Music Industry News
Every March, hundreds of thousands descend on Austin, Texas for
premier music, film, and tech festival -- South by Southwest (SXSW). While many associate SXSW with non-stop music performances from acts around the world, it's also where the music industry comes together to share tips and tricks on how to make money in today's tech-driven music industry. And, just as in
, you can find us running from one part of the conference center to another as we soak up all we can learn from top industry leaders and services helping to shape the new music business.
Now in it's fourth decade, SXSW is bigger than ever -- spanning nearly two weeks of music performances, film showings, panel discussions, tech demos, and more. This year some of the key themes surround
, social storytelling and
publishing and licensing
, building a fanbase, and how to
make money with music
Below is just a taste of the the 2017 SXSW panel discussions which can give you insight on what's on the minds of DIY musicians and the music industry at this moment. Many are topics we cover here in Electronic Musician Magazine as well as The DIY Advisor each Wednesday. So if you're hungry for tips, tricks, and techniques now, The DIY Advisor has your back: click the links for related articles on all of these topics:
- Getting Your Music Placed:
"Making Music TV Beyond Television", "Music for Media: Myths & Misconceptions", "How Music is Created & Placed in Games", "The Evolution of Music Supervision", "Secrets To Getting Syncs"
If you can get your music placed in a film, TV show, video game, movie trailer, or advertisement, you'll make money
. Licensing your music in this way can be lucrative, but to get licensed, you need to
make sure you own all your rights (or have them cleared)
have the mixes ready to go
. Music supervisors are constantly looking for the right song or track, but
there are ways you can get your music in front of them; you just need to know the secrets
. When you do get placed, be sure to have your music
registered with a PRO
, so you can get all the performance royalties owed to you (and
know about submitting cue sheets!
- Streaming & Getting Heard:"Launchpad: How Streaming Curators Help Artists", "Can Playlists and Spotlights Break an Artist?", "The Power of Human Curation"
Streaming continues to grow
, so if your music isn't already up at Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, or other streaming services, then you haven't
put your music in all of the places where fans discover new music
. This year, the focus is on
how curators, and the playlists they create, can break up-and-coming artists
. Being able to reach out and get your music included on popular playlists can help your music reach new listeners.
- Touring & Gigs:"Creating a Great Live Show", "Tour: Smart - Ten Years of Tour Advice"
Playing live is still one of the best ways to make money with music, so it's no wonder it's discussed at SXSW. One way you can
boost sales of your music
creating great shows
-- shows that
create emotional moments
for your audience.
- Making Money with Music:
"Transforming Online Popularity to Offline Success", "How To Launch A Music Career From Scratch"
Each year, the big question is
how do musicians make money in today's music environment
? Many SXSW's panels touch on this topic and, as in years past, when they don't, musicians in the audience ask the panelists anyway. It makes sense since
you are a business
. How can you
music is performed
? Are you getting
all the royalties owed to you
? What about
making money from your videos?
What's the best way to
raise money through crowdfunding
? Don't forget, you can
start a music business for $0
. And, yes, believe it or not, your
own gear can make money for you
- Branding & Sponsorships:"The New Deal: Why Brands Will Buy Artists Airtime", "I Want You to Want Me: Artists Seeking Brands"
Big name brands are looking to reach
specific audiences and demographics
; musicians are looking for sponsorships. It's a match that creates a win-win for those with an
. This has opened up a revenue stream which historically was only available to well-known acts. Is your music
set up to receive song and sound recording royalties
if you sign a sponsorship deal? Do you know
what a work-for-hire is
what you are giving up if you sign such an agreement
? And, do you
know all the other ways a brand can "pay" you
- Marketing, Publicity & Fan Engagement:"Social Storytelling: Music Marketing in 2017", "Cause Marketing for Musicians in 2017", "One Fan at a Time? Maximizing Fan Engagement", "Engage More Fans Using Retail Marketing Strategies"
is always a key topic at SXSW, and this year, they tackle
building a fanbase
using your story
connect with your audience
, as well as using
. But note that there are
including cause marketing, which allows you to use the
to associate your art with a cause that you find worthy, allowing you to
shine a spotlight
on something that deserves it.
- Understanding Your Legal Rights
"Signing Your Band To A Sync Rep Company", "General Licensing: Where Are My Royalties?", "Creative and Financial Aspects of Sampling", "The Song and Sound Recording Performance Right"
Once you write and record music, you'll want to avoid the
the rights you have with the songs you write
and to make sure that you've
done all of the regisrations needed
to collect them. But sampling includes using other people's work, and is a fast-changing area because the law
is still playing catch-up to the industry
. Also, if you want to make your music work for you, it always pays to be aware of what sync rep companies can do for you (keeping aware of what terms like
how to consider whether or not to sign one)
- The Future of Music:"Living in the Future - Music Policy in a New Industry", "The 7 Hottest Topics of Music Tech in 2017", "Music & Commerce: Licensing Music for Social Media", "Compulsory License Today, Direct License Tomorrow?"
It's always worth paying attention to current topics, but to
make good use of your limited time and resources
spend your efforts on
finding out where the party's at
paying attention to trends
. Today's trends covers how the
law tries to adjust
to the intersection of
world of social media
That's just a snapshot of what's happening at SXSW 2017.
There's a lot to learn
, but as always, we're ready to take what we discover and share it in future columns each week right here at
The DIY Advisor
SXSW 2015: What's On The Mind of The Music Industry?
SXSW 2016: What's On The Mind of The Music Industry?
100 Free Articles to Help You Make Money with Music and Grow Your Music Career
The Indie Band Survival Guide (Remixed & Remastered: Second Edition)
Making Money With Music
(15-hour Online Course)
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