Many musicians don’t pay enough attention to the business aspect of their career and as a result end up broke, in bankruptcy court and/or in bad deals. It is very important for a musician to take an aggressive look and active role in learning the day-to-day business of their music career.
The truth is that the music business aspect of your career is where you will need to spend the majority of your time if you want to have a successful and sustained music career in the music industry.
The most important thing you can do is to watch the bottom line and cover your bases by protecting your music. The music industry roads are littered with musician road kill. Artists who hit the “big time” but were barely living above poverty level.
A few months ago, I watched an interview with a well-known music star on a music legends show. He stated that at the beginning of his career, everything was great. He sold millions of CDs, sold out shows, and was constantly working year round, but ultimately he lost more than he ever received.
How could he have sold millions of CDs without becoming filthy rich? The explanation for how he lost money is he didn’t pay close attention to the contracts he signed and who was doing what with his money. Having shrewd business acumen is crucial to your musical success.
A good way to learn how to avoid busting your music career is to watch the financial comings and goings of others who are successful in the music or entertainment business, then model your business actions after theirs.
Oprah Winfrey, Madonna, Britney Spears, Jerry Seinfeld, Dolly Parton and Mariah Carey are a few great examples of the bottom line. While you may not like one or the other, the facts are proof: They have made bank, millions of times over, and they still have that bank.
Recently I spoke with a friend Thom King of Multimediary Entertainment Marketing about artists learning the music business and the importance of knowledge. Thom has been a top executive at Clear Channel Radio as well as the head of major music industry corporations. This is what he had to say,
“There is a reason they call it this music business, because it is just that, a business. In addition, as with any business, it is critical to define each member’s roles as well as the ownership of the intellectual property you are creating. You are building a business as much as you’re building a band, and if you approach it that way you will be ensuring your success for years to come.”