When you think about yourself as an artist, start replacing the word “I” with the word “we”.
“I will write songs, I will play a show and I will have a crowd come to see me.”
“We will write songs, we will play a show and we will have a crowd to come to see us.”
This way of thinking changes everything.
It keeps you mindful of the musicians in your band, but also the other musicians around you. You have all worked hard to be where you are at. Learn from each other and respect each other. Collective thinking is not a new idea, it is just a forgotten one. In tough times, people begin to watch out for themselves. It’s human nature; human nature of simpler times.
Society began to advance when groups of people started trading and sharing resources. The transfer of information brought a number of societies great wealth because they could be more efficient. Now, think of your band as a society. Bring your band into the modern times, begin to share resources and develop information together.
We have a lot to offer each other because we do not all have the same talent or skill. One band may be really great at writing music and the other, great at marketing that music. Help each other grow.
3 Ways Collective Thinking Benefits You
CHALLENGE: Think of your plans for the next six months as an artist, replace the word “I” with the word “we” and think of how you can involve other musicians or bands in your plans. (Ex. Writing new music? Ask another musician for feedback. Planning a show? Ask new bands to play that show with you and get to know them better.)
Music streaming, like many new industries, has faced many challenges.
Let us not forget, the American public had doubts about switching from radio to television. According to a history of television written by The Guardian, “The images were extremely poor quality, the equipment was dauntingly expensive and reception vanishingly limited. In short, it didn’t look like the future.”
As the revenue of digital downloads continues to decrease, the number of users continues to increase for streaming services like Spotify (a clear front runner in streaming services). At 75 million active users, with only 20 million paid, people are still clearly adopting the new technology.
Another positive trend we are seeing, is the amount of royalty payouts increase for Spotify. Some would say, “not fast enough”. The glass-half-full approach might be “it’s a good start”.
Spotify claims to pay out about 70% of revenue to rights holders. This is a similar model to iTunes (ex. $0.99 song, artist gets $0.70). Though the numbers seem similar, we’re talking about two different business models. There needs to be a discussion about how different these industries are, and how “fair payment” should be defined.
It is evident that the music streaming industry is experiencing growing pains.
Apple Music has fallen short out of the gate, and we can only hope they redo their user interface and open up potential for on demand-streaming without access to Wifi.
Meanwhile, Pandora continues taking metaphorical punches for attempting to reduce their financial burden. Surely Pharrell wasn’t singing when he saw his check for less than $3,000 for over 43 million plays on Pandora. If paying artists royalties becomes a burden for a company running itself as a radio station, they may need to re-evaluate their business model.
In 2013, Tim Westergren wrote on Pandora’s blog, “Each spin on Pandora reaches a single person, compared to a “play” on FM radio that reaches potentially millions of people. In other words, a million spins on Pandora might be equivalent to a single play on a large FM station.”
Perhaps this offers some insight into the source of the growing pains of the industry. Technology changes how we live, but also how we define things. Without going into details about “per play” payouts, mechanical royalties, and performance royalties, the bottom line is this:
The industry needs to communicate and work together to seek innovation alongside this new technology because streaming has potential.
A positive focus for now. Increased music streaming has led to lower piracy, can contribute to higher ticket sales for touring artists, and has helped artists to build an audience. Artists who embrace music streaming will be the first to thrive using it.
By David Kleinebreil
The world’s biggest lie.
If you have decided to pursue being a professional musician, or work in the industry at all, you have likely heard this more times than you can count.
According to Live Nation Entertainment’s income statement, their revenue in 2014 was over $6.8 billion. More recently, Forbes reports that One Direction made $130 million in 2015. Sure the label and management take a cut, but that is proof of cold hard cash.
What about recording revenue declining every year?
The money hasn’t disappeared; it is finding itself in a different place. For example, vinyl is on its way toward being a billion dollar industry. Touring seems to be another place where the money has moved. Live entertainment will never cease to exist, and fortunately for us, it will never cease to bring in money.
What about the bands claiming to lose money on tour?
If you have read this article, you see that a band made $135,983, only to spend $147,802 and result in a net loss of $11,819.
The key here is that they generated $135k doing something your parents told you wasn’t possible. For every budget there need to be constraints, and if you can’t afford to lose money, don’t spend it. The glam of rock and roll and spending $50,000 on a music video is a thing of the past.
A good example of a more reigned in budget was the response to the previously mentioned article, where each band member could take home about $5,000 after a month long tour. [click here to see if I’m lying]
The purpose of this article is not to denounce your every doubt, but if you are still not convinced, go to Google and type in “music industry revenue” or something of a similar fashion. Numbers don’t lie. The trick to making money in this business is getting creative.
Explore multiple revenue streams, keep your budget efficient and effective, treat your band like a business and never forget those people who told you “there’s no money in music”. Don’t wave the first dollar you make in their face, it’s much more entertaining for them to just see you on TV one day.