Ever wonder why some talented local musicians never get that elusive record deal? Or why the careers of some signed artists or American Idols stall out just past the starting gate? It’s not just “bad luck.” Here are 20 common reasons why some artists never make it to the next level:
1. Poorly-defined goals. Even if they’re too modest to say so in public, successful artists have a solid answer for the question: “What are your goals in the industry?” (Need help with goal setting? Check this out.)
P.M.R & Entertainment Media Services
2. Band members with different goals. In order to succeed, you have to be on the same page. It’s tough to stay on track if some band members know what they want and others want different things or don’t know what they want at all.
3. Lack of musical focus. Creativity is good, but in the mainstream music industry, only artists with multiple past successes have leeway to gravitate toward other musical styles. Here’s why: Different musical genres involve different networking contacts and working methods. Artists whose styles are too diverse have difficulty achieving consistent contacts and working methods…and it takes consistency to break a new artist. (Newsflash for artists who think playing a lot of different styles makes them unique: it doesn’t. We see artists with this “unique” talent all the time. In fact most artists can play or sing in more than one style, but publicly they focus on one they do best.)
4. Poor work ethic. The old saying that harder you work, the “luckier” you get is true.
5. Waiting to be discovered. People who are “discovered” make it happen instead of waiting.
6. Ineffective artist management, or not listening to good management. It sounds simplistic, but it’s where many artists go wrong. In order to be effective, your management has to know what they’re doing. And if you have good, experienced management but don’t follow their advice, they can’t help you.
7. Working with people who don’t have contacts in the industry at the next level. Ideally, the people you start with should be constantly building better skills and contacts along the way. If that doesn’t happen, you’ll need to work with people who have contacts at the next level.
8. Signing with a label with inadequate funding or poor distribution. If you want a record deal, the goal isn’t “a record deal.” The goal is the record deal with the most potential for long-term success.
9. Lack of a live following. Especially in rock and country, no draw means no deal.
10. Artist “settles” too much; recording quality, image, stage presence, photos, and demo packaging, and overall presentation are all just “OK.” Successful artists are more than just “OK” and never settle. Nor do their managers.
11. Poor networking skills. Successful artists constantly seek new networking methods and know how to use them.
12. Hanging onto ineffective band members. Many artists have trouble separating business and friendship, at the cost of their careers.
13. Dated musical style. (Sounding like 1990’s Pearl Jam or ‘NSync probably isn’t going to cut it.)
14. Dated image. If you still dress the same way you did 5 to 10 years ago or have the same hair style, it’s
time to freshen up. If you’re fond of the clothes, wear them on your own time–not when you want someone to invest money in your music being the hippest, happening thing since sliced bread.
16. Bowing to peer or family pressure not to change. Doing the same thing, the same way, brings the same results. So in order to improve something, change has to occur; it literally can’t stay the same. Change isn’t necessarily a bad thing: if you put icing on a cake, the cake changes but is still the same underneath. If it’s bad icing or you do something stupid when frosting it, the cake falls apart. (Fortunately, that doesn’t happen too often.)
17. Drug or alcohol issues. Many artists with easy access to drugs, alcohol, and groupies at the local level have the distorted impression that they’ve “made it” and lose motivation to go any further.
18. Spouse / child obligations. Putting together an entertainment career is expensive and requires a major time commitment. The same is true of spouses and children. We’re not saying it’s impossible, but it’s definitely more difficult.
19. Impossible to work with. Being impossible to work with doesn’t always mean the artist isn’t a nice person; we know one very nice artist who has had seven managers in the past ten years. We like this artist just fine as a person, but in order for a team to become successful, it needs time to gel. With a rotating litany of band members, managers, and agents, that’s not likely to happen.
20. Not understanding how the industry works. You have to know how the game is played in order to move the right pieces.
you want to be a successful musician, you need to check out the
New Music Economy NOW!
Are you chasing that elusive creature called success in the music industry?
bands latest album or traveling to perform at your next gig only to
find you have boxes of unsold CD’s to pack up at the end of every
show and just enough profit to pay for your dinner on the road?
Are you tired of this routine yet?
If so, you are probably ready
to quit being a hobbyist and start being a career musician, you
just haven’t found the secrets to that cross over yet. I can help
you by sharing one of the most important secrets of successful
One of the biggest things most musicians miss when they are trying
to make the change from the proud but broke owner of a music hobby
to the successful career of the professional musician is music
marketing. Right now, I need you to stop everything else. Sit
quietly and read the next few sentences.
Music is a business.
Just like any other business, we have a product that we sell, our
music. In the same way that other businesses must use some form of
advertising to sell their products, the music business demands that
you do a bit of marketing to be successful.
Did you catch the message in those three sentences? If you
haven’t been seeing the success you want to have, then you haven’t
been marketing your music in the right way.
To help you succeed in marketing your music, I have put together
Tip #1 – Get the attention of your audience
If you have ever been to a carnival, you have seen what they call a
“barker”. This is the guy who sits along the sides of the main
travel route and loudly yells to the passerby about the game or
show they are hosting. You know the game is there but this guy
feels the need to yell it across the road at you. Why? Experience
has shown them that sometimes people see right thru things with a
sort of tunnel vision. We are focused on the Ferris wheel or the
concession stand and we walk right past everything else to get
there. The barkers job is to get your attention, even if just for
a moment, and try to redirect you to his booth.
Does your music career feel that way sometimes? You know that
people have heard of your band but it seems they pass you by to go
to the bigger shows. Why? Because you aren’t catching their
attention. While you can’t send a barker out to draw people into
your shows, there are things you can do to get the attention
focused on your band. Try performing at a couple of charity gigs.
Get your current fans to spread the word about your next gig to
their friends. Arrange to open for a few popular bands. Try
anything and everything that will show your band in a good light
and gain the attention of as many people as possible.
Tip #2 – Invest a little bit.
Whether it’s your time or your money, you need to put a little
investment into marketing your music. Investing money is the
simple one. You can buy business cards, put up billboards, pay
people to promote your music and any number of other things in the
name of music marketing.
Investing your time, however, requires a little more thought. Time
is precious and you don’t want to waste it on things that don’t
work so here’s a few music marketing investments you should be
putting your time into:
· Press Releases – Everyone loves a good
story. If your band is playing at a charity event to benefit kids
with cancer or the animals effected by the BP oil spill, then write
a press release about it and distribute it to the media.
· CD Release Parties and other fan functions –
People like to feel close to the musicians they like. Make
yourself available to your fans and you will find that they grow in
numbers and your merchandise sales will skyrocket.
Marketing your music doesn’t have to be difficult. These are just
two tips for helping your music make the leap from hobby to career.
If you really want to know the most closely guarded secrets of
successful musicians in the industry, you need to check out the New
Music Economy at this link:
I was able to see what I wanted to do, I could see the opportunity,
even when others could not, and I stay committed to doing it and
doing it well, no matter what. – Magic Johnson
you want to be a successful musician, you need to check out the
New Music Economy NOW!
It’s Global, Generates A Lot Of Money & Is Based On Six Copyrights
These six changes are:
1) Music fans now buy and listen to music from digital music stores and services.
2) There is unlimited shelf space where everything can be in stock at no detriment to anything else.
3) For no up front cost, there is unlimited inventory always available on demand as a perfect digital copy.
4) With the launch of www.promusicrecords.com, there is no gatekeeper to placing a song on Apple, Amazon’s etc store or hard drive.
5) Distribution of a release is now global and not restricted to just one country.
6) Artists can market directly to their fans.
Instead, with self-distribution and access to marketing, the artist is now: The Label, The Performer, The Publisher and The Songwriter. While wearing all of these “four hats” at once, artists are now uniquely positioned to profit from the best possible contractual distribution terms and highest revenue generation via the sale, use, or streaming of their music. The challenge is that many artists don’t know what these rights are, or how to collect the money they’ve earned from these revenue streams. A comprehensive, streamlined, and completely inclusive infrastructure does not yet exist that enables every artist who is owed money to easily collect it. However, there are solutions out there for artists, and it’s imperative that you understand these.
THE SIX COPYRIGHTS YOU MUST GET TO KNOW AND UNDERSTAND
The entire music industry is built on six legal copyrights.
The six copyrights are:
- Derivatives & Samples
- Public Display
- Public Performance
- Digital Transmission
Money is made from music by either selling, licensing or using it –the sale of the music is the one that gets talked about the most. The others also generate a LOT of money for artists, performers and songwriters. This money is made based on the USE of music as opposed to just the SALE of the music – in other words, music does not necessarily have to be sold to make the artist, songwriter, performer and label money. Much of the money from these six copyrights is collected by entities located on every continent around the world called Performing Rights Organizations (PROs). PROs tend to be not-for-profit or government controlled and/or mandated. Their function is to collect and distribute money owed to songwriters, labels and performers. The amount of money the writers are paid comes from federal laws in those countries that mandate entities MUST pay them for the USE of music. This has become increasingly important now that the music industry is global – with one click your music can be distributed, sold, shared, tracked and marketed around the world.
As one example, unless the songwriter agrees not to be paid, every single time a song is streamed legally for free on the Internet, money is owed to the songwriter. This money is paid to the PROs and sits there waiting to be claimed.
As another, every single time a song is played on the radio (either via the Internet or broadcast from an AM/FM transmitter tower) the songwriter, label and performer must get paid. As an interesting twist, and to make a point, there is an exception to this rule – everywhere in the world the songwriter, performer and label get paid when a song is played on AM/FM radio EXCEPT for the United States. In the U.S., only the songwriter gets paid. This means from radio play, there is money sitting in other parts of the world with a PRO for the label and performer. If the label and performer are based in the U.S., they are not able to collect this money UNLESS there is someone in another country working on behalf of them to collect it.
As yet another example, if you are a U.S.-based band and you write your own songs and use Pro Music Records to distribute your music into another country like iTunes Japan, each time your music sells in Japan, iTunes pays the Japanese PRO money for the “reproduction” of your song. This money is in addition to the money iTunes pays for the sale of the song. This money sits with the PRO until it is collected by the songwriter/publisher. After a certain period of time, if it is not collected, it is given to other members of the PRO. It is vital for you to know about all of these potential revenue streams and how to collect on them around the world.
Major Artist Initiatives in 2011
I view it as Pro Music Record’s job to go into the world on behalf of its artists and help them plug into and collect all the money that exists for them. This is a major initiative for us in 2011. Over the next 90 days, we will be providing significant news and updates on how we intend on doing this for this new industry.
Also, in the next 45 days or so, we are rolling out a new accounting system that allows for even more transparency down to the one trillionth of a penny as well as even more advanced custom sales reports and free access to iTunes trending data.
A major education initiative is also being undertaken to provide the knowledge and information every artist should know. To that end, we will continue to post a large amount of specific information on the blog as well as create more PDF booklets for free download. George Howard (former President of Rykodisc, current professor at Loyola) and Jeff Price (Founder of Tunecore) are embarking on a series of free to attend multi-hour seminars discussing in-depth the nuances and information around the six legal copyrights.
If you are attending South By Southwest, please make certain to join them for a free two and half hour seminar on:
The Six Legal Copyrights:
Friday March 18
2:00 – 4:30 PM
Room 8 (Third Floor)
Austin Convention Center
Artists today not only can take the power and control into their own hands, but they must do so. This does not mean that you must go it alone; there are resources that you can avail yourself of in order to create and succeed on your own terms. It is our mission to continue to work with you to further transform the industry and provides these resources. Only by setting it free can the industry grow to its full potential.
Stay tuned for the next transformation…Pro Music Records & Entertainment Media
4735 Sepulveda Blvd. Next to Sherman Oaks Galleria
Sherman Oaks CA 91403
4735 Sepulveda Blvd. Next to Sherman Oaks Galleria
Sherman Oaks CA 91403
Pro Music Records & Ent. Media
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
T: (818) 971-9301
By “Big Box Retail” (BBR), we’re really only referring to 2 companies: Walmart and Best Buy. Yes, that’s what the music industry has come to in 2010: Down to just 2 major companies, neither of which specialize in music (nor much care, as CDs are a low-margin item anyway), selling the CDs that used to make record companies, and some artists, very rich…..
Decades ago, Big Box Retail sold music as an afterthought, a loss-leader to get customers in the door and steer them towards bigger ticket items like stereo systems, TV’s, or a washer and dryer. By leveraging those big-ticket items, they discounted the CD to bare-bones pricing. This strategy, combined with the overall decline in CD sales, helped to drive big-chain record stores like Virgin, Tower, and Warehouse music out of business in just a few short years. Now, with no CD stores left to compete against except themselves, BBR are still using CDs as a loss leader, AND they’ve begun shrinking the shelf space that was once reserved for music. The simple formula of Major Record Label to Retail Record Store has all but collapsed.
This new reality has not escaped many veteran artists now compelled to bypass record labels completely and sell directly to Big Box. Artists like AC/DC, The Police, and others have offered their CDs exclusively to Walmart and Best Buy, respectively. And why not? With the state of the physical CD retail business, there is only one other possibility (okay, two if you count Target) outside of the “exclusive” retailer anyway. These artists have opted to skip the label, skip the record distributor, and simply ship CDs direct to one Big Box Retailer hub. Yet another nail in the major record label coffin…
So what’s it mean for music? Unfortunately for indie and emerging artists, this new landscape in retail does not add up to a favorable situation. Most indies don’t have the pull to approach BBR directly. And, with fewer outlets to sell a CD, and less labels and distributors to approach, selling a physical CD at a retail store has become that much more difficult. Despite all this, physical CDs still make up the 60% of music sold in the U.S., and although this percentage is falling every year, there are still a good number of consumers who will always prefer walking in a store to buy the CD. So does this mean in a couple more years you won’t be able to get the CD anywhere? Nah, don’t worry, guess which online retailer will fill this void? It’s www.thegoodzonline.com who will compete with the likes of Itunes.com and Amazon.com, whose tied with Walmart for overall sales (CD + digital) and right on the heels of Best Buy for CDs in the first half of 2010.
-Pro Music Records and Entertainment Media
If you want to become successful in the music industry, there are many
things you need to know and do, but even if you get all that right,
you can prevent yourself from reaching big success by making
critical mistakes along the way (and there are many potential
mistakes one could make, when not being careful).
After coaching and mentoring many musicians and bands seeking a
career in music, the same patterns of false assumptions, problems
and mistakes appear over and over again. Here are my top 10! I hope
they help you too, by giving you insight on what to and not to do.
Mistake #10 – Not having a compelling image that is congruent with
your music. Most musicians (and bands) severely underestimate the
importance of their image. Yes, music is about ‘music’, but music
business success is about a total package that includes music,
image and visual stage show among other things that need to be
fully developed in a congruent way.
From basic to elaborate, we have highly skilled PHOTOGRAPHERS at all levels! Tell us what you DESIRE & your budget & PRO MUSIC RECORDS maximizes your look
to fit your targeted Audience!
Mistake #9 – Trying to ‘get your name out there’. Although this
seems to be a main goal of most musicians and bands, it is the
wrong approach to start with. Before trying to be seen and heard as
much as possible, it is often more important to focus on
‘converting’ the people who hear and see you into becoming actual
fans. This ‘conversion’ is the first key to your promotional
success, NOT getting seen or heard as much as possible.
Jump Start Your Music Promotion Here: www.promusicrecords.com/promotions.html
Mistake #8 – Believing that social media websites are the keys to
online music promotion for musicians and bands. Social media
websites are a tool. They are ONE piece of the online music
marketing puzzle. Music industry companies (record labels, artist
managers, booking agents, etc.) are far more interested in the
popularity of YOUR website, not how many friends you have at
MySpace, YouTube, Facebook or any other website that you do not own
and control. Want to impress the industry with your band’s
promotion? Build a website and then build your website traffic.
Mistake #7 – Not investing enough time into building your music
career. Most musicians spend most of their time on music, but put
very little effort into the many other critical elements needed to
make it in the music business. If you are already a talented
musician, you should invest at least 50% of your time into starting
or advancing your music career. If you are still developing your
musical skills, you should still invest around 25% of your ‘music’
time into building a future music career.
Mistake #6 – Surrounding yourself with people who are negative,
lazy and lack ambition. If you are very serious about becoming a
professional musician and building a great career in music, then
you absolutely must surround yourself with like-minded musicians.
(This one alone is just sooooo important that I cannot stress it enough!)
Mistake #5 – Having merely mediocre live performing skills. Many
musicians, who are not yet in a good band, put off developing their
live performing and stage presence skills. This is a big reason why
talented musicians don’t get into really good bands that they
audition for. Your music may be good, but a live ‘show’ requires
more than great music. If people only wanted to hear the music,
they would listen to you at home. Both fans and record labels want
(and expect) to see a REAL show. Neglecting this area results in
talented musicians and bands becoming quickly forgotten.
If you have undeniable skills Please read more about this event:
Mistake #4 – Focusing on increasing the ‘quantity’ of fans instead
of the ‘intensity’ of your fans. The ‘number’ of fans you have
should always be your secondary focus (not your primary one) if you
want to become successful in the music industry. The fact is, it is
not the number of ‘fans’ that matters most, it’s the number of
FANATICS which will contribute more directly to your success (or
lack of it). This is particularly true in the beginning of a band’s
music career. Focus more effort on converting your existing fans
into raving fanatics. Learn to do this and the number of your
overall fans will increase through powerful word of mouth.
Mistake #3 – Not enough cash flow to support your music career.
Like it or not, it takes money to build a music career. Even if
other people/companies are paying for your record, tour support,
merchandise, etc. you still need to have the freedom to pursue
opportunities as they come. Sadly, many musicians miss
opportunities because they can’t afford to take advantage of
them. In addition to a decent income, you also need the flexibility
of being able to take time away from that income source to go into
the studio, go on tour, etc. That is why learning how to teach
guitar is such a great way to achieve both if you learn how to
become a highly successful guitar teacher.
Mistake #2 – Not enough depth in your music relationships. There’s
an old expression, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” In
music this is often modified to, “It’s not who you know, it’s who
knows you.” The truth is, it’s not about either. The most important
aspect of connections within the music industry is how deep are the
current relationships you have now and will develop in the future.
You don’t want to simply know people or be known, you want people
who know you to have a real deep connection with you so that you
are always on the top of their mind when opportunities present
themselves. Ask yourself, “What can I do right now to deepen my
existing relationships further on an ongoing basis?”
Mistake #1 – Having a fundamental misunderstanding about what
record companies look for – and expect from new bands. This is a
huge topic, but in a nutshell it’s very useful to think of record
companies like a bank that lends money to people or small
businesses. Record companies make most of their decisions about
whom they will work with and what the terms will be in much the
same way that a bank will determine who they will loan money to and
what the terms of the loan will be. Both record companies and banks
basically want to see 3 things:
1. How much value do you bring to the deal right now.
2. How much risk do you bring with you right now.
3. How much potential value and risk might you bring to them in the
future after they invest in you.
If you want to buy a house, the bank wants to know a lot about the
specific house you want to buy and EVEN MORE about YOU. Record
companies are the exact same, they want to know about your music,
your talent and your band, but they also care as much (or more)
about YOU (and your band mates) as people. What about YOU makes a
record deal a good or bad investment for them.
To learn more about avoiding these big mistakes and building a successful
music career, take a look at our website www.promusicrecords.com
Pro Music Records primary purpose is to help independent artist and small to mid-sized labels increase their revenues and profits through the development of our easy-to-use, yet extremely powerful marketing software systems and processes that deliver effective, comprehensive online marketing solutions.
Much Love & As Always…. Grind and Don’t Stop, You Can Have Anything
in This World That You Want.. As Long As You Are Willing to Work Hard,
Kick-Ass And Stay Focused! Go Get It, The World is Yours For the Taking!
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1) The music industry has changed because of the internet. The days of music artists requiring record labels, magazines, radio stations, or MTV to become well-known are fading.
2) There are new models evolving and musicians are finding new ways to make a living, whether through fan-financed projects, donors, merchandise sales, sponsorships, or other innovative approaches. While this is empowering for musicians, it’s also overwhelming for them and music fans who want to discover new music.
3) With all these digital changes, the distribution power is shifting from record labels and record stores to online channels like http://www.apple.com/itunes , http://www.amazon.com , http://www.myspace.com , etc. But these are big, corporate entities, too. How much can really be different about who decides who should get attention? Does this defeat the purpose of having a new distribution channel in the internet? What does it mean for independent artists now and in the future and how we, as music fans, will discover new music?
4) As mainstream media outlets struggle with incoming advertising revenue, independent media outlets have sprung up, like music recommendation engines, podcasts, mp3 blogs, bloggers, iphone apps, email alerts, etc.
5) In general, most venture capital firms are interested in funding music-related projects that will increase in value so they can sell them and make a profit. There are numerous companies working without the support of venture capitalism such as http://www.reverbnation.com, http://www.rhapsody.com, and http://www.nimbit.com just to name a few. (As Brad Powell of Calabash Music and Microfundo recently said to me, if these three well-entrenched guys can’t get venture capital support, how will we? While discovery methods like http://www.pandora.com and http://www.last.fm have funding or corporate support, there are far more ventures that operate below the requirements of venture capital firms because they don’t yet have a large user base.
6) There is a growing gap between how musicians used to make a living (either wildly successful or just middle class) and how they are now relying on to make money, through live appearances, merch, licensing, mp3, etc., but ul
7) Instead of a few online corporations becoming the new record labels, wouldn’t the future be better for musicians and music fans if a wide variety of tools and technologies were available?
1) Given the nature of the internet and technology, there are, and will continue to be, hundreds of new tools and technologies for music lovers to discover new music, but these sites and technologies need
2) Like the start of an entirely new business economy, these developing channels need an initial source of funding that can help bloggers, podcasters, and developers of new technologies turn their part-
3) Instead of leaving it all to chance and having great ideas die on the vine, we, as music lovers, need the help of a handful of “guardian angel” musicians who were successful thanks to the old model and whose generous and philanthropic financial support will help new music start-ups develop new platforms, new models, and new technologies for the benefit of generations of music lovers to discover great music for the next 50 years….Please add your own suggestions of musicians or companies that would be generous of such a cause: