Blog | Art Sky Productions

How To Make Money And Pay The Bills From A Music Career

Dec 23, 2019 by admin - 0 Comments

Today it seems that everyone wants to be on the microphone or in the studio making rhythmic sounds. You can bet there are thousands of singles and albums produced each year but only a few make it to the limelight.What happens to the rest?They often become obscure. Well, except for the few friends and family of the aspiring artist that listen mostly for the sake of encouraging them. A few times, though, the songs make it round to the limelight. But is singing all there is to music? Is that the only way to have a music career?Of course not.The music industry is so vast an industry that one can argue that the potentials have barely been scratched. If you have been thinking of joining the industry but worried about how to pay the bills when pursuing this career, then read this article.This article focuses on 5 career options open to you as a music performer or writer. Which of them have you ever considered? Or which ones did you not know existed?Share your thoughts in the comment section. Feel free to discuss the options you’re open to trying out if you have the chance

Music Careers for Performers and Songwriters 

• Production Music Writer Ever wondered where TV commercials get their gigs? You guessed right. From production music writers. The good thing is, you don’t have to restrict yourself to writing music gigs for one brand or company. In fact, you will have no direct dealings with the companies.Your job is to write and make music that is befitting for commercials, films, and television shows. Then sell the music to a production music library.You have to write and produce very good music if you want your music to be accepted by a library. So move away from the cliché and do something unique. These days, even good pop music is accepted by commercials and other programs.The downside of Production Music Writing is usually with mixing and production. You can build this skill by taking a course on music production at a music school. When a brand picks your music from the library, you’ll get a percentage from the production music library. There are no limits to how much your track can be sold though.

• Background Vocalist Have you ever listened to Happier by Marshmello featuring Bastille? How do you think the chorus would sound without a backup voice?Background vocalists are needed in almost every genre of music. They provide different forms of backup vocals to music pieces and performances.As a background vocalist, you can work with a recording studio to provide backup vocals for recording artists. Or with a live performance band. You can even assist a touring artiste. You’ll need to be very good at what you do if you want to get well-paying gigs. You will be able to sharpen your skills if you practice often. Volunteering your skills and connecting with other background singers will help you get more gig opportunities.If you are assisting a singer on tour, you should consider getting a backup microphone for yourself. Any of the shure sm58 versions will serve you efficiently.• 

AccompanistAccompanists play instruments like the piano, guitar, or organ for musicians, performers at theatres, choirs, soloists, and opera singers.They can also help with instructing choristers, dancers, and other types of artists.As a music accompanist, you can work as a freelance pianist or organist, with a church, or sign up with a band. You can also work as a music tutor at an institution or for individuals.You should be able to work with virtually everyone. This will increase your chances of landing more jobs.

• Beat Maker A beatmaker is usually not in the public eye. They produce beats and sell them to recording artists who then use the beats to make their music.They can work with the artist to produce beats for a written song. They often help to arrange the song of the artist they work with so it can flow harmoniously.You should practice mixing beats on your own if you want to build a career in making beats. Consider setting up a home studio where you can practice often. Get some training at a music school and attach yourself with a practicing beat mixer.Being creative and connecting with other people in the music industry will gain you some decent exposure. This will also increase your chances of winning gigs and making some money.

• Jazz Musician Jazz music was a hit in the 1900s. It rocked the entire African American community and even the white community. Today, it doesn’t seem to excite the people as much as it used to.Does this mean Jazz music can’t put food on your table anymore?By no means. There are several ways Jazz music can provide money for those bills.You can compose songs that can be performed at jazz orchestras, for music lessons, or included in music books.There is also the opportunity of working as a music tutor in primary schools and colleges. This will require you to have some degree in music and education.You can also offer your services as a private tutor in your home or at your client’s home. Online tutoring is also a mine that you can explore to your advantage

.In Summary  Making money as a musician is not as defined as it is for an office secretary. If you land that defining gig it could change your life forever. But you can’t say when and where you’ll land the defining gig.You can always engage the opportunities provided by the internet to advance your career today. Put yourself out there. Build a social network that exposes what you do to the world. Continuously improve on your skills.Even more, learn to manage your finances. Spend on what is important and avoid trying to impress people. They don’t matter that much anyway.Have fun growing your career in music.

Why Email Newsletters Are Still a Vital Marketing Tool for Musicians

Sep 02, 2019 by admin - 0 Comments

5 Solid Reasons to Use Email Newsletters

1) You own the list

For bands that have been around since MySpace was still a thing, remember all those fans you had? Well, MySpace owned their data, not you. If you didn’t get them signed-up to your mailing list, chances are you lost contact with many of them when you had to start over on Facebook.

As for Facebook? Same deal. They own the data, and they can also disappear. Or, as it seems to be happening, it gets too crowded and noisy. Statistics show that only a small percentage of people actually see updates from Facebook Pages, and it’s getting worse.

Social media sites are great tools for interacting with current fans and finding new ones, but with social media, you don’t own that fan list. As Benji Rogers (Founder ofPledgeMusic) said in a must-read post on the Bandzoogle blog:

“If email is not the biggest part of your social strategy, then you are giving the power of communication with your fans to companies who will gladly take them and whose advertisers will thank you to no end for providing them with eyeballs.”

2) Use the data to book shows

The data you can collect from email newsletters is incredibly useful. You not only see who opens the emails and clicks on links to measure how effective your content is, but you can also see where your fans are from. Using this data, you can tangibly reach out to fans in a certain area if you play a show in their town. This is one of the biggest reasons we added a functionality to our own mailing list tool to automatically geo-locate your fans.  

So if you have a list with hundreds of people from the city you’re trying to book a show in, you can use this data to help convince bookers and clubs to book you.

3- It’s the ultimate permission marketing

An email list is the ultimate in permission marketing. Once a fan gives you their email address, they’re telling you that they want to hear about your career, about your latest album, your next show, your new merchandise, etc.

Note: Don’t EVER add people to your mailing list without their permission. Spamming people can do irreparable harm to your career, as you will likely lose those people as potential fans forever. Also, it’s illegal.

4- Most effective way to sell music & merch

When it comes to selling music and merch, email newsletters are still the best way to convert fans to paying customers. In fact, inside and outside of the music industry, mailing lists see some of the highest conversion rates for sales.

This makes sense, given point #3 with permission marketing. If you send fans a message announcing your new album with a clear link to buy, they’re getting it in a controlled environment (their inbox) and they want to hear from you, so chances are much higher that they’ll make a purchase.

5- Best way to stay in touch with fans long-term

Social media sites come and go, but people rarely change email addresses. So a mailing list is the best way to stay in touch with your fans over the long-term, regardless of which social media site is popular at the time.

As noted artist manager Emily White has said, an email list “is an artist’s retirement plan”.

Further Resources

Here are some other posts about email newsletters that you might find helpful:

The Tools of Music Fan Engagement [Part 2]: Newsletters (Bandzoogle Blog)

Email, Email, Email: If You Make Music You Have to Be Able to Tell People About It(Benji Rogers, PledgeMusic, for the Bandzoogle Blog)

How to Write Engaging Newsletters (Ariel Hyatt, Cyber PR)

[Newsletter image from Shutterstock]

Why Email Newsletters Are Still a Vital Marketing Tool for Musicians

Everything You Need To Know About Getting Paid In The Music Industry

Aug 28, 2019 by admin - 0 Comments

The music industry relies on royalties as a form of payment from licensed copyrighted songs and recordings. However, recording artists earn their royalties on the sale of their music while songwriters earn them mainly on public performances.

Licensing and their specific royalties fall into four categories:

  1. Mechanical Licensing and Royalties is permission to reproduce music on some type of media
  2. Performance Rights allows music to be performed live
  3. Print Rights is the sale of printed sheet music
  4. Synchronization rights is when you need a license to reproduce a song into television program, film, video, or commerical

We’ve put together all of the information you need to know about the different types of royalty categories here.

when do you get paid?

Symphonic Distribution pays on a quarterly basis and reports are loaded 35-45 days after it ends. In order to see reports you must be a symphonic distribution client and have access to SymphonicMS.com system. If you would like to know the estimated report loading dates click here. However keep in mind that we do not control when the partners will provide us the reports but we will do our best to report quickly as possible.

here’s how you get paid…

Through SymphonicMS, you click request payment through the royalties section. Make sure your latest payment and tax details are entered to receive payment. As mentioned before, you must be a client of symphonic distribution and have a valid W9 and W8-BEN on file.

We send payment via Check, Pay Pal, Bank Transfer, Chase Quickpay, and Xoom. You are charged fees depending on your location and what you choose to receive your payment in. For more information on each of the payment options click here 

royalites for other services

For the sake of this post, other services are considered: Publishing Administration, Neighboring Rights, Soundcloud Monetization, STEMS, Physical, Sample Packs, Music Video Distribution and more.

We report royalties for other services at the same time of our quarterly statement postings. We only report once we have received payment for the said service and of course, data.

tax information (usa and internationally)

Whether you are in USA or abroad, you are responsible for reporting the royalties you receive through the sale or streaming of music. We send payments from every sale you report.

Tax forms should be completed because it is imposed by the government and every distribution company operating in the US should abide by regulations. Your tax forms should be updated through SymphonicMS but you can also deliver them through making a ticket.

As of January 1, 2017, some updates to the tax procedures for international clients of Symphonic Distribution have been launched.  Please click here to understand how this affects you and your payments from 2017 going forward.

Sample Blog Post

Oct 01, 2016 by admin - 0 Comments

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