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Music Biz, where's it gonna go from here


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I was up at my studio last night getting some new songs I wrote ready for mastering and all the stuff that needs to be done.

For the last 6 months, Ive checked on all the marketing and contract options, such as siging with a record company or a publishing company as a writer. But no matter which options I choose, the new music Biz is undefinable. Changing so quickly that no one can say how, when and where to go. The record companies ususally gave the artist 7%, the producer 3% and they took 90%, stabdard contract. The digital age takes about 30% for the online distributor and maybe another 10% for other things, leaving the artist a whopping 60% which is big. But you have to handle your own distribution and such.

What is your favorite method for buying and listening to music.

Where do you think the Music Biz is going to go from here.

What would you like to see happen.

Are we hearing better music now that the recored companies can't choose who we should listen to.

What about radio, and on line radio

Im exciteed to hear what you think. :)


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I still buy CD's, but then I burn and download my favorite tracks to my MP3 player and listen randomly. I love the juxtaposition of Willie Nelson, John Coltrane and Carlos Santana. I listen to the MP3 player on the bike, but still carry CD's and listen to them in the car. My favorite music is jazz . I like lots of different types of music, but I'm not too fond of hip hop.


I'm probably not in anyone's targeted music listening demographic. Just about the only radio I listen to is NPR. I used to love the Album Rock format in the early 70's. . . but I also like Blues, Country and Folk, sometimes Bluegrass. I depend on friends to "turn me on" to new artists, because I refuse to listen to commercial radio.


I like the independent musicians who produce their own music, like Ani DiFranco.


I think that musicians deserve more control than they get when they sign on with a record company. I do think that internet provides opportunity for that artist control, but recognize that it also affords music pirates more opportunities to bootleg the artist's product without payment.

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Im right with you Sharon. I to like all kinds and write all kinds as well. Im going to sign a distrubution package with ITUNES and Amazon and Rhapsody and others in the next few weeks.

And I have and will decline any interest from record companies.

It was never about the money. Its about the integrity of the song. Thanks for the comments. Well said. I think your right Hannabone. Its the way to go. "When I get it ready Ill send you guys a copy in about a month".

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10% sounds like stealing to me ! I take 15% for publishing software, and the on-line retailers take another 15-35 %.... in our business the software author still gets to keep anywhere from 50% to 85% max !


I'd give the finger to the record companies ! :mad:

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To be honest Bobby, I just don't know where the music business is these days. Lost, I think. We have no radio that I will listen to in our market anymore. I have been trying to cope with this for a couple of years now as I really have no introduction to new music anymore. Radio having formerly fulfilled that role. I tried iTunes a few years ago and found it was not for me.


I still buy most of my music from CDs, but since there are no more record stores (music stores) (another place I used to find new music that's gone) now I get the CDs from Amazon or similar.


The thing about the business is marketing. It used to be that if you signed with a label you got market presence. Your CDs were in the stores, you got airtime on radio. It was probably worth 90%, because I saw what happened to the perfectly good artists that didn't get such contracts. My step-sister and her band mate managed to sell at least ten thousand CDs touring and with some minimal airtime she got on radio in a few limited markets as an independent in the 90's. Unfortunately, this was over a period of few years and did not make expenses and any reasonable salary for the time frame. She cuts tracks for radio commercials now, and still plays a bit in bars locally mainly for fun.


Had they signed a major contract maybe their sales would go up a factor of ten. They get a name, the next rendition of the contract they have more bargaining power, they get a bigger name, more sales..... I don't know.


That was then. Now, I don't know. Although I don't listen to it, I think maybe it's still all about radio. At least it's still all about marketing presence. I think the customers will find you somehow if they want you. They have to hear you first, and know who it was they heard, and maybe hear you a few more times before they are going to go out and find you. How you pull that off on a crowded internet marketplace is beyond me.


Just my ignorant ramblings.

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It is really a tough road no matter how you slice it. I made my living for ten years slinging it out in clubs and minor tours then went into music teaching from which I recently retired. Have released a few indie albums throughout the years which basically did nothing but pay for themselves. Having spent some time on the fringes of the old record industry I have to agree with the following.


"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side."

Hunter S. Thompson



None of that is said to be discouraging, I am just not sure how it is done anymore. Personally I never buy CDs and get all my music from iTunes. As someone else mentioned the problem with independent distribution is rising above the white noise of everything else out there. My advice, for what it's worth, is to play live as much as you can.


I truly wish you the best of luck and keep us posted on your progress! :thumbsup:

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I've thought for some time that the old business model of recording companies was dead, and the fact that they ultimately resorted to massive lawsuits against penniless students was the signal that I was right. My feeling is that when any industry turns to lawsuits as a major building block of its foundation, it's a goner.


However, I'm definitely a transitional consumer. I don't very often buy CDs, but then I don't "buy" much music. I purchase significantly more music through iTunes than through CDs, but the bulk of my music purchases are through XM radio (now XM/Sirius, or Sirius/XM . . . ???). The satellite biz seems to be in serious trouble, though, so I'm not sure how long that channel of commerce will be viable. If I had to guess . . . and thankfully, unlike you, I don't . . . I'd predict that Internet delivery, through WiFi, 3G, etc. , will take center stage for the foreseeable future.

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Great information from eveyone here and thanks. Its going to be exciting to find the avenue that works. In fact I think I will most likely over time create a new formula that works for me creatively and financially. My main goal is to make a contirbution to music. Music is is just good healthy medicine.

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Internet sales, Playing the smaller clubs & restaurants in my area. Not too many selling many cd's out here. There's a million bands out here to compete with. The bands making consistent money are blues bands. Most of the rest are pay to play, I think the Whiskey is up to 50 tickets on pre sale at 15 bucks each to get the privilege of playing there for one set. My kids band is going more in the blues direction to get some extra change.They made 77 dollars each for 2 sets at their first paying gig including tips at the Covina blues festival in October. That club wants them back again. They don't do pre sale or pay to play gigs. We will donate their time to a good cause on occasion. It's tough to make a living at it but there are some great blues bands out here that are doing it. For my kid I feel it's just a way to make some extra change & have some fun now and when he gets to college.

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Over the last 20 years my wife and I have bought nearly all our music at festivals and club shows. Yesterday she bought from Amazon. All her audio books are from online and we really feed that company.

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I tried the online download but found it great in some aspects, but limiting on others. Primarily I buy CDs at local retailers and rip them for my various devices. I tend to only use online for preview new (to me at least) artist whose music I appreciate. I have used Amazon - especially around the holidays.


I agree with many above, the music industry is a complete PIA. I so happy that Indie has become possible and believe in the longterm it will have a very positive effect on the industry by succeding where the big labels now fail (successful marketing).

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