We are looking forward to this year’s Music Biz 2018 conference, which will be held May 14-17 in Nashville at the Omni Nashville Hotel. Last year it was one of the most informative conferences we had attended in a very long time. The Music Business Association was kind enough to connect us with some of the great panelists this year to get their take on some interesting questions that will no doubt surface at the conference.
Q: What is the most overlooked thing that artists need to do when self-releasing?
A: Artists, by nature, take great care in the creative aspect of their music but often overlook the business side, which can lead to many issues down the road including improper royalty distribution, ineffective royalty collection, and songwriter/publisher split discrepancies, to name a few. A few things an Artist can do to avoid these potential pitfalls include providing accurate metadata, securing agreements with all the contributors (band members, producers), obtaining song writer split agreements, securing mechanical licenses, maintaining detailed expense tracking, and registering their copyrights. Artists need to prepare for success by having the business side in order.
Mark Spier, CEO and Founder of Royalty Solutions Corp.
Panel: Successfully Managing Your Releases: Best Practices and Obligations for the Independent Label or Artist
Q: What is the hardest function for artists to replace that labels still provide?
A: Simply put, institutional influence. It’s the old adage, “if a tree falls in the woods and nobody hears it, does it make a sound?” We are living in (what has been coined) an “Attention Economy” wherein the most precious commodity to an artist is a listener’s time. Obviously, with the proliferation of affordable recording tech and [digital] distribution, the problem is no longer getting in the game, but standing out from the crowd. This is where the labels are still immensely valuable. Unlike most independent artists, an established label has the ability to leverage its resources and network of long-term relationships to push an artist to the front of our collective conscious. This is obviously of great value to an artist, particularly in a world where tastemakers and influencers often lean on their label sources to “filter out the noise.” It’s not that with enough diligence and hard work an independent artist can’t ultimately arrive at the same destination, but it is often akin to the difference between taking an accident-free expressway and a pothole-riddled country road to get there.
Ash Kernen, Principal Lawyer and Founder of Kernen Law.
Panel: Who Needs You Anyway? Reinventing the Artist-Label Relationship in the Digital Era
Q: Are there any advantages to still being in school when starting a company?
A: Absolutely! College is a great place to start a business because you can do everything wrong the first time and still get back on your feet. You are risking much less as a student. You can also use this time to validate your idea, test your model/pricing, and figure out a strategy before having a lot of expenses.
Makenzie Stokel, Founder of EVAmore.
Panel: You Don’t Have to Wait Until Graduation to Work in the Music Industry
Learn more about the conference panels at https://musicbiz2018.sched.com/ and register for the conference at www.musicbiz2018.com.