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The Most Common & Highest Expenses In A Record Label

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The Most Common & Highest Expenses In A Record LabelOne of the most significant costs a record label will have is its staffing cost. A&R people need bonuses for luring you, executives need bonuses for seeing your project through, and the chief financial officer needs a bonus because of the work he or she will have done keeping track of everyone else’s bonus. Seriously, people cost a lot of money!

Property Costs

Picture the situation: You’re a hot new band, and you have two record labels interested in you. One has its offices in the heart of town. These are the plushest offices you could imagine—the latest designer furniture in the lobby, hand-stitched carpets, and receptionists manicured to within an inch of their lives.

When you get through to the meeting rooms, the tables are inlaid with hand-carved detail, and the chairs are covered in the softest leather you have ever felt. Needless to say, the audio-visual facilities are to die for.

The executives who show up to meet you are dressed in smart (but casual) expensive designer suits. Their jewelry (both the men and the women) is discreet, but you know it is about as expensive as you can get.

Now think about another label with its offices about an hour out of town. Unfortunately, you’re an hour out of town too, but in the other direction. Inside, the offices are painted white, and the carpets have seen better days, showing signs of wear. There are no meeting rooms, so you all congregate in the A&R guy’s office, which is a mess, piled high with demo CDs from other acts. The A&R guy apologizes for the mess, but doesn’t apologize for the state of his Metallica 1997 tour T-shirt.

Okay, which of these two labels impresses you more? Which label says “success?”

The following expenses are in connection with any property that you use for your business:

  • The cost of purchase or renting (including taxes and lawyers’ fees) Local property taxes.
  • The cost of amenities, such as water and electricity.
  • Insurance costs, both for the property itself and against anyone injuring himself or herself while in the property.
  • Maintenance costs, which may be as low as a door hinge or a coat or two of paint, but could get as high as extending or rebuilding part of the building.

Computer Costs

Record labels spend a lot of money on their computer systems. There are many elements to these systems, including the computers themselves (both desktop computers and servers), licenses for the software that runs on the computers, cabling and network gizmos, a bomb-proof backup system that cannot fail, staff to run all of this stuff, and training for all of the staff on how to work the computers. This is before a cent has been spent on customized programming for the accounting and royalty payment systems.

Even using free software (such as Linux), you’re going to have to spend money installing and running a computer system.

Taxes

Record labels get hit with a range of taxes. These include taxes on the profits that the label makes, employment/social taxes (such as National Insurance Contributions in the UK), and sales taxes (such as VAT). Some of these charges get levied on a regular basis (for instance, corporate taxes and employment taxes), while others (such as sales taxes) are incurred as part of the daily business of the label. (For instance, manufacturing costs will include sales tax if this is charged in the jurisdiction within which the record label is operating.)

There’s an old cliché that the three certainties in life are birth, death, and taxes. However, this is only partially true. At the time of writing, birth and death are both certain, and while the need to pay taxes is absolute, the amount that will be paid in taxes is far from certain. If you are smart, there’s a lot you can do to avoid taxes.

Dividends

I briefly mentioned shareholders. By their nature, corporations have shareholders (people who own the business). Shareholders tend to come in two forms:

  • People and institutions (such as banks, insurance contributions, and retirement funds) who own shares in companies.
  • Other companies, where one company will be a subsidiary of another company.

Whatever the nature of the shareholders, they have one thing in common: They want to be paid for owning shares in the company. The way that companies pay their shareholders is by distributing an element of their profits. This distribution is usually called a dividend, and its amount is determined by the executives of the company.

Getting the Product to the Customer

There are other costs that a record label will incur that are directly related to your product. The main costs are manufacturing, distribu- tion, and marketing. If you self-release a CD, you will incur these costs too, although you may want to spend less than a record label would, and you are likely to employ other distribution options (such as mail order) to a greater extent.

A record label will probably be able to get your CD produced for a lower unit cost than you can. This is because a label will put far more business with a pressing plant than you will and so can negotiate much better deals. Also, a label will expect to sell a lot more CDs than you could and so will get many more CDs pressed. Unless these CDs sell, the record company will not generate any income, so the next step is to get the CDs to a place where they can be sold.

Advertising

Once your CDs are in the stores, then they need to sell. If they don’t sell, they will be returned.

If you’re lucky, some people will buy your CD on the basis of the cover. However, how often do you walk into a record store and buy a CD by an artist you’ve never heard of? My hunch is not very often. If you, as a musician, don’t buy other musicians’ products without hear- ing them, what expectation can you have that an average punter will go into a record store and buy your music? It is for this reason that you need a marketing campaign. A good idea is to promote your music online.

Hi, my name is Erick Ycaza. I have a BA in Advertising & Graphic Design. This blog is to provide you with daily music news and share my personal style.

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Online Gaming Streamers Becoming The New Music Tastemakers

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online gaming streamers

When you spend all day wearing headphones, you definitely want to listen to something other than in-game gunshots or cards being dealt with.

For years now the music industry has been leading the way in online content streaming, resulting in playlists from apps like Spotify being as commonplace on people’s mobile devices as Google Maps or WhatsApp.

However, the change in how music is consumed and displayed has been huge, with music magazines and stodgy old critics being shunted onto the sidelines by online influencers who have adapted to the tech landscape quicker than their more outdated counterparts.


Among those influencers are online streamers, who often start as one-man bands, streaming everything from video games to beauty tips. Pretty soon, their growing channels allow them to become the go-to people in terms of music suggestions.

Here are just some of the most influential online streamers today, who are harnessing the power of music like no one before has ever managed to do.

Card Sharks, Chess Pros and Fall Guys – Filling Tension-Filled Silences with Carefully Curated Beats

Many online gaming streamers have too many crashes, bangs, and wallops going on in their live streams while pumping music simultaneously, while other streamers play the sort of game that is ideally suited to some soothing background grooves.

A growing subset of these streamers are pro poker, chess, and Fall Guy players, who often stream tournaments for hours on end.


As players whittle down at the business end of a tournament, and the streamer is required to make fewer plays, the music he or she uses becomes all the more important. Many pros such as Lex Veldhuis or GMHikaru have made their personalized playlists a highlight of their content, meaning these pros are now on-hand to show people how to conquer 1,000-players-strong tournaments on the world’s biggest gaming sites such as PokerStars and Steam, all the while sharing their musical vibes.

Dr DisRespect – From Online Fragger to Music Video Super Star

The most popular streamers on the planet are undoubtedly those that play battle royale video games such as PUBG or Call of Duty, with many becoming so popular that they can take their content to the next level with help from editors, tech support, and sound teams.
No more so is this true than with one of the greatest of them all, Dr DisRespect, whose 6-foot-8 frame, flowing black mullet and red bulletproof vest have become iconic in the eSports world and beyond.

Not content on featuring other peoples’ music on his YouTube Gaming channel, the Doc has taken to collaborating with recording artists such as J+1, who create retro synth beats and lace them with voice samples from the big man himself to create tracks that have garnered millions of views and plays online.

Dr DisRespect

Some streamers such as Dr DisRespect are collaborating with recording artists to create their very own tracks and music videos.

Music Streamers – Using Twitch Donations to Launch a New Career

While there is every reason to suspect that gaming streamers of all varieties are having a meaningful impact on peoples’ music tastes and preferences, there are also those streamers who dare to beam their very own music around the world and direct to listeners on platforms such as Twitch.

twitch logo
This means that whether you are an acoustic guitar whiz or a crooner with dulcet vocal chords, there is an audience out there who want to discover new talent. Now, new fans of an artist can not only listen to their newly discovered singer-songwriters but also gain personal insights from them regarding their everyday life or indeed how they go about writing their material or playing their instruments.

With many top DJs already using such platforms to perform in front of fans who cannot make it to stadium or club gigs, this seems like one music trend that is only just getting started. In a couple of years, we will see even the more popular gamers combine their love for online play with exquisite taste in music. Who knows, maybe you will be one of them?

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How Has The Inclusion Of Pop Music Helped Certain Games Live Long In The Memory?

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How Has The Inclusion Of Pop Music Helped Certain Games Live Long In the Memory?
There are many things that evoke strong feelings of recollection in people. They include smell and taste, and it only takes a small dose to open the floodgates for the memories to gush in. One of the best ways to engage memory is through music, with neuroscientists discovering that people are more likely to remember words if they learn them alongside an accompanying track. Pop music has been used successfully in a number of games to make them more enjoyable. But the audio has another function as well. It can serve to immortalize the games because, whenever someone hears that music, they will think of the title in which they heard it first.

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater is a Good Example of a Solid Accompanying Track

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater and its sequel, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2, are considered among the defining titles of the PlayStation and were hugely popular when they were released in 1999 and 2000 respectively. They had exceptional and engaging gameplay, but one of the most-loved things about the games was the choice of songs playing in the background while players skated around. These included classics like Bring The Noise by Public Enemy and Superman by Goldfinger.

Tony Hawk
Activision Blizzard decided to remaster the game for modern consoles, updating all the surroundings and graphics to put them in line with the standard of offerings available today using the Unreal Engine 4. A lot of the aspects of the game remain the same, with some features being updated.

What is most notable about the rerelease of the two original games for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Microsoft Windows is the fact that developer Vicarious Visions chose to keep all the songs from the originals. This has helped bring about feelings of nostalgia in players who enjoyed the games twenty years ago. It should come as no surprise, then, that the new game sold more than one million units within the first two weeks of its release.

Slot Developers Using Popular Music and Acts to Gain Immortality

Music can also help certain games stand out in a highly saturated market, and this has been shown to good effect in slot games. There seems to have been a rise in music-themed slots in recent years, and top developer NetEnt is leading the way with its NetEnt Rocks range of games. The acts used for these games include legendary acts Guns N’ Roses, Motorhead, and Jimi Hendrix – one of the best guitarists of all time. The music makes the games iconic, but also gives them immortality as classic tracks like Paradise City and Ace of Spades never get old.

One of the newest musical slots on the market is Music Stage from PlayPearls. It’s designed to make the player feel as though they are the pop star, playing in front of a sell-out audience. This is a technique that has been used to good effect in offerings like Guitar Hero, as it allows the player to imagine what it would be like to rock out in front of adoring fans. When people play this game, the music helps stir up emotions, making the title memorable for years to come.

games
Music has added another foundation to games to make them even more memorable and enjoyable. Developers who get their music choices right can lead players to think about their games even when they aren’t playing them. All it takes is for the song to come on to trigger those feelings of nostalgia for the game.

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The Best EDM Movies Ever Made Gift Giving Guide

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The Best EDM Movies Ever Made Gift Giving Guide

© [nicoletaionescu] /iStock

Electronic dance music (EDM) is also known by other names such as dance music, club music, house music, and more recently, trap music. Tons of variations and sub-genres have evolved out of EDM over the last 40 years. Early EDM was called Dub or hip hop. Dub came out of Jamaican reggae music and introduced special effects like reverb and delay to make a unique sound mix. Even disco music is an early form of EDM. The point is, EDM makes you want to get up and dance. It’s often played in clubs by DJs who mix sounds and sound effects together with mixing boards. Even tech giant Elon Musk released his own EDM track according to the BBC.

EDM

© [mediaphotos] /iStock

The electrifying, heart-pumping tunes make fantastic movie soundtracks, not to mention the music industry itself provides a lot of great plot lines for feature films. This makes EDM enthusiasts and movie buffs fast friends. If you are looking for a movie-related gift for a friend who loves house music, here is a brief list of the best EDM movies to date. You can find even more great movie buff gifts ideas in this article from Giftwits as well.

We Are Your Friends (2015)

This movie about an aspiring DJ played by Zac Efron gives a fictional behind the scenes look at what it takes to rise to fame in the world of EDM. The wild ride is fueled with music, drugs, and sex while both a love triangle and a budding career are set up. This movie also stars Wes Bentley and Emily Ratajkowski. Despite its weak theatrical release, it’s now hailed as a timepiece movie for millennials and will probably become a cult classic among that crew, especially those that love dance music. Buy this movie as a gift and include a copy of the thumping soundtrack as a bonus.

Daft Punk Unchained (2015)

Daft Punk is a French Grammy Award-winning EDM band that is probably the most recognizable name in the business, even in the US. This documentary details their career which started in the early 1990s. It uses rare archive footage and personal interviews. While it chronicles the life and work of members Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter, it also contains interviews from their closest collaborators like Pharrell Williams, Nile Rodgers, and Michel Gondry. The document was created entirely from previously recorded film and no new scenes containing Daft Punk were included. Their hit song “Get Lucky” helped them achieve international fame and awards, including 5 Grammy Awards. They have also done many amazing collaborations including a song with The Weeknd a few years ago.

Berlin Calling (2008)

A DJ that tours clubs around the world with his girlfriend and manager but ultimately lands in a psychiatric clinic after overdosing on narcotics. It shows struggles in Berlin following Hitler’s “final solution.” The film is ripe with techno clubs and a great soundtrack. Ecstasy puts him into a psychotic break which puts his career and relationships in trouble.

XOXO (2016)

If you love EDM music festivals then this movie will be right up your alley. It’s about six people attending an electronic dance music festival and who are all struggling in some way until their paths collide. The visuals in the movie are amazing and really bring the festival scene to life. It carries all the EDM cliches such as the bro-tank crowd, the slutty girls, the druggies, and the straight-edge (absolutely no drugs or alcohol) just to name a few. It’s both a comedy and a drama with something for everyone. If you’ve never been to a festival and want to see what one is like, this is a pretty good example.

I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead (2016)

Forbes Magazine recently did a write up on the highest-paid DJs in the industry and the hard-working Steve Aoki was in the top five (along with The Chainsmokers, Calvin Harris, Diplo, and Marshmello). They reported that Aoki makes six-figures a night when he performs. I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead is a Netflix documentary about one of the most talented DJs the world has ever known. His story is exhilarating and at times heartbreaking in the time leading up to his biggest show to date. He talks about this childhood, his issues with his father, and more.

Party Monster (2003)

According to Kate Huber at NJGamblingFun, “For a bit of a throw-back, check out this clubbing movie starring Macaulay Culkin and Seth Green. It’s a biographical drama about party promoter and “king of the club kids” Michael Alig. Alig started out as a social outcast but found his groove in the club scene. He rose to fame but drugs ultimately tore him apart and ended in murder and prison time. The film got mainly negative reviews when it was first released but has become a cult classic over time. Roger Ebert even conceded that Culkin’s performance was fearless.”

24 Hour Party People (2002)

This British comedy-drama details Manchester’s popular music scene between 1976 and 1992. It starts out with punk rock but later evolves into the rave and DJ culture of the 1980s. The plot centers around a newspaper reporter that follows and reports on the music scene and news of the time. Although it’s a fictional movie, it is based loosely on real events which can be seen throughout the movie. The “fourth-wall” is frequently broken in a stylized fashion that brings a level of personalization to the film.

Human Traffic (1999)

This 90s movie is a mixture of music, romance, and club culture in Brittan and stars John Simm and Danny Dyer. The tale of five close friends who explore their relationships and personal demons during ecstasy and music filed weekend. It includes plenty of backdrop of techno raves for the EDM lovers out there. It is interesting to note that the UK version and the US version of the movie are pretty different so if you are a purist try to find the original version.

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33 Essential Ideas To Promote Your Music Career In 2020

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ideas to promote your music career
Believe it or not, there’s an endless amount of ideas that will help you promote your music career in 2020. As new social media platforms are rapidly emerging, artists don’t want to lag behind these innovative technologies. Definitely, you have to take advantage of the Internet as a powerful marketing tool. marketing tool social mediaSo, I have written down the best strategies for promoting yourself in this digital era like a pro. These days it doesn’t really matter if you refuse to sign a major label deal. With budgetary autonomy, you can go far on your own. The music industry is very competitive but with the following ideas, you can even save a lot of money.

33 Unique Ideas To Spark Your Music Career Success Right Away!

1 – Tell the story of how you got started in music.

2 – Make a behind the scenes video after releasing a music video.

3 – Make a teaser video of your upcoming singles in order to create a sense of expectation.

4 – Host an #AskMeAnything session via Instagram stories.

5 – Share funny videos on TikTok.

6 – Share quotes of your musical heroes.

7 – Host a poll and let your fans pick the best singles from your album.

8 – Share your favorite books and movies with your fans.

9 – Ask for Netflix recommendations.

10 – Give away Spotify gift cards.

11 – Get interviewed or promoted on music blogs.

12 – Share useful tips with your audience.

13 – Remind your fans constantly concert and release dates.

14 – Raise your voice against social issues.

15 – Express your opinion about music industry news.

16 – Go live and perform your music no matter what.

17 – Participate in podcasts or radio shows.

18 – Share press releases on Facebook, Liker, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

19 – Post testimonials from your fans or people of the music industry.

20 – Share old photos and memories of the past.

21 – Share personal wins (e.g. chart-topping hits and music awards)

22 – Thank your fans and show gratitude.

23 – Post a ‘Throwback Thursday’ and use the hashtag #TBT

24 – Share your favorite music-related apps.

25 – Post a video of yourself showing the process of making music at the studio.

26 – Unveil your morning routine or create a day-in-the-life video.

27 – Post about events or festivals you’re going to.

28 – Show people listening or dancing to your music.

29 – Share a charity you’ve partnered with.

30 –  Mention brands that you love.

31 – Make your own merchandise, t-shirts, and caps with your logo.

32 – Share all your social media channels and interact with your fans.

33 – Post about trips you’ve taken.

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3 Reasons To Try Online Singing Lessons

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3 Reasons To Try Online Singing Lessons
Are you a keen singer but have never had the chance to learn properly? Do you think your voice could benefit from some extra tutoring? Do you want to try singing lessons but your busy lifestyle can’t schedule it? Are you ready to begin your journey from a bedroom belter to a superstar songbird?

If the answer is yes, then keep reading.

These days, our lives can be so hectic that we barely even get a chance to sit down and think. You may be someone who has always wanted to have professional singing lessons, but your lifestyle or geographical circumstance hasn’t allowed you to do so.

With online singing lessons, you’re in charge. You can learn from wherever, whenever, and you can fit your learning schedule around your busy lifestyle!

Here are 3 reasons why online singing lessons are so great:

1. Save Time And Money

You probably didn’t even think of this, but taking online lessons doesn’t take as much time out of your day, meaning you don’t need to leave half an hour early to drive to your tutor’s house or studio, and you don’t have to spend an hour’s worth of fuel.

online singing lessons
Simply open your laptop 5 minutes before you start, and relish in the wonders of modern-day technology. Who would have thought 20 years ago you could learn to sing with someone online from anywhere in the world?

These singing course reviews show you just how easy it is to learn to sing online. Whatever style you want to learn, rest assured that you can find a course online!

2. You Can Learn From Anywhere

Wouldn’t it be great if you could take an online singing lesson from anywhere in the world? Imagine yourself sitting under a palm tree in Thailand, the waves crashing on the shore, with not a care in the world; and you have your laptop beside you ready to tune in for your virtual lesson.

Well, news flash! As long as you have an internet connection, you can do that!

With online singing lessons, you are able to learn from wherever you are. Not only that, but you are also able to be taught by someone who is on the other side of the world to you. Cool or what?

Virtual lessons give you the freedom to be able to learn on your terms and at your own pace. What more could you want?

3. You Can Record Your Lessons

These days, online lessons are usually taught over programs such as Skype or Zoom. Not only are these applications great for still being able to get that one to one experience, but they also allow you to record your session so you can watch back and practice later.

record your singing lessons
So, you pay for a great virtual singing lesson, and you can also get your money’s worth by revisiting the class and truly making the most out of it.

It’s always beneficial to be able to look back at something to truly learn it. If the option is there, then why not record so you can go over the lesson again later?

It’s also a great way to see the progress you’re making, too!

Bottom Line

So, are you ready to take the plunge and learn to sing from anywhere? We guarantee you won’t regret it, and we guarantee it will be a one-of-a-kind experience. The virtual world is your oyster these days, so why not get your laptop out now and enroll on a course today?

You’ll be a singing sensation before you know it!

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