One Movement - The Independent Times
(Co-presented by the Australian Independent Record Labels Association)
new mediums.new rules
The music industry has changed for good. New mediums have rewritten the rulebook on how to market, distribute, record and sell music. And what to some is a curse, for others it isÂ a cure. The Indie music industry has emerged from obscurity to become a force within its own right, challenging established institutions for a hefty slice of the market. Learn about the future of this rapidly changing sector of the industry directly from the minds of those responsible.
Musicoz knows that less than 10% of major label artists break-even, making the music industry one of the toughest careers in the world. Â So we caught up with some of the key guest speakers of ONE MOVEMENT to find out some information and tips for you:
Dave Holmes - Manager of COLDPLAY
Dave had humble beginnings starting from a car wash, but experiencing an ever increasing interest in his obsession of music. Dave said it takes real commitment and hard work to be successful in music. His key tips are:
1) Â Â In the 80's and 90's you could have a hit song or two on an album and now you really need to make a great album completely for it to be purchased. Â
2) Â Â If you really want to be successful, David is encouraging and says hard work pays off. Â You need to tour more than ever and do lots of promotion.
3) Â Â Social networking can help, but you are better off not doing it if you can't be authentic. Â Don't do it just to do it. Â Share views and opinions, not just write about crap.Â Â
4) Â Â Major Labels are not wanting or able to meet all the modern requirements/elements and are thus relying more and more on the artist and management to play a greater role and drive the success. Â They are moving to more transparency and collaborative approach.
5) Â Â It is hard to predict the path, so you have to manage everyones expectations on the path and focus on the big picture.
6) Â Â The overall big picture and focus should not be about just cd sales. Â Build your fan base, build through touring, social media and building a connection/relationship with your fans.
7) Â As popularity grows, don't get complacent, work harder - you'll need too.
8) Â Work on your performance. First the show and second, the individuality/intimacy of the event - connect with the audience (talk to them). Â Dave sees Bruce Springsteen's show as the standard to achieve.
Dave's Top Tips
* Â Work your art;
* Â Be better than average;
* Â Honest assessment of:
Â Â Â i) Â what your good at;
Â Â Â ii) Â what your not good at (admit it and find someone to fill gap);
Â Â Â iii) Outgrowing people/partners. Not about individuals. There is one goal and it is ok to join forces;
* Â Label responsibilities are being pushed towards the artist. Â Because artists/managers can be better than average and are committed to their own cause and working hard;
* Â Tick all the boxes (skip 1 at your own peril);
* Â You can't be above doing any of the jobs and also open to change;
* Â Build and create a loyal fan base;
* Â Give as well as take with fans (don't moneterize/charge for everything);
* Â Be careful with overexposure - just think about it with your fan base;
* Â Moving towards full service management companies - management, publishing etc
Musicoz would like to thank Dave for his time and also wish him and the ColdPlay boys further success.
Ken Bieber - President/CEO of ON THE ONE Co LTD (Tokyo/Japan)
Traditional Japanese Business Card Swap between Ken and Musicoz's Tim
With a number of Musicoz artists either touring Japan or planning too,Â this was a great meeting with a very interesting man.Â Â Due to its highest placing for song downloads through iTunes, or the fact that Japanese love our music, and you can't ignore that they have two massive festivals: FujiRock or Summersonic. It is also a place of personal interest to me - love the place. Â Ken and his partner started 8 years ago to find out how the music industry works in Japan.
Ken quotes "The philosopher Schopenhauer once said something to the effect that "most men confuse the limits of their minds with the limits of the universe". Â I was statement knowing the changing music landscape, but that is what is so exciting.
Interestingly, Ken is an expert in touring and promotion in Japan. Â He researched how the market operates over their and guess what - it is different. Â It is still very label driven and centric. Â They control through influence many of the companies which is critical for impact. Â Obviously, they key is:
1) Â Overseas bands have to be good;
2) Â The key is introductions to labels to get all the wheels of an effective campaign in motion;
3) Â Touring has to sync with promotion and release dates;
4) Â Japan has no radio pluggers etc - labels do everything and have existing relationships and control/influence;
5) Â Most press is pre-paid and expensive in Japan, so instore promotion is a massive component of distribution. Â The press is also driven by advertising which heavily influences content in the paper as much of it is advertorial (you get an article written if you have an add);
6) Â Touring will not be supported if your not released;
7) Â Further to 6 above, the festivals are predominantly controlled by the labels, so if you are looking to try and get on the line-up, you will most likely have to be organised through a label with a release.
For people like me wanting more information on the very different music market conditions of Japan, Ken has fortunately written a book for us. Â It is the run down of the Japanese market. Â The first half of the book covers market observations, while the second half is a guide/review of the labels and their performance in Japan.
This is a must read for artists/managers to better understand Japan and also, dare I suggest give us a better understanding of our market from understanding the differences.
The book can be found and purchased at:Â www.tokyoundersound.com
Musicoz would like to applaud Ken's book and thank him for his time/advice.
John Lenac - Head of Programming & Artist/Label Relations YAHOO MUSIC
It was truly an honor to have time with someone with such passion and interest for a long time hold such a senior role influencing music around the world. Â The impact of concerts and music on John is so visible from when he tells about his first music concert to other occasions of pure magic.
more detail on his interview coming shortly.
Ruuben Van Den Heuvel - Head of Music, Asia Pacific NOKIA
Ruuben was such a source for inspiration and enjoyment over the conference, spending a reasonable amount of time together, that he helped me solve the music industries financial problems, solved global warming, deliver world peace and acceptance, only to forget how too. Â We did that on at least two maybe three occasions - Thanks Ruuben, it was a lot of fun mate.
Michael Harrison - Tour Coordinator - FRONTIER TOURING
Michael was a very pleasant guy who is part of a very busy dynamic team of people coordinating events of large scale that move around Australia. A job that isn't for the light hearted. Â Anyway, as I should, I asked the question no one else in the world has ever asked him or the rest of the great team at Frontier Touring:
How do we get a gig on as support for one of the big tours? Â Well, hoping for you can fill half of our next years tours, I wasn't surprised by Michael's answer that they are a highly organised and busy company that can't cater for everyones wishes. Â In many cases, it will be decided by the label (the overseas label if it is an artist from overseas, which it is many of the times), or alternatively the band has some sway with their label and get to choose an artist to support. Â So in these cases the decision does not sit fully with Frontier Touring. Â On the occasion, the label or band do rely on the Frontier to book the support act(s). Â In these instances it is usually based on an artists that best suits the role that won't outshine the main act. Â It is likely to be sourced from their associate company Premier Harbour Agency. Â As booking agents for Australian talent, they have a team of people eager to get their artists on tours.
So their you have it, it is all about being good, and having relationships with the right people - whether that be the overseas label, the band, or if you are with Premier Harbour Agency booker, he knows and secures a spot. Â If you aren't with Premier Harbour Agency and think you are ready/top of your game/ all the boxes ticked, get on to them to get them to see you perform. Â They are out checking acts all the time - so be mindful that any gig could be an important performance. Generally if it is common knowledge of a tour, the support acts have already been secured, so advance planning and timing with these relationships are critical. So there you have how a touring company operates.
Thanks you Michael and regards to the team from Musicoz.
Iain Shedden - Music Writer - THE AUSTRALIAN
Musicoz caught up with Iain to find out the secrets of getting some media coverage. Â Iain outlined that the amount of content (which I understand and agree) that gets sent around to media and radio stations is massive. Â I myself have experienced seeing two wheely bins full of cd samples for someone to demo at one radio station. So, what is Iain's tips:
1) Â Work on exposure;
2) Â Have a strong online presence - stand back and consider this in comparison to others or just to stand out;
3) Â 70% of music is now sent to media through streaming/downloading and it is the preferred (does it stand out);
4) Â Make sure any emails etc sent have a link to either song, artist profile or download link. Even Iain is surprised when they don't - take your time and get it right;
5) Â Key stuff:
Â Â Â i) Â Presentation is everything and the gate opener;
Â Â Â ii) Â Basic product - make it simple and easy;
Â Â Â iii) Â Follow-up on email and then via phone if necessary - everyone is busy;
Â Â Â iv) Â Make sure you have a story that can be copied - if not it will appear either not interesting/worth publishing or too hard (they are not going to do your work for you and look for the story in heaps of blurb);
Musicoz thanks Iain for his open discussion on dealing with media.Â
Ashley Sellers - CEO of INERTIA
Ashley has some hot tips for artists:
1) Â Â Write great songs;
2) Â Â If your not happy, re-write a song and be happy to do so;
3) Â Â If you want to play, practice in the garage and practice a lot. Then when your serious, and you believe your performance is amazing, hit it;
4) Â Â Be patient and don't be daunted, there will be lots of opportunities;
5) Â Â Always refer back to number 1 above (make killer songs - what other people believe to be killer songs)
Musicoz has a song feedback service if you want an open criteque
6) Â Don't stick with your best mate if your career takes off. Â Surround yourself with people to keep the projection going.
Ashley also says don't be disappointed if you don't get a gig with them. Â Their could be political or financial reasons why Â you don't get a support act, or they feel it is not the right fit or could overshadow the main act.
Thanks Ashley from the Team at Musicoz.