Because of advancements in technology and the rise of digital distribution models, the music industry is changing at a rapid pace. Pandora is old news and Spotify is just hitting the U.S. Market. “The Cloud” is the current buzzword, while industry insiders are already forecasting the imminent extinction of the digital download model.
Whether you’re releasing a single album or starting an actual music related business, more than likely you will find yourself looking for funding or capital to get your business venture started. Some of the traditional means used to finance an endeavor have ranged from using personal credit cards to securing a bank loan to borrowing money from relatives.
In this post, we will take a look at a couple of alternative funding sources available to get your music project or business going.
In the previous post, we looked at two business plan experts and the advice they offer for building a plan. To aid in understanding how to incorporate their advice, I’ll use my business plan as an example. I’m writing a business plan for the record label start-up that my brother and I are forming.
This month we are looking at two models of media publishing and distribution available today. In my last post, I covered the traditional forms of record labels and music publishers. There are those that find the traditional avenues afford them great success in their careers. There are others who find the same traditional models are more of a detriment to their careers than a help.
My industry sources tell me that across major, independent, and unsigned artists, the overall average for album sales is 1,000 albums sold. That is why many artists find it hard to realize any profits working with a record label. Even unsigned artists can find it difficult to make a profit with those numbers. There are, of course, both signed and unsigned artists that beat the averages and find success. The point of this post is to equip you with do-it-yourself tools so that as an unsigned artist you will have a better chance at success.
This month we will be looking at two models of media publishing and distribution available today. We will look at both the traditional forms of established publishers and distributors as well as the do-it-yourself model of publishing and distribution.
We will start by focusing on the traditional models. This includes music publishers which manage the written works of music and lyrics for songwriters, handling such tasks as shopping the music to potential artists and record labels as well as administering royalties. This model also includes record labels that record and distribute music in an audio format.
One of the entertainment attorneys I connected with this past month while researching music law was Evita G. Kaigler. She founded The Law Offices of Evita G. Kaigler in Atlanta, Georgia, a law practice designed to create change within the music space by advocating for musical integrity and supporting the people who create the music. She received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Georgia and a Juris Doctor Degree from Emory University School of Law. In addition to the tools provided in her educational background, Evita pulls her knowledge from various working experiences with organizations such as the Global Legal Division of The Coca-Cola Company, Atlanta’s own Sho’Nuff Records, and Music Is My Business, LLC. She is a member of the Georgia Bar Association’s Sports and Entertainment Law Section, member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, and a volunteer attorney for the Georgia Truancy Intervention Project. Evita has spoken at various universities, law schools and music conferences to empower, through information, those who want to serve the music community.
This past month I connected with some excellent entertainment attorneys, one of those being Chrissie Scelsi. She is the principal of Scelsi Entertainment and New Media Law, P.L., with offices in Port Charlotte and Orlando, Florida. She practices entertainment and intellectual property law, including but not limited to matters for clients in music, film, video games, interactive and social media, as well as copyright, trademark and general business counseling. Ms. Scelsi is also assistant legal counsel at Bohemia Interactive Simulations in Orlando, Florida. She is a member of the American Bar Association Section of Intellectual Property Law, as well as the Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries. She is a Young Lawyer Fellow for the Section of Intellectual Property Law, and is a member of the Annual Review Editorial Board. Ms. Scelsi is co-editor of the recent book Computer Games and Virtual Worlds: A New Frontier in Intellectual Property Law, published in the spring of 2010. She has served as the co-chair of the Publications Subcommittee for the Committee on Computer Gaming and Virtual Worlds for the American Bar Association Section of Intellectual Property Law. Ms. Scelsi is also a member of the Florida Bar Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Section Legislative Subcommittee. She is also the author of the PunkLawyer blog, which focuses on entertainment law matters with the independent scene in mind. Ms. Scelsi graduated from Loyola University New Orleans in 2004, where she received a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing and studied music business. She graduated from Saint Louis University School of Law in 2007.