If you have been in the music business as long as I have then hearing the news last week that the history of the music business is one of NOT paying artists their royalties is not anything new to you. I heard from some old friends in the business, and they put an interesting spin on the state of things today, as opposed to the 'old days'.
"A great subject for you to teach I would assume....I've always been interested in the business side of rock & roll...and to hear this story again for the 100th time, it seems that it is no secret that musicians make money from just about everything EXCEPT record sales...touring...merchandise (only since 1980 )...publishing & endorsements, and most important of all...airplay!
if I was a hot new band looking for a record contract, I would sign up with the biggest record company in the world as long as everything else outside of the sales/distribution is MINE !....Prince is doing very well with his business plan...Pink Floyd & Zeppelin are cash cows because of airplay royalties....the record companies rip every band off & bands have to hire expensive lawyers to look thru their crooked books....which costs big $$$....sort of takes the fun out of being a musician if you have to worry about being ripped off to death...don't you think ?...
I remember Springsteen just confused as hell when he heard that U2 GAVE their new song 'Vertigo' to Apple for FREE...the hottest single from the biggest band in the world from the forthcoming release...for FREE....what U2 got in exchange was what?....6 months of TV advertising for the new Apple product using 'Vertigo' as the music bed !....bloody brilliant !....I'm not telling you anything you don't know, but I find it interesting to see how smart bands can get what they want."
From Peter Stupar: Photograper extraordinaire and former A&M Promo Rep
And this feedback on the "saturated music marketplace" due to too many new releases:
"Honestly, Chris, I think the crux of the problem is that there is SO MUCH music out there because anyone can record and put their album on iTunes these days, but most of what's being released will never create True Fans. The music isn't good enough.
True Fans are always True Fans and will always buy your music.
But 90% of what's being put out there is mediocre at best or just doesn't stir the soul.
I hear so much music, all day long in my job. How much do I really care about? Not much. It's just pretty noise. If you want me to buy your music, you need to create something better than pretty noise.
I really need to write that article, "Why Should I Buy Your Music?" One of these days when I have time. A lot of Indie's won't like it, because I'm basically going to tell them that most of them just aren't good enough to merit my money. But it's the truth."
from Musician extraordinaire and founder of MusicBizAcademy.com - David Nevue