New York, NY -- (SBWIRE) -- 04/09/2013 -- Below are a list of things to watch out for in the music industry that Industry Level and associates have composed to make sure that artists don’t steer off the correct path!
1. Do Not Pay For Shows: Chances are that artists will not be paid for a gig if they are not seen on major platforms such as hip hop blogs, major radio stations, MTV or BET. It is going to be very difficult to generate interest from show promoters and venue’s that will want to pay them to perform.
Pay-to-perform business models DO take place on a larger scale as well. Live Nation sometimes will allow a tour “buy-on” in which an up and coming act (usually signed to a major label who is capable of spending the $100k or more) gets offered the deal. Up and coming unsigned artists typically will not be offered this type of deal. The reason the money is required is the fact that touring with a huge industry name i.e. Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake, will create massive exposure and a building fan base for the artist. The touring agencies know this very well and that is how they are able to close these types of deals.
Hint – Acts get paid to perform by the club or venue’s business model to SELL TICKETS and ALCOHOL. If they feel that booking the artist won’t do JUST that, they simply will not be paid to perform. This is why it is important for the artist to focus their energy on appearing on major platforms so they can be seen by a massive target audience to build confidence with the show and venue promoters. Artists should follow this tactic and they will be contacted by paying customers who will compensate them for your their performance services.
2. Do Not Pay ANYONE with a Western Union or MoneyGram Transfer: One of the easiest ways to spot a music industry scam is to find out the companies “method of payment”. If the company you are dealing with is offering “Too Good To Be True” type of deals and pressuring the compensation through a Western Union or MoneyGram transaction...WALK AWAY. Thieves and Scammers prefer these types of payment methods because they know their victims will not be able to retrieve the funds once sent.
Legitimate companies in the industry will be willing to provide customers with a services invoice or contract and accept monetary transactions that are traceable i.e. PayPal, Major Credit Card. Therefore if any problems arise the company representatives will be willing to delegate and resolve any disputes. Some music producers and artists do prefer the old-school method of “cash”, just make sure you know the trusted source, have a receipt or invoice/contract and meet them in person if all possible before spending money.
3. Do Not Pay Just To Get Advice: There are many, many consultants out there who charge musicians an hourly rate for the privilege of receiving basic (at best) or bad (at worst) advice. This is not money well spent, and it could send artists down the wrong road in terms of reaching their goal.
Ian Martin had a great quote when he said, “Music executives should want to grant you free advice because it will only help with the overall goal of negotiating a fruitful deal for both parties. “
4. Do Not Pay for Industry Contacts: There are numerous websites that promote the sale of “Music Industry Contacts and Record Labels”. Artists can purchase the material if they choose to but will run the risk of the content not being “up to date” or even valid. Besides, industry executives and A&R’s typically want to approach the artist not the other way around. These major labels do NOT take unsolicited material. This means that if the content they are provided has not been ushered through the doors through a trusted source it most likely will not reach the right hands. Waste of time move on.
5. Do Not Pay Non-Exclusive or Exclusive rights for production: We see a lot of artists that come to us with beats purchased on popular beat websites like “Soundclick.com and Beatsplanet.com”. These sites connect up and coming producers with up and coming artists, sounds great right? Even though this seems like a match made in heaven, to a music executive it is a NIGHTMARE.
First off, when purchasing the non-exclusive right to a track it is basically the same thing as renting a house with roommates. Artists are allowed to stay in the house, but they also have to share the house with the thousands of other artists that pay rent as well. Purchasing the exclusive rights to a track means that they are the only one that is allowed to rent the house. At the end of the day THEY DON’T OWN THE HOUSE. The master recording, or “final compilation” of an artists music, is what creates value for the artist and the record label. If the artist doesn't own the master than they are NOT in control.
Second off, if an artist does purchase the exclusive rights to the track, what about all the other artists that purchased the track non-exclusively before you? They are just all of a sudden expected to send the beat back to the original owner? No, these artists are still writing lyrics to the songs, performing them, COPYRIGHTING THEM, and submitting them to record labels and talent agencies such as ours. We would be billionaires if we had a dollar every time we heard multiple artists submit the SAME BEAT! Try to find relevant producers with credentials.
These are a few common music scams that we have compiled to protect artists like you in your journey for success. Although not every opportunity in the music business is a scam, but it is important to be able to see the red flags coming from a mile away. Stay tuned for more crucial information regarding the music/film business from Industry level.