MUSIC BUSINESS

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Entrepreneurial Advice From Diddy

The richest man in hip-hop sits down with FORBES senior editor Zack O’Malley Greenburg to discuss his entrepreneurial vision—and what he’d do if he had to start all over again today.

“You know, the music biz can be really tricky!”

“I’m sure Sour Cream will make it big on his own!”

“Even if he doesn’t make it big Sour Cream will be okay as, long as he’s doing something makes him happy!”

“Hey you know, it’s not all about the money-”

“EE-EE-E-EEE!”

“Dad!?”

[GASPS]

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Ghostwriting: Inside Hip-Hop’s Secret Business

Two accomplished rappers and ghostwriters, Smoke DZA and Skyzoo, discuss hip-hop’s oft-ignored reality.

Why you need to learn to relax

Ask most people what they do to unwind at the end of the day and the answer will most likely be consuming some form of entertainment. Television (in its many forms) is probably the most popular response, with music and movies following not far behind. Some people even read.

Relaxing may be something you equate with laziness, but if that is the case you need to scrub such thoughts from your mind. The ability to relax is important in effectively managing stress and anxiety. You need to relax so that you can better perform the following day, but also to ensure you live a long life.

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The problem with the music business today in trying to capture today’s youth is they’re trying too hard. There are record labels that are admitting to the fact that they’re trying to copy the ‘model’ that has worked for Taylor Swift and Big Machine Records. And the thing is, we just didn’t know any better. I was 16 years old and wrote all these songs about being in high school and sophomore relationships, not thinking that people would relate to it, hoping they would, but there really was no business model to make it work for the younger demographic. If we can relate to lyrics, then we’re going to buy the music and I don’t think that’s a hard formula to figure out. People my age are really, really honest about what they like and what they don’t and they know it when they hear it and they know if they can relate to the lyrics.
—  Taylor Swift talking about what the music business needs to do to engage today’s youth (x)

We sat down with Thirty Seconds To Mars to talk about their award-winning documentary, ArtifactWatch the full interview.

“I think Artifact should be shown at every music school [and] it should be shown at every record company,” said Leto. “It’s a very unique and intimate look into the relationship between art and commerce, and one band’s struggle with an industry.”

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Warren Buffett and Jay-Z On The Power of Luck

Chance plays a big part in getting to do what you love.

The issue of how much musicians theoretically earn from their work has moved out of the trade press and into social media’s trending topics recently, whether that’s Taylor Swift demonstrating her clout via a successful protest of Apple Music or Jay Z’s Tidal promising artists higher royalty rates than other streaming services. In the background of these debates is the question of whether songwriters and performers are actually getting all the money they’re owed.

A new report released Tuesday by the Berklee College of Music’s Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship details what it repeatedly calls a “lack of transparency” in the music business. Titled “Transparency and Money Flows,” the 28-page report also gives recommendations that highlight the labyrinthine complexity of the current system.

The output of a year-long study, the report cites estimates “that anywhere from 20-50 percent of music payments don’t make it to their rightful owners." 

Is Transparency The Music Industry’s Next Battle?

Photo: Carrie Davenport/Getty Images

Who is the most popular artist in every state?

Pandora has released a new graphic (above) revealing the most popular artists in every state based on plays through their digital radio service. Unsurprisingly, Billboard champion Drake has laid claim over the majority of the United States. What may surprise some however, is the fact Taylor Swift only claims two states, which is three less than rapper Kevin Gates and two less than Eminem (who hasn’t released a record in over two years). 

These artists are not the only ones getting a lot of play in these states. Here’s a full rundown of the top 10 biggest artists in all 50 states:

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Self-Studies: Introduction To The Music Business (BerkleeX)

LESSON 4b:  Managers, Agents & Attorneys

Commissions 

  • percentage of the artists earnings paid to the Personal Manager
  • usual rates of Personal Manager’s commissions in the U.S.

10% - for new or inexperienced managers
20% - for experienced managers
more than 20% - for special cases

  • usually based on the gross income of the artists (on some cases it’s applied to the net income instead)

Preferred Personal Manager Term

  • usually with initial period of at least 2 years + 3 additional 1-year options
  • alternatively maybe based on certain number of albums and tour cycles

Fiduciary Relationship

  • any time a person places their trust in another person to handle things on their behalf
  • a fiduciary is a person in whom another person has placed their trust
  • a legal concept that applies to personal manager’s agreements

Power of Attorney

  • provision that states that the manager has power of attorney from the artist to do things that the artist could do

- sign checks
- enter into agreements
- etc.

How To Maintain A Professional Online Presence

This week we’ll switch things up a bit. Instead of talking about how to get into the local music scene, I’m going to give you some solid advice on social media. Most people would think it’s common sense to be nice on social media, and not post any incriminating photos (partiers, I’m looking at you), but it isn’t.

  • Keep your privacy settings on Facebook locked down pretty tightly, but make sure that you set a few posts to “public” so people can see your posting style. I usually do this for posts about new jobs I’m working, or posts about new bands I’ve discovered, etc. Untag yourself or remove any photos that show you doing something you would not want an employer to see, they can and do look up profiles before/after interviews - especially in social media/marketing areas of the business.
  • Either protect your Twitter feed or be careful about what you post on it. Do you really want to be that person who gets fired over a tweet?
  • Make a LinkedIn account! It’s a good way to find out who works for companies you are interested in working for, and to stay in touch with professional connections that you don’t know well enough to add as a friend on Facebook.
  • For any of your accounts, make sure that you represent yourself genuinely, but don’t get dragged into public flame wars. They will just make you look bad.

Next week we’ll be back to more music industry focused topics, stay tuned!

NEED YOUR HELP MUSIC LOVERS!

If you’re passionate about music and would love to get into the music industry.It’s finally your chance! Our new website is hiring a whole new staff! We’ve worked with bands from the 1975, the Horrors, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Butch Walker, Joan Jett, and many more.

Who we need:

  • Editor
  • Photographers
  • Videographers
  • Graphic Designers
  • Interviewers
  • Writers
  • Social Media Experts

Qualifications: 

  • At least a senior in high school
  • Have a passion for music and live events
  • General knowledge of the music industry and live entertainment
  • Conducts him/herself in a professional manner at all times

If you are interested in joining the team, please email Emily at emmykflowers@gmail.com, in the subject line please state what position  you are applying for. 

In Email : Include why you want to join, what skills you have, why are you fit for that position and 1 example of work.