March 13, 2020
My first period as a music professional ended at the age of 40. Like most of all musicians, I was a performing artist, not a holder of rights. Not until I became well known in the scene, I got some requests for compositions. I tell this, because it is extremely important for own invests in promotion. As a performing artist, you can play your ass off without gaining a sustained income. And indeed with the end of my first career, I just had reserves for about two years, in spite of nearly 4.000 gigs before. Transformed to all businesses, it means: The more rights you own, the more useful promotion invests should be.
The effect is multiplication. If two enthusiasts of your product tell about it to four others, the multiplication starts. Sure you can increase your income with this effect only as a member of a team, but only as long you are employed in the project. The rights owner takes advantage of the whole life cycle of the product. That seems to be a truism, but I experienced a lot of lack of practical awareness in this wisdom.
The music business is full of tragic examples for that issue. Even superstars had to enter the stage again, when they were old and tired, because lack of money. The revenue made only the big labels happy, because they were the rights owners. You could mention that this bases on stupidity of the performers, but think about situations, were you were heavily engaged in a project, and shared a lot of not payed work for an uncertain hope. This is the hope that clever business people use to inspire you to perform without participating enough in the rights.
If you are in a situation like team member of a start up, ask for the rights before you participate in promotion investments, or bad payed work and carefully check the chances of a yield on a long term.
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According to our holistic concept, this website is not only about the presentation of our products, but also about other things.
This article is part of the category “Artist Insights”. Our mastermind Horst was a professional musician and music educator from 1974-1997 before a burnout catapulted him out of his music career.
From 1999-2019 he worked as a freelance information technologist and learned the laws of a completely different market.
The experience he gained during this time and the additional insights he gained from 2019 onwards in a completely changed music business should also benefit other musicians.