Product review for Damian Keyes’ Music Business Academy. I am a large Keyes fan. A friend introduced me to his cheeky YouTube videos about 18 months ago. I’ve drank the Kool-aid since. Fast forward those 18 months and a lot of research, reading, watching and learning has taken place. And guess what? I still like him. He’s forthright, a good actor (even when he knows he’s spewing B.S.), and manages to infuse humor. That said, I was rather surprised how cookie cutter his Music Business Academy course is. Or, do I have silly expectations?
Please don’t get me wrong in this product review. Keyes’ is preaching things I can agree with a good 97% of the time. The problem is is he falls in a trap I find all too many tutorials (of any kind) on Youtube do. He explains the 101 in an excellent fashion. This makes perfect sense. The guy is a marketer after all. He knows how to set the stage well. There is professionalism and comfort towards the camera which he exudes. This instills confidence for his followers and helps ease learning. All awesome things!
Common Traps Oh No!
The common trap he falls into is he goes on to explain the 101 for tooooo loooong. I inevitably lose focus as he drones on with things I learned from him for another 97 minutes. Now that there was too much time spent on pitching the tactic as a worthwhile one, there’s a rush job of an explanation. Pragmatic elements to his approaches and their explanations come and go all too fast. Again, not his fault. It’s become a standard format among youtube videos (in my opinion, I can’t validate this).
I don’t exactly blame him for wanting to be comprehensive either. This is a problem with YouTube tutorials in general, as life-saving as they are! The problems I mention are not unique to Keyes in particular.
There’s nothing malicious at play here, but it makes for a lousy learning experience. If one is teaching a mid-high level music marketing course, it’s not necessary to define what an ‘ad campaign,’ is. We can probably skip the definition of sales and marketing funnels. There needs to be an understanding that musicians should already know these things.
Or, Am I Being Too Critical In This Product Review?
That’s the predicament I’m sure Damien finds himself in often while explaining the music industry. Satisfying both sides of this argument. Should this knowledge be a pre-requisite to signing up? Or did we all already drop the ball?
He does do a good job of towing the line between painful beginner info and equally painful advanced info. Need to be sure to give credit where it’s due.
I thank Damian for his music business course, and may still (happily) be proven wrong about his teaching style. I would adore this because, well, I actually rather like the guy!
My Product Review On Damien Keyes’ Music Business Academy?
After Being Subscribed 6 hours And Having Watched 1.5 Modules So Far? Well…
On Get More Listens Dot Com, I try to drive home the fact no one person has the ultimate advice to provide. Each artist has a unique road to travel with their own special sort of music. It’s always best to take in as much information from credible sources as possible! Don’t limit your knowledge because some guy on the web said, “This one tiny stupid, innocuous thing.” This should not dismiss all credibility.
Cutting to the chase and point – Try it! They give a week free trial and if there’s one thing I’m a sucker for, it’s free trials. All you will want to ensure is that you mark your calendar to de-activate it at that 7 day mark! That’s because this course has a hefty price tag.
There’s two billing options present for this product. A monthly subscription where the cost is $19.99/month, or you may pay for the year upfront for $200 in total. A bit steep! But, that’s why there’s a trial right? I can’t imagine it’s hard to upgrade service level either.
Damian wants you to be a customer for as long as possible. And he wants your money, so an upgrade is likely doable, though I’ve not investigated this at all. It might be worth mentioning that part of Keyes’ pitch relies on the fact he will be raising prices soon. I’m sure he will be! Not sure how much further up you can go in a sensical manner. But, hey, so long as he doesn’t tell me what to do with my business, I won’t tell him what to do with his!
Music Royalties And Streamshare
Music Royalties – This past week music streaming service gargantuan, Spotify, released ‘Loud and Clear’. The aim of the website is to discuss how music royalties and Spotify work. How Spotify ultimately pays distribution companies these royalties. The idea then being that distribution will pay the musicians royalties they deserve.
What Are Music Royalties?
To avoid digging too deep into music industry terms again we’ll be brief. Music royalties can be summed up in one word; Payment. It’s not anywhere near that simple to go further on the topic, but now you at least have an idea. Aside from the Creator, one must consider anyone else included on the track/EP/Album. Other recording artists, songwriters, composers, music publishing companies and copyright holders.
There Are 4 Types Of Royalties In The Music Industry You Should Be Aware Of
- Mechanical royalties
- Public Performance royalties
- Synchronization royalties (sync)
- Print Music royalties
Mechanical royalties mean music income. Income for reproducing and distributing this copyrighted music work. All formats of playback would be acceptable examples of mechanical royalties. Examples including CDs, Vinyl and Streaming Services.
Public Performance Royalties
Public performance royalties mean music income for artists as well. When copyrighted works are performed, streamed or played publicly the musician receives royalties from its public use. Publishing Rights Organizations, or P.R.O.’s, will collect and dispense royalties in regard to public performance. Some examples of P.R.O.’s would be music publishers like B.M.I., A.S.C.A.P., or S.O.C.A.N.
Sync royalties mean musicians earn revenue for their copyrighted works through its use, or ’sync’ in visual media. Synchronization licenses make this possible. A sync license is deployed when the copyright owner lends the music for use in films, ads, TV, video games, etc. It’s worth noting the importance of a master use license here as well. Both are necessary to see a sync license through to completion.
Print Music Royalties
Print music royalties are scarce for the independent artist in the 21st century. This is unless you are working on material which is more traditional and requires sheet music. Since most of us are not distributing sheet music manuscripts with the hope of making a profit, this is why it is seen more infrequently nowadays.
Spotify’s Streamshare And Music Royalties
Well, for an effort at being straight-forward, I find it funny I need to click no less than three times to get an answer from the loud and clear page. Worth adding that click one was on a link titled, “What is Spotify’s Streamshare?”
Streamshare is, as defined by Spotify on Loud and Clear, “Every month, in each country we operate in, we calculate streamshare by adding up how many times music owned or controlled by a particular rights holder was streamed and dividing it by the total number of streams in that market.
So if an artist received one in every 1,000 streams in Mexico on Spotify, they would receive one of every $1,000 paid to rights holders from the Mexican royalty pool. That total royalty pool for each country is based on the subscription and music advertising revenues in that market.”
Uhm, Excuse Me? *Raising Hand* I’m Going To Need To Call Bogus On This One
The trouble enters here, when Spotify says, “…and dividing is by the total number of streams in that market.”
This means the top dogs in your market of the music industry define your music royalties. Spotify tries to deny this on the same page, but by using logic, it’s hard to see how this is not the case.
How Do We Reclaim Our Music Royalties?
Unfortunately, major change at Spotify or to music distribution laws needs to occur to change this. I don’t foresee either happening any time soon. What would be nice is if Spotify adopted a more one-to-one, direct monetization system. Similar to what Deezer has done for years. Also similar to what Soundcloud will be making universal shortly.
I commend Spotify for coming forth and admitting what streamshare was (finally). Other than that, this is another slap in the face from Ek and Co. A really unnecessary one that sings. Well, we can still make fun of Spotify’s CEO for being super bald and looking like a baby in a grown man’s body. Can’t take that away!
How To Make Cash Fast
How To Make Cash Fast is written against my liking. I like to teach patience and confidence, but times are crazy. Let’s make some bread! Especially with those pandemic stimulus checks freshly nestled in your bank accounts. And after new gear has been purchased to (minimally) to your hearts content, we’ll need to figure out how to replenish the damn things!
How To Make Cash Fast Tip One – Sell Beats
Yes, I know. This is normally when I call this a BS content marketing piece and click off the page. Double check me, though. You’ll notice there’s no Affiliate links, or banners. This may be something preached to a lot but not without good reason. This recommendation will be seen upon Googling this topic in every single article. I’m not joking. And it’s because … *drum roll please* – – People need to license beats. Yo, be that person! *Hint!
If you continue to have trouble landing sales in this respect, double check the forum which you are selling from.
- Is it too much or not enough niche?
- Is your audience even present enough to be accounted for?
- Will anyone here give a crap about buying a beat from this store from you?
If your gut tells you no, move along. These stores are a dime a dozen and if you’re really in a pinch you can start your own store.
How To Make Cash Fast Tip Two – Teach Lessons Or Classes
The age old, tried and true, right?
Part of me wants to be a wiseass and call this the worlds oldest profession. I’ll let the joke not land all on its own from here. And oooookay! Back to Earth. It really is the tried and true way to earn fast money as a musician to this day. Personally, I taught drum lessons from age 14 on. Before I couldn’t be of age to receive working papers, that was my only form of income. And my parens were happy to drop me off at my ‘job’.
Like they say, if you love it, it’s really not work. And there’s a special intersection at education and music that nothing is similar to. An emotion to the work and pride felt when others ‘get it’. Give it a shot because you can sure learn a lot too!
How To Make Cash Fast Tip Three – Creative And Copy Writing
Are you a strong writer? Can you be? There’s plenty that needs writing still, despite coronavirus. Every day there is the need to generate press releases, emails, social media posts, interactions with fans, interactions with bosses (authority figures, the opposite of fans), etc. Learn to hone this craft and you’ll find your overall communication person-to-person improves. Also, there will never be a need to scramble the night before to fill out the submission letter for consideration of your biggest sync opportunity ever. Last, you will better be able to defend your brand, who you are and what you stand for if you can articulate your musical thoughts behind your material onto paper.
I just glanced at Fiverr for the sake of this article. The lowest of press releases can cost $5. Okay, not terrible. However, I’m sure that the writing quality is STELLAR! Mid-range pricing is about $45-65. For something you could have probably written yourself! As with the situation more often than not in life, spare yourself the headache, learn to do it yourself and, subsequently, do it 50x better than anyone else ever could. This one is a no-brainer. Stop paying, start hustling this side-gig and watch those tables turn in your favor REAL quick.
How To Make Cash Fast Tip Four – Selling Music To Twitch/Gamer Streams
The sub-set of gamers who are successful streamers. They are also creatives who just want to broadcast what they want. However, Twitch is notorious for (they kind of have to. You can’t really blame them) their enforcement of D.M.C.A. (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) Claims.
For gamers popping on a Spotify playlist on in the background and returning to find their account banned. Score one for independent musicians, though. This situation forces gamers to utilize original material, with the ones they were grabbing off Spotify not in their price range. Gaming Streamers have come to rely on background music and their show is stale and flat without it. They need you! And as fellow Creatives, they will appreciate your side-hustle. They get it better then any non-musician out there. Help them help you and the like wise!