David Stopps signing his book, How to Make a Living from Music
Still interested in how to make money from music? Last week we posted part 1 of our How to Make a Living from Music workshop recap. In it were the topics that dominated day one of the workshop:
- Topic 1: Creative Industries as a Factor of Economic Development
- Topic 2: Copyright and the Music Industry
- Topic 3: Income Streams from Copyright and Related Rights
- Topic 4: Importance of Artist Management
- Topic 5: Music Publishing and Contract Negotiations
- Topic 6: Branding a Music City
Day 2 was just as information-packed so here’s what you may have missed:
Topic 7: Direct Artist Management and Independence in the Music Industry
Starting off the day’s proceedings was the energetic Cherine Anderson, performer and producer from Jamaica. Cherine began her career as an actress in one of Jamaica’s biggest movies, Dancehall Queen but her passion, however, has always been for music.
Cherine, from a client’s perspective of artist management, discussed the importance of having a manager who knows how to protect his talent. She explained that having a good manager would have prevented her from making some of the mistakes she made in the beginning of her career. She also emphasized on the importance of knowing who you are and staying who you are in an industry that may try to change you. Your uniqueness is what might make you stand above the rest.
Simon Baptiste, manager and performer, also spoke about his experience with direct artist management in Trinidad and Tobago’s music industry. He gave some advice on what he deemed his ‘Manager’s Formula’; what a manager needs to be successful for and with his clients:
- The client must have character. Managers should find clients who share the same passion as them; someone that they can believe in.
- Both parties need to start off in a positive way. Don’t let negativity affect the relationship. Management is a parental job and how the client feels affects the manager and vice versa.
- Management is not a short-term thing. You must be prepared to represent and invest in someone for a long period of time.
- Your team is critically important. The right people need to be around you to keep you in check.
Topic 8: Building a Fan Base and Live Shows
Speakers David Stopps, Managing Director, Friars Management Limited (FML), and Konata Alleyne, local performer, musician and director, brought two important sides to this one topic. Stopps opened by explaining that the most important thing for a new artist or band is to perfect their skills as musicians and singers, write great songs and learn the art of giving great live performances. “The internet hasn’t affected this first law of art at all. The only way an artist is going to attract fans is to be great at what they do and provide fans with the music and live performances they like,” explained Stopps. Once the artist can achieve this then it’s possible to build a fan base in various ways:
- Create a mailing list to keep the fans informed
- Play as many live shows as possible
- Collect information on fans at live shows
- Offer new fans something in return for providing their email, e.g. one or two free track downloads or maybe free tickets for a future event
- Use analytics to track where your fans are
- Issue regular newsletter to our fan database
Konata Alleyene spoke about some of the issues he faced when he first started creating fan base. His tips were geared towards those who may be newer to the music industry:
- Use your smartphone, it can do a lot more than send and receive calls
- Use social media, especially Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
- Post often to social media, let your fans know what you are doing (it must be related to your craft)
- If there isn’t an opportunity, create one. Collaborate with other musicians and have mini concerts, even if it’s in your own backyard.
Konata Alleyne giving advice on how to build a fan base
Topic 9: The Importance of Collective Management in Music
Mr. Leonardo de Terlizzi, Legal Advisor, International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC), discussed the many benefits of Collective Management to the Copyright Owners. Some of these benefits include:
- Provides a solution where granting individual licenses is impractical or impossible
- Difficulties for individual creators:
- Identifying and contacting potential users
- Negotiating license fees
- Monitoring use
- Taking legal action against unauthorised use
- Collective management offers:
- Reduced administration costs – cheaper than negotiating with every user
- Better negotiating position and greater bargaining power
- Other functions: educating users, public awareness campaigns, lobbying and public activities, social and cultural functions
Erica Smith, CEO, Copyright Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers Incorporated (COSCAP), spoke about the importance of knowing which organisation to join. She stated, “If you are a song writer who’s also a performer, who’s also a producer, it’s in your best interest to belong to both the neighbouring right and copyright organisations which will be collecting royalties for you in the distinct categories. Joining just the artist society would not be enough in terms of collecting the royalties in all these categories.” She went on to discuss the various treaties that protect persons within the music industry stating, “Trinidad and Tobago has ratified the other WIPO treaties and, of course, if you are going to seek to fully develop the cultural industries, and on the audio-visual side, you’re encouraged to also look at the ratification of the Bajan treaty…it protects audio-visual performance. So, those of you who have an interest in film and music videos etc., this is the relevant treaty.”
Topic 10: Music in Film, Television and Advertising
One way artists can make money from music is through film, television and advertising. According to Stopps, this audio-visual use of music is becoming increasingly important to performers, authors, producers and publishers as income from the sales of recordings has diminished.
Filmmakers, television producers and advertising agencies are always looking for new music that can help accentuate a scene, provoke emotion and influence an audience. Stopps gave some tips as to the best way to present artists’ music to such persons:
- Make a high-quality recording. Never send in a demo. Music supervisors expect a great sounding, well-mixed and well-produced recording.
- Do your homework. Find out as much information as you can and only submit music that might be suitable for a particular production.
- Build personal relationships with a few key supervisors, if possible.
- Encourage them to send you 'briefs' when they are looking for music for projects. When sending music for a brief, only send relevant music.
- When submitting music, never use email attachments, as it can clog up music supervisors’ email boxes. Use a link to an MP3 via streaming services such as SoundCloud, YouSendIt or DropBox
All of David’s tips on presenting your music to filmmakers, television producers and advertising agencies can be found in Chapter 13 – MUSIC IN FILM, TV, ADVERTISING AND VIDEO GAMES, of his book on How to Make a Living from Music:
David Stopps presenting on Music in Film, Television and Advertising on day 2 of the Workshop
Topic 11: How to Monetize and Give an Added Value to Music via the Internet
Stopps pointed out the many ways in which artists can make money from the internet. One such way is creating a website and selling music directly from it. Here are some of the ways of doing that:
- Build a web store and open a merchant account with a bank which can process credit card transactions
- Build a web store and use a transaction company such as PayPal. Organizations such as PayPal take a higher commission from the seller than is the case with a merchant account but are very convenient and easy to use.
- Outsource all the physical web sales to a merchandising company such as CD Baby (www.cdbaby.com), Backstreet (www.bsimerch.com), Sandbag (www.sandbagheadquarters.uk.com) or Topspin (www.topspin.com).
- Apply for an online e-commerce account with services such as Amazon. These services will facilitate the sale and the financial transactions for physical product, but the artist or manager will be expected to expedite and dispatch the physical product promptly.
Participants of the workshop join the facilitators in an exciting photo opp
For more information on the topics discussed at the How to Make a Living from Music Workshop visit CreativeTT's Slideshare and follow MusicTT's social media (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube) pages: @musicoftt