The Music Industry

Getting Signed to a Record Label

March 4, 2018
Getting Signed to a Record Label

If you’ve always wanted to be a successful musician but you haven’t known how to go about it then this article should help. It’s fair enough that you begin building your career by performing at gigs, but at some stage you are going to need to go the extra mile and really get your music out there. This is when you’ll probably start looking at getting signed to a record label.

But what does that involve exactly?

Do What You’re Doing

Firstly, you’re already doing a good part of the hard work. Getting signed to a record label involves dedication as well as, hard work and practice.  So keep pushing yourself to be the best that you can be in this regard. Continue to play at gigs and network so that you are recognized as part of a music scene.

Becoming Professional

You’ll also need to become more professional in your approach. This includes things like watching carefully what your competition is doing, thinking about who your audience is, and doing social media advertising.  Facebook of course is a great option but a channel on YouTube might be better.  But you could also have items made for sale displaying your solo or band logo. A following is essential.

The Music You Choose

Obviously, choose your best songs, refine them to a T, get feedback from others, and refine them even further. But best might not mean your favourite.  Maybe a song is personally very meaningful to you but others can’t relate. You need to look into which songs are most relatable. Think about catchiness too.

Recording a Demo

Recording a demo in a studio might be pricey but it’s probably your best option for getting a record label, rather than getting help from those you know.  This is because, with the amount of submissions that record companies receive, they’ll generally look at higher quality ones first. You may be a pro musician, but the recording quality needs to reflect that.  Here is how to record a demo.

Business Means Business

Some companies need you to create a business structure if they offer you a record label. Obviously, professional music producing is a business and creating this business structure is a way protect your music and your career.  There are several options for business structures, and different record labels might prefer different models.

Keep At It

It’s probably every musician’s dream to get signed to a record label, but unless you’re the latest hit on America’s-Got Talent, these things don’t just happen overnight. As you can see from this article, getting signed to a label involves a few different factors, and perseverance is key.

You’re not the only one wanting to get your music out there, but if you truly believe that your songs should be playing in car radios or be available in CD stores, go through these steps as many times as need be, and don’t give up.

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The Music Industry

Writing Music and Getting Paid for It

February 28, 2018
Writing Music and Getting Paid for It

One of the ways that musicians make money is by the licensing of copyrighted songs that they wrote.  Since the dawn of the internet, intellectual property laws and licensing agreements have gone through some pretty big changes.  By the basic methods of writing music and getting paid for it remain essentially the same.  If you want to think about music in legal terms, there are two parties involved.

How Artists Get Paid

The performing artists and the songwriters are generally the recipients of any music royalties.  Songwriters retain the rights to the lyrics or the melody while the performing artists will retain the rights to the recording of music often referred to as the master recording.  However a songwriter can only get copyrights for the full song, they aren’t able to separate melody and lyrics into distinctly separate rights.  Both parties typically assign a third party to look after their rights rather than trying to keep track of how and where a song is played themselves.  Let’s have a closer look at how that works.

Royalties for Performing Artists

This is the fee that must be paid when the music is performed publicly.  Here are some examples, your radio, Spotify, Pandora and the music you hear when you are at a bar or a restaurant.  There are PRO’s or Performance Rights Organizations that collect performance royalties and then in turn pay the sogwriters.  Copyright regulations can be a little weird, for example radio stations have to pay royalties to songwriters but nor the artists who record the music.   Spotify and Pandora pay both the performers and the songwriters.

Mechanical Royalties

This type of royalty are paid to musicians when their music is licensed like on a CD, and when the music is offered on a streaming service.  An example of a streaming service that pays mechanical royalties would be Spotify.  These rights are determined by the government under a compulsory license and at this point it is set at $0.091 per copy.  This system is outdated since the regulations were created before streaming services were even thought of.  Streaming music falls under both performance and sale categories so there are two types of royalties that are paid.

How musicians get paid in the music industry is complicated and some would say unnecessarily so.  There are performers, musicians, distributors and the record labels all looking for a slice of that pie.  The internet has complicated the issues even further.  Hopefully you now have a better understanding.

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