Life is full of challenges. Of course how we react, respond and take the necessary steps in order to facilitate a productive outcome can have a significant impact. If there is one thing that is constant it is change. We all have a choice, meaning we can elect to take hold of change, making the necessary adjustments accordingly, or be left to chance by doing nothing. Certainly, the latter approach will not yield any results. A plan must be formulated, after which time it should be implemented.
Given the evolvement of how the dissemination of music to the masses has changed, it’s not uncommon behavior for an artist to become extremely complacent, particularly in terms of spreading their creativity. The landscape is truly different at this time. The future of the music space is being dominated by streaming activities. This is not necessarily indicative of the demise of physical or digital sales; however the way in which music is brought to the marketplace for the end user, without doubt has changed. This change is eminent and it is moving at a swift pace as well.
In general, streaming audio is divided into two categories: interactive (on-demand) and non-interactive (radio style). Currently, no statutory rate exists for interactive streams in the US. This is actually good news for an independent artist, in that the entire amount of the performance revenue from non-interactive streams, paid via Sound Exchange, under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, can be retained by the artist, assuming the artist is representing their own label. If there is a production or publishing split, then the artist normally provides a letter of instruction to Sound Exchange. This provides a directive so the producer can receive their portion. A typical arrangement of an artist assigned to a label is 45/50, with 50% earmarked to the label.
Today’s music industry faces a myriad of transition. It’s imperative that independent artists adapt to current trends, as well as other associated changes going forward. Additionally, selectively networking and developing alternative revenue sources are important factors deserving consideration. Business in any fashion or form is difficult, and the business aspect of the music industry is no different. By embracing the aspects of the transitioning process and seeking a method that enables an artist to work within the framework of these changes can possibly attribute to solving some of the revenue dilemmas, inherent with the present day business model of the music industry. This is a model in which all independent artists must take on. Perhaps the following items can help provide some insight in accordance with working in the current transitional phase of the industry.
- Consider your present goals. What are they? Are they attainable for this year? Define your actions, writing, composing, publishing, live events, etc. Set some parameters and measure your results.
- Develop 1-2 new relationships that can significantly enhance and impact your activities. This may or may not be someone within the music industry.
- Join a Musicians networking or advocacy group. This can be a formal professional society or an online peer group. Advocacy is a good thing.
- Affiliate with a Royalty Collection Society, as artist, composer, publisher or all combined. Not doing so means that you could be potentially missing out on future royalties provided through venues such as videos, broadcasts, media outlets and digital platforms. ( streaming and satellite radio)
- Submit your work through venues that are reasonably priced that can provide large scale exposure. Look into the procedure of radio submissions. Many stations just require that you submit to the channel director for review.
Then lead the way.
Thanks so much for having an open mind and considering a view point. Take good care!