SF MUSICTECH ROUNDUP: Artist Revenue Stream

Illustrated Notes by: Stefan – SF Intercom
Article by: Jeff Watkins


Panel Includes:
Bryan Calhoun; SoundExchange
Dina Lapolt;  Lawyer
Robb McDaniels; inGrooves
Marcus Whitney; Moontoast
Dean Serletic; Emblem Music Group

I was darn excited about this one coming into it. My hope was they would start with the assumption that everyone knows bands have to be creative and work harder because the recording industry has tanked…then point to some innovations that are unique to 2011 that might inspire us. Instead, there was too much of talk about the decline in revenue and old ideas of how to supplement that decline that I remember being mentioned at a music conference back in 2006.

The deregulation of radio was described (didn’t that happen almost a decade ago?), ringtones were mentioned (really? I hadn’t heard that word in years), the possibilities of USB wristbands were praised (though I still think not enough people do this, these guys have been doing it well for years), and product integration was touted as a visionary idea (heard the exact same thing from an EMI exec in 2007). Luckily, the good news is that the big wigs are apparently still slow to innovate, leaving your band some space to do some pretty cool stuff!

With all of this, there were some great moments in this panel.

The big advice: Get creative, meet your fans where they are, and add value to your fans. If you do this, $$ will eventually come.

Broad tools that you need to master: Customer relationship management, content management, ecommerce.

Big winner for the industry: SoundExchange.

Branding: Get creative about branding yourself. Look past just your music. Find key aspects of your personality and create side projects based off of that that can compliment your music.

MORE MORE MORE: More than ever, you need to be more than just a great songwriter: This means you need to perform well, sell yourself well, and run a business around you well.

Be ready for something big: Artists need to be ready to jump on-board if things start blowing up. There’s no area to develop. Things can go viral instantly, and all of a sudden you could be making some very large decisions. Be ready for that rare opportunity and say yes if it comes around.



Previously employed by Universal Music Publishing Group currently studying at USC Gould School of Law and will be the graduating Class of 2014.


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