Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Investments That Make Sense

paNASH Style client Jordyn Mallory

Last week I got to enjoy a long overdue vacation before returning to Nashville for several presentations I'm doing at a couple different music industry events.  One of those presentations includes speaking at live music producer Tom Jackson's fall Bootcamp.  I really loved what Tom had to say in his own blog yesterday about the three specific parts of the music industry.  He explains that the term "music industry" is often used synonymously with the term "recording industry" but they are not the same.  The music industry encompasses at least three components: recorded music, composition/songwriting, and live performance.

Tom says that most artists (both signed and independent) typically make a large percentage of their money from their live performances, while making little to none from the sales of their recordings (especially in this current age of music!).  Yet, most artists sink more time and money into recording their music (recording for up to several weeks or months and paying high studio fees, producer & technician fees, session player fees, etc.) than into perfecting their live performance.

One artist Tom refers to in the blog's video clip said he made the majority of his money from his live shows and very little from CD/digital download sales or songwriter royalties.  When asked how much time and effort he devotes to each of the three areas, the artist responded with six months writing songs, six months recording in the studio, and ONLY three days preparing for his biggest revenue generator!  Does this make sense?  Not really, yet so many artists approach their music career in this same manner.

Obviously Tom's point is that artists should be focusing their energies and resources on their biggest money-maker.  But let's take his point one step further from the perspective of image.  Which of these three aspects of an artist's career does an appealing visual image/look affect the most?  When artists are writing songs, they aren't doing it in front of an audience but instead alone in a room or with just one or two other co-writers.  And when they are recording in the studio, we all know that is also one of the few times artists don't have to dress to impress.  But, a live performance, that's when it's time to shine, both visually and artistically.  Fans who paid good money to come to hear (and see!) their favorite artist perform expect him or her to both sound and look good!  So why wouldn't you invest in a performance wardrobe if it's the performance that makes you the most money?

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