what is the best approach to get a record contract? selling music vs. free music
#31
9th June 2011
Old 9th June 2011
  #31
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Is this just an exercise, or are you actually a musician?

If you are a musician, post some of your music!

If you are merely a philosopher / social scientist / psychologist, well then carry on.
#32
9th June 2011
Old 9th June 2011
  #32
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Not so much an answer as a overview.

There is a fine balance.

Giving away your music devalues it and gives the consumer the idea that it it not worth paying for. You also don't want to have someone that wants to give you money find out that all of your music is free on the web.

At the same time you want exposure and as many listens as you can get, but you need to create some sort of exclusivity and need from your fans.

It might be tough, but I suggest making videos instead of releasing free tracks. People expect videos to be free and they are somewhat programmed to but the music if they like the song and the video.
#33
13th June 2011
Old 13th June 2011
  #33
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I felt like chiming in here.

You seem pretty passionate, that's a good start. Next thing you need is an incredible amount of drive, heres why:

1. Labels are very unlikely to come and sign you if you aren't already a hitmaker/making money/known.

2. Following point 1. You need to become kwown, and start making a name for yourself, BY yourself. Yes, that means you will have to give away stuff for free. But only to begin with - this will help you build up a fanbase. Just make sure the stuff you give away for free is your BEST stuff - people make the mistake of saving the best stuff for sales - you need to give away your best stuff to start out to get people interested...

3. Following point 2, this means you will need to perhaps look into how you can market yourself online, using other free methods like Youtube (which is a great way to reach a massive audience) - twitter, Facebook etc etc - use social media to ur advantage dude. You want listeners, they are all out there freely accessible. The way you get them to listen is to tell them that you are there. Why would a label do that for u? They don't care if your the best singer/producer/song writer in the world. If people havn't shown interest in you yet, the label is a long shot...

4. So to summarise: make yourself into a brand. promote your own stuff. create a web online, capture listeners using different platforms. set yourself a goal to get 50,000 subscribers on youtube... If you can, u may prove that what you are doing seems interesting and valuable to people. That MIGHT SPARK the interest of a label. Again I said MIGHT......

BUT WAIT! If you have 50,000 subscribers, who are listening to you, watching you and tuning in to what u do, why do u want a label? create your product, sell to those 50,000 listeners and make some money. Why use a label then?

Today there are several ways to market yourself for no cost at all. You are up against millions of others like you, so you need to be an exceptional artist/producer, but also an exceptional business man and marketing guru. Combining those skills can take you far.

Not sure if that helps you, but this is the route I took and I managed to snag a deal with a small label. U might say "why are u using a label if you just said you dont have to?" - simple reason! I hate marketing, I love making music. Now I can make music and let the label concentrate on the other stuff... personal preference.

so it can happen.. keep going, dont give up and use everything around u.

Good luck.

Last edited by MotifStudios; 13th June 2011 at 01:03 PM.. Reason: typo2
#34
13th June 2011
Old 13th June 2011
  #34
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Just to side track a bit. Since there seem to be a lot of people here who take their music making serous. I'll like to ask this: ¿Anyone here in it for the knowledge? or ¿Basically like in real life that everyone measures their achievements by how much they make?

I too would like to make some money of my work. But really if anyone got into making music today for the money are you barking up the wrong tree?

I personally I'm after the knowledge. Yes I which I could come up with some hits. But just by the fact that I know I made the tracks that would be enough compensation. Then again I could be talking out of my ass since I already have a day job that pays decently.

-Thanks and sorry to steal your thread a bit
#35
14th June 2011
Old 14th June 2011
  #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fabriciom View Post
Just to side track a bit. Since there seem to be a lot of people here who take their music making serous. I'll like to ask this: ¿Anyone here in it for the knowledge? or ¿Basically like in real life that everyone measures their achievements by how much they make?

I too would like to make some money of my work. But really if anyone got into making music today for the money are you barking up the wrong tree?

I personally I'm after the knowledge. Yes I which I could come up with some hits. But just by the fact that I know I made the tracks that would be enough compensation. Then again I could be talking out of my ass since I already have a day job that pays decently.

-Thanks and sorry to steal your thread a bit
Both. You can make money in music - even today.

If your good at making music and want to make a living from it, then you can do it. It does take a lot of time, a lot of effort and drive - it really depends on the person. Some people don't care about money, some do.
Sim
#36
14th June 2011
Old 14th June 2011
  #36
Sim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MotifStudios View Post
I felt like chiming in here.

You seem pretty passionate, that's a good start. Next thing you need is an incredible amount of drive, heres why:

1. Labels are very unlikely to come and sign you if you aren't already a hitmaker/making money/known.

2. Following point 1. You need to become kwown, and start making a name for yourself, BY yourself. Yes, that means you will have to give away stuff for free. But only to begin with - this will help you build up a fanbase. Just make sure the stuff you give away for free is your BEST stuff - people make the mistake of saving the best stuff for sales - you need to give away your best stuff to start out to get people interested...

3. Following point 2, this means you will need to perhaps look into how you can market yourself online, using other free methods like Youtube (which is a great way to reach a massive audience) - twitter, Facebook etc etc - use social media to ur advantage dude. You want listeners, they are all out there freely accessible. The way you get them to listen is to tell them that you are there. Why would a label do that for u? They don't care if your the best singer/producer/song writer in the world. If people havn't shown interest in you yet, the label is a long shot...

4. So to summarise: make yourself into a brand. promote your own stuff. create a web online, capture listeners using different platforms. set yourself a goal to get 50,000 subscribers on youtube... If you can, u may prove that what you are doing seems interesting and valuable to people. That MIGHT SPARK the interest of a label. Again I said MIGHT......

BUT WAIT! If you have 50,000 subscribers, who are listening to you, watching you and tuning in to what u do, why do u want a label? create your product, sell to those 50,000 listeners and make some money. Why use a label then?

Today there are several ways to market yourself for no cost at all. You are up against millions of others like you, so you need to be an exceptional artist/producer, but also an exceptional business man and marketing guru. Combining those skills can take you far.

Not sure if that helps you, but this is the route I took and I managed to snag a deal with a small label. U might say "why are u using a label if you just said you dont have to?" - simple reason! I hate marketing, I love making music. Now I can make music and let the label concentrate on the other stuff... personal preference.

so it can happen.. keep going, dont give up and use everything around u.

Good luck.
Bang on. You have to be exceptional at music and exceptional at business, no if's or but's whole hearted hard work.
But that is what I get from my mates who are on the steep hill to actually making money after being signed!
Sim
#37
14th June 2011
Old 14th June 2011
  #37
Sim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by treewhispers View Post
so we should spent money on effective promotion so that more listeners have a chance to don`t spent money for our music...
that`s exactly what you guys said (ok, more or less....).

so first we should promote our free music because people don`t pay for music. later if we want more listeners we should try to sell the music because we have too high promotion-costs...
but come one...why should they want to pay for a song that was free from the very start? just because we spam 10.000 people more with promotion?
how could a listener believe that we suddenly have higher promotion-costs?

so this all makes no sense. giving music away for free is no busines-modell.

ok, you guys may doubt that people would buy a song just because of a 20 second clip. I have bought even whole albums just because of some 10 second-sample which made me curious to find out how the rest of the music will sound!
so let me ask a question: would you buy a song i you can hear it already in full-length? ok, maybe if you wanna really support the band, if you want the music in cd-quality or if you just have too much money.
most people use tools to download streams as mp3s...
so there`s really no need to buy music. totally unknown bands give it away for free and youtube and rapidshare give you the music from popular bands for free.

I mean even highly popular artists with million of fans speak about that they will most likely sell just 500 units of an new album if they release it in vinyl. the others will download this shit then.

so buying music is just for the people who want the music combined with something physical and these are rather the hardcore-fans.
that`s why the most artists make deluxe-booklet, add live-dvds, posters, shirts... dope? whatever!
but how can a unknown band on a small budget afford to realize really professional add-ons...?

for any other listeners it`s not about a deluxe-version he or she just wants the music - for free.
so though these kind of listeners like the music pretty much this won`t mirror in the record-sells.
and 20.000 free downloads of a song...this is nothing... the labels just see that 20.000 people prefered downloading this music for free.
but 200 sells is in your region is way better because it shows a label that this band has fans that are willing to invest something for this band, even if they don`t gig.
still fans are to stupid too see that it helps the bands then hey buy something. instead they often think, "hey gee, it`s just one album, how can this be a disadvantage for the band?".

I also doubt that it would help to give listener the feeling they had found something special. every unknown band is just one of million other unknown bands. people know this and as long as band can not perfectly match the taste in music of a listener the listener won`t see this band as something special or the next big think.

just my two cent...
I entirely understand your point in form of everything after you mention vinyl the figures are a bit out of whack.

Singles are the 20 second clip of the album for me if a 2 singles are good I'll get the album. And generally singles are to promote the album so it's does it's job free or not.




so first we should promote our free music because people don`t pay for music. later if we want more listeners we should try to sell the music because we have too high promotion-costs...

No.. horses for course. We're talking about someone who's going from day one. On day one no ones know/ cares of your existence. The only way to get any attention is to promote yourself, yes you can do it for free but as with all free things it won't work as well as a good pr company then we have the dilemma of are you going to be signed or unsigned who knows. Either way you need to get the job done and whether it's a lebel or yourself you will want to make the money back you spent on promotion ideally through whatever you promoted. Now music can be given away for free as a tool/ incentive to get any listeners details so you can build a demographic of your target audience you then use this with marketing/ promotion strategy.

- simples

An idiot who thinks spam is a form of a promoting/ marketing strategy is a moron. And internet spam is no different from the pizza/ chinese/ indian food flyers you get posted through you door they all go in the bin or a draw you never use until the rare occasion you stop going to the nearest takeaway and feel like something different - that is what people 99% of the time. With music it's no different you get thrown with the Viagra emails, and free porn and win an ipad2. People resent you even more so because your a band/ real people and not some soulless Viagra advert.





but come one...why should they want to pay for a song that was free from the very start? just because we spam 10.000 people more with promotion?
How could a listener believe that we suddenly have higher promotion-costs?

Because they see you have a 2 page spread picture of your album in the independant. Honestly most people don't even think about that stuff!

I think it's fair to start charging if you weren't before just like the ricky gervais show they started charging so they could cover costs and keep delivering the things you like. And people need money to live it then goes beyond that record labels need to cover cost and pay the people who work from them 9-5 7 days a week.
#38
14th June 2011
Old 14th June 2011
  #38
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The only good thing for decent record contracts today is the PR/marketing side. That's what you get, exposure. Otherwise record production and release could be done by yourself rather than a company.

Then there are also the 360 deals that might make sense but usually the record companies are the winners. In all those cases it's important to have a lawyer reading the contract before signing.

Most artists today could get pretty far with their own marketing efforts, provided they like it. I don't like that kind of work myself, rather spend the few hours I have available in the studio.
treewhispers
Thread Starter
#39
15th June 2011
Old 15th June 2011
  #39
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Thread Starter
@MotifStudios
[QUOTE]get yourself a goal to get 50,000 subscribers on youtube... If you can, u may prove that what you are doing seems interesting and valuable to people. That MIGHT SPARK the interest of a label.
BUT WAIT! If you have 50,000 subscribers, who are listening to you, watching you and tuning in to what u do, why do u want a label? create your product, sell to those 50,000 listeners and make some money.
(...)

congratulations that you have at least a small label deal. what does this "small label" do for you?
do they finance your next studio-production?
do they make big promotion for you?
do they finance the budget for your next tour?

most small labels have no budget and they do nothing for the artists, exept selling the shit online and in some record-stores and "promoting" it on their own and some partner-websites.

they just have seen that they "most likely" could sell ur shit because of 50.000 "listeners" and they want a piece of this cake. a piece of a cake you could eat alone otherwise...

that`s what most (not all!) small labels do. I don`t blame them for because they just try to survive somehow...

1)
if you have 50.000 listeners (in the sense of "youtube-friends, myspace-friends"), you don`t have 50.000 listeners....
you have just 50.000 people who accepted your add-request once. that`s a complete different thing, because most of them don`t care about you and just wanted to get a higher number of "friends" for their own account.
let`s say 3/4 of the people don`t care then you have just 12.500 listeners...
but if you have 50.000 good comments from 50.000 different listeners. or 50.000 liked your song on facebook.... then you can really be shure that 50.000 people care about your music or at least some of your songs.
otherwise these numbers just whitewash...

2)
let`s assume you really have 50.000 real listeners... still most of them won`t buy your music, if they could hear it already for free bevore.
and just your biggest fans, audiophiles and people with too much money will buy your songs on cd...
most will buy just some of your mp3s...your best songs...
so you could just sell music to maybe 4 of 100 people (in case the 50.000 friends are really listeners). some popular bands have the same selling rates today...
now, think about how hard it is to get a friendspace with 50.000 "listeners"...real listeners! you need to have some 100.000 of "friends" to increase the chances for that.

3)
and that`s why a big label is still important. because if you wanna earn enough you must sell a lot of mp3s. for example about 1500-2000 mp3s per month (!!!!) to earn the minimal wage...(in the us)
so a big labels helps you to sell that much and they have a lot more budget fo professional promotion...

4)
also I doubt that having 50.000 listeners might be an argument for a label to give you a contract.
also accounts with stupid fart-videos have 50.000 friends. really bad bands on myspace can still have 50.000 friends and 100.000 songplays...

what if your record company gets a new demo on the next day from a band who has 60.000 or 80.000 or 300.000 listeners?

and what if the difference in these numbers is just there because some of these bands exists longer so they could sent more request?

or just because some of them had the money for better promotion-tools?
making promotion on youtube, myspace is not "absolutely" free if you wanna achieve results faster.,,

so do these numbers really tell anything about how good the music is?

in the end just the music matters. having just a few listeners can`t hide a good song, a bad recording can`t hide a good song....

so first and foremost it`s all due to the a&r what he thinks about the music and then it`s a nice help to see if this music has already got the attention from other people.
so if you don`t have something like 1.000.000 youtube-clicks I really doubt that any record company would give you a contract just because
it seems that you have 50.000 listeners...

the best thing to see if a band has potential in the eyes of the listeners is to read the comments. as soon as a band has some hundret good comments it`s most likely a good band and you could sell this shit easily if you make enough promotion.

so there are enough stars outwhere already, they just don`t shine.

- yet there is still so much more crap outwhere but it`s easy to detect crap. you can see it in the comment-sections, that listeners don`t really appreciate this band, you can hear it. it may be well recorded but it`s still crap.

every john and jane thinks they are the next big thing or would make good music. it`s also a matter of taste of course. I wouldn`t want to compare songs of different genres and eras with each other. so it has to be seen in the context of the certain genre. some genres are generally more popular than others and in some genres you need much more talent to write a good song.

there`s much more crap in the top-100 of mtv than on myspace and still they can sell this crap. so it`s a question what the a&rs are believing in
and I guess they can`t be really "objective" because every a&r has his own personal taste in music and his own experience what sells and what not. there are even a&r who never hear a band`s demo if they compare their sound to already known artists... because these a&rs don`t want something that reminds on something already known, they search for something really unique. so they don´t listen to the music just because a band tries to describe what they sound like. this is really weird.

5)
I have read from studio-owners who had to record with talentless bands
who had even a major label-deal. they just got this deal because the label thought the band`s "image" would connect to the average mtv-audience...
it wasn`t so much a matter if the music is really good and how good they could play their instruments.

that`s why I really doubt that a band has better chances as soon as they have some hundret thousand "listeners"...
you can work your ass off making this "free" promotion yourself every day
and if you have maybe 100.000 listeners after a year still you have no better chances whil a different band meanwhile has already 900.000 listeners because they make this free promotion already for 4 years
and they had worked their ass off to make more effective promotion in the last two years and this explains why they are one step ahead...

so a wise a&r should try to find out
how long the band exists, when they have started making promotion, with what tools they make the promotion and how many hours they do spent for that.
so he needs to see these numbers in the right context and then he could compare also bands who have different numbers of listeners and in this case a band with 4000 listeners could be better than a band with already 20.000 listeners...

but some a&r might be just stupid and you can impress them with just a high number of listeners and others maybe would want to analyze it with statistic tools.

@neenja

Quote:
People expect videos to be free and they are somewhat programmed to but the music if they like the song and the video.
one of the most searched keywords in google after you type "youtube" are programms like "youtube converter" or "youttube to mp3"....
so do you really think people are so stupid to buy a song if they could extract it easily from a video via such programms???!!!
then people have their mp3 for 0,00 bucks...

just hardcore-fans and people who are fair or to stupid to use youtube-converter-software will buy the song if they liked the music-video.
so if you still sell some mp3s or even cds because of your youtube videos you could really sell a lot more if we wouldn`t live in a world there people make use of such youtube-download software...

it`s not just up to musicians to make it, the listeners must be fair if they like your music and they must understand that it helps you if they buy the music and invest not just words...
I have hundrets of good comments about my music and it didn`t cost me much work to get them. still my listeners prefer hearing my music directly on myspace or facebook. even if I give them just songs in half-length for free then they take it and still don`t wanna buy the songs in full-lenght. some of them even think a song n half-lenght would be already the whole song... ... they know the chorus they know the verse, so they can hear it in repeat and that`s almost like already having the whole song...

or they asume that the full-length version will be released later...
some of them also don`t buy because I can`t offer the payment-method they prefer. I admit, maybe they also don`t trust me, because it`s my own shop and they would prefer to buy the music on itunes where they can really be sure everything is serious. gee, some people also think paying via paypal would be a risk...

so I admit that I could sell maybe something if I would use itunes but
at first itunes is something I have to pay for and most unknown artists sell nothing and never more than 100 mp3/year on itunes.
if they sell nothing, ok, maybe because of bad promotion but also about 95% of the unknown artists who make good promotion for their music never sell more than 100 mp3s/year. that`s statistically proven and it shows you at leas the tendency. so I don`t wanna say that there aren`t some unknown artists who still sell 102 mp3s/year..
but let`s face it if you wanna earn your living in the music biz you have to be popular and you won`t become popular without a big label.
of course if you invest enough in self-promotion and get a small label-contract you will become a little known maybe, but still you will be far from making a living with your own music...
and even if reverbnations recommends your music to sony... what is it worth if sony still says they can`t use ur song "at the moment". and they most likely won`t call you again and just promise they "keep it in file for future reference..."
so you could get the same refusal also without the need to find 100.000
listeners bevore on social-networks...
so even if many people like a new band why should any good label give them a chance if they could already sell enough with their already popular artist.
they give a shit about new music and try to sell some more of lady gaga.
they invest in things that really work and sell good and that are mostly the artists they already have signed!
so they really not interested in signing a new acts so fast and if they are interested then it`s just one artists of thousand, millions others and still they don`t really "need" this artist...

look at a bands like sigur ros... they had to finance their own studio and then they could sell thousand of cds in england... in times where people had been still enough interest in cds...
so I doubt they had get this success if they hadn`t gotten the help to finance a studio from the family and if they would release their first self-produced album this year...
the band silversun avenue had just became sucessful because one of their fans sold his house to finance the band a professional production...
so you need investors... or a really well paid day-job...
that`s why rich people with well recorded bad music have often more sucess than the poor artists with really good music. and a business that works this way has nothing to do with music culture and fair chances is just a jungle that destroys many real talents and where people need a lot of money (or investors) to make it big and the real investor won`t be your fans where you can earn just maybe 60 cent/mp3...
so it`s important to have many listeners and still in the end it`s not a big help anymore.
#40
15th June 2011
Old 15th June 2011
  #40
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Specialize.
#41
16th June 2011
Old 16th June 2011
  #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by treewhispers View Post
so giving music away for free just makes sense to get more good comments and feedback and to generate all the numbers and attention that could convience other people to give you a record contract or your next gig...
OK. I'm a record exec. I drive a Ferrari, and I sit atop a big circular building in downtown Hollywood. I take 3 hour lunches, have a supermodel wife, and take long vacations in Europe. I make money. Lots of money.

You lucked out and somehow got an appointment with me. And you're trying to convince me to spend money on your career because you think it makes more sense to give your music away so that you can get good comments and feedback.

I don't give a $#@! about "comments" and "attention". I care about hard cold facts and numbers. How many units did you sell of your last project? How many dates did you play last year? How many people came out to see you? Where is your music charting? Who is your have management and attorney?

See??? How long do you think it will take for me to start laughing or have my secretary show you the door with your philosophy?

You want a record contract? You play THEIR game, not yours. And the game is selling product. They hold all the cards my friend. Good luck.
#42
16th June 2011
Old 16th June 2011
  #42
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I don't see where it has changed a bit in decades.

To get investment from a label or anybody else requires that you demonstrate a consistent ability to fill venues with enthusiastic fans. It's just that simple and, unfortunately, just that difficult.
treewhispers
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#43
16th June 2011
Old 16th June 2011
  #43
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Thread Starter
I thank you both for your answer! yeah, your right... it`s just that simple and just that difficult... >< ;(

ok, of course good comments are not the world but they give in insight
into the "quality" of the feedback not just the "quantity"... comments can show the enthusiams of fans and their true opinion. they are like little "reviews".
at gigs fans usually applaud everything even if the drummer just beats the bassdrum three times... but in the internet there`s no need to be a sheep and asslicker and fans can articulate themself how they exactly think about the music. this is something you don`t really know if you play in front of them. you hear the applaus or maybe they throw bottles at you but you don`t know why... but a comment-section can tell you why...*lol*

still in the end...of course full venues, regular gigs, selling music..this convinces a label because it shows they could also earn something with this cake... so I never wanted to doubt that fact!
I just wanted to make clear that having "50.000 social-network-friends in the internet" ist not the same like having 50.000 "listeners" in the internet... and that it`s unlikely that a label gets interested just because of "50.000 friends" or "clicks".
but if some hundrets or even thousand of these 50.000 "friends" in the internet really go to the gigs of the artist than of course the label will be most likely interested... because the virtual number of friends seems to proof in reality...

but come on, how selling music these days as more or less unknown band/artists?
is here anyone who sells his mp3s/cds regulary? I really wanna know. how many mp3s/cd do you guys sell per month or per year?

how much do you really earn with the music-sells (so minus the costs for promotion, itunes-fees, provision...)?

and what if your band is incomplete and you can`t tour?
what if you have to pay fees to play a gig? many new bands indeed have to pay fees for that because too many bands are in search of new gig opportunities.
what if your just a solo-artists and don`t find a live-band or can`t hire some live-musicians?
so does this mean the labels just wanna give contracts to a "band" and would show even the best solo-artists or a band with incomplete line-up the door?

nowadays many people make a lot of money with music... they really find many new ways to do this.... but I`m not talking about musicians...

file-hosting-services like rapidshare and many others make a lot of money just because most listeners refuse to buy music...

people can get so much music for free that other companys can make a lot of money with electronic products, like ipods, harddisk..
stolen music needs some place... and listeners pay for this but mostly not for the music on their ipod...

many software-companys make money with converter-tools to download songs illegaly...

youtube makes money and you still find enough illegal uploaded music there..

itunes and all these online-stores make a lot of money with musicians, also some small internet-labels.

little radiostations can profit from free music too because then they don`t have to pay fees if they`re playing free music.

all these software companys who offer more or less cheap production-software to us because we can`t afford the real expensive studio-hardware. every week a new EQ, compressor gets released...
and plenty of companies have released real crap since the 90s and they always told us how professional results we could get with this new plug-in just to fool us that we spent some hundrets or even thousands...

all these people who give workshops in mixing, mastering...

all these made in china-equipment companys...

sites like bandcamp, soundcloud there you have to pay monthly fees if you wanna have a real good service...

companys who give us good friend-adding and promotion tools...
think about webdominator, youtube-toolbox...

all these merchandising-services...

sites like xraymusic... where you have to pay often up to 20 dollar for a submission to a record company and still you don`t know if they really listen to your stuff.

so more people than ever bevore try to profit from the illegal filesharing and the fact that there are so many independent artists outwhere who try to make their dream real.
and we earn nothing with music while other people can make a lot of profit with all the unknown creative musicians in the internet...

think about the former sucess of myspace. without all the bands that offered their streams for free and tried to find listeners there myspace hadn`t been so new and interesting to the private users.
so the former sucess of myspace was "our" success. no band, even if they had already thousands of songplays got even a cent from myspace...!
but these bands helped making myspace an interesting place for the users and this way myspace could earn a lot more with advertisement than it had been possible if there were just profiles of already popular bands...
#44
16th June 2011
Old 16th June 2011
  #44
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It's important to understand that there's a big difference between what people will say they like or even say they are fans of and what they'll actually give up a Big Mac or two to purchase.

Radio switched from local record sales reports in the '60s and '70s to the opinion polls and focus groups they use to choose music today. The result has been lots of recordings getting air play that has resulted in virtually no sales. Today's sales charts and airplay charts are remarkably unrelated. For this reason no label or investor who knows this is likely to be impressed by anything other than actual sales of tickets and merchandise. In addition to potentially being rigged, a million "likes," "followers" or "friends" at best might mean it's worth going to an artist's gig and check out what's going on. Untold numbers of artists are checked out by the majors every year but only the ones who somebody wants to sign ever find out about it. For this reason it's important to make every gig count with a full house in a venue that the artist is capable of filling.
#45
16th June 2011
Old 16th June 2011
  #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by treewhispers View Post
little radiostations can profit from free music too because then they don`t have to pay fees if they`re playing free music.
Just a FYI, that is an untrue statement. If a radio station plays ONE song registered with BMI during the year (and honestly anyone who doesn't register their songs with the PRO of their choice is flushing money down the toilet) they are liable for paying BMI.

The rate will be based on their size, advertising and whatever else BMI uses to judge a station, but they WILL pay. It has nothing to do with how much the music "costs" or whether it was "free".

You have a lot to learn my friend. The industry is not going to bend around your concepts. It's not going to embrace your ideals. If you want to succeed, you will need to study it, learn how it ticks, and figure out a pathway into it. Or keep giving your music away for free the rest of your life and wonder why you never "made it".
treewhispers
Thread Starter
#46
17th June 2011
Old 17th June 2011
  #46
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Thread Starter
@drBill

thanks for ur reply... as far as I know, there`s a lot of music that is not registered to BMI. small i-net-radio-stations like to use this stuff and therefor they need all these unknown artists. it`s good for both sides. still they make it mostly because they don`t wanna pay BMI. just an example how even some (!) little internet-radio-stations can benefit from unknown artists.


@Bob Olhsson

are you an a&r...? whatsoever, thanks for writing ur opinion.

honestly, I can`t believe that every a&r would just sign a band becaue they tour around in full venues. an a&r told me in a workshop they look for good music first and if the band has already sold 300 cd in their region that`s enough. because they know how hard it is to sell cds or mp3s for new bands or to tour thru the country.
if they don`t wanna sign that`s mostly because the music might be good but they can`t use it because it doesn`t fit to the music they sell today.

they also don`t look if it`s a real professional production because if they have the feeling this band could make it then they will invest some bucks for a re-production.

they also don`t look if someone is just good looking, that`s not that important, music is far more important so they are wondering about all these girls who sent high professional sexy model-pictures. that`s a nice sideeffect but in the end it`s just about the music. if a song works and if the band and it`s members has an image that can connect with the audience the band wants to adress... + if the band has a professional attitude and is really willing to work with the label.
a good a&r can judge this and if he doesn`t find something interesting in the first minute or he sees that it may become hard to work together with this band then he throws it away.
at least this is what the a&r has claimed.

and come one, what does a tour with 20 full venues tell? even if thousand have seen the band live... how many inhabitants has your city and the whole country...? just some full venues won`t tell you if the band will really make it in the future and will become more sucessful. there`s always a risk.
maybe there next album won`t be good then they probbaly lost fans. maybe they just have this success in some regions and other regions won`t accept that band.

how many bands can finance regulary touring?
even some really known band don`t play in full venues today. and how does the a&r know how many people have come to the gigs? as long as there`s no press-review about the concert he just know "where" the band has played and that he wasn`t there. so how he can be shure that this band has "sucessful" gigs? maybe if the already play in the biggest venues.
yet if an a&r would judge the music just because of this he would miss all the good music from bands who will be in the position to play in big veneus just after many years.

so I am sure there are always a&rs who like to sign something just because they really believe and sense instantly that it`s really good.

as long as we don`t know all a&rs we can`t really be shure that everyone of them works based on the same rules and values.

the internet is full of lies.
just some years ago everyone told musicians they can make it on their own with free music, like radiohead and NIN... this is officially wrong based on scientific studies from 2008, still a lot of bands believed this in the early days of the internet and spread their shit for free.

now everyone tells you that you can just make it if you fill venues like crazy and sell merchandise and tickets. almost no one buys merchandise. just some herdcore-fans are interested in merchandise. new bands can`t earn much with tickets. no one wants to pay high ticket prices for an unknown band and just after many months or even years bands earn the right to get paid for gigs if they have become the local-heroes. still they won`t most likely getting paid in other regions because there they`re nobodies again and how should the venues there make a succesfull gig with such nobodies? indeed they had to organize new fans for this band first who are willing to come to the concerts.

the tour is just usefull to show an a&r that a band is really able and willing to play gigs regulary. still as long as they don`t play in well known venues with good press-reviews just playing regular gigs, in and of itself, is no reason for an a&r to sign a band. if it were a reason bands wouldn`t have to sent music to the labels anymore and just had to sent their tour-history and proof the a&r that they already earned a lot with tickets and merch.

so I`m tired to hear that the impossible would be possible and that the impossible is the new business model. stealing music is a business model.
not getting paid for gigs and tour 10 years like crazy. if you`re old and grey than you get signed, - oh no, now you`re too old, sorry....
#47
17th June 2011
Old 17th June 2011
  #47
Gear addict
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
OK. I'm a record exec. I drive a Ferrari, and I sit atop a big circular building in downtown Hollywood. I take 3 hour lunches, have a supermodel wife, and take long vacations in Europe. I make money. Lots of money.

You lucked out and somehow got an appointment with me. And you're trying to convince me to spend money on your career because you think it makes more sense to give your music away so that you can get good comments and feedback.

I don't give a $#@! about "comments" and "attention". I care about hard cold facts and numbers. How many units did you sell of your last project? How many dates did you play last year? How many people came out to see you? Where is your music charting? Who is your have management and attorney?

See??? How long do you think it will take for me to start laughing or have my secretary show you the door with your philosophy?

You want a record contract? You play THEIR game, not yours. And the game is selling product. They hold all the cards my friend. Good luck.
Amen.
#48
17th June 2011
Old 17th June 2011
  #48
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[QUOTE=treewhispers;6755398]@MotifStudios
Quote:
get yourself a goal to get 50,000 subscribers on youtube... If you can, u may prove that what you are doing seems interesting and valuable to people. That MIGHT SPARK the interest of a label.
BUT WAIT! If you have 50,000 subscribers, who are listening to you, watching you and tuning in to what u do, why do u want a label? create your product, sell to those 50,000 listeners and make some money.
(...)

congratulations that you have at least a small label deal. what does this "small label" do for you?
do they finance your next studio-production?
do they make big promotion for you?
do they finance the budget for your next tour?

most small labels have no budget and they do nothing for the artists, exept selling the shit online and in some record-stores and "promoting" it on their own and some partner-websites.

they just have seen that they "most likely" could sell ur shit because of 50.000 "listeners" and they want a piece of this cake. a piece of a cake you could eat alone otherwise...

that`s what most (not all!) small labels do. I don`t blame them for because they just try to survive somehow...

1)
if you have 50.000 listeners (in the sense of "youtube-friends, myspace-friends"), you don`t have 50.000 listeners....
you have just 50.000 people who accepted your add-request once. that`s a complete different thing, because most of them don`t care about you and just wanted to get a higher number of "friends" for their own account.
let`s say 3/4 of the people don`t care then you have just 12.500 listeners...
but if you have 50.000 good comments from 50.000 different listeners. or 50.000 liked your song on facebook.... then you can really be shure that 50.000 people care about your music or at least some of your songs.
otherwise these numbers just whitewash...

2)
let`s assume you really have 50.000 real listeners... still most of them won`t buy your music, if they could hear it already for free bevore.
and just your biggest fans, audiophiles and people with too much money will buy your songs on cd...
most will buy just some of your mp3s...your best songs...
so you could just sell music to maybe 4 of 100 people (in case the 50.000 friends are really listeners). some popular bands have the same selling rates today...
now, think about how hard it is to get a friendspace with 50.000 "listeners"...real listeners! you need to have some 100.000 of "friends" to increase the chances for that.

3)
and that`s why a big label is still important. because if you wanna earn enough you must sell a lot of mp3s. for example about 1500-2000 mp3s per month (!!!!) to earn the minimal wage...(in the us)
so a big labels helps you to sell that much and they have a lot more budget fo professional promotion...

4)
also I doubt that having 50.000 listeners might be an argument for a label to give you a contract.
also accounts with stupid fart-videos have 50.000 friends. really bad bands on myspace can still have 50.000 friends and 100.000 songplays...

what if your record company gets a new demo on the next day from a band who has 60.000 or 80.000 or 300.000 listeners?

and what if the difference in these numbers is just there because some of these bands exists longer so they could sent more request?

or just because some of them had the money for better promotion-tools?
making promotion on youtube, myspace is not "absolutely" free if you wanna achieve results faster.,,

so do these numbers really tell anything about how good the music is?

in the end just the music matters. having just a few listeners can`t hide a good song, a bad recording can`t hide a good song....

so first and foremost it`s all due to the a&r what he thinks about the music and then it`s a nice help to see if this music has already got the attention from other people.
so if you don`t have something like 1.000.000 youtube-clicks I really doubt that any record company would give you a contract just because
it seems that you have 50.000 listeners...

the best thing to see if a band has potential in the eyes of the listeners is to read the comments. as soon as a band has some hundret good comments it`s most likely a good band and you could sell this shit easily if you make enough promotion.

so there are enough stars outwhere already, they just don`t shine.

- yet there is still so much more crap outwhere but it`s easy to detect crap. you can see it in the comment-sections, that listeners don`t really appreciate this band, you can hear it. it may be well recorded but it`s still crap.

every john and jane thinks they are the next big thing or would make good music. it`s also a matter of taste of course. I wouldn`t want to compare songs of different genres and eras with each other. so it has to be seen in the context of the certain genre. some genres are generally more popular than others and in some genres you need much more talent to write a good song.

there`s much more crap in the top-100 of mtv than on myspace and still they can sell this crap. so it`s a question what the a&rs are believing in
and I guess they can`t be really "objective" because every a&r has his own personal taste in music and his own experience what sells and what not. there are even a&r who never hear a band`s demo if they compare their sound to already known artists... because these a&rs don`t want something that reminds on something already known, they search for something really unique. so they don´t listen to the music just because a band tries to describe what they sound like. this is really weird.

5)
I have read from studio-owners who had to record with talentless bands
who had even a major label-deal. they just got this deal because the label thought the band`s "image" would connect to the average mtv-audience...
it wasn`t so much a matter if the music is really good and how good they could play their instruments.

that`s why I really doubt that a band has better chances as soon as they have some hundret thousand "listeners"...
you can work your ass off making this "free" promotion yourself every day
and if you have maybe 100.000 listeners after a year still you have no better chances whil a different band meanwhile has already 900.000 listeners because they make this free promotion already for 4 years
and they had worked their ass off to make more effective promotion in the last two years and this explains why they are one step ahead...

so a wise a&r should try to find out
how long the band exists, when they have started making promotion, with what tools they make the promotion and how many hours they do spent for that.
so he needs to see these numbers in the right context and then he could compare also bands who have different numbers of listeners and in this case a band with 4000 listeners could be better than a band with already 20.000 listeners...

but some a&r might be just stupid and you can impress them with just a high number of listeners and others maybe would want to analyze it with statistic tools.
Hey dude:

1. The label is small, but they are rich and have other income revenue streams which funds their work in music. They are spending money on promotion, videos, PR + marketing companies; not to mention they have a massive list of radio contacts, djs etc that I don't have access to. They also have several artists who are on call for them due to their excellent relationships, which is good news for me because it means I can get well known artists on my music. Summarise: Contacts, Money < I lack in this department, and they shine in this department - so it's a good fit. Those are the main benefits, and a lot of that could be done myself, but in honesty I don't have that kind of money or contacts personally to get that done the way the label can. So that's what the label is doing for me.

2. Your right, 50,000 listeners doesn't mean you have 50,000 buyers. But that's not what I said - I simply said listeners and subscribers, not buyers - which you potentially do have if you have 50,000 subscribers. Yes a lot of them won't listen. But if 10% of them love you and buy from you... your making some money bro. It isn't about selling to every single listener, it's about having a large pool of people to market to. That is marketing 101 - ur never going to attract 100% of the pool you have, but the bigger pool you have, the more you will make. Sheesh, I wish I had 50,000 listeners because I'm almost certain I would get 1500 of them to buy from me. If 1500 buy a £1.00 track off me, that makes me £1500 richer. Which is not a laughable amount for one track off my own back with absolutely no investment on my part but time.... Hopefully you see what I mean here. Sorry if it seems patronising or dumbed down, as thats not what I am trying to be, I'm just making sure I'm clear on what I'm saying.

3. "think about how hard it is to get a friendspace with 50.000 "listeners"...real listeners! you need to have some 100.000 of "friends" to increase the chances for that." Lol, yes it is hard. Hence why I say you should aim for about 50,000 to begin with. You have to start somewhere, and that grind and effort is what's going to get you there, not any form of negative approach or non-belief :-)

4. "and that`s why a big label is still important. because if you wanna earn enough you must sell a lot of mp3s. for example about 1500-2000 mp3s per month (!!!!) to earn the minimal wage...(in the us)
so a big labels helps you to sell that much and they have a lot more budget fo professional promotion... "

Again, the small label has money. Enough money to work with PR companies and marketing companies.. "professionally". They have excellent credits for their size, and are actually a money making label in the UK, their artists are fed well and are surviving tough times, so I believe they can deliver on results :-) *touch wood*


5.
also I doubt that having 50.000 listeners might be an argument for a label to give you a contract.
also accounts with stupid fart-videos have 50.000 friends. really bad bands on myspace can still have 50.000 friends and 100.000 songplays...

what if your record company gets a new demo on the next day from a band who has 60.000 or 80.000 or 300.000 listeners? "

Don't get me wrong, having 50,000 listeners alone is not going to get u a deal. But having talent alone is also not going to get you a deal. If you have a fanbase of 50,000 people, make good music and can show the label you are actually bringing some money in from these listeners, BELIEVE ME, you will attract a label - because you have a product that people are buying, and already have a foundation around u.

This isn't a concrete approach buddy, there is no conrete approach, I'm just telling you what I no has worked for a lot of people I no.
#49
17th June 2011
Old 17th June 2011
  #49
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again I must say, it's not 100% concrete.... Nothing in this game is. You can be a hit one day, and you be poo the next. Michael Jackson was the multi million dollar, platinum recording artist, then he was ... well not that.. Nothing is certain. You just have to play by the odds, do the right things. Build your OWN foundations, build your OWN fanbase... Cut the label out, and the label will want u! If you chase after a label without having any fanbase, no sales history, no brand, and the most amazing talent in the world, you will be very, VERY hard pressed to get a deal.
If you forget about the label, get your own brand together, with your own sales, own fans, things you generated yourself, the label will find you. Why would any business invest into something that hasn't proven successful dude? If I came to u and said, "give me £100,000 because I'm amazing and WILL get sales and WILL get loads of fans", would u pay me? What about if I came to you and said "Hi, I've made £50,000 in record sales I generated off my own back. I have my own brand, my own clothing which I have generated sales from, a website with high volumes of traffic every month, proven numbers that my music sells... Do you want to invest and make this brand bigger to make more money overall and split it with me?" .... no brainer right?
It's catch 22.. When you have your own foundations in place it's not always neccesary to go to the labels... but for some people it makes more sense. In my case it does, I'm a one man army and could use the extra help, so I'l take it. Chances in this game are not 100%, so I'l take whatever help I get.
Like I said, AGAIN - not 100% concrete, jus telling you what seems to have worked for others, and me.
RTR
#50
17th June 2011
Old 17th June 2011
  #50
RTR
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Location: U.S.A.
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OP ..it sounds like you want this to happen NOW!!!Sorry but I dont think that will happen...instead of going back and forth on GS get out and put a band together..thats one problem solved! Good luck!
#51
17th June 2011
Old 17th June 2011
  #51
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Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2002
Location: Songwriter Gulch, Nashville TN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by treewhispers View Post
...honestly, I can`t believe that every a&r would just sign a band becaue they tour around in full venues...
An artist that is capable of consistantly drawing enough fans to fill venues playing a fair percentage of original music is not very common. A&Rs fall over each other checking out the artists who are capable of doing that.

The only thing any artist ever has to offer a record label is access to their fans. In essence, they are selling their fans to labels and promoters and not their music. This is why the nature of the music can seem relatively unimportant. Every label has signed numerous artists they love only to discover nobody's interested in buying their recordings. An artist's job is to attract fans.
Sim
#52
21st June 2011
Old 21st June 2011
  #52
Sim
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Joined: Jun 2010
Location: London

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
I don't see where it has changed a bit in decades.

To get investment from a label or anybody else requires that you demonstrate a consistent ability to fill venues with enthusiastic fans. It's just that simple and, unfortunately, just that difficult.
I don't think katie perry, jls, rhiana, jessy j, , justin beiber or any other mainstream acts got a deal because the go fans at gigs.
Far from that, the label invests in a solid marketing plan that makes fans spend money at gigs and on records, talent means nothing to a share holder or a ceo.

All of the above acts fill venues because of good marketing strategy's
#53
21st June 2011
Old 21st June 2011
  #53
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Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 
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Location: Songwriter Gulch, Nashville TN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sim View Post
I don't think katie perry, jls, rhiana, jessy j, , justin beiber or any other mainstream acts got a deal because the go fans at gigs...
I would check out the actual back story of some mainstream acts before assuming that. Certainly there are a few exceptions but most of such aren't doing anything very original and often have parent providing an enormous bankroll.
#54
22nd June 2011
Old 22nd June 2011
  #54
3 + infractions, forum membership suspended.
 
Joined: Jun 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by treewhispers View Post
I would be highly interested on your opinion... I really need a good advice how to start
with my music "career". ...
Have talent. Work hard.
Become proficient at music. Maybe 5 years.
Become superproficient. Maybe another 5.
You should start between 5 and 10 years old.

Have a great personality and at least average looks.
Build up slowly and acquire a fan base. 3-5 years.
Get a good PR company.
Get lucky.

Hit it BIG !!!!
#55
29th June 2011
Old 29th June 2011
  #55
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Joined: Apr 2011
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Getting a contract does not depend upon either you are selling your music or offering it free of cost.It depends upon how much your music is famous among people.So if you are releasing your first album the i think you should first promote your music then offer it free and then you will get publicity.But if you have already promoted your music and have a good network then you must sell your music and you will definitely got a contract.
#56
29th June 2011
Old 29th June 2011
  #56
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Location: Songwriter Gulch, Nashville TN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daceymathers View Post
Getting a contract does not depend upon either you are selling your music or offering it free of cost.It depends upon how much your music is famous among people...
Nobody signs somebody for their music. They sign artists for evidence of having paying fans or in some cases for their willingness to get screwed over financially.
#57
29th June 2011
Old 29th June 2011
  #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
Nobody signs somebody for their music. They sign artists for evidence of having paying fans or in some cases for their willingness to get screwed over financially.
Nicely put.
#58
30th June 2011
Old 30th June 2011
  #58
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Treewhispers, TBH, you seem to just be listening to yourself. Bill and Bob have told you all you need to know.

Now, 'all' you have to do is get out there and build up a fanbase in the real world of gigging and putting bums on seats - and stop worrying about the illusionary world of MyFace and 50,000 illegal downloads that you will never get anyway.
#59
30th June 2011
Old 30th June 2011
  #59
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Location: london
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
Nobody signs somebody for their music. They sign artists for evidence of having paying fans or in some cases for their willingness to get screwed over financially.
LOL...I LOVE the fact that you are on this forum, Mr Olhsson!! What a beauty!

To the OP: as a side fact, a friend of mine recorded a singer songwriter album in his livingroom and stuck it on itunes with NO promotion doing NO gigs and in the first year he made 7000GBP. Not an income, but to my mind a good example that music can still do something on its own. Maybe just do it and see what your music is capable of ....as far as making fans get their wallet out .....
#60
2nd July 2011
Old 2nd July 2011
  #60
Gear addict
 
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Glasgow, Scotland
Posts: 338

To the OP.

What you need to understand is that there are two sides to this business. One supplies you with the aspirational "I could do that too" role models, and the other with the tools you need to fulfill your aspirations. The latter exercises no judgement, and is only concerned with the depth of your wallet. The former offers out a minute number of decent record deals annually, shared between a pool of literally millions of acts, and typically hinging on a singular piece of luck on the part of the recipients.

The blunt fact is that you have almost no chance of getting a record deal. so your choice is simple. Buy the crate full of kool aid, or just relax and enjoy your hobby.

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