independent and unofficial
Prince fan community
Forum jump
Forums > Art, Podcasts, & Fan Content > The Ballad Of The Mid-Level Artist
« Previous topic  Next topic »
  New topic   Printable     (Log in to 'subscribe' to this topic)
Author

Tweet     Share

Message
Thread started 04/15/04 4:54pm

cranshaw62

The Ballad Of The Mid-Level Artist

The Ballad Of The Mid-Level Artist

By, Danny Goldberg

I used to run big record companies and now I run a small company, Artemis Records, which I also partially own. Universal and Warner Music Group, two of the big four international music companies, have fired me. Artemis is distributed internationally by Sony and in the U.S. by RED, which is predominantly owned by Edel, a European indie. I have a tangled web of friendships and feuds with executives and artists at every company. My wife, Rosemary Carroll, is an attorney who represents many artists. I am not objective, but I have opinions.
In the frenzy to identify exactly how the Internet will improve the music business, some Web executives and tech savants have claimed that digital distribution will lead to fairer and more generous contracts for artists. These claims are based on the oft-repeated assumption that major-label recording contracts are unfair to artists, allowing the labels to grab a disproportionate share of profits. Cathartic as it is to vent at record companies and carry the banner for artist empowerment, it seems to me that many of the attacks on the inequitable sharing of the pie have been overstated. The problems most artists have with record companies (and there are many legitimate problems, don't get me wrong) have nothing to do with how the money is divided up, so long as we are talking about acts that actually sell enough records.
It goes without saying that the blockbuster artists who sell millions of albums make lots of money. Not only do such sales levels generate millions of dollars in royalties (and goose important income streams such as publishing and performance fees), but they also provide these artists enormous leverage to renegotiate. Why, you ask, would a record company owed several albums by an artist improve her deal? Because record company executives are judged on their annual, sometimes even quarterly, performances.
When I was at Mercury Records, we agreed to give Shania Twain an increase in her royalty rate in the range of 40 percent if she would deliver Come On Over in time for a fourth-quarter release in 1997. Shania had a weak deal despite having sold 10 million copies of her previous album, The Woman in Me. The boost in royalty rate was conditional upon Shania finishing her work quickly; she did, and the Q4 (ed note: fourth quarter) release of Come On Over significantly propped up the PolyGram numbers for 1997. And in the process, the renegotiated rate has earned Twain at least an extra $10 million. Every artist coming off a multimillion seller has similar leverage with the bosses of the big companies.
Conversely, artists who have a relatively small audience, say under 50,000 albums, clearly make no money for themselves or their record companies in the major-label game, so it really doesn't matter how their royalties are calculated or what their rate is.
But let's look at mid-level artists, many of whom: Aimee Mann, Chuck D and Michelle Shocked, to name a few have been outspoken critics of the major-label system. These are the artists who are most often plagued by the legitimate problems I alluded to above: insensitive executives who pressure them to copy current hit sounds; rapidly changing corporate cultures in which an artist can be romanced into signing in one season and virtually ignored by the time he delivers his album (often for reasons having nothing to do with the quality or even the commercial viability of the record), and the increasing demand on the soon-to-be-four remaining major record groups to act as efficiently managed profit centers for their multinational parent companies. This type of pressurized quarter-to-quarter accountability strikes many as antithetical to the spirit of the days when many labels stood loyally by their artists for year after year, building careers lovingly and patiently until sometimes, the big payoff arrived, or if not, so what? Why can't all labels, goes the daydream, be like Warners in the 1970s?
That this image of art making nice with commerce is as much nostalgia-tinged fantasy as reality does little to diminish the hold it has on the collective unconscious, especially that of singer-songwriters. It should be noted, though, that this golden era of artist development was facilitated by a one-time-only, post war, baby boom that dramatically spiked the number of album-friendly record buyers. And any artist around then will tell you that the royalty rates back then were anything but golden. The profits generated by these factors provided the labels the ability to stick with artists for longer periods of time, also known as “artist development." The collapse of artist-development budgets was forestalled in the '80s when $9.98 cassettes were replaced by $16.98 CDs, a “conversion" which permitted continued double-digit annual growth despite the smaller Gen X pool of buyers. When sales of catalog CDs reached a saturation point in the early '90s and companies were still required to show the same growth, cutbacks in staff and a reduced commitment to artist development began in earnest.
Up until the 1970s, record companies unquestionably hoarded a disproportionate share of the profits, and many artists, especially black artists, didn't get paid at all. Over the last several decades, however, as the business grew, a class of lawyers emerged to take advantage of the record companies' needs for marketable product, and the deals themselves have vastly improved for the artists.
Some of the criticisms leveled at the labels hark back to earlier eras. For example, some PR-hungry artists and managers have claimed that there are still “breakage" clauses in contracts, remnants from the days of vinyl. In reality most companies, including the one I ran, have long since eliminated them.
There are, however, still boilerplate formulas called “packaging deductions" (a 25 percent reduction from the CD list price) and “free goods" (15 percent). Putting aside the murky origins of such clauses, the practical effect is straightforward: they reduce the value of a point on a $16.98 CD to between 10 and 11 cents (a point is shorthand for a royalty percentage). For the purposes of this article, I am assuming a point equals 10 cents, and that the royalty rate for our hypothetical mid-sized artist is l4 points, or $1.40 per album.
So let's take our mid-level artist, and say that she managed to sell 200,000 copies of her latest CD. How does the artist make out? Based on a royalty rate of $1.40 per album, 200,000 CDs sold results in earned income of $280,000. However, before the artist buys her mom a car (or pays off her college loans), she first needs to deal with the dreaded recoupment. If our artist received a $25,000 advance and spent another $115,000 making the record, this $140,000 is deemed recoupable, which means that the label can collect that amount against royalties.
Also, let's assume the artist received $70,000 in tour support (recoupable) and another $70,000 in recoupable video and promotional support (this is usually split between the label and artist). That adds up to $280,000 in recoupable advances, thereby canceling out the $280,000 earned by the artist on points from her CD sales. Royalty-wise, it's a wash. (There's a holdback for returns of 15-20 percent, but royalties for these “reserves" are usually paid out in 18 months minus any actual returns.)
Album royalties, luckily, are not the only stream of income for an artist. Artists who write their own material enjoy a tremendous economic advantage over those who do not. If an artist writes her own songs, she earns additional monies known as mechanical royalties. Assuming a mediocre .75 percent mechanical rate per song times 11 (a roundabout number of songs on an album), the hypothetical writer-artist would earn around 60 cents an album, or $120,000 on sales of 200,000 units. (Artists with a strong contract can get up to 85 cents in mechanicals per album-and these payments are all “from record one,'' and not subject to any kind of recoupment.) Solo artists like Mann or Shocked also don't have to divide royalties with other musicians, although they will have to pay managers, lawyers, and accountants (standard is approximately 25 percent of net income). They also can make extra money -facilitated, in our hypothetical, by the sale of 200,000 albums - from concert appearances, merchandise like T-shirts, and performance royalties, from radio airplay for example, which are collected and distributed by ASCAP and BMI. None of this is to suggest that an artist selling 200,000 albums is living large; she is, however, considerably ahead of 90 percent of Americans.
What would the label make on the sale of these 200,000 albums? Are labels making their parent companies' shareholders rich at the expense of these middle-class artists? Retailers pay around $10 an album, which amounts to a gross revenue for the label on those 200,000 CDs of $2 million.
No one knows exactly how much distribution and manufacturing costs. The big companies all have large overheads to provide these functions, often creating separate divisions to handle them. The record company presidents run their divisions with internal charges for manufacturing and distribution that add up to around $2.65 a unit. There's obviously profit built into that but the per-unit amount varies, depending on the amount of overall record-group volume as well as unpredictable outside events such as retail bankruptcies. As a rule of thumb, I was always told to assume about $1.00 a unit profit on these combined functions. For the purpose of this exercise I'm assuming a “real" cost of $1.65 per unit for combined manufacturing and distribution.

Here are the record company's expenses:
· Recording and recoupable marketing costs: $300,000
· Mechanicals: $120,000
· Non-recoupable marketing: $600,000
· Manufacturing and Distribution: $330,000
· Total label expenses: $1,350,000

This leaves $650,000 in profit, right? Not necessarily. Out of that comes all of the salaries of the people who work at the record company. These include the people who do the color separations for CD covers, who create Web sites for artists, and who make hundreds of calls to radio stations, journalists, and retailers. Struggling divisions spend more, but a healthy U.S. record company with a decent catalog allots around 20 percent of their gross revenues to overhead, or, in this instance, $400,000.
That still leaves the label with a profit of $250,000, right? Yes, and the middle-level artist has reason to gripe, but not without coming to terms with a fundamental fact: big record companies weren't established to enable artists to sell 200,000 copies. Big record companies need big sales. Even the most astute A&R people are wrong two-thirds of the time. On average, even at a successful company the cost of promoting and marketing a label’s "misses" eats up most of the profits, from not only the mid-level successes but even the gold-plus hits. Executives at major labels, then, are usually disappointed by sales of 200,000.
A major record company's profits come from the Shania Twains of the world, the very artists who have the least to complain about. Remember the $600,000 allocated to marketing on 200,000 albums, this represents 30 percent of the total revenue. On an album that goes on to sell millions, the share of income spent on advertising and promotion drops to 10 percent, leaving an extra $2 an album profit for the label. After a certain point, albums sell themselves through word of mouth.
Based solely on these numbers, you might wonder why Seagram spent all those billions to buy PolyGram. Those sky-high valuations take into account two other crucial factors: international profits and catalog value.
Album prices are higher in Europe and Japan, and artist royalties are usually reduced to three-quarters of the U.S. rate. Hence, labels clear more profit per unit sold. And once again, with rare exception, the artists who generate strong international numbers are those with big pop hits.
Secondly there is the asset value of owning a catalog, which is why master ownership is so jealously guarded. The Beatles' albums still sell millions each year. Bob Marley's Legend anthology sold five million copies in the '90s. Catalogs of hits make very high margins and generate money for decades through re-issues, compilations, licensing for soundtracks, etc. It is widely assumed that the widespread use of MP3 music files on the Internet, like the introduction of any new format for music, will drive up the value of hit catalogs, but the key word here is "hit." No one ascribes much catalog value to an album that sold 200,000 in its first release.
Mid-level artists are, in essence, valuable to labels only in terms of their future potential, or if they garner such great press that they help a particular executive burnish his or her reputation as a sensitive soul. Such repute, alas, is far less valuable in the marketplace than an expertise in marketing megabits or implementing cost cutting.
One major label doing very well in the last year showed an aggregate profit margin (including a calculation for distribution and international) of a little over 10 percent. Nonetheless, there was increasing pressure from the parent corporation and from Wall Street to raise the margin to over 15 percent. Nine times out of 10, this is done by signing fewer new artists and by taking fewer marketing risks on the new artists under contract (staff cutbacks usually follow suit, as well).
If an album fails to create immediate excitement, word comes from on high to shift manpower and marketing dollars to a different project. This syndrome, far more than substandard royalty rates, is what devastates artists. After touring tirelessly and building a devoted fan base, after a year or two of pouring their hearts into writing and recording a record, after hearing cries of genius from friends and fans alike, artists naturally believe that with a little more advertising, one more video and a real shot at radio play, they too, could move millions. But the attention span of majors nowadays, with a few exceptions, resembles that of the 13-year-olds at the core of their audience.
Reduction of risk-taking by the major record groups means that cutting-edge musicians are driven to independent labels like mine, which have scarcer resources and lack the added profits from distribution or international sales. Indies have traditionally presented an alternative, both aesthetically and economically to the blockbuster-driven mindset of the majors. In the 1980s, several indie-rock labels such as Dischord and Touch and Go erected a payment system that gave artists 50 percent of the net profits.
This "partnership" may seem more artist-friendly but the net amount of money made by artists on those labels is not demonstrably greater than it would have been with the same level of marketing in a royalty-based system. It's just that the major labels rarely find themselves spending so little in support of one of their albums. More recently the redoubtable Ani DiFranco has chosen to control her own infrastructure and forgo bids from majors and indies alike. I'd posit that in exchange for maintaining total business control, DiFranco has probably sacrificed income. (And in return for the greater per-unit margin, she's had to pay a year-round staff and be her own bank.)
This decade's version of the indie-label-as-salvation mantra is, of course, the Internet-based music company. There has been much talk about the bloat of the majors, and of how much more efficient the Internet will be. This is true up to a point, although bear in mind that the big companies (when they make the move to digital) will benefit from the same efficiencies that Internet companies are relying on, and they'll have the added clout of their catalogs. Undoubtedly the math will change with the advent of Net distribution. But Internet startups claiming the change will be seen in the next year or two are selling snake oil. Companies that have reaped positive PR by offering "artist-friendly" contracts and "new business models" have yet to mint a single real-life success story. One hundred percent of nothing is still nothing. If these companies start adding value to an artist via marketing and promotion, those costs will add up and inevitably be passed along.
Looking beyond the royalty mcguffin, there are some legitimate changes brought about by technology that could be especially advantageous to our mid-level artist. These include:
Lowered recording costs. Remember the $115,000 recording budget? Home-studio systems like ProTools have dramatically reduced recording costs. This means that artists under contract can keep more of the money from an advance, and that unsigned artists can make a decent album much more cheaply which increases their likelihood of getting a deal (funding and marketing) and making money sooner. If an artist makes an album for $45,000 instead of $115,000, with all other assumptions in the earlier model staying the same, they would begin earning their $1.40 per unit royalty after 150,000 albums sold instead of 200,000.
Cutting out the middleman. The biggest piece of the $16.98 pie still goes to retailers. For many years to come, retail is going to be very important to most artists. Some cult artists may make their music available exclusively on the Internet, thus permitting a much higher margin for them and/or lower prices for the consumer.
Retiring the CD. Manufacturing and distribution costs are obviously going to decline as more and more music is delivered through the Internet. The savings from digital delivery can be divided among the artist, the label and possibly the consumer. (Online and offline concert ticket pricing has taught us that the price for music is determined not by the physical costs of delivery but by what consumers are willing to pay). In theory, in a pure digital marketplace, if an album costs $14, with half going to the artist, a royalty flow on the more cheaply produced album described above could commence at only 10,000 units sold, depending on the artist advance.
Before we celebrate the coming renaissance, recognize that it will take years before many of these costs are reduced, and that until labels figure out replacement revenue streams, they'll be loath to adapt to the new models.
Furthermore, there is no evidence that marketing costs, a major expense for labels, will decline. In a complex Internet environment, it will still take serious dollars to expose new music to potential fans, and top marketing and promotion staffs will never come cheap. Artists should be able to make a living at a lower sales level, but the vast majority of aspiring musicians, critical favorites, and local bar bands will still have a hard time supporting themselves and their families. The biggest obstacle to commercial fulfillment for all but the few genuine stars will not be the music business, but the wants pf the people: the cruelest, most fickle and most generous boss of all.

Danny Goldberg, president of Artemis Records and Sheridan Square Entertainment, has worked hands on with more popular musical talent than literally any other recorded music executive in the 1990s. He is also one of the very few who has worked with every major genre of popular music: rap, country, folk, classical, jazz, pop, rock, R&B and jazz.

This article first appeared online at Inside.com and is reprinted here with permission.


  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #1 posted 04/15/04 5:06pm

cranshaw62

The REALITIES of getting a song on the radio...

By Natalie Brown

This was originally published on the message board of Natalie's Official Site May 24th, 2002.
pub39.ezboard.com/bnatali...nclubboard
Some links may be outdated. One should note that there have been massive changes in the music industry since the first publishing of this article. Playlists have closed even more with further radio and label consolidation. Food for thought: Currently, (as of 12/03) there are 800 artists on JUST the Warner Bros. Record label. There aren't even enough slots for this one Major label for all their artists to get radio-airplay... something to keep in mind...

Getting a song on the radio is actually a lot harder than the general public is led to believe and it involves much more than a great song and a great artist.

Let me break it down for you. There are Independent artists (artists who self release, or who are on small, non-major label labels with limited marketing and distribution) and then there are major label artists (artists with national or international distribution on one of the 3 major label conglomerates). I'm going to explain to you how it works for both kinds of artists.

First Step for any artist with a budget, and something that happens with every single major label release is what they call "Song Testing" otherwise known as "auditorium testing". It's pretty much is mandatory for any song to be tested to even be considered for radio airplay. This service runs about $3,000 to $7,000 per song the label or artist wants to have tested (and sometimes they test up to 30 songs for an artist). It's very expensive and to be honest it's been greatly debated as to whether or not it is really effective. Most of these testing agencies just want the money, so the control environment, demographic and method of testing varies and there is a lot of room for error. However, it is common practice in all industry, including the entertainment industry, that a product, and the marketing campaign associated with said product, is tested before release to the general consumer. This is the way that record labels and radio can get a good indicator of if the songs are 'likable' by a broad demographic before release. Auditorium testing is primarily conducted on the broadcast-end of the business; radio stations have been auditorium testing songs for YEARS to determine which tracks do or don't belong in their libraries. They do it for old tracks, new tracks, you name it. 90% of Infinity and ClearChannels' (these are the two main companies that control all the radio stations in North America and across the world) play lists and libraries are tested in this fashion. After the testing of the songs, the high-scoring songs are the ones demographics both "identify" and are "familiar" with, and "like." This is one reason we often hear a lot of the 'same sounding' songs on the radio. Labels want people to feel 'familiar' with the songs, so they use the formulas of songs that 'work'. Pre-market testing would lean more towards what people "like" more and what gets a better reaction. Of course, a demography study is usually conducted beforehand just to see which people should even participate in such a test. Some companies are better than others at this. If a song tests badly it will either be dropped from the final selection of songs for an artist album or it will not be released as a single. It's pretty similar to what 'Pick The Hits' and 'Promo Squad' do with their jukebox testing. There is room for error, but most stations require this and it is mandatory for servicing a single to Commercial radio.

Some links with information regarding song testing:
www.musictec.com/why.html
www.bankrate.com/brm/news...odtype=grn

Ok, so now you have the songs tested and you have a good idea which ones to put on an album release as singles. Then comes the next step.

Step Two is to hire a radio promoter. Now, if you are an indie artist like me there is usually no budget for radio promoters. They are called Independent Radio Promoters because they do not work directly for labels. Instead they are hired by Indie and Major labels and cover certain territories in the USA and abroad and basically any artist has to PAY money for them to TRY to get the song added to a radio station. It sounds pretty straightforward and easy, but it is not. Politics and something called PAYOLA play a great role in all of this and it make it very hard to get a song on the radio unless you have a very large budget. So to begin with, say you take an act like myself. Basically I am a typical Commercial Radio, CHR, Top 40, R&B/Pop act. It costs ON average $200,000 just to promote ONE single across just the USA. You see, in order to get a song added to a radio station you have to pay each promoter in each region/territory a sum of money to get your song on each station in that area. With an independent act like me, you basically pay each promoter a lump sum to get on the stations in that area and it is VERY expensive. For a major label act with a good budget it can sometimes run up to 2 Million dollars OR MORE to get their single song into rotation on major radio stations across the USA (its more if you add all the other countries in the world that have radio!). Like for example, a case where the radio promotion would be in the millions, is an artist like Christina, Alicia or Usher. Radio stations do not play music for free. Other ways that major labels have advantages is that they can offer trips, cash money, prizes etc., to sway the Program and Music Directors of the radio stations to play the songs. Like the major label will say, "OK if you can get Alicia's single to play 15 times per day on XX number of stations, we will give you $XX per add (that means per song added, per station) you can offer "such and such"... like cars, trips, or free product for radio station contests and you can also have $XX dollars to do an inter-station competition for the staff members". This gives the staff members incentives to play the song, hype it up and generally spread the word and get fans involved in the hype. The labels work out deals with these Indie promoters, who in turn work out deals with the stations in their territories. Of course the "highest bidder" always wins and the song that the bidder wants added to the play list gets added. Basically, it's a nice way of saying, "bribe". Back in the old days they used to bribe the DJ's and station owners with drugs, money, cars, trips, hookers and all that kind of stuff, outright. But in the late 70's the Federal Government investigated this, and of course because this type of behavior is illegal, a lot of people were caught. So what happened is that the practice still continues to this day, but now they have found another way to sort of make it 'legit'. It still is PAYOLA and it's still illegal, but now labels know how to work the 'legal loopholes' and a lot of people get very rich off of this practice. Believe it or not, EVEN if you pay the Independent promoter the money, the chances are high that the song will STILL NOT GET PLAYED or added into rotation. Remember that radio play lists are getting smaller and smaller. Some stations only have play lists of up to 40 songs and usually there is only one song dropped from the list each week, which means ONLY 1 new song can be added. Now if you just think of all that for a second and realize HOW many new songs and artists are out there fighting to get one spot per week, you quickly realize just how hard it is to get a song on the radio.

So lets say the major label pays all this money and gets the song added, it still might not take off and a lot of times they waste payola and promotion money on songs that rarely get any play and are not added to stations nationwide. Now, for an indie artist it is even harder. First you have to have the budget to even begin to approach the indie promoters and test the songs and second, you have to be able to compete with all the "incentive" prizes etc., that the majors give these stations. Usually most Indie artists and labels can't compete with the Majors. If you are a Rock/Alternative/Folk act who is independent, you can sometimes go thru college radio. They have the same payola and indie promoter system, but you can usually get play for cheaper (like $30,000 to $100,000 for one single promoted to College stations only throughout the US). But forget about it if you are a commercial independent artist (like me). Another thing that can happen is what actually happened to my single. Remember when my song "Run Away" got on the Promo Only CD in July? That it itself was a miracle. It's virtually unheard of that an indie artist in my genre gets on those things. Anyway, we started to get some radio airplay esp. in the East Coast for that single. But guess what... only a week after it was added to some stations we got calls from the Independent Promoters in those areas demanding their "fee". If we did not pay them the amount they asked for, they told us the song would get pulled from the play lists. We did not have the money to pay these people, so the song disappeared from rotation. It's basically blackmail. But that's the way the game is played I'm afraid. Pretty sad huh!

Links about Radio Promoters and Payola:
www.npgmusicclub.com/npgm...radio.html
www.salon.com/ent/feature...ny_payola/
www.futureofmusic.org/news/casenate.cfm
www.mbstia.com/mbs_articles2.htm
www.village-buzz.com/Arti...Article=82
www.latimes.com/business/...ness-enter
www.slavesnomore.bigstep....html?pid=0
dir.salon.com/ent/feature...index.html
www.post-gazette.com/tv/2...10fnp4.asp
www.canoe.ca/CNEWSMediaNe...la-ap.html
www.kcmetro.cc.mo.us/penn...lboard.htm

Another thing to keep in mind is that two major broadcasting companies own virtually ALL the radio stations in North America and they own a good chunk of them overseas and in South America as well. The biggest are ClearChannel Broadcasting and Infinity Broadcasting. Also realize that ClearChannel also owns a concert promotion company (the biggest in the world), tons of magazines, TV stations and just about every other media outlet you can think of. They are quickly becoming a monopoly and basically if you don't get on their good side or have the money to buy your way into their 'system', you can forget about getting any radio play, press and you can't book venues to do your shows in. It's very hard to do anything without big bucks when it comes to radio, playing shows and promoting your music these days I'm afraid.

ClearChannel Links:
www.clearchannel.com/main.html
rocknerd.org/rocknerd/100...index_html
radoran.dca.net/crss/news.cfm
www.salon.com/ent/clear_c...index.html
Infinity Links:
www.infinityradio.com/
www.usdoj.gov/opa/pr/1999.../587at.htm


It is absolutely pointless to try to even get radio airplay unless you have other mechanisms in place. On top of all that I just discussed with you regarding getting radio play, it is almost impossible to get radio play if you don't have distribution (basically the system that gets the CD's out to retail stores like Sam Goody, Tower, FYE etc.) through a major (Sony, BMG, Universal, EMI, Time Warner) or enough money to pay for videos, video promotion, retail programs, publicists, station promotions, tour support, etc. They just won't add your song to radio AT ALL if you do not have these things in place. Ok- so even if you luck out and get a song on the radio by some miracle it will do absolutely nothing for you. You need to have a CD to sell, distribution for that CD through a major distributor as well as other press and promotional activities going on. Getting distribution as an independent artist is very, very hard. Again, you have to pay to get the distribution. Even if you can do that, if you don't meet the distribution companies minimums and you sell less than what you shipped to them, they CHARGE YOU at least $10 per CD you don't sell. Distribution is a whole other thing that I won't go into, but it can be devastating for an artist to get distribution if they don't have other things in place. This is where most artists go broke, from what they call "charge back costs" and "recoupables". Remember, that all the promotion money, prizes, video budget, charge backs- EVERYTHING is charged back to the artist on a major label, it comes OUT OF THE ARTISTS POCKETS. And you wonder r why most of them go bankrupt!! LOL

Check out these links:
www.musicindustrylaw.com/recordk2.htm
www.dmamusic.org/dma/denv...rdlaw.html
www.mbsolutions.com/biz/Info24.html
citys-tone.com/mspence~may01.html

I guess to put it simply, it is very hard to get a station to play a song, especially if the artist is new and most definitely it is hard if you are an independent artist. It's not like the old days where if you called in to request a song enough the song would get played. It doesn't work like that anymore. If the artist you are talking about is on a major label and the label is really behind the project, then there will be a budget in place for that artist to get radio play. But if the artist isn't on a major label or not a 'priority artist' on a major label, then the best thing you can do is spread the news to your friends by word of mouth, take word to the street and also to the Internet. If an independent artist can sell enough records on their own, then a major label might pay attention and sign them to a recording contract or a distribution deal and they might have a shot at getting some radio play. The best thing to do is tell people about the song and expose the artist to friends, family and co-workers to spread the word. Also, make sure you support that artist buy purchasing the CD the song is on. That really helps in the long run as labels are interested in artists who sell product. Support with your cash, spreading the word and faithful support of the artist who's music you love is the best way to get them 'heard'.
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #2 posted 04/15/04 5:46pm

Littlewing

Thanks for sharing this knowledge and wisdom with us.

You absolutly right. Im in the process of Createing a CD that I will be out touring to support.
Doing all the things you mentioned along with trying to connect with the "right" people.

Artist have to take more control and do more to promote their music more, than ever.

Tnx again!

http://www.broadjam.com/cozmic
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #3 posted 04/15/04 5:53pm

cranshaw62

The credit belongs to Natalie Brown www.natalie-brown.com and Danny Goldberg for writing great articles.

I'm just passing them on.
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #4 posted 04/16/04 6:43am

Styles

avatar

Thanx for sharing

That was quite the informative read!


peace


Jshua
pray
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #5 posted 04/16/04 12:33pm

Slave2daGroove

Thanks for posting these articles.

It never ceases to amaze me though that people think that there's the only one way of doing things. That is until someone does something unconventential that turns out to be successful and then there becomes a new "standard".

Business is business and artists typically don't want their art and business to conflict with each other but money is the system in which we operate. Creative folks need to eat and have a house too.
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
  New topic   Printable     (Log in to 'subscribe' to this topic)
« Previous topic  Next topic »
Forums > Art, Podcasts, & Fan Content > The Ballad Of The Mid-Level Artist