The New Today!

We must all pay attention to change. For centuries, the world has been changing – the key word in this sentence is “chang-ing“. We have not chang-ed  and therefore do not have a model to reference to. Because we’ve been riding a continues roller-coaster of changes we must expect that the ride will continue its changing path – twisting and turning (full speed ahead). The daily life of a artist/creator, involves constant innovation(s). You have to keep producing, posting; keep spreading your talent. You must keep improving and doing what you love, doing what is uniquely true to you. Everyone is different and that is the beauty to life – so use that to your advantage and share it with the world.

With the new “smart” devices and “bonus applications”, the internet, shading your work has never been so easy. Daily business practices are changing, you don’t have to go to L.A or New York for recording or publishing – it isn’t a necessity anymore – you can make works of art right in your bedroom. With a few mouse clicks and a final upload submission, in seconds, you are ready to share your creation with the WORLD. It has become easier to step into the Music Business world, but with this power comes its own challenges. If you can do it – with the help of a few clicks – whats to stop or challenge another person from doing it? These new opportunities will allow you to share your works with the whole world but know that the whole world is also sharing against your works. So be … different … UnIqUe … be YOU!

YOU can Do It!

Digital technology(s) and the inter-webs are obviously affecting the content industries, and artists who understand about the opportunities and challenges of today’s world are able to adapt and survive. With the advances in technology and the shift due to the inter-webs – everyone, everything, and every industry are encountering endless changes.

The most important pro is: anyone can make it in this day and age. The inter-webs have made it possible for anyone – in the world – to make it big and do what they want and are passionate about. You can do what you love, share your work, and be discovered by the world – after clicking the publish button. Yes, it will take time but it’s never been this easy or quick before. Becoming successful is literally a few clicks away and can take a couple of months to become a STAR (instead of having to wait decades like before). With the inter-webs, you can be an overnight hit. Stategically utilizing the inter-webs will not only open new doors, but also more doors – your possibilities become limitless (and the best part is, this can all be done from within your bedroom).

But like “yin and yang”, every good has its bad. The most important con is: obscurity due to the increase in competition. Because of the power of the inter-webs, it not only makes it easy for you to share your work, it also gives the rest of the world the Abe advantages, greatly increasing the publishing pool – allowing millions of people to compete with you for their chance to make it big. The number of published materials in the cyber world is so grand that you and your work can and will get lost.

To solve the problem of obscurity, you have to be true to yourself. You don’t necessarily have to be the best, just different. By nature we are all different, so in order to be different, just do what-EVER you want to do. But remember to use the inter-webs to your unique advantage and … just do you – the inter-webs can either be your best friend or your worst enemy.

“EVERY-(1) & ALL”

Today’s inter-webs allow everyone to connect with one another. This new gateway has truly exemplified the word, POSSIBILITIES. It’s easy, quick, and worldwide. With the help of any “smart” device, what you can do online is endless; but with this power comes both good and evil.

Today’s cyber age links together individual artist(s) with their individual passion(s) to independent business and direct fan service(s). But because it’s such an easy and accessible tool, competitions and obscurity has become the problem of our age. With the usage of social media anyone – literally ANYONE – can share their work; and this crowds the numbers of published goods.

 The breakthrough of the inter-webs have improved your chances of exposure, but with so many artists doing the exact same thing, you and your work can get lost in all the chaos. Therefore, the most crucial step to not forget, about today’s virtual environment that everyone in every industry should be aware of, is to CONSTANTLY publish and share your work and passion and get good at what you do. When you become an expert at what you do and you constantly share your expertise, you stand out more and solve the problem of obscurity.

The inter-webs allows you to share your talent, learn more about your passion, and build a fan base – personal audience – all around the world. The inter-webs CAN help us turn our passions into our professional job because what the inter-webs offers is truly limitless.

 

Can you see the change(s)?

Change is happening all over the world thanks to the inter-webs (internet + web)

When you have a question, what do you do? You GOOGLE it! In today’s world having technical devices and connecting to the inter-webs has become a necessity. This change has had an effect on more than just the way we communicate in our social lives; it’s drastically changed our daily lives, our education systems, how industries operate, and the definition of a job.

In just a few years the inter-webs has become the most important tool of our daily lives. People use the inter-webs for work, networking, entertainment, communications, etc. – you name it. It is easily accessible, convenient (as long as you have a device that can connect and connection “wifi”), global, cheap, vast, fast, and very damn close to being limitless.

The inter-webs has opened up new doors, new possibilities for everyone. You can share your love and talents, meet your heroes, read the news, self-educate, find your significant other, video chat, edit pictures & film, create music, make friends across the oceans, find your future – the list is endless. It’s so grand that even traditional methods of life has changed because of the inter-webs and technology. Instead of going to the library and only relying on hundred pound reference books for research I can use a “smart” device. It’s light, easy, current (up to date) and as efficient (as long as you put in the effort). In fact I can purchase a digital version of that hundred pound reference book for less – in price & weight.

I think the coolest thing about this change is that you don’t have to have a conventional “real” job; you can do what you love because the inter-webs allows for independent social media marketing. All the cool stuff that you can do online, on your “smart” devices – thanks to the inter-webs – can be advertised, by YOU the artist, to your fans. Because of this virtual age, you can create unique opportunities for your passion, use social media, spread awareness and this will lead to talk and expansion.

Change & the Business world of Music

“Since 2000, the amount of revenue created from selling or streaming music in America has been cut in half, from $14.3 billion to $7 billion … [a]nd yet listeners have more access to music than ever, and there’s nothing to suggest that demand for music is down.”- Pando Daily- The New Industry Explained

In business you have the supplier and the consumer. Demand for music is still there, it will always be there – that hasn’t and will never change – but the role of the supplier and product has and will always change. How you get music, where you get music, what you want, and from whom you buy from has changed because of digital distribution.

Work Cited

A Need for Higher Ed: Scott LeGere at TEDxCarletonCollege

Pando Daily- The New Industry Explained

 

 

What artists should know about YOUR copyrights!!

NEVER GIVE AWAY YOUR COPY-‘RIGHTS’!

Copyrights protect the rights for all creator’s and their creations both big and small. Copyright laws enforce the right of artists in having ownership of their intellectual property(s). When an artist’s creation is used, played, sold, etc. they get back their works’ worth.  Copyright laws were created to ensure incentives for future artistic creation. As long as you have the rights to your creations (meaning you haven’t signed and given them away) you can do whatever you want; sell it, lease it, give it away for free, etc.

IT IS YOURS TO DO AS YOU WILL.

What many musicians don’t realize when they sign with a recording label is that they sign away their rights to own their recording(s). And if an artist works with a publishing company, they more times than not, also sign away copyright ownership on composition to the publishers. In most of these cases the artist then is left with nothing; which is why understanding basic copyright law(s) will give you an advantage in the creationism-“business” world.

Save yourself from having to “swim in a trench of deep doo-doo”! By knowing your rights you protect yourself and the future of your talent. And the best part is, any work you create stays with you and your family for many, many, many years (something like 70-something years after yours – and anyone else named owner’s – death).

As my professor says, “HOW AWESOME IS THAT”!?

What happened to the Music Business?

 … AHHH!! …

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The practices of the Music BUSINESS are despicable. As was explained by Steve Albini, (The Problem With Music) it’s like swimming in a trench of deep doo-doo. Not leisurely and not at your own pace but in a FAST, ChAoTiC and Competitive manner against many other parties; where you have to follow the rules of a ‘faceless’ record label.

The music industry used to be about the art, the music, and sharing this talent with others (ah, those humble times). So What happened to the Music Business? Well, this is what I think! The BUSINESS aspect of the music business became overpowering and took control. It has turned the industry into a business market. Strategic profit focused methods are being used to capture and trap artists to make money. After all, Artists are potential assets to the companies.

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Here’s what happens, A & R personals are released from the home base (the label) to hunt for talent. Many of these personals are young and hip just like the targeted Artists. This is done to better build a relationship between the talent and the agency. Once the A & R Rep’s have made contact with the band(s), they market, promote and get the artists to sign a deal memo that locks the band into a contract; where a LOT, a Lot, A LOT of times none of the promises made are met.

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Coming from a Business perspective, the methods used by record labels are quite brilliant. From the perspective of my business/accounting/marketing/finance learnings this business strategy is great for making profit. You get to choose your asset(s) and yes, assets (the artists) on one hand will depreciate (get old, lose fans) but only by small counts and if they lose value (disappear, can’t make good work) you can keep them in the books until they once again gain value but they can make it big and mind-blowingly continue to grow in popularity. Because you get to choose the artists you have more control over how profitable your investment can be. And like any investment, there are risks, but these risks are minimized per contract; and this is how the culture of the music BUSINESS came to be. It works, you choose your assets, your assets are only for you and your use – due to a contract, risks and depreciation limitations are minimized or controlled by contract, and by the end of it, the Artist(s) are paying you … so, what’s not brilliant about this business plan?

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But that’s the problem. The music business is acting like a profiting (product/service) business instead of the music industry it should be. Artist(s) aren’t products or a company’s personal asset. The music business has become a place of business and fraud. Because of this want for more profit combined with an opened opportunity, many can justify this pursuit to steal. Bands make the music industry stupid amounts of money but still remain in the hole or a deeper hole on royalties (which is pretty “doo-doo-ee” if you ask me).

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But this was how the Music Industry was ran before the internet. What’s changed? Today, this profitable BUSINESS strategy needs to be changed if they want to survive. With the new outlets available for Artists, signing with a recording label isn’t your only option anymore. Along with this, the recording industry maked almost all their money from full-length albums and with the decline on actual album being purchased, according to Micheal Degusta (Real Death of the Music Business), record labels are going to need to adapt to today’s world. So the question becomes, what’s the music biz like now?

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The music industry has to, now, compete with the inter-webs. The number of digital versions are growing while physical copies are decreasing. But this revelation isn’t big enough to “offset the losses of physical equivalents”. Many physical equivalents have reached their growth peaks and have become matured. Supply and demand is changing, constantly and the music industry will have to take a leap of faith, blindfolded, into an unknown future. Because the music industry is fighting a war against a “changing” world (that is controlled by the people), they should be scared of the uncertainties and the unknowns and yet why are people the ones who fear the industry?

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According to The Music Induwillstry: From Major to Major, Mark Mulligan (an analyst at JupiterResearch), “In 2007 it became clear that the recorded-music industry is contracting and that it will be a very different beast from what it was in the 20th century”. The unknown is scary and when you take away a beast’s candy, you awaken a demon. You’ve already read and heard, like many other individuals, about how monstrous the music business was before the age of the inter-webs and technology. Now that they have to get creative, it brings concern about what new despicable scheme they will create next. So, of course it makes sense that people are afraid of the music business.

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Something big is happening that will transcend time and space and you are either going to grow with it or be left behind. Truthfully, the music business is like every other industry out there. They have their good points and their bad points but (I cannot stress this enough) you have OPTIONS!! You don’t have to see the music industry as the evil business I’ve spent the entire blog talking about. You have choices. With the advance in technology and the increase in tools you can DO IT YOURSELF and/or TOGETHER with others or in partnership with labels (where you can negotiate the terms). There’s a brighter future for individual artists!

Works Cited

The Problem With Music

The Music Industry: From Major to Major

The REAL Death of the Music Industry

Artifact – 30 Seconds to Mars

A great movie that tells of truths behind the closed curtains of the music business. Artifact documents the battle between the band 30 Seconds to Mars and their label EMI in 2008 and 2009. An inspirational film where an album tells the story of the struggles of a brutal lawsuit. Being a contracted Artist isn’t just about performing and writing songs; there’s the record label, the business aspect, and the lawyers. This film is extremely eye-opening and you get to see how complex the music business actually is.

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Not only was this a great documentary that reveals how dirty the Music Business can get, it was a great film to watch. You have: a beginning, celebrities, action, awesome music, comedy, struggles, a variety of emotions, suspense, a climax , solutions, hope, and an ending. And, beyond the film itself you have a real story with real problems, real struggles, life changing decisions, and real facts. I love music and it’s thee most important aspect of my life but I am no artist. So what did I take from this film? …

… Hmmm …

A LOT!

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YOU’RE GETTING SCREWED SOMEHOW

After watching Artifact, the record label started to look really bad, almost evil to me. I felt disgusted with the whole idea of signing with a recording label because their method of business felt like a complete ripoff.  On one side you have the artist, who is all about the art of music and on the other side you have the business, who seem to mostly cares about profit, profit, growth, and profit.  Artifact made me feel that the whole design of record labels was created to trap the artists into a contracted cycle of debt.

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EVERY BUSINESS HAS TO MAKE MONEY

Making money and yet gaining more debt

Going in circles

Many artists do cross paths with these struggles, the feeling that you are trapped. Feeling like you will always be losing even though you have multiple sold-out albums. Feeling as if you were just another puppet of profit within the endless game of the Music Business. Not being able to leave because you are legally bind to that label because of a contract. These were the messages I kept receiving from the film and they made me cringe. The endless debts allow the record label to practically “own” the artists because the artist can’t break free until the debt is paid and the contract is over. After learning these facts, of course the record labels would start to appear evil but then I remember,  every coin has two sides. The industry does help beginning artists break through the ice and live their dream, unfortunately, there’s just a wild price you have to pay.

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WE SHOULDN’T HATE THE MUSIC BUSINESS

WE SHOULD TRY TO UNDERSTAND HOW THEY BECAME WHAT THEY ARE

Music Business is made up of two words, “music” and “business”. So when you really see the whole breakdown of the system you start to understand how the industry became what it is today. Instead of judging the industry of being good or evil, you should aim to learn and gain knowledge about the industry. Understand that it was because the record labels grew too big and caught the eyes of Business owners that the labels shifted towards commerce. The Music Business is the way it is now because the labels are being run by business people and not the humble music fans who started the record labels.

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HOPE

You have to remember, although the legal business of the Music Industry isn’t much different than how it was in the 50’s, you must realize that today you have choices. You do not NEED a recording label to pursue your dreams. The idea of being an independent artist is exploding. It IS POSSIBLE! Back when entry to the Music Business was not easy, you pretty much had to sign with a label, but the Music Business is changing and Artifact, 30 Seconds to Mars,  made an effort in showing how. You have choices now, you have options, there are ALTERNATIVE ROUTES. You can DO IT YOURSELF. There is HOPE FOR THE FUTURE as an artist. This is what I got from the film Artifact. There is hope so be true to yourself.