Breaking into the music industry is the dream you share with pretty much everyone else on the planet. And there is whole infrastructure designed to keep you out. But you don’t have to obey the gatekeepers. Steve Rennie is here to show you how to carve your own path to success.
With over 30 years in the music business as a concert promoter and former manager of platinum-selling rock band Incubus, Steve draws on his experience to coach and mentor the next generation of artists and music pros. In Dream it, Do it: Breaking Into The Music Industry, Steve is going let you in on what it takes to get your foot in the door and where to go from there. You’ll learn how to find a way over, around, or through anybody, or anything standing in your way. You’ll get straight-shooter insight on what separates winners from losers to how to strike when the iron is hot.
Talent is common, but having what it takes to make it in the music biz is an entirely different set of skills. Steve is here to teach you them.
Follow-up: Amazon Prime
- Amazon Prime costs $99/year not $99/month (duh).
- Amazon launched the Fire Phone.
The legal necessities for starting your own label or band
- LLC or S-Corp.
- Taxes are scary, but don’t forget about them.
- Find a lawyer.
- Find an accountant.
- Be realistic with your goals and needs.
- The gist: Those who don’t opt in to YoUTube’s ad-free streaming service and are indie artists will have their videos blocked.
- YT’s Head Of Content’s reasoning: to ensure that all content on the platform is governed by its new contractual terms.
- Affects Jack White, Adele, Arctic Monkeys on large scale
Our goal is to continue making YouTube an amazing music experience, both as a global platform for fans and artists to connect, and as a revenue source for the music industry. We’re adding subscription-based features for music on YouTube with this in mind — to bring our music partners new revenue streams in addition to the hundreds of millions of dollars YouTube already generates for them each year. We are excited that hundreds of major and independent labels are already partnering with us.
- “Their negotiations with indies is heavy-handed at a minimum and might be illegal at worst,” they said the executive. “YouTube and Google always do what they want, because that’s how they operate.
- What is pay to play?
- Is there any good from it?
- Should this stop?
- Maybe more bands should be doing shows on their own.
- Bill Gazzari’s pay to play controversy.
Recommendations: Obvious Child, Re:Work, The Grand Budapest Hotel, War All The Time by Thursday.
- Get More Fans: A 700 page, extensive guide with the resources and methods to promote your band. Detailing everything you need to know to get people to listen to your music and the art around it. Now with 20 more pages including a bonus chapter on the daily habits you can do to get fans for your music.
- Bad Timing Records: Check out Bad Timing for new Park and Knuckle Puck releases in addition to Acceptance, Valencia, and Mansions reissues.
I have covered the music business for the last 6 years and in that time I have done nearly a hundred interviews but none was more informative about the realities of how getting your video to spread works. For the last 15 years Andy Gesner at HIP Video Promo has been helping the smallest of DIY acts on up to huge acts like The Pixies, Paramore, Jet, The Lumineers and tons more get their music video on the air on the modern era.
Some of the great points Andy makes during the interview is how important it is that he is honest with everyone he works with. Unlike any other video promotion service I have seen, when Andy gets a video he knows he can’t pitch and won’t do the band any good promoting, he is honest with them about this and doesn’t just take their money and work with them. Instead he is honest with the group and coaches them through what they need to do in the future to accomplish their goals.
So what does a video promotion company do? Well HIP is a bit different, they don’t just put a bot on your YouTube video, instead they pitch it to the appropriate outlets for your music. This could be anything from video networks that play inside mall stores to MTVu, CMT, Fuse on to other emerging video technologies. I strongly urge you to listen to this interview, since I learned A LOT from it and I have been in this business for a long time. This part of the business is greatly misunderstood and it is great to hear from someone who does it for DIY acts as well as some of the biggest in the game. After you’re done be sure to check out HIP’s website.
Hi-Art is a really cool service that allows musicians to sell fans emoji stickers of logos and other fun designs around their music. The platform already has designs from Wu Tang Clan, The Misfits and many more as well as tons of famous graffiti artists designs. Musicians are able to sell their fans cool, fun emoji that they can text their friends ( even if they don’t have the app installed) and spread the word about their music with. Check out this great new service here or email firstname.lastname@example.org to work with them.
Also, check out the cool write up Pitchfork gave them for more examples of the cool things you can do with the service.
- Name Your Own Price tool.
- Bands get emails from supporters, unlike on Facebook.
- Older labels like Jade Tree, Deathwish, Polyvinyl taking advantage.
- The Last.fm of today?
- Free for all Prime subscribers at $99/year.
- Has 1,000,000 songs to start.
- No Universal Music Group artists like blink-182, Jay Z, New Found Glory, Lady Gaga.
- Web app is clunky, iOS app is useable.
- Serves Amazon, not the artist.
- An Amazon Smartphone may be coming.
One Year Or I’m Out
- Bands needing “one year” to see if they’ve gotten enough popularity to make it worth continuing on for.
- Geoff Rickly on Worst Gig Ever.
- Often the first year ends up just being needed groundwork.
- Fans must support those bands like Spraynard or Algernon before they’re gone.
- You Mosh, You Crowd Surf
You Get Hurt
We Get Sued
No More Warped Tour
- In relation to EDC and PSAs.
- What’s the end game?
- Only 20 percent of the 120-plus acts include at least one female.
- If you count the female population of the bands on an individual level, women make up only 6 percent of the tour.
- Kevin Lyman’s quotes hurt the point of the article itself.
- 6 women on Alternative Press cover in 3 years. 2 out of 5 times have been Hayley Williams.
- The business of Warped versus the business of a magazine, and their duties.
The Evolution of Streaming
- Last.fm’s failed potential and streaming.
- The gold rush hasn’t happened yet.
- Pandora’s slow decline.
- Rdio: Recent Activity, Top Charts, New Releases Recommendations.
- Spotify: Top Lists, Discover, Browse.
- Spotify has 10 million paid US subscribers.
- Beats and Apple might be the mainstream push needed.
The Decline of Facebook Page Engagement
- Pay the piper or kiss your fans goodbye.
- It’s $100 for PropertyOfZack to reach 18,000 people on a Facebook post.
- It’s $1,000 for Real Friends to reach 490,000 people.
- Facebook Likes grew by 50% last year.
- Kevin Lyman doesn’t care about Facebook anymore.
- Facebook punishes you for sharing too much with your fans.
- Don’t build your band’s future on Facebook.
Anniversary Shows and Tours
- Thoughts on ten year tours versus “year seven” anniversaries.
- Emotion versus money grabs.
- Young bands playing their albums in full.
- An older band’s set list responsibility.
- Brand New does it right.
- Not Now: It’s Time For blink-182 To Go On An Indefinite Hiatus, Again
- Mark Hoppus: I’m blink-182 For Life
- Our recording set-up should be near-perfect in sound now!
When albums leak
- Seven albums leaked in one day.
- How labels and managers should respond to leaks.
- Jesse recalls the story behind Man Overboard’s Real Talk leak.
- Run For Cover is the best at handling leaks.
- Epitaph did a great job with Bring Me The Horizon’s leak.
Being multi-faceted in the music industry
- Three jobs in the music industry can equal one “normal” job.
- Luke O’Neil and the potential income of a freelance writer.
- The benefits of having multiple jobs.
- The pitfalls of having multiple jobs.
- Finding the balance point between not enough and utter disaster.
- In-App Subscriptions.
- Free college subscriptions.
- Hits will make even more money.
- Eddy Cue and Jimmy Iovine at the Code Conference.
- Amazon’s strange streaming plan.
- It’s All About The Music
- If you want to be in the music industry, should you go to college?
- Should you go to college and get a music industry degree?
- Purgatory of college.
- Location versus reality.
- Tuition and debt.
- Slate: Why don’t more unpaid interns protest?
- Jesse is stopping studio internships.
- PropertyOfZack has volunteer writers.
- College and interning.
- The future of interning.
Should blink-182 go on a hiatus, again?
- A reunion in 2009 versus 2014.
- Believe in the new music, or don’t make it.
- Why blink-182 should go on a hiatus, again.
- Did the fans get what they wanted?
- Just tour.
- One Direction do have top 40 hits.
- Lefsetz is not always right. (Or, Lefsetz is mostly wrong).
Cartel, Chroma, Enjoy The Ride of Wax Dramatics
- Enjoy The Ride limited-to 1000 (online) copies of Chroma vinyl.
- We explain how licensing vinyl from major labels works.
- Cartel’s Twitter reaction to the vinyl pressing.
- #BTR003, where art though?
- Cartel official statement to the vinyl pressing.
- “Bootleg” versus unsanctioned.
How do you like your vinyl? Marketed
- Midtown versus Knuckle Puck (in speed of sales, not punk).
- Marketing the excitement of a release.
- #BTR001 marketing.
- Next day pre-ordering.
What is the job of a record label in 2014?
- The journey of needed-to-not-needed-to-needed.
- Different sized labels, different functions.
- New Found Glory sign to Hopeless.