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Is it actually possible to make money from music anymore?

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Re: Is it actually possible to make money from music anymore?

Postby job » Mon Jan 22, 2018 10:10 am

Nope, big money is made by growing, floating and selling. This always takes other people's money, i.e. investors throwing money at it for the end pay out. The caveat to this is if you've grown big enough to not have to sell all to make the money, in which case you retain some and make more.
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Re: Is it actually possible to make money from music anymore?

Postby soundandpatterns » Wed Jan 24, 2018 1:15 am

I think it's totally possible to make money in the music industry now. The avenues aren't the same, by any means. I'm actually working on some YouTube content that goes over some of the music business side of things.

Here's one on why I feel like Musicians fail :: https://youtu.be/g73YF0Wj4as
And another on how to promote your stuff online :: https://youtu.be/I6IZs9Xinlw

I know this doesn't give specifics on how to make money, but I think each person really is different. You really have to take a deep look at yourself and see where your strengths are, aside from JUST music. Then see how you can funnel that back into your music business.

I know this might seems spammy, but truthfully I'm trying to bring value to people regarding things like this. I hope this helps someone!

Lennon
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Re: Is it actually possible to make money from music anymore?

Postby zenguitar » Wed Jan 24, 2018 1:47 am

I've approved your post as it is on topic. And whilst you may well be well intentioned, it is a 'bit spammy' to post links to youtube tutorials.

You would be taken far more seriously if you at least outlined your thoughts here in the SOS forums. A forum is a place for conversations, we have no problem with members referencing 3rd party youtube tutorials, that's a form of sharing, but the members here do regard posters promoting their own links as spam.

How about sharing your thoughts here as well.

Andy :beamup:
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Re: Is it actually possible to make money from music anymore?

Postby ReadySaltedChris » Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:43 pm

soundandpatterns wrote:I think it's totally possible to make money in the music industry now. The avenues aren't the same, by any means. I'm actually working on some YouTube content that goes over some of the music business side of things.

Here's one on why I feel like Musicians fail :: https://youtu.be/g73YF0Wj4as
And another on how to promote your stuff online :: https://youtu.be/I6IZs9Xinlw

I know this doesn't give specifics on how to make money, but I think each person really is different. You really have to take a deep look at yourself and see where your strengths are, aside from JUST music. Then see how you can funnel that back into your music business.

I know this might seems spammy, but truthfully I'm trying to bring value to people regarding things like this. I hope this helps someone!

Lennon

Hi. Thanks for the tips.

Just curious...

I saw the Audi and Prius commercials on your website. Did they use your music on the final thing? I see it says 're-score'.

Cheers.
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Re: Is it actually possible to make money from music anymore?

Postby johnny h » Thu Jan 25, 2018 11:26 am

zenguitar wrote:I've approved your post as it is on topic. And whilst you may well be well intentioned, it is a 'bit spammy' to post links to youtube tutorials.

You would be taken far more seriously if you at least outlined your thoughts here in the SOS forums. A forum is a place for conversations, we have no problem with members referencing 3rd party youtube tutorials, that's a form of sharing, but the members here do regard posters promoting their own links as spam.

How about sharing your thoughts here as well.

Andy :beamup:
Agree with the policy here, I hate spammy YouTube videos trying to fleece struggling producers to part with the little money they have.

In this case however, the advice is rather balanced and insightful and doesn’t appear to be aggressively selling any magic music beans.
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Re: Is it actually possible to make money from music anymore?

Postby blinddrew » Thu Jan 25, 2018 11:30 am

Hmm. I might actually watch them then. :)
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Re: Is it actually possible to make money from music anymore?

Postby The Red Bladder » Thu Jan 25, 2018 2:10 pm

I've worked with people at every level in this business, from Pink Floyd, to the local squint-eyed pudgy girl singer-songwriter, from very top to the very bottom, from Prince to the local pub band whose drummer does not know how to tune his kit. I've worked with famous orchestras and impoverished DJs who have to sleep in the back of their vans.

There are things that the successful do, that the unsuccessful do not do. In fact, the unsuccessful will tell you that they absolutely refuse to do those things that the successful do, because it would 'compromise their art' or "We are a pub band and don't need to do that!" or some such rubbish.

1. They learn their craft. If you are a song writer, learn how to write a song. Sit down and analyse pop songs and understand the structure of breaks, bridges, melody lines, links and key changes. Understand arrangements, modes and counterpoints and when you hear a successful song, be it Beatles or Nicki Minaj, sit down and work out the structure of that song, count up the number of melody lines in that song (usually at least five, 'Starships' has about eight - 'A Day in the Life' over ten!)

2. They put on a show. When Pink Floyd were still playing grotty halls and university canteens, they put more effort into lighting, than anything else. Even back then, every song had its own lighting theme and lighting structure. If all you do, is stand on stage, using nothing more than the house lights and just stare either at you feet, or (worst of all) just look at each other, instead of engaging the audience, you deserve failure! Lighting today is light, cheap and very effective. So before you spend (waste) money on a new synth or axe (as if the audience cares what you play!) spend that money on some inventive lighting - and when it comes to paying for crew, the lighting guy is waaaay more important than the sound guy.

3. Gig! You can sit in your bedroom studio until you are blue in the face and all the cows have come home - every successful act I have ever worked with was gigging and gigging hard! If you ain't doing several gigs a week, you are not going to be successful - and even the mega-successful gig their tails off! (Back to Pink Floyd!) When PF released 'The Division Bell' they did a staggering 347 shows around Planet Earth - and them's wos big shows, grossing over $100m, which was a record at the time.

4. The act has a funky name. For ten long and hard years, Gerry Dorsey's career was going nowhere. Engelbert Humperdinck however, was successful. I call it the Hugendubel principle. Back in the 60s, there was a German umbrella manufacturer called Hugendubel and in the days when people tended to leave umbrellas on busses, they had a poster, showing a bowler-hatted Englishman in a London bus holding up a rolled umbrella. The slogan was "Don't forget your Hugendubel!" I have never forgotten the name 'Hugendubel'!

5. They work as a team. Right from the word 'Go!' they involve others. At first, these may just be friends helping out with transport, lighting and PA, but it soon becomes apparent to all involved, that a formal team and a structure has to be created. The guy bringing his lights to a gig needs to be paid. The friend who got the gig, needs to get his cut. Even stand-up comedians need a team around them. The sooner you learn to work as a team, the sooner you can go on to greater things!

6. They stay in touch with their fans. Taylor Swift, Nicki Minaj and all the other 500-pound gorillas of the music industry do the Twitter and FaceBook thing and stay in touch by having special meet-n-greet events, which are then put onto YouTube and Twitter. In the long run, nearly all of them find that they have to have a social media manager and even a social media team. Staying in touch is easier now than ever, but it takes time and it takes effort. When I was a kid, it was the fan club and a 'Cyclostyled' letter. Today, it is a personal greeting from Her Minajesty!

7. Show business is still a business! Whether it is five guys playing a pub gig, or a road-crew of 50 supporting ten musicians and 15 dancers on a $100m 'Live Nation' tour, successful acts are run as a business. Even if you are 'just' a five-man pub band doing two gigs a week for £1,000 a gig, the law regards you as a common law partnership that is separately and collectively responsible for all debts and other obligations. It also requires you to be VAT registered and run a set of books and file end-of-year accounts with HMRC. If you do not run the act as a proper business, your best mate 'Andy' will steal some of your money (Rolling Stones) or your office manager 'Kelley' will steal all of your money (Leonard Cohen). It's a business, so you have to start learning how to run a business.

8. They stay focused! The difference between success and failure is 'Singularity of Purpose!' You can have the best race horse in the World, but if it wanders about and does not stay focused on winning, you might as well be racing an aardvark. Every day, in every way, successful people (and not just musicians) do something that moves them closer to where they want to go. A journey of a thousand miles is made up of several million small steps - or as Warren Buffett once said, "I don't look for six-foot hurdles to leap over, but a series of six-inch barriers I can step over." It takes about ten years to become an overnight success, so keep moving and don't give up!
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Re: Is it actually possible to make money from music anymore?

Postby blinddrew » Thu Jan 25, 2018 2:35 pm

Well that saves me watching those videos... ;)

Serious question though, to TRB and anyone else, is there still* space in the music business for older (i.e. >35) acts?
It feels like post MTV the lifetime of a band was shortened, and in the current social media model that lifetime has shortened again.

* was there ever?

[EDIT: to be clear, I don't mean established acts who are now old - clearly they're still selling out arenas and festivals - I mean new acts who are, say, over the age of 40]
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Re: Is it actually possible to make money from music anymore?

Postby James Perrett » Thu Jan 25, 2018 2:47 pm

blinddrew wrote:Serious question though, to TRB and anyone else, is there still* space in the music business for older (i.e. >35) acts?

I know quite a few older artists who are doing better now than they did in their 20's. They may not be spectacularly famous but they're doing gigs in front of hundreds rather than tens of people. The main factor is that these people have found themselves part of a scene with enthusiastic fans who have the time to go to gigs now that their families have grown up.
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Re: Is it actually possible to make money from music anymore?

Postby The Red Bladder » Thu Jan 25, 2018 3:06 pm

blinddrew wrote: is there still* space in the music business for older (i.e. >35) acts?
Yes - but that depends on the genre. Blues - definitely. Folk, sort of yes. Teeny-pop - no!

Prog-rock with a massive light show, inflatables, a string section, back projection, robots* coming out of the stage and hot-n-cold-running doo-wop girls - yes.

*In fact, if I was to launch a new act today, I would definitely go for two large robots with laser eyes and lots of smoke, fire and explosions.
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Re: Is it actually possible to make money from music anymore?

Postby blinddrew » Thu Jan 25, 2018 3:49 pm

Give it a couple of years and the robots will be writing the music as well...

Thanks for that folks, plenty to think on, whatever rung of the ladder you're on.
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Re: Is it actually possible to make money from music anymore?

Postby artzmusic » Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:01 pm

I have a concert promoter friend who has dropped out of the business recently. Bands are not wanting to play without a substantial guarantee. If he goes that route he ends up losing because they don't bring in enough at the door. But the bands won't play for a cut of the door because they suspect they won't make much.

Deduce from this that these musicians think way too much of themselves and overvalue the appeal of their performance for the public. Or they don't network enough to drum up interest and think that the venue's advert will be do the work for them.

There are other factors too, of course, that affect the outcome. But if a band starts out playing for the door cut, then they'll work harder to make that cut worthwhile. Their take will be proportional to their work and how their presentation grabs the audience. Somewhere down the road they can name their price. But, like all businesses, you may have to go a bit hungry for a while making these investments.


My friend is much happier these days!

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Re: Is it actually possible to make money from music anymore?

Postby zenguitar » Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:58 am

artzmusic wrote:Deduce from this that these musicians think way too much of themselves and overvalue the appeal of their performance for the public. Or they don't network enough to drum up interest and think that the venue's advert will be do the work for them.

I have some sympathy for that view, but there is another view to consider as well.

If, as an act, you have already established a fan base through networking and a track record of popular public performances, why would you require the services of a promoter when you could play for a percentage of the door/bar?

Clearly, the only reason to engage a promoter is to increase your audience. And if you have an established audience, what is the best way to ensure that your promoter is earning their percentage by increasing your audience? I would suggest that a minimum, agreed, guaranteed payment is a fair method.

Over the decades I've known promoters who have made millions, those who've made a reasonable living, those who have lost everything (including home and family), and those who have experienced every possible combination of all 3. I've seen promoters who have made bands, and I have seen promoters who have destroyed bands by signing them up to get access to their residencies to promote their other acts.

Promoters are the high rollers of the music business, they play for high stakes. If they have a decent stake to gamble and split it wisely when they choose the acts they invest in, they can stay in the game for a long time, they might make a fortune, they might make a living, and if they are smart they will invest in a nice property. And if they are really smart, if they start losing they will walk away while they still own that property.

And with social media bands can do an awful lot to promote themselves, develop a fanbase, and get those fans to attend gigs. All things that promoters used to do. So it's really not unreasonable for a band to make sure that it is worth while to them to use a promoter.

Andy :beamup:
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Re: Is it actually possible to make money from music anymore?

Postby petev3.1 » Sat Jan 27, 2018 1:25 pm

The Red Bladder wrote:5. They work as a team. Right from the word 'Go!' they involve others.

This is the one that seems to be most ignored.
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Re: Is it actually possible to make money from music anymore?

Postby The Red Bladder » Sat Jan 27, 2018 1:36 pm

artzmusic wrote:I have a concert promoter friend who has dropped out of the business recently. Bands are not wanting to play without a substantial guarantee. If he goes that route he ends up losing because they don't bring in enough at the door.
Then he wasn't much cop at being a promoter and he was signing crap bands.

No band worth its salt will play for the door money - only a total fool goes for that kind of a deal! It's the old peanuts and monkeys situation.

Door money = crap bands, prepared to work for peanuts.
Fixed fee = professional bands with own sound and lighting, turning up on time, have their ready-made fan-base.

The calculation is easy. A good act will fill a hall more or less every time. It is then up to the promoter to calculate if the band's fee, hall rental and other costs, all comes out at less than the projected box-office. He books the act and pays their deposit and the ticket sales go live. Within days (or hours, if he or she is very lucky) he has made his money and all he has to do is turn up on the night and hand over a cashier's cheque for the balance.

If ticket sales tank, he can either pull two or more gigs together to form one booking and hope to at least break even, or lose the deposit.

It is no different to any other business, say used car sales. A good, solid car with no bad marks against its record (all MOT tests passed, full service record, one previous owner!) will cost more to buy, but will fly off the lot in days. An old banger with multiple failed MOT tests, five previous owners and no service record, but that cost next-to-nothing will sit on the lot for ever!
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Re: Is it actually possible to make money from music anymore?

Postby Agharta » Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:26 pm

My spending on music has dropped dramatically even though I have access to and listen to more new (to me) music than ever. All figures are adjusted for inflation.

1. 1979 – 3 Albums per week with a RRP of £63 although I paid £47.50 due to a generous retailer discount.
2. 1990 – 2 CDs per week with a RRP of £55.
3. 2000 – Close to £0.
4. 2017 – Spotify Premium with a RRP of £10 per month which came free with a £9 per month Vodafone contract.

So the annual costs for full price and paid price are:
1. 1979 - £3,276 / £2,457
2. 1990 - £2,860 / £2,860
3. 2017 - £120 / £0.

These are far from typical consumption figures admittedly.
I do think it’s ridiculous that Spotify Premium can be bundled with a phone contract that cost less than its price.
I wouldn’t think twice of paying £10 pcm for Spotify Premium and if they doubled it I wouldn’t blink.
As others have said, the long term sustainability of Spotify has to be in doubt and the problem is that they are competing with Apple, Amazon and Google’s music services. Those can afford to take a loss as they have vast incomes although Amazon makes little profit.
From my experience Spotify Premium works very well and integrates beautifully between my Windows PC and Android phone. I’d hate to see it disappear as the other similar services that I tried just didn’t come close. So when my Vodafone contract expires in April I have to ask myself whether I should forgo another free Spotify contract if still available as they currently are or pay more and buy a monthly contract from Spotify directly and shop around for a phone contract separately. We will see.
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Re: Is it actually possible to make money from music anymore?

Postby The Red Bladder » Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:03 pm

Agharta wrote:So the annual costs for full price and paid price are:
1. 1979 - £3,276 / £2,457
2. 1990 - £2,860 / £2,860
3. 2017 - £120 / £0.

Totally irrelevant! There's more money in the music business today, than at any time in history - and YOU, yes you are spending more on music today than you ever spent back in the 70s and 80s.

You're just not buying albums and 7" singles, but then nobody is!

The money is in your license fee, in every product you buy that was advertised on TV or radio, it is in every concert ticket you buy, it is in every movie ticket you buy, it is in every piece of building materials or stick of wood, every nut and bolt, every car and even the petrol or Diesel in the tank and it is definitely in your next visit to a hairdresser.

The original question was "Is it actually possible to make money from music anymore?"

Ask Bauer Media, ask Bertelsmann, ask Viacom, ask the owners of this website and magazine - come to think of it, ask me! Are we earning money?
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Re: Is it actually possible to make money from music anymore?

Postby ReadySaltedChris » Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:16 pm

The Red Bladder wrote:come to think of it, ask me! Are we earning money?

Are you earning money RB?
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Re: Is it actually possible to make money from music anymore?

Postby The Red Bladder » Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:32 pm

ReadySaltedChris wrote:
The Red Bladder wrote:come to think of it, ask me! Are we earning money?

Are you earning money RB?
Don't ask!
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Re: Is it actually possible to make money from music anymore?

Postby blinddrew » Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:35 pm

The Red Bladder wrote:
ReadySaltedChris wrote:
The Red Bladder wrote:come to think of it, ask me! Are we earning money?

Are you earning money RB?
Don't ask!
:bouncy:
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