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How Does Music Licensing Work?

One of the biggest revenue streams for artists is music licensing. Music licensing can be a confusing, intimidating journey and most artists don't find success in this area of the biz without a little guidance. But we’re here to clarify any questions and misconceptions you might have about the whole process. Let’s get started!

What is a Music License?

A music license is when a copyright holder (you the artist) grants the right to use his or her work publicly, and in return receives a flat fee and/or royalties based on an agreed contract. Sometimes these licenses have a time limit, say for a few months during the holidays, while other licenses can be granted indefinitely or bought outright from the copyright holder.

Types of Music Licenses

  • Synchronization License: Specialized for use with visual media, such as TV shows, film, commercials, news segments, and more. License fees can be determined by how the song will be used, where it will be played, anticipated...
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Top 10 Coolest Jobs in the Music Industry

It's not just about the voice talent or the talented fingers on an instrument when it comes to making your mark on the music industry. Some of the coolest parts of the trade aren't behind the mic or up on stage. They're behind the scenes, in the studio, or shaking hands with a big name over a signed contract. Whatever your dream might be, these are 10 of the most interesting jobs that you can have in the music industry.

Record Producer

The record producer is the individual who oversees the entire production of an artist’s creation, whether it’s one song or a whole album. While it won’t require a degree, you have to become familiar with tracking, mixing, editing, mastering, and everything in-between. Bonus points, If you’re a songwriter or instrumentalist yourself, you’ll be able to assist artists with the arrangements (or even songwriting!) and prove yourself even more valuable.

How to Get Started: The best to learn the job, is simply to do the job....

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10 Must-Know Record Labels in the Industry

While we’re big fans of the independent record label, we know that the big three labels - Sony Music, Universal Music Group, and Warner Music Group - loom large over the industry and have brought tremendous history to the industry as a whole. Under those Big Three are many labels you know and love, and today we want to explore those big names and how they made a name in the industry themselves.

Sony Music Entertainment

As one of the Big Three, Sony Music Entertainment is a conglomerate of music history dating back to the 1920’s, at its roots as the American Record Corporation. Through the years, it’s undergone many name changes including Columbia, CBS Records (with Clive Davis), and eventually Sony Music. Under their impressive umbrella are genre divisions such as Epic Records, Columbia Records, Sony Music Japan, Sony Music UK, and Nashville, proving just how global they’ve truly become.

Warner Music Group

Warner Music is an offshoot of Warner Bros Records,...

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Pros and Cons of Indie Record Labels You Need to Know

When it comes to choosing the right music label for your career, it can be comparable to choosing a business partner. You want someone who can be by your side artistically, financially, and personally. While big record labels may boast these qualities, it’s a given that all three of these traits can be found with the independent music label. However, like all big decisions in life, there are pros and cons to indie labels that you should consider before taking the plunge.

Thumbs Up (The Pros)

Close Relationships

Due to the small size of an indie label, it makes all the experiences more personal. Indie labels work closely with their artists at every step of the journey, from mentoring to skillbuilding. When you have a close knit team on call, it can make the creative process more streamlined. However, this doesn’t mean hand-holding: as the artist, you’ll still be responsible for your own creativity, but have faith in the fact that you won’t be left floundering...

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4 Music Industry Jobs That You Didn’t Know Earn Royalties

You don’t need to be an incredibly talented singer to make it in the music industry. Okay, we know that sounds strange, but it’s true. There are so many other facets and positions in the industry that can make some serious coin, all without having to step in front of the microphone yourself. Take a look as we break down four music industry jobs that can earn royalties without the pressure of the spotlight.

Session Musician

As the name suggests, a session musician is hired on a per-session basis, usually to play instrumentals for a song during the production process. Most session musicians are paid on a work-for-hire basis, or just session by session, but there are instances where a session musician can receive multiple benefits while working on a song with an artist, including royalties! Some record labels put small percentages of sound recording sales aside specifically for session musicians called a Special Payments fund. This, however, this practice is not required...

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What Is a 360 Deal?

There’s a running joke that your favorite artists are probably poor behind the scenes, and a lot of this humor often stems from the reality of their poor contract agreements. The 360 deal is one of the most common, and most misunderstood, contracts in the industry. Many hate it on sight, assuming that it’s designed to solely screw over the artist. However, it’s not the predatory contract that many assume it to be. Each case and application of this contract is different, and if it’s structured correctly and fairly, both the artist and the record company can walk away with a profit.

 

What is A 360 Record Deal?

A “360” as it’s called in the industry, is an exclusive contract between a label and an artist. In a 360 deal, a recording label not only takes a share of the artist’s music sales, but also percentages of revenue from other ventures, such as concerts, merchandise, television appearances, or publishing. It's...

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Music Royalties Explained: The Ultimate Guide for 2020

One of the biggest mysteries and struggles of the music industry is how to get paid music royalties in the United States. We all too often hear about the cliché starving artist criticism (especially from mom), but what about the artist that eats? How do musicians at the top of their game reap what they have sown? You are in the right place, my friend.

Start with this video:

Why I Made This Guide

Ever since I’ve begun my research, I have followed the steps and am now successfully earning music royalties from multiple sources including Spotify, YouTube, Film Music, and Live Performances! Now it’s your turn, I created this guide so that you can be knowledgable of not only how to collect your royalties, but also understand what percentages are fair so that you get paid what you are worth.

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What This Guide Will Not Do

I want to take a moment to be clear. Following the steps in this guide is not guaranteed money today, so...

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How Does The Music Industry Work?

To become a successful artist, it often takes more than talent. You’ve heard it time and again, and by now you might be spinning in circles trying to find the best way to launch yourself into the circle of success. Well, wonder no more, because today we’re breaking it down into a few areas of improvement that guarantees a turnaround for you. We marry your talent with the business know-how to build your brand and gain popularity. Pay attention.

Audience Growth

Before the record labels, before the big contracts, and before the sold-out arenas, it all starts with your core audience. Just hoping that someone will listen to your music is often not enough these days. While there are “tips and tricks” out there to help you get started, it’s often difficult to find that long-term strategy.

The best route is to become more invested with your fans, no matter how many or how little you have. Make content creation your number one mission, alongside music creation:...

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10 Indie Music Labels You Should Know

With the vast amount of information and record labels available in the music world, it can be daunting to search for the right label that fits you, let alone petition yourself to an independent label. We’ve listed our top ten favorite labels that you should know about (and maybe one extra you may not have known!), each of whom boast notable, award-winning artists. Some of these record labels are looking for new artists too, so keep on the lookout!

Don’t see your favorite on this list? Comment below and let us know who your favorite indie music label is and why they rock!

Carpark Records

Notable Artists: Young Magic, Safety Scissors, Beach House

Carpark Records planted their roots as a small record label in 1999 in New York City, relocating to Washington DC in 2005.They’re best known for their experimental psychedelic electronic, as well as their alternative rock. They’ve since expanded with subsidiary labels, Acute Records and Paw Tracks.

Get in touch with...

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Top 4 High-Paying Music Careers That Don’t Require a Degree

Whether you’re in the industry and looking for a new job, or getting your feet wet right after school, it may come as a surprise that not every career in the music industry requires advanced degrees. Sometimes, all it takes is the right certification, self-taught skills, or communication savvy to make an impact on the industry.

Record Producer

The record producer is the head at the controls. It’s the man or woman who oversees the entire production of an artist’s album, EP, or single. It doesn’t take a four-year degree to learn the ins and outs of a recording studio, only some time studying how it all fits together: you must become familiar with tracking, mixing, editing, mastering, and everything else that’s part of making a record. If you’re a musician or songwriter yourself, you’ll be able to make yourself more valuable by offering to help artists with the arrangements (or even songwriting!).

How to Get Started: This is the ultimate...

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"How to Grow a Music Fanbase
…Even If Nobody’s Ever Heard of You"

  • Video 1: How to Use Spotify and Social Media to Blow up Your Fanbase and the Secret to Earning Their Trust After They Discover You
  • Video 2: My Exact Revenue Streams and Why Income Diversification Lets Me Do More with My Music Career
  • Video 3: Establishing Your Artist Brand and How to Create a Lasting Impact with Your Music