There’s no denying that the holiday season is the absolute best time of year to boost your music-related income. With reports that 20 percent of industry-wide music sales happen in the final six weeks of the year, it would be silly to squander the opportunity. There are plenty of ways you can make more money as a musician this holiday season, and here are just a few ideas to get you started that you can put into action right now.
1. Live-stream a holiday concert
If you have fans in a lot of different cities, live-stream a holiday concert from your living room so everyone can tune in. You don’t need a fancy, expensive setup to pull this off successfully – a reliable internet connection paired with a decent webcam and microphone will do just fine. Put up some (non-distracting) holiday decorations in the background, center yourself in the shot, and you’re good to go!
When do you know you need a manager and how do you find one? Our Nashville-based CONNECT Manager, Daren, who works with a roster of CONNECT artists and who spent three years at Red Light Management handling day-to-day duties for 3 Doors Down, von Grey, and working collaboratively on a roster that included Lady Antebellum and Dierks Bentley, rounded up tips for how to find a great manager.
Do you want a manager? Most artists will say, “Yes, of course!”, but the question to ask is whether you really need a manager. Be honest…and usually the answer is: I don’t need a manager…yet. The groundwork needs to be laid by you. Have you figured out who you are as an artist, what your live show is all about, and created some sense of branding? These things take time to develop and usually your fanbase develops along with this. This in turn usually attracts the attention of the music industry. We are a pretty chatty bunch and typically talk about what new acts we are into. So, without further ado:
So you’ve written a song. Now what? Well, by writing a song you’ve created a piece of intellectual property which you own. Copyright is there to protect the value of this property, allowing you to generate income from its usage. Music publishing is the business of protecting and administering the copyright in your song and maximizing its value. Generally, a music publishing company will take a share of the income from your song in return for the administrative and creative work they do for you. Working with a good publisher can save you time and money and plug you into a wider and more efficient network of opportunities to generate income in comparison with self-administering your songs as a performing rights organization (PRO) member only. We’ve asked Ross Adamson, Senior Catalogue Manager at CONNECT Songs' global publishing administration partner Sentric Music for 5 points you should consider when looking to work with a publisher:
Fair Deal Terms
Are the basic terms of the publishing agreement fair and in-line with what you need for the point you’re at in your music career? Is the publisher offering money (an advance) upfront? The prospect of cash now is always tempting but does the amount being offered seem fair in comparison with the length (the term) of the agreement? If no money is offered as part of the deal then the term should be extremely short – ideally less than 6 months and certainly no longer than a year under normal circumstances. (For example – the CONNECT Songs agreements offer no advance as standard and so the term is an extremely short and very fair 45 days).
What splits are being offered? Traditionally publishing splits were 50/50 but, again, this should be in line with any advance and the term. For big money investment from a publisher, you might be willing to have an initial 50/50 split on royalties with them but what about after they’ve recouped the advance? Does the rate increase in your favour? For a deal with no advance, alongside a short term you should also expect a fair royalty split – probably no less than 75/25 in your favour. (Again, using CONNECT Songs as an example – the performance and mechanical royalty split is 80/20 in favour of the songwriter).
From venues full of musical history to a cemetery, our LA-based CONNECT Manager Sharyn rounded up a list of her all-time favorite venues in LA. Check out a show at one of these rad places the next time you’re in town.
This is one of my favorite venues in the country. Playing the Troubadour is a milestone for any artist. The room has an amazing vibe to it, in part because of its astounding history: Elton John, James Taylor, Carol King and Tom Waits all started off there. Big name acts like Guns N’ Roses, Nine Inch Nails, The National, etc. have been known to do underplays.Troubadour always has great bands coming through, impeccable sound and if you’re tired of standing you can go watch the show from the row of church pews upstairs.
Over the last few months we've been working with our artists to create 360º videos of their shows to bring immersive concert experiences to their fans and fellow artists alike. We recently filmed genre-blending sextet Little Tybee at King's Barcade and had the chance to chat with the band to get their perspective on 360º technology.
Find out what the Atlanta-based band thinks about 360º technology and how it will affect the music industry in the interview below:
A few tips and suggestions on how to stay focused as an artist vying for a successful music career.
I too often encounter artists and bands who are obsessed with their musical career. Any driven individual could be described as ‘obsessed’ which I think is great, as long as your focus is on the music and honing your craft. I find that many young artists are too distracted by self-managing tasks and get bogged down in areas that take away from the very thing that will make you successful; creating impactful, deep and innovative new music. Here are some tips for staying focused:
First impressions are everything and your band bio gives people a first glimpse of what you’re all about. Our CONNECT Manager, Sharyn, who has written countless bios gave us some quick tips for how to make yours stand out.
DON’T overestimate the reader’s attention span. Keep it short and sweet – think one to two paragraphs max.
DON’T let writing intimidate you, reach out to your writer friends for advice
DO hook the reader in with the very first sentence
DON’T use cliche phrases like “hails from” or “we sound like (insert band name) and (insert another totally different band) had a baby. Be original.
DO create a strong, unique tag line for your band that press can latch onto like “disco pop princess” or “post-millennial Billie Holiday”
DO find a compelling story line about your life and music that sets you apart and build the bio around this
Now that you know what a Performance Rights Organization (PRO) is and that they’re an integral part of the music industry and in getting public performances licensed, tracked and then royalties paid to songwriters, SESAC Creative Services Manager, Diana Akin Scarfo shares her top tips for how to get started with a PRO.