain topic of the music industry and don’t know where to turn? You won’t have to look far with CMC! The Musicians at Work Forums are also available online and cover everything from music licensing, podcasting and blogging, merchandising, press and promotion, booking gigs, marketing, Intellectual Property, studio time and a whole lot more.
Again, I can’t stress enough how important information and knowledge are to today’s musicians and artists. The Chicago Music Commission is doing all that it can to make sure that message isn’t lost. Be sure to check the site out and increase your knowledge as a new age music business entrepreneur at http://www.chicago-music.org.
I thought I’d begin this new blog by highlighting an organization that’s been in the business of providing real, true and great content and information to artists that are very much interested in being successful not only as artists, but as their own business and brand. That organization is ArtistHouse Music!
The main tagline for ArtistHouse is: “Helping Musicians and Music Entrepreneurs Create Sustainable Careers”. We all know that these days, there are even more opportunities for musicians, artists, bands, music marketing professionals, managers, etc. to make a descent living without having to bend to the will of the majors. Many of us also know by now that being an independent artist/label/professional comes with its own set of worries and issues. And this is where ArtistHouse comes in.
Visit the site at http://www.artistshousemusic.org/ and you’re immediately exposed to a number of informative videos, articles, news clips and other resources ranging on topics from marketing, law, education, production and strategy, among other things. Aspiring musicians and business people can get prime advice from experience professionals from all walks of the music and entertainment business at the click of a button! Dig even deeper, and you might just find much-needed guidance on specific subjects like touring and merchandising, retail and distribution, publicity and promotion, and even a few ArtistHouse Master classes at your disposal. If you’re a 21st Century artist, why wouldn’t you try your best to take advantage?
Trying to highlight all of the resources available at ArtistHouse would be foolish, because there are simply too many to name in one setting. That’s just how extensive the website is, and in turn, that’s how much the organization can offer to those looking to not only make their break in the ever-changing music industry, but whom are also doing their best to stay educated and successful. And nowadays, that’s more important than ever. If you’re looking to make your break, you might do yourself some good by visiting ArtistHouse Music’s site and getting started on your way to success, not just as an artist, but as a music business entrepreneur!