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Making Money with Music

Lesson 8 of 35

Physical Sale Options & Licensing

Randy Chertkow, Jason Feehan

Making Money with Music

Randy Chertkow, Jason Feehan

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Lesson Info

8. Physical Sale Options & Licensing

Lesson Info

Physical Sale Options & Licensing

Cds there still in option so we're download carts or slightly newer option they cost a lot less to make usb drives lps I'm going to go through each of these because they're worth the time we are not yet in an age fully where you could just shake somebody's hand and transfer data as it is in some scifi books be nice so the question becomes how do you know how many cds to make? We'll break it down this is what we suggest think about determining what you need for your press campaign your radio campaign, your promotional copies that you're going to give away when you walk up to somebody and if you're doing personal networking maybe you can mail masang but maybe you just want a hand in a cd so they've got something to work with so free copies that you're gonna hand away copies for sale all of these things will be the case once you do that there's four manufacturing options really that you have more than most people think of course you could make it yourself on your computer you can purchase...

a boat duplication machine there is actually air available and the cheaper than you think if you're going to be making a lot of them you're doing a lot of touring you could use a duplication house but you could also use this to make one offs a lot if you like small groups of copies use a cd printing house or print on demand. We're going to talk about three and four we're going to kind of skip one into figure you already know how to make it on your computer. We do have some methods in the book about talking about how to make it look good like there's label printing options that make it so you don't we'll put your little marker and just say here's my album and it's got like that pretty cheap look on it, but there's other well, we want to skip toe three and four what you may not have run into if you haven't done a duplication run yet is that there are different options depending on how many you make. Duplication and replication are distinct terms and they actually mean different things as far as what you get a duplication is five hundred copies or less generally replication glass master more than five hundred duplicated cds are both more expensive per cd copy. They cost more per item, but even worse they don't last very long. They're kind of chief they may now, given a lot of people consider the plastic to be disposable anyway they want to rip it and then get rid of it, and in that case it may work out now it is, but if you want a more permanent item, the glass master cds are good keep in mind that cbre's even start to fail if they just have him sitting in boxes, they'll start to degrade. So that is something that is a consideration as you're doing this, you create a kn inventory through these types of places dis makers, dis factory and w media, these air, all good ones. We've used all three amongst our nineteen albums that we've done, we haven't duplicated huge runs of all of them because we went through, we went through basically this and we determine, ok, we don't need it for this one. We need it for that one. We made our choices and you know, then we made a run. The nice thing about this, of course, is they make excellent giveaways, there's all kinds of marketing options you could do moving on print on demand print on demand is a very exciting new way to actually get your music out there without having to put any money up front. You upload the art, you upload the music, and then it costs nothing to do this there's no initiation fees, and they handled the sales they handle the credit card transaction, and they handle what's called fulfillment, and what fulfillment is it's a term you're going to have to get familiar with? We're going to be mentioning it quite a bit throughout this course. Is actually packing it up and shipping it to the customer it's a pain? I mean, you don't want to be doing this, but if you don't have a fulfillment option, you actually have to do that. I mean, how also you're going to take physical cd sales? The cool thing is they manufacture it on the spot based on what they do so it's a really cool option there's also some other advantages to it. First of all, you can use it to create small runs of professional looking cds, not the type that would come out of your computer with something that would actually look really good and you can use it like if there are still a few places that say we want to see the and they do that because they want to raise the bar a little bit and not just have people emailing the music they're doing something like that. I believe pandora is one of them. Pandora will also, if you recall from earlier ones wants you to have a bar code. Well, having a priest cd print on demand is a way for you to do a good looking cd because they actually evaluated when it comes in and if you just have a hand printed one it's a little less likely will pick it up you've got that and the other key is you can always keep your albums and print nothing ever has to got a print in terms of cds, but when it comes to cd is these are not the only options. This is another thing people forget nowadays you need the music to actually work out really well for you and do maur you have to go beyond the standard product there are hybrids, cds that you can use and so on this has not just music on it it also has data on it so you could sell videos you can sell extras you could sell a pdf book of lovemaking off you could have all kinds of options in that digital space and allow you to actually make a better product, which makes it more likely. Oh, well, why shouldn't I just buy it on itunes? Well, if you buy here my show, you'll get this extra stuff and it gives you a new option and so we're always looking for that kind of angle as we're talking about making money with music monetizing this stuff marketing this stuff is going beyond and giving them something extra that compels them to make the sale at the time here in front of thumb makes sense way like a short documentary or something sure that's a great idea on that kind of making of we highly recommend while you're making your album or while you're doing whatever project that does your doing just grab somebody with a phone too just take these little snippet videos, grab editor liz editors on almost every major platform that air free, edited together and make a little documentary out of it. And now you've got some extra material that people might be interested in it's a great idea and let's go beyond let's give you even more options to try and get that sail the happen if you do have cds or some physical items like that, the case can be more than just a regular case. I mean, you can easily do a dvd style case, which actually there's something about them. They feel more substantial than a regular cd case, but we found a lot of places online that actually have interesting style cd cases like the trigger pack has this little spring loaded thing that kind of spits it out and grabs it back in it's like this arm thing and there's others as well custom cases that have interesting looks and feels to them and the nice thing about them is there's no reason why you have to make a thousand of them. If you want to make it truly interesting and you want to make a riel chance that you'll make that sale at the time is that you make a limited number and you say I'm on lee give I'm only making twenty of these this is all I'm ever going to make, and they cost thirty dollars each but these air all that there are well suddenly you're making it much more likely that you're going to make that sale and going above and beyond I mean if you just make thirty cds it's a little less likely than if you make custom thirty custom case cds see what I'm talking about that's how this comes together now let's just say you have a bunch of cds you've got some for your sales it shows and in person types of events but then you also want to sell them online fortunately there's a lot of options for this kind of thing cd baby and nimbus are some of the better ones that we like we've used cd baby quite a bit they have an inventory of your cds they will handle the sales and they will handle the fulfillment so they're excellent shipping is handled by the customer so except for the shipping of you to see the baby and that's got to be figured into your costs we're just going to tell you that now the nice thing about cd baby is it makes your inventory available the two stores so you know if you walk into a wal mart and look for beatnik turtle our album they should be able to search on and find and say well we don't have it in stock but we can have it here in a few days so it's actually a really nice option download cards are another way to do it so now what's music anymore. If it's just a bunch of digital bits, the only thing I need to really sell in person is access to it that's really what you're doing. So what you would like to be able to do is hand somebody something that represents your music so they hand you money, and then they feel they're getting something substantial out of it. It's they're not quite as popular some of the other methods that we're about to talk about in a few minutes, but still it works out really well, because downward cards air very inexpensive to make much less expensive than cds to you, by the way, that to the customer, naturally, you can sell it for any amount that you would like, but they work out pretty well, dis makers can do it, or you can make your own with cash music, which also handles the downloads, and you'll be handling the payments, of course, on your own and finally, usb drives, you know, the cool thing about that is not only is it a night, um, that's useful to the person making the purchase after you've sold it, but they make it in the craziest shapes you've ever seen. So I've seen one shaped like actually not just shaped like but actual lighters that has a little thing based in it I saw one that's like a transformer robot transforming that whatever you want and they will actually work with you if you've got a little bit more money and you really want to make an interesting option as you might have some funding for this, you can actually have a make any custom shape you want it's plastic after all and again now you could make a very cool custom thing you could say there's only thirty of these transformer robot albums that I have and the rest of the little standard albums and the transformer robot costs, you know, like forty bucks and then this this regular one is just a standard fifteen you can actually do pretty well in that kind of thing now they cost more, of course, as items, they have to figure that out, but these air options that take you far beyond what you would normally dio it makes it more exciting when you're playing life or you're doing whatever you're doing in person now there's an example we can use him wait, we talking about here is I don't know if you've heard of the band I fight dragons there out of chicago um but they actually used the usb drives and they added the limited quantity a piece of it as well to make it a unique sale where they offered one hundred, they only made one hundred, u s bees, and they said, if you buy this, you get this content. Plus you get this lifetime membership, that you can attend any one of our shows going forward. And, uh, and I think all feature content or something like that. So they sold each one of those usb drives for one hundred bucks. Ten thousand dollars? Yes. And they sold out, and it was a limited quality quantity, so people were excited to oh, this is perfect. Uh, just buy it now. Um, so, anyway, that's that's a good example of anarchy marketing technique. Yes, limiting the quantity. And if you want to make these, you can go to dis makers. Some of the more interesting ones premium usb custom usb, but then just search on custom usb drives. Generally, you'll be paying its I've been trying to find, like the cheapest ones I can, because the truth is, when it comes to just selling your mp three's, you don't need a ton of storage. A gig is probably too much. You can find some of the small strides they have, but I've never gotten it much below, like three, four dollars, which is that's about what you're going it's probably a little more than you would pay for a duplicated so the cds remember duplication replication, replication less proceed e but you have to make a lot of home duplication. It's actually comes out around three dollars, proceeding now prices change constantly, so by the time you guys might even online might be searching on it saying, wait a minute, it's actually this much you know you have to check when you're doing the business when you're making the decision to actually commit the money to it keep searching because this is I think, is what I want to do for the next time that we do another live run I want to start using usb drives is there more useful later, and you can provide more content on it and it's probably the most flexible in terms of the types of items you can sell, I want to buy like groups of different shapes and say there's, only twenty of these start using the I fight dragons over and over, and finally lps are getting popular, especially with media music like elektronik music, lots of other options here, these air great collector's items and the people who have the means to play these things love getting the actual l piece, so you've got a ready market it's small, but they're very committed and they love it if you want to do that these air a handful of places you can go to do it but there's more I mean obviously we only we always give you just a few that can solve the problem the other great thing about it is that the album art is not just a tiny little thumbnail on some website nor is it even this thing on the cds which I remember when they came out when they were decrying well, the album art so small now you've got the album art on this big thing you can really do something with the art as it relates to this I don't know if you recalled some of those you might have tuned in but we talked about from our very first session the fact that sometimes the artists that you use can have a following of their own that actually they're following is so interested they might buy the music just because they want the art in there trying to collect everything from it. So all this stuff comes together very nicely in these physical products which you might have thought were dead before we started to talk about it now and what we're doing that is what I wanted to talk about however is or is it relates to physical music so I just wanted to pause for a second see if there was any interest in talking any questions anywhere, otherwise you can move on I was thinking about you you're pointing out like how are as I'm understanding if there are similarities to other john rose another like artists and stuff yes can actually be are our mainstay of our advantage and in getting like getting hurt and getting out there yes, and it sounds like what you're saying is, uh, that's that's ah um not like not going to take away from anon artists like uniqueness it's actually gonna like a free month and, uh, I just wonder if you could like it is what you're saying is a very good point that we hear quite a bit like I want to be known for my own stuff, but here's the thing until your name has earned is earned the way to become associated with a style of music which takes a lot you need to borrow from other people to establish yourself first even the well known artists that you know now if you look back in their history, they do the same thing they tie themselves to bans it sounds sort of similar until you realize that they're their own thing and their name is associated with the sound yeah that's how it works there's another thing that way we're going to talk about this in the marketing part but it's a concept that we like to call piggybacking and they've already spent the marketing budget. Now they've spent quite a few million's a lot of cases, why not just ride that right? You know, once you get picked up, you get to be as you get to be evaluated on your own merits once they hear your music, the on ly thing you're trying to d'oh is actually to get in front of new fans to try and get picked up. Now we're talking about marketing inside of a store, which is not the way most people think. Ironically, this is why we bring it up here. This is why we focus on it, because the next session we talked about how to market yourself to the broader world, and the same thing still holds to some extent, also within genre, within your genre. And when it comes to marketing there's a whole nother thing set of things you khun dio, I can talk about one that we actually I don't believe we have in our slides. But it's worth mentioning at this point, I'm going to say this right now, and I'll probably bring it up again at that point, find artists that sound like you who are both the big artist in your genre and find another one who's just slightly ahead of where you are, who's like a well established in your city and known and why am I saying that? Well, what you dio is you enter that and something like google alerts or mention if you've ever used mentioned dot net, I believe it isthe yeah, I'm pretty sure it's mentioned that man, and then you put your name in those things so that you come up every time you know your name comes up or has mentioned anywhere, but then you also put these big artist and the artist that you're close to why? Because everywhere they mentioned, the artists that's in your zone, but like ahead of you, you see that they were covered in some magazine or some website guess what? They might be interested in it's your same genre, and you just keep tailing and everywhere that they are, you just try and get yourself and you get to catch up. I think it's, one of the key tips we have in the class in chicago that we teach on social media, and we're not teaching that here, so I can just give that you that you just share it right now. Is was there any other questions about the physical sales and not about the physical sales? We did have one that came in on digital distribution, if you want to touch on that one, sure, this is from denver, and they wanted to know about the connection between itunes sales and digital sales in general and sound scan so if you are if you're selling in these digital platforms are you still registering in soundscan can you still rise in the charts if that's your primary mode distribution that is an excellent question we covered that a bit in the last session actually and itunes does report to sound skin but then your album needs to be registered and sounds can to do it you still need the barcode even though you're selling on the digital music platforms so you know this is the kind of thing where you still have to do what we talked about last session which is preparing your music now some of the meth it's that we cover here especially selling your own downloads that's not tracked in soundscan some of the other ones where you get down to one middleman may or may not report to soundscan and that's where you need to do your research that's a very good question okay moving on ring tones another way you can sell your music now we're now we're talking about all the different things you can do with that same piece of music and keep selling it all these different ways get royalties off of it all these different ways get licensing off of it I'll talk about the distinction between those in a minute with ring tones it's fairly straightforward tune core or mixer both good ways to do it and they'll get you on the platforms and allow you to basically turn your music and drink toes, but keep in mind that carrier fees take a big cut and you might not make a large a percentage off of this. But it's a nice thing that offer your fans because for the most part, the same digital distributors that you normally use for your music, like a tune core will also handle it or working through mixers actually quite interesting, because it has a lot of other options that we like quite a bit, and we'll talk about that a little later, though, will come up again. The thing is, once it's in there, don't assume that your fans just know about it, just promoters like, hey, now you can get ring tones for this and you could mention you should mention the songs in particular, they can get out of it, not just hey my music, because it makes the trigger I'd love to have that song is a ring tone, the more specific you can be when you're marketing generally, the better off you are. So now we're going to talk about how to drive royalty and licensing income. Now royalties are what you get when your music is played licenses or what you get when somebody wants to use your music. In their work or in their work, that would be like in, for example, video or film, sync writes, that kind of stuff, or maybe they do you want to use your work is part of some other thing there's there's a lot of possibilities with it there's actually endless ways to do both of them when it comes to royalties. The easiest way to get the income off of it is to generate plays of your music, and we're going to cover that the next entire next session that we're going to have sixteen categories, not sixteen separate places, sixteen categories of places where you can get your music played, many of them generate royalties, and the whole point of that is to just get your music out there and also promote you so it's, excellent from both standpoint. So let's talk about musical licensing, which is something that we can get into a little more you can number one submits to music licensing listings. Taxi is a big example of this, but by far not the only one there's other places where they have listings there's also get hired is sort of a work for hire to create music for a licensing company, so if you're a big songwriter and recording. Music and you don't mind that you won't be making any more than the flat rate they're going to pay you to make the music this might be a good way to go for you it's yet another option generally worked for hires the kind of thing that you want to be sure that you're doing it because by doing that you're saying I don't own this anymore I'm not going to get any more royalties I'm not going to get anymore I don't have any more ownership rights over it but then again you might be ah kind of a composer for hire he might be a composer for you know whatever people ask you to do it can work out really well also you could join a music library like magnitude which licenses through all kinds of other options mood mixes I license music if they have to choose you and then it's a fifty fifty split with no other performance royalties so they cut off the performance royalties so what does this tell you remember what we said at the very very beginning where there's the customer the middleman in you that middleman matters a lot once you start to go with it you may be cutting off an entire source of revenue for your music by doing it this is not the only option at all for this kind of stuff here's why they exist? I want you to think about something for a second put yourself in the head of somebody who's a music supervisor music supervisors choose music for music projects like video and things like that a music supervisor is looking for music that fits the exact thing that trying to dio they're like I've got a chase scene I need music that's perfect for the chase scene right? So what do they want? You can't just say that on the phone and expect somebody to give you the thing you want a huge library of music and listen listen listen that's the one I want I want that one think of it like clip art sites for musicians that's what they're looking for that's what sites like magnitude d'oh and others that are in that zone that's where they set there's another zone that people talk about an awful lot which is of course making music for video games, licensing music certainly as a medium it's something that requires music whatever they dio whatever they're trying to do within it it needs music usually under the background they usually need a lot of songs like little tiny bits that might be equivalent to bumpers really on video stems stems but then the other thing that they need is a lot of audio sounds and various it's called sound design you can audio design you need a lot of things that just actually create a mood oh and depending on what kind of studio you have, you can put this together it's a little harder to make the connection to the big studios the big studios they're kind of just has locked up it is a big stew tv studio now because there's a lot of money associated with it there's a lot of people who pay a lot of money in order to make that connection and the lock everybody else out. So what I've known more than a few people in this industry and the interesting thing is they tend to work with just some gain some music designers and music composers that they know and like and work with and they just work with them from then on that said there's always ways to break in if you know somebody in the industry and by the way that's true of all these other licensing options we were giving you once that air links you can always get to know people in these industries and just make it happen it's just not really easy for us to stand up here and say get to know people we don't like we want to give you like practical downer things that said the game developers conference if you were to go out there as a music designer music musician that composes this kind of stuff everybody walking around this conference is in the game industry most of them are not musicians they're looking for music and they don't they may not even know that they're looking for music at the time so you can offer terms that are maybe a little lower maybe you can actually catch someone they're new and young and starting out and give him a deal and then when they grow up and get bigger you can actually be able to do more business with them. This has a lot to do with what we talked about in the very first session today you get to know him before they're famous it's also about getting to meet the people in the industry and doing networking in places where you're the only musician compared to doing networking where it's just a music conference now if there was only one video game designer in a music conference you know they could get make a lot of connections there it's a really good place for them to go there's also sites like game death so as you can imagine there's conventions but then there's also online congregations game dev now I want you to do the same thing I talked about earlier I said put yourself in the head of ah supervisor now put yourself in the head of a game designer I know how to do programming I have an idea for a game I actually may not even be a great artist so I'm looking for a clipper and little streit's that I can actually manipulate move around of all kinds of different shapes to represent what I'm doing maybe somebody you could help me design backgrounds or images I can use royalty free but I'm also looking for music you can plug yourself into this community if you get to know this is true of everywhere that you would try and get your music licensed does that make sense? Like you really have to think that way just if you decide I want to start doing game development you know music I want to start doing whatever it is I want to get into tv and film you have to understand where they hang out understand what their problems are solve their business problems with music and generally you want to insert yourself somewhere where you are in the position to solve their problems and then you could do business so here's another question on the flip side of the whole clearing music rights which we briefly alluded to the early part of this which like I said, we can get to that answer how you clear other people's music here's the other side of the game though you have written a song and then somebody covers it how do you get paid? Well, this is called mechanical royalties and it's actually set by statute to be point o nine one cents per copy made that copy is a copy doesn't mean that they sold it it doesn't even mean that they intend to ever sell it if they make a thousand copies and give it away you're entitled to nine you know point o nine one cents per copy under five minutes and over five minutes it goes to I don't know thirteen cents or something they're the rates are listed online, we have links to it from any band survival guide I don't want to get too caught these details always worried about this because these holes go very deep but you can override this you can actually allow somebody to let them cover your music for less than that rate it's really can't really get somebody to pay more because they're not required by law to ever do so if they want to cover your music and and you can't tell them no, by the way, if you hate somebody that then they cover your music, at least you could make him pay the maximum rate you can't say no cases in the u s in the yes that's right and even changes and, well, you yeah you're europeans, musicians and stuff they have moral rights so they can actually say that I don't want to be associated with that and they can actually stop it but in the u s can't so considering that you can handle your own licensing if you want to in which case you know some wants to cover your music you just collect money from them make it clear you encourage covers on your website like if you want to do business this is where all of your web presence has become business presences this is where you let the world know that you're actually interested in doing this kind of thing and you make it clear and this is the most important thing the way that almost all business starts in anything in this business is contacting you if your site doesn't have a very clear contact me like link it's not don't bury it you actually have a nunnery page if you can if it's in the extent you can I recommend most people just put it right in the corner they contact us make it very easy to do that because when we got licensed by disney they went through our website and they had contact us it wasn't it was actually they came in from the big broad world said hey, you've got a song and we want to license it we need to contact you immediately because we want to use it in a few days that's how it came in so this kind of thing becomes pretty critical if you are publisher you khun affiliate with harry fox that can handle it but you need to meet certain requirements toe work with harry fox it's basically be published by a record label in the last twelve months if you want to work with them, so you need to be a little bit higher stature of artists and then harry fox collects money, takes the transaction fee and pays you based on mechanical royalties. From the flipside standpoint, harry fox song file is a great place to clear cover rights. The same rules apply on the other side, so if you want to have a cover on your album, you can pay nine point one cents. You just tell them here's how many copies I intend to make or sell its digital. Youjust assume hominy, you're going to sell you pay it and that that actually covers the rights. Harry fox doesn't handle it for everything in the world. And if the bands that you are looking for are not the u s, you often have to go somewhere else. And we had that happened once, right? It's an eye for which one? Star directors. Oh, yeah. That's, right. You have to go somewhere else. It is a u s uh, organization. So when you do covers, you still have to do this kind of clearing. Harry fox is a great one. Place, one stop shop to check out, clear most of the things you'd expect the major label groups they're on harry fox. They're pretty much the main game in town, and they do make it as easy as possible to his very say, the fee, and then they'll send you a license. Was just cindy the digital through the through electronically? I believe so, very easy, very easy. So if you're looking to do cover songs, this is one place to go.

Class Description

In today’s tech-driven world, it’s easier than ever to record, distribute, and market your own music, but what about actually making money? During this course, longtime industry professionals and best-selling authors Randy Chertkow and Jason Feehan take you step-by-step through their proven techniques for establishing steady revenue streams in the music business.

Drawing on their combined experience of over 32 years in the industry, Jason and Randy will teach you how to rise above the rest, landing your music on all the popular radio stations, selling your albums in stores, making the most of digital distribution, and licensing your music for commercials and movie and TV soundtracks. You will learn how to maximize the money you make from your music and minimize the money you spend promoting it.

Jason and Randy also outline how to set up the right support team through networking, giving back to your fans, and identifying the right collaboration opportunities. By the end you’ll have an extensive playbook for making money from your music and scaling your business.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Links and Resources.pdf

Day 1 Keynote.pdf

Day 2 Keynote.pdf

Day 3 Keynote.pdf

bonus material with enrollment

Chapter 1 of The Indie Band Survival Guide 2nd Edition.pdf

First Ones Free.pdf

Master Class-Be Heard.pdf

Master Class-Starting A Music Business for $0.pdf

Mixing Your Music For Licensing.pdf

Monetizing YouTube.pdf

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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Charles Galvin

As robust a blueprint as you're likely to get anywhere. Applicable to every genre and with the growing importance of authenticity to fans, this is the way you start, maintain and grow your music business free of corporate intervention. Great job guys!


Absolutely fantastic course from start to finish. I thought i knew most of the tools, methods and ideas of the modern musician - but i was wrong. This course filled me with food-for-thought and instantly inspired me to do more and try harder. Well worth it. Thanks guys!

Tony Gonzo

One of the best classes I have ever taken as far as how to make money in music. I highly recommend this for anyone who works in the music field as an artist - manager or independent label.