HOW TO GET PAID IN THE RECORD BUSINESS
Allen Johnston – The Music Specialist
In my final installment of HOW TO GET PAID IN THE RECORD BUSINESS I want to look at some non traditional means of revenue directly related to the Recording industry.
I have been and continue to be a strong proponent of International music sales and touring. I personally feel that this is a massive underused revenue stream, and having been involved in the MIDEM conference for the past 16 years I have first hand knowledge of the International marketplace. One of the prime sellers within this International community is performance DVD and Video.
VIDEO / DVD SALES
Almost all of you reading this article are familiar with the touring act, that artist or group that has acquired a decent stage show and is on the look out for more dates. These are the prime candidates for DVD / Video creation. Start digitally taping your performances and reviewing these tapes. If you can afford to have a 2 or 3 camera shoot at a few of your gigs you will find that you now have some pretty spectacular footage. This footage can be edited into a long form music video (5 – 10 minutes) or into a full performance show (60 – 90 minutes). Now you have a product to start selling to the masses.
Utilizing the Internet you can place a small clip (2 – 3 minutes) of your show online and use this as a teaser ad to have individuals purchase your full length product. You can use SONICBIDS.COM to place not only your mp3 files, but your music video into a format that you can send to potential booking agents, venues, distributors, publishers and potential buyers.
You can also place your music video on VIDEO.GOOGLE.COM with direct links to your website and have potential customers buy directly from you. At this writing VIDEO.GOOGLE is a new free service looking for DVD / Video material to place upon the Internet.
This DVD / Video project that you have created is also a perfect item to start selling within your show merchandise everywhere you perform. Of course if your show is WACK than your DVD / Video will be WACK and it won’t matter anyway if you sell it or not, but for those interested in creating long lasting fans and continuous buying fans a DVD / Video project is the way to go.
Every artist I’ve ever met has a burning desire to be selected to endorse a clothing line, automobile line or some product that gets a lot of television exposure. Endorsement deals on a National or International level are not easy to come by unless you have a major hit record speeding up the charts and a good amount of print and television coverage accompanying your record sales. The reasoning is basic; the major corporations only want celebrities that can influence the public to buy their products.
There are a few “up and coming” new artists that have received endorsement deals, but these deals were all based on the size of the publicity budget that the record label had committed to the artist prior to an endorsement deal signing.
You, as an independent artist can also find endorsement deals, but not necessarily on a National basis. Try working with people and businesses within your own demographic, for example if you are a traveling Blues artist you may want to have a few suits created for you by a tailor in your town and in turn you will place the clothing company or tailors name on your print publicity, plus make sure their information is given out at everyone of your shows.
When shooting your album cover or creating your stage show try contacting a few companies in your home town for some “free” goods. I have personally gotten clothing, cosmetics, musical instruments, travel services and a VAN just by asking and making sure that I executed my part of the deal. Most people feel that Hip Hop artists are getting ALL of the endorsement deals, but Jazz artists, Blues artists, Spoken Word artists, R&B artists and even Gospel artists are being well represented within the endorsement community.
If you ask you will be surprised what people will give to entertainers just so they can become a part of your “magic”.
This is not a true revenue stream for the artist, but with the amount of money you can save you free up your on hand cash for other ventures. Remember that this is the Music BUSINESS and BUSINESS controls the Music Industry.