how the music industry *really* works

A cozy place to hang out and discuss all things music.

Moderators: admin, mdc, TAXIstaff

Post Reply
User avatar
hummingbird
Total Pro
Total Pro
Posts: 6889
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 11:50 am
Location: Canada
Contact:

how the music industry *really* works

Post by hummingbird » Wed Jan 25, 2006 5:45 pm

Hi, I found this thread I thought was educational for those who are aspiring to get signed to a label.http://www.songramp.com/messages.ez?for ... =42378your thoughts?~~~~~~~~~~~~I checked with Bill (Monarva Music) and he gave me permission to re-print his post here.***********Hi Folks,Music promotion is big business. Here is a typical scenario in a recording company: You, the recording artist, have signed a recording contract with a major record label. The record label makes your album and ships it to a distributor that sells it to stores. The record label then begins the massive promotion of your music. This promotional effort requires a lot of work by a lot of people. Here is a short list of what's involved.Marketing: The marketing folks create advertising and publicity for your album and tours, create the artwork for your album cover, do promotional videos, in-store displays, get promotional merchandise like t-shirts or hats with your name on them, and more. Promotion: These people are responsible for getting your music played on the radio -- which is essentially the total goal of the program because if you can get played enough on the radio, you'll sell more records, see more demand for concerts, and everyone makes more money. Sales: Salespeople are the ones who get your music into the music stores where it can be sold. Remember, unless you're also writing your own songs, record sales (along with touring) are your bread and butter. Artist Development: Because some artists sell more records after touring and performing their music live, there is a need for "tour support," which is provided by the record label's folks who are responsible for artist development. By definition, "tour support" is the amount of money you lose while touring. In other words, if it costs you $80,000 to go on tour and you make $50,000 doing it, you need $30,000 in tour support. By artist development, we mean running promotions in towns where you will be touring and making sure the local record stores have your music. Most record labels aren't willing to provide tour support unless your music falls into the right genre of music for such an expenditure. Some types of music sell more records when the artists go on tour and some don't. In any event, the norm these days is that the tour support is recouped from your record royalties. This means you're still paying for it yourself. But, in the world of music promotion, this only scratches the surface.What the public doesn't realize is that, according to some, much of the music we hear on prominent Rock, Country, and Top 40 radio stations is played because independent promoters pay the stations to add it to their playlists. Because it is illegal for record companies to directly pay radio stations to play their music -- or for radio stations to play music someone paying them to play, at least without disclosing on the air that the time is paid for -- they bring in a middleman, the independent promoter, or "indie". This is reportedly how it works: An indie approaches a radio station manager or group owner about becoming their exclusive representative. In exchange, the indie will pay the station an annual payment of $75,000 to $100,000 per year (for medium-sized markets) for "promotional support." This means the indie gives the station money, vacations, or gifts in other forms (often gift cards or American Express money cards) that they can use for their promotions, or for whatever use they choose. Because the "gifts" are to be used for promotions, the pay-for-play is side-stepped. The station's part of the deal is to add songs the indie recommends to their playlists. These are called "adds" in the business. Most stations have an average of three adds each week. The indie then contacts record companies to tell them he has this agreement with the station. He charges the record company a fee (usually around $1,000) every time the station adds one of the label's songs to its playlist. For most singles, the record companies are paying in the neighborhood of $100,000 to $250,000 to indies. According to some, if they don't, the songs won't get played. In addition, there are "spin maintenance" charges to keep the song on the list. To avoid legal problems, indies have their lawyers examine their records to make sure the transactions are still on the legal side of the line. The real problems come in when, rather than using the money or "gifts" for promotions such as vacation giveaways for listeners, the program directors or other station staff pocket the money themselves. Since part of the 1996 Telecommunications Act increased the number of radio stations an individual company could own in a single market and eliminated the cap on the number of stations it could own nationally, there has been a huge run by large corporations to buy up as many radio stations as possible. Rather than having more than 5,000 radio station owners in the country, four companies now own 62% of the Top 40 radio market. In addition, the vertical market has been affected. This puts into the hands of a few large players much of the control over what music makes the Top 40 and what we, as the listening public, get to hear. Centralized decision making regarding playlists is typical. Disk jockeys and station managers may not have the control they used to have over what gets played and what doesn't. Small record companies who can't afford to pay the indies have an extremely hard time getting their music on the air.While many stations deny that indies have this control over what they play, others, like Radio One, which owns 65 radio stations across the country, admit accepting money from indies. After all, it isn't illegal, and it's another revenue stream for them. By the way, those charges for independent promotion come out of the artists royalties -- not the record company's profits. Hope this helps some of you that don't understand. But I know most of you already knew this stuff... right? lolBill...***********
"As we are creative beings, our lives become our works of art." (Julia Cameron)

Link: Vikki Flawith Music
Link: For the 'Shy Singer'
Link: The Shy Songwriter's Blog

happy
Active
Active
Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Feb 20, 2005 5:02 am
Gender: Female
Location: Pacific NW
Contact:

Re: how the music industry *really* works

Post by happy » Thu Jan 26, 2006 6:47 pm

I think the site you highlighted is the home page and it requires a member name and password. Can you try it again?
Di

User avatar
hummingbird
Total Pro
Total Pro
Posts: 6889
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 11:50 am
Location: Canada
Contact:

Re: how the music industry *really* works

Post by hummingbird » Fri Jan 27, 2006 7:29 am

I revised my post above
"As we are creative beings, our lives become our works of art." (Julia Cameron)

Link: Vikki Flawith Music
Link: For the 'Shy Singer'
Link: The Shy Songwriter's Blog

zowie
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2005 12:35 pm
Contact:

Re: how the music industry *really* works

Post by zowie » Fri Feb 03, 2006 4:34 pm

Ladies and gentlemen,How this "industry" really works would embarass Satan himself.If you ever wondered what it really takes to get a record deal,you can find the answer at your local pharmacy.look in the isle marked "personal lubricants"

booker
Committed Musician
Committed Musician
Posts: 527
Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2004 9:43 am
Gender: Male
Location: IN.
Contact:

Re: how the music industry *really* works

Post by booker » Tue Feb 07, 2006 5:49 am

You said it zowie! And the contracts are getting worse all the time. Independent artists are gaining momentum, and the internet is giving them a platform to have it heard. The record companies are scrambling for ways to make more money.

User avatar
hummingbird
Total Pro
Total Pro
Posts: 6889
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 11:50 am
Location: Canada
Contact:

Re: how the music industry *really* works

Post by hummingbird » Wed Feb 08, 2006 7:42 am

"As we are creative beings, our lives become our works of art." (Julia Cameron)

Link: Vikki Flawith Music
Link: For the 'Shy Singer'
Link: The Shy Songwriter's Blog

staggerlee
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2006 11:36 am
Contact:

Re: how the music industry *really* works

Post by staggerlee » Wed Feb 08, 2006 12:23 pm

I do not doubt this is true. However, Im still not going to go out and buy a record because I heard it 100 times on thew radio unless it really blows me away. So, whoever wrote this is full of shit. Plus artists get deals with major record labels all the time and flop majorly, so you cannot say that just because you know the people or you got a deal from a label people r gonna buy your stuff. Seriously, people who buy music are not that stupid.

roughly
Getting Busy
Getting Busy
Posts: 112
Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2005 11:40 am
Gender: Female
Location: Chicago-ish
Contact:

Re: how the music industry *really* works

Post by roughly » Wed Feb 08, 2006 1:28 pm

It seems like a sad state of affairs the radio business is in these days. Though I have to admit in the Chicago area it has suddenly taken a turn for the better (IMO). There are now 3 radio stations playing a wider range of songs than ever before. Are these stations getting paid payola too? Probably as that seems to be the norm. I wonder what will become of this payola case after the Grammy's. It seemed like when there was first talk of it (a few months ago) I didn't hear too much about it. But now the Grammy's and I'm seeing it all over. Of course I'm glad it's out there though and in the public and in the courts. I just hope they follow through with it.Okay, I don't know if said anything intelligent or just rambling. I've lost my ability to be amazed in this industry.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Google [Bot] and 3 guests