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  • Doug Banks

Like most writers, musicians and composers will tell you, creating a song is just the start. After that there's recording it in studio quality sound, producing it in the varied formats required for digital streaming, downloading and radio airplay.

Coming from a musicians background and now production and a record label itself I can tell a few things. Many of the people I work with that are very talented in production and composing all say the exact same thing. In this world of digital downloads and streaming to just put your song out there without a plan is like throwing your song in the garbage. There are adds all over social media on how for a fee for a book, course or gimmick there going to get you followers and show you how to make money.

I've checked out many of them in these last months during Covid and I can honestly say, don't waste your money! The only way your going to get your song heard and played repeatedly is to get it out to commercial market radio period... If you new to the business and don't have a budget approach your local radio station that plays your Genre and their program director. price for submission, free. If they like what they hear they'll put it in rotation. Ensure it's studio quality and in radio format.

I think I've seen every possible sales pitch asking for your money with promises of riches for musicians and singers out there in the last (18) months and we'll go through a few of them. (1) Instagram/ Facebook there are so many Instagramer's promising huge audience potential for anywhere from $25 - $150 bucks that's its ridiculous. I have to date to find a single one that actually has the numbers to warrant spending money with them. Check them out, where are they from, how many followers do they have and ask for references. This is an easy one, look at past posts and contact people they say they've ran successful campaigns with.

(2) Twitter, As with Instagram there's an abundance of people with promises and the same result, sorry to burst your bubble here but anyone coming from social media lately is not worth your time. If your really going to give one of these people you've never met, from potentially another country a whirl, do it with Paypal and ask for a guarantee in writing, keep a copy of your messages and if they fail to give the results contact Paypal. Again, keep all the correspondence because Paypal will ask for it and they will refund your money if you can back up your claim.

So as either a seasoned musician or a newbie to the world of music how do you get exposure? Well like I said previously, (1) explore your local radio market, play local gigs and don't loose site of your plan. (2) connect with a reputable music marketing company and be prepared to spend thousands of dollars on P.R. (3) send your music to a major record label and be prepared to wait.. (4) build you circle of people that can actually help you with your career and P.R.

I sincerely hope this article stops you from wasting your money and time with people who are only in it for a quick buck and not for you. I've spent over (35) years in the business, still compose, collaborate with people from many genre's, love music and help many people from those getting started in the business to polished professionals looking to get their music out to the world audience. Check out our corporate services page and send me a message.

By Doug Banks


Tiger Music Productions Canada

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We've all been there as new artists, you made a killer song, put it to music, now what? You search for someone to listen to your music, search the web hoping to find the right people that will actually listen to it and you wait. Today we are all digitally connected and just putting it out there is like throwing a needle in a hay stack. The internet is full of people that say they love your music and for a price they will push your music somewhere. This is the first pitfall many new artists fall prey to. I could list hundreds of examples from people on Facebook, Instagram and even twitter saying they have massive audiences and for a fee they'll promote you. I have had artists tell me labels have contacted them and said for a price they will give them a promotional package and exposure. A reputable record label would never ask you for money

You have a choice, you become an independent artist and go it alone, meaning you pay for everything yourself and you'd better have a healthy bank account $10,000+ just for P.R. or you look for a record label to represent you. I've heard and seen a substantial amount of negative publicity lately about labels, sorry I've been in the business 35 years and I am a label. Let's be honest here, I don't know of any new artists that have the piggybank to do P.R., the resources to produce their songs or the means to publish them. Lets not forget about pushing their music to commercial radio stations, all the online stores and tracking it for royalties.

So how do record labels make money, artists sign contracts with us, we pay for recording, production, distribution and marketing. And for all of this outlay of money which can run in the thousands for a single song we do a royalty split on streams, sales and mechanical licenses. yes we want a return on our money and yes were going to take a bigger portion until were paid back which could take years. That is the business of music, we have investors who want their money, no different than getting a loan or a mortgage. Are we taking a risk, absolutely. we are working on the premise that you work will catch on and people will want to hear your music. Are we selective about who we put on our rosters, definitely...

The last and biggest mistake I see today is from the indie pop market, young artists are using other peoples music and publishing their work without a mechanical license. Most if not all sites that have samples do not allow you to publish or alter their music for commercial sale. If you want a law suit for copywrite infringement which usually starts out at 1.5 million, yes I said million don't even think about it. With new technology and companies like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok all being made to use copywrite checking software chances are you going to get your accounts revoked and possibly sued. If your serous about your music start by signing up with a Pro (performing rights organization) like Socan, Ascap, Bmi or Sesac in the U.S or whatever you have. Lastly this shouldn't be rocket science, if your serous about your music and a career, find a label that works with artists in your Genre.

Doug Banks, CEO

Tiger Music Productions Canada

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You bet they are and it's no small chunk of change!!

It's calculated that DIY artists would earn more than $1 billion from their music royalties (records plus publishing) across 2019, stating this was a number that was “only going to escalate in the years ahead.” At the time, that risked sounding a little hubristic — but it turns out I might actually have been underplaying things.

Raine Group is a U.S.-based merchant bank that offers acquisitive guidance to companies in the music business, as well as investing in assets itself. Over the past 18 months, Raine has completed more than $600 million in music-related transactions — following its own $75 million investment in SoundCloud (2017), as well as its funding of Stockholm-born distribution- and label-services company Amuse (which worked with Lil Nas X before he signed to Columbia). More recently, Raine has advised the selling side on some major music-biz deals, including Downtown’s $200 million-plus buyout of CD Baby (and its parent AVL) last year, plus the sale of Amsterdam-based FUGA, also to Downtown, in January — a deal sources tell me was worth north of $40 million. Thanks to its relationship with these and other companies in the space, Raine has a unique perspective on the world of independent artists.

Now, Raine has prepared a white paper, reviewed by Rolling Stone, that puts a meaningful number on the commercial size of the independent-artist business. The headline: Raine’s “The Independent Artist Sector” paper estimates that independent artists generated $1.61 billion from recorded music in 2019 … and that, in 2020, this figure will climb 32 percent, to more than $2.1 billion. (View the paper here.)

Before we tackle the ins and outs of what these calculations mean for the music business, it’s important to clarify that, in Raine’s definition, “independent artist” broadly means “artist not signed to record labels.”

This definition covers two areas: (DIY/self-releasing acts uploading their own tunes to Spotify, YouTube, etc., via services like TuneCore, Ditto, Amuse, and CD Baby; and “Mid-Tail Artist Services” acts, who ink “label services” deals with companies such as AWAL, Empire, and Believe. This latter group of firms act like record labels, spending agreed budgets to accelerate performers’ careers, but, crucially, also allow artists to maintain ownership of their copyrights. (Raine’s estimates don’t include indie artists signed to the three major record companies’ flagship label services divisions — Caroline at Universal, the Orchard at Sony, and ADA at Warner.)

Making up a minor piece of the pie, Raine further counts within its total those independent musicians being directly commissioned to create tracks for production music and/or “sync” (in TV shows, movies, ads, etc.).

According to Raine’s estimates, DIY artists, via distributors, generated $960 million last year, a number that it predicts will jump by 27 percent, to $1.22 billion in 2020. Artists signed to mid-tail services deals, meanwhile, were worth $584 million last year, says Raine. It believes this figure will jump 43 percent, to $833 million in 2020.

Overall (inclusive of a further $75 million from the production/sync indie-artist space), Raine believes that the money generated by this spectrum of independent artists will reach $2.12 billion in 2020. That cash haul, suggests Raine, will mean that indie artists are worth somewhere between nine and 10 percent of the entire global recorded-music market.

To put that into context: Warner Music Group, the third-biggest major recorded-music company in the world last year, turned more than $2.22 billion from streaming in calendar 2019, and $3.88 billion from all activities (including merch and ticket sales), according to MBW calculations. Raine’s market-share estimate looks in line with other forecasts: An update to Goldman Sachs’ influential “Music in the Air” report in 2018 predicted that the global recorded-music industry would turn more than $22 billion annually in 2020.

By Tim Ingham, Rolling

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