May 25, 2012

10 tips to consider while chasing your dream


No matter where you are in your career
, it’s important to look back at the basics. It allows you to think like a beginner again; back to when you could visualize the most possibilities. The following ten tips, taken from a NARIP event in San Francisco, will help move forward your career in the music business - however far along you may be.
1. Have a Plan
Write it down - on a piece of paper. Studies have shown that physically writing things down not only helps in retaining the information better, but handwritten goals can bring clarity and focus. If you’ve already typed out your goals somewhere, rewrite them again on a piece of paper. You may come across new insights that can bring even more clarity and focus to your plan. Furthermore, you should be able to clearly articulate your goals so well that there isn’t the least bit of uncertainty or confusion when you’re out making progress towards your plan. 
2. Recognize That Everything Is Sales     
As music professionals, we’re all in the business of sales. For some, this can be a hard fact to swallow. After all, music is an art form - a transcendental language that breaks down language barriers across the world. However, it’s also a form of entertainment. In order to sustain ourselves as artists - as entertainers - we must be compensated for our time and effort. At the very least, the art needs to sustain itself. You must learn, understand, appreciate, execute, and learn to love sales. This applies whether you’re on stage, at a conference, or online - consider yourself always on the sales floor. 
3. Network
You’ve heard it time and time again: “It’s not about what you know, but who you know.” This is certainly true, but only to a degree. Just as important as whom you know in this business is what you can do for them. You shouldn't be handing out business cards to every potential ally you encounter. You should first ensure that you have something of value to offer them. In a proper networking situation, a mutually beneficial exchange of resources occurs where both parties benefit from one another. If at first you seek to help others, and do so genuinely, you will gain leverage in earning what it is you’re after. Yes, while everything is sales as I mentioned above, it's important to remember the art of “sellling without selling” - to give in order to get.
4. Collaborate / Create Partnerships
In an ideal world, we’d all have large amounts of capital that we can allocate to pay top-quality help. This obviously is not the case, but sometimes money isn’t what is needed to gain the services we seek. If you can’t exchange dollars, exchange services. Either way, you’re building relationships and displaying a genuine desire to help the other person out.
5. Collect and Surround Yourself with Winners
Surround yourself with firelighters – people who recognize your passion (your flame) and encourage you to move forward, and try to avoid the firefighters – people who diminish your spirits by trying to bring you down - intentionally or unintentionally. You’re known by the company you keep, so affiliate and associate yourself wisely. Do some research on successful people and try to model their success. Also, if you haven’t had a mentor yet, consider seeking one out. Personalized and experienced professional guidance can work wonders for your career.
6. Take Risks
Overcome shyness, fear and doubt, and don’t be afraid to venture outside your comfort zone. Experiencing discomfort or anxiety really means that you’re entering areas that you're unfamiliar with – which means you're growing! Don’t be afraid to do a little traveling, either. Not every opportunity is going to present itself conveniently in your backyard.
7. Be Optimistic
Cut loose the people who are continuously bringing you down. It’s a tough space we’re in, and pessimism will only make it tougher. This touches upon my earlier point of surrounding yourself with winners, because winners tend to be optimistic people. It’s always the losers that tell you that it can’t be done.
8. Be Professional
Present yourself professionally in every medium that you exchange conversation or information with other professionals. From proper sounding voicemails, to practicing good email etiquette (well thought-out subject lines, following up, etc.), to wearing the proper attire to networking situations, it’s important to brand yourself as a professional in every situation you place yourself in. This also pertains on and offstage, as well.
9. Educate Yourself
This is where most of you readers already have the leg up. By keeping up on your music industry news, you place yourself ahead of the curve of other would-be professionals in this business, and you position yourself amongst a crowd of legitimate industry professionals. By being informed, you not only are more likely to execute better business strategies, but you’ll always have proper and appropriate conversation to ignite in a networking situation - for instance, “What do you think about RootMusic’s new Social Touring integration for the BandPage app?”
10. Become Remarkable
At the end of the day, it’s all about being memorable. Personal branding is all about the mental associations people have of you. In order to stand out or move ahead, you must become remarkable at what you do. This also means being authentic - which shouldn't be too difficult if you're truly passionate about what you do.

May 23, 2012


AMP is going to be working hard to bring Artist specific mobile websites to it's members at an affordable price. There is no doubt that this is the wave of the future. This is a required tool for all artist to have to compete in the digital age. We are also working on a social media model to use as a companion tool to help you monetize your  product. As it say's in the article below from the New York Times, " It's a requirement not an option. Good reading!

FW: Is Your Company Late to the Mobile Party? - The Wall Street Journal.

Article in yesterday's Wall Street Journal...

Is Your Company Late to the Mobile Party?

By ED NASH  (Mr. Nash is the president of Altius Management in Nashville, Tenn that appear to be in the music and events management business.)

Web 3.0 isn't coming—it's already here. And it's all about mobile interaction. If your company doesn't have a mobile website—a site specifically designed and coded for each mobile platform—you're already seriously behind the times. The marketplace demands content and the available delivery pipelines are exponentially more diverse and interactive than ever before.

Our businesses compete in a technological environment in which information is coming and going from every direction in all conceivable digital forms. Suddenly, the ability to explore a fully interactive website or a full-length video doesn't require anything more than a small hand-held device. Wireless data delivery is faster and easier than ever, and consumers want what they want right now—whether they are sitting in front of a desktop, riding on a train holding a tablet, or walking down the street, smartphone in hand.

All of these factors make the development and implementation of dedicated mobile websites absolutely critical to success. According to a 2011 report by comScore, fully half of the total population of the U.S. uses mobile media—an incredible 20% increase in a single year.

World-wide, there are 1.2 billion mobile Web users. In the U.S. alone, 25% of users access the Web exclusively through mobile devices, and that number is significantly higher in many other parts of the world, such as 70% in Egypt and 59% in India.

Mobile Web growth stats aren't slowing down either. They'll continue to balloon, just as network availability, access speed, software and hardware devices will continue to revolutionize mobile interaction and ease of use.

So how can a global company survive without a great mobile website? With stats and trends as they are, I'd rather not wait around to find out.

Case in point: A mobile Web solution was recently shown to me by a friend in charge of marketing at a major record label. He had contracted the development of mobile sites for several of their acts, and has been impressed at the potential for a Web platform that is simple, appealing and intuitive. In the not-too-distant past, fans performing a mobile search for their favorite music artist would find themselves on a traditional website that was barely viewable on their hand-held device, slow to load, and nearly impossible to navigate—much less interact with.

Today's Web 3.0 is different—it is fast, easy, clean and interactive. Viewing videos, hearing music, buying products, signing up for email lists, and checking tour dates on a mobile device is now simple, convenient and attractive—the way it should be.

The solutions, despite what you might think, are not expensive. The technology is broadly available and the process of using existing Web elements to "skin" (i.e. optimize) a site for mobile use isn't altogether difficult.

Yet much of the business world remains woefully unprepared. I've heard from more than one large corporation that mobile Web integration is in the works for 2014—no that's not a misprint. Given the fierce competition, I truly hope that these companies can stay in business until then. If they want to survive, they need to bump up the time frame just a bit—like today.

If your company is going to compete in a web-based world, it must be broadly accessible and elegantly intuitive—Steve Jobs taught us that. The technological landscape has changed immeasurably since I started my first business over 20 years ago. In that time, I've learned that change can be very profitable for innovators and early-adopters, or very costly if you're the last to show up to the party. For those who aren't ready for Web 3.0, get your dancing shoes on—the party is already in full swing, and you're late.

Mr. Nash is the president of Altius Management in Nashville, Tenn.

Music business Noise in Hollywood / High priority

I read the following and was elated. This affirms all our predictions and the some. I hope you guys repost this. All Indie artist, writers , producers, publishers etc need to read this. I would love to hear your thoughts. I'm J. Gray and I approve this message.

Music Business Makes a Lot of “Noize” in Hollywood

Author: George S. McQuade III
Published: April 29, 2012 at 7:19 am
“Artists don’t need a label anymore,” Panelist Jessa Gelt, EMI Music Publishing told a crowd of mostly music enthusiasts, artists and industry pros Saturday, at the First Noize Entertainment Expo at the Musicians Institute, Hollywood CA. “We have songwriters, who have been dropped from other labels, we have songwriters, who have partnered with other songwriters and have formed bands. The Internet provides international resources.”
Topics ranged from “Indie vs. Major” (labels) the State of Industry to the “Pros and Cons’ of publishing. Panelists discussed critical observations of writing, producing and distributing music. Attendees got the rare chance to meet face to face with industry experts who all agreed that, “technology has turned everything upside down, creating a lot of noise.”
“Thanks to the Internet there are no rules, and forget about the business model, too,” said Darryl Swann, who is a long time contributor to ASCAP, and is a writer, record producer, and developer of emerging artists under his own production company, Senova Media.
“Great songs and great production will always be here, and it’s all cyclical. We were so enamored with ProTools, Apple Logic and all the technology - it's like a toy. We’re putting that toy away and getting back to the songs.”
Swann is an American record producer, songwriter, educator and musician. He has worked with prominent artists including Macy Gray, Black Eyed Peas, Mos Def among others. He has also done substantial work for Atlantic Records, Sony Records, and Universal Records, and teaches music at the Musicians Institute and UCLA.
And how do artists make money? “That’s the million dollar question,” he said. “Music today is pretty much a promotional vehicle, where you bring people to your brand.”
Best advice? “Think out of the box, and hustle,” said Swann.
Continued on the next page

May 22, 2012


Here is a new one for the books. 101 arena is in beta testing. This is a new generation of streaming, 
that is actually  promising to pay 100% of sales to the artist. How is that possible?  With the amount of revenue
made by streaming platforms from advertising there is, and has always been enough revenue from advertisers to 
create substantial revenue for this to be possible. This model is going to shake things up in the download industry. 
However only if the artist participate.Indie artist as a whole have allowed itunes, etc, to dictate how artist get paid. 
The only way this is going to change is, if artist take a stand. Check this article out, and you decide
Next Generation Streaming App Puts Focus On Artist Profit
Bookmark and ShareShare
PHOENIX.101 Distribution has announced the launch of 101 Arena, the first and

only free streaming music service to pay 100 percent of all advertising revenue
generated directly to artists and content owners. This solution comes in response
 to growing controversy surrounding marginal payments for unlimited listens through
popular services like Grooveshark, Spotify, RDIO, Rhapsody and others.

"101 Arena will be the most functionally disruptive business model today's
music industry will be forced to embrace," said Damon Evans, executive
Director of 101 Distribution, the nation's only full-service, independently owned
music and film distributor that offers 100 percent payout to artists for all sales.
 "No streaming service in operation today can accommodate free consumer access
 and 100 percent ad revenue payout to artists."

World-famous acts such as the Black Keys, Coldplay, Radiohead, Adele, Tom Waits,
and more have made headlines for refusing to post their albums on streaming platforms.
 Artists argue streaming services receive the majority of the monthly advertising revenue
and user subscription fees, while content owners receive only paltry royalty payments.
 In addition, traditional media formats are becoming secondary options for consumers,
 while streaming services are rapidly growing in popularity. The launch of 101 Arena will
test 101 Distribution's claim that popular services, such as Spotify, will only be
as influential as artists allow them to be.

101 Arena's revolutionary model (Infographic: The Downside of Streaming Music)
fairly divides all site advertising revenue between each artist based on 'listens'
and was created by 101 Distribution, the nation's only full-service, independently
 owned music and film distributor that offers a 100 percent payout for all digital,
mobile, retail, merchandising, streaming and mail-order sales. The aggressive
payout structure of Arena puts artists in position to net more monthly income
than would be realized through services like Spotify, Rhapsody, MOG, RDIO and
Grooveshark combined.

An innovator in film and music distribution, 101 Distribution is committed
to protecting and growing artist control and profit - and has built this philosophy
into content streaming with the launch of 101 Arena.

"We understand the impact streaming services will have on an independent artist's
 ability to maintain a viable career in music. It's hard to think about recording a new
single, let alone an album, when the most popular platforms are paying out less than
 $.005 for an unlimited amount of monthly use," said Evans. "We've made it possible
for any level of musician to self-manage product sales for all media formats¬
including streaming-while keeping full ownership of their content and
 100 percent of all sales profits and site advertising revenue."

101 Arena allows users to stream singles, live shows, music videos and full-feature
 films in pre-programmed playlists generated from 101 Distribution's catalog,
free of charge. Genres include: Hip hop/rap, rock/alternative, faith/inspirational,
 metal/hard rock, dance/electronic, film/video, country/folk and Latino and jazz/instrumental.

Different from other streaming services, users can skip singles they don't want
 to hear, replay any single multiple times and stream full albums from new
 artists they discover. 101 Arena is the first mobile destination that combines
streaming audio and video with a fully enabled shopping cart for physical and
digital content purchases. For artists, 101 Arena is included in the company's
existing flat rate non-exclusive distribution offering and requires no yearly storage
 or renewal fees.

101 Arena is the stage for independent music and film. To experience 101 Arena, visit or text ARENA to 46101. For more information on 101 Distribution, visit


May 19, 2012


So here it is saturday again. What happen to the rest of the days this week. It's all been a blur. Another week in the music business. I need a laugh. I'm tired of crying. I'm J. Grady and I approve this message.

"Music is everybody's possession. It's only publishers who think that people own it."
— John Lennon
"A composer is a guy who goes around forcing his will on unsuspecting air molecules, often with the assistance of unsuspecting musicians."
— Frank Zappa
"Anything that is too stupid to be spoken is sung."
— Voltaire
"It's easy to play any musical instrument: all you have to do is touch the right key at the right time and the instrument will play itself."
— J.S. Bach
"I want to do a musical movie. Like Evita, but with good music."
— Elton John
"I understand the inventor of the bagpipes was inspired when he saw a man carrying an indignant, asthmatic pig under his arm. Unfortunately, the manmade sound never equaled the purity of the sound achieved by the pig."
— Alfred Hitchcock
"I don't deserve a Songwriters Hall of Fame Award. But fifteen years ago, I had a brain operation and I didn't deserve that, either. So I'll keep it."
— Quincy Jones
"I love to sing, and I love to drink scotch. Most people would rather hear me drink scotch."
— George Burns
"All music is folk music. I ain't never heard no horse sing a song."
— Louis Armstrong
"The musician is perhaps the most modest of animals, but he is also the proudest. It is he who invented the sublime art of ruining poetry."
— Erik Satie
"Talking about music is like dancing about architecture."
— Steve Martin
"When she started to play, Steinway came down personally and rubbed his name off the piano."
— Bob Hope
"The world must be filled with unsuccessful musical careers like mine, and it's probably a good thing. We don't need a lot of bad musicians filling the air with unnecessary sounds. Some of the professionals are bad enough."
— Andy Rooney
"Andrew Lloyd Webber's music is everywhere, but so is AIDS."
— Malcolm Williamson
"I know [canned music] makes chickens lay more eggs and factory workers produce more. But how much more can they get out of you on an elevator?"
— Victor Borge

"I don't know anything about music. In my line you don't have to."
— Elvis Presley
"Rock 'n' roll will never die. There'll always be some arrogant little brat who wants to make music with a guitar."
— Dave Edmunds
"I'd love to see Christ come back to crush the spirit of hate and make men put down their guns. I'd also like just one more hit single."
— Tiny Tim
"If I didn't do this well, I just wouldn't have anything to do... I can't cook, and I'd be a terrible housewife."
— Freddy Mercury (of Queen)
"For us the most important thing is to be visual, and for the cats watching us to have fun. This is all we want. We get very upset if people get bored when we're only half way through smashing the second set."
— Roger Waters (of Pink Floyd)

May 18, 2012

Money Music Art

It's been a tough week for a lot of us working in the music industry. Some of us have seen success, some have unrequited  blisters, and some barley broke a sweat. I hope you have passion for this three ring circus, because if you don't you'll wind up looking like a clown. If you do, sit back and enjoy the show. There's a different act under each tent. I hear their adding a new tent. Work on your act, polish it, tweak it and get it ready to present it to the audience. Remember this; you must have an audience for it to be seen. If a song is played in an empty room, is it a song? I'm J. Grady and I approve this message.

You may have heard that the music industry is sort of falling apart. It isn't really a matter of there being less money in the pool - just that the money people have to spend on entertainment (which will always be somewhat of a constant) is just being diverted away from where it historically has gone (record labels and managers). The music industry is by definition an operation invented to divert money spent on music away from actual musicians - the problems that the music industry is currently facing have specifically to do with the fact that the money that would usually flow directly to the bigger economic actors is now going somewhere else.
This is such a succinct and accurate example of what we've been talking about for over a decade, it's worth repeating. As we've seen over and over again in numerous studies, the amount of money being spent on the music industry (remember: that's more than just selling records) hasn't gone down at all, and, in fact appears to have gone up over the last decade. The "issue" is that it's going to many other players in the market, rather than the record labels. In the past, the record labels did their best to keep that money from ever going to musicians. These days, a lot of that money is up for grabs -- and the record labels are upset that they're not getting more of it. Instead, it may be going to others, such as Apple or an ISP or someone else entirely. But, really, it's up for grabs -- and that's why we see a lot of smart musicians figuring out how to take advantage and get their share. But it is a scramble. And if you want to succeed in the music business these days, you need to figure out how to get your share:
Sxsw should be an example of where some of that money is going. While labels are trying to figure out how they can get their piece back, the question sxsw should leave for bands is how to get theirs, or to at least not throw it directly at hospitality and energy conglomerates in order to get to Austin and see your fans money go straight down the throats of Mountain Dew incorporated instead of into your pocket. And again, just to re-iterate - it's not like these companies are inherently evil or vicious. I kind of like Mountain Dew. It's just that they are way better than you at figuring out how to get peoples money, and while your job as an artists should mostly be about making great art, it should also be a little bit about how to be smart at if not making money, then at least not throwing an undue amount away just so someone else can make money at your expense. This is the crux of the matter - there is a big pool of money out there that everyone is trying to get - the music industry is panicking because a lot of the money that used to go from music consumers right to them, is now going to companies that are posted just on the periphery of music, letting bands and labels spend money making music, and then swooping in with music related marketing strategies aimed at getting some of that relatively free money.
The realization is key: basically, there's a pool of money that people are fighting for, and you need to figure out how to get your share, not whine about others who are doing a better job of figuring out how to get their share. It's a recognition that you're in business, and business means competition. In this case, the band appears to have worked out a deal with a clothing company to help fund its performance at SXSW, as part of an effort to show that it could be done, rather than having to lose money and hope that someone at SXSW decides to just give you a big check. 

And that's, effectively, all we've been talking about here for more than a decade. It's about recognizing that the market has shifted, no one is automatically owed a living, but in this period of dynamic change, there really are a tremendous number of new opportunities. In the past, if you wanted to be a success, you were much more limited, because you had to wait for one of the big gatekeepers to anoint you. Today, your fate is in your own hands. It doesn't mean that everyone will succeed. Just as in any industry, many will fail along the way. But sitting around demanding money isn't going to work.

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