Sunday, May 27, 2012

Music Business/Law Tip - "Marketing/Promotion"

Marketing and promotion is imperative to this industry at all levels. If you are really serious you have to hire someone good to do PR. You need to play as much as possible in your region (and beyond within driving distance to hit new audiences/cities), and really do a lot of internet promo which is very possible and affordable for an indie artist I think. Lots of YouTube videos are also great as they can go viral (can be you live or in your room). When youre indie you can do more grass roots things and then you will start to bubble up and the mainstream pays more attention if you are really good and the public starts to react. Some specific things I recommend you do: 1. Get the Film/TV Music Guide from and try hitting up some music supervisors. 2. Try to co-opt the similar artists fans by studying how those artists market themselves and who their fans are. Try to hit up blogs that will feature/mention you [check out for genre blogs] and hit up those blogs and hopefully if your name and music is out there enough on the web when someone listens to that similar famous band you will come up as a "recommendation" for a fan to check out if they like that they will like you sort of thing. 3. Hire someone good to do PR over an extended period - you need press/exposure. 4. Tour/play as much as possible. 5. Maybe go to LA, NY or Nashville for a music conference to meet other artists and business folks that work in your genre. Ben McLane Esq

Friday, May 18, 2012

Music Business/Law Tips - "Compilations"

Most artist album royalty deals with a label are about 15%-20% of the retail price (in general if a record sells for $10 that's $1.50 to the band) - its the same for a compilation, but instead of a solo act/band getting all 15-20%, its 12-15 acts splitting that royalty on what they call a pro-rata (fractional) basis. So an artist on a comp needs to ask for a pro-rata royalty of 20% (and hopefully no less than 14-15%), and also if possible try to get whats called a "most favored nations" rate which means the artist gets paid the same royalty (pennies per sale) as all the other acts on the comp (even if there is a big name), and most importantly make sure the label lists the artist's credit on the package (name and website), and make sure that the label only use track for the comp (nothing else like licensing to film/tv) without the artist's permission. Ben McLane Esq

Friday, May 11, 2012

Music Business/Law Tips - "Synch Deal"

Common provisions that a songwriter/artist would want to see included in a synch deal are as follows: (1) a fee, (2) a credit, (3) a reversion if the song is not used, (4) limits on how the song is used in the show/film/commercial, (5) a term, and (6) copies of cue sheets sent to writer/artist so he/she can track the usage and make sure they get paid by BMI, ASCAP or SESAC. Ben McLane Esq