Your Music Biz 101 Wrap Up: Week of July 24

(Matt Young of Warner Music Artist Services proudly displays his commemorative plaque after serving as co-Visiting Expert to William Paterson University’s Music Management program during the 2016-2017 school year. Dan Goldberg also served but, as a devout Amish fellow, could not appear in the picture.)


Hola! 
Our next Music Biz 101 & More radio show is a brand new show, pre-recorded at Music Biz in Nashville last month.  We interview Katelyn Drozd, Director of Talent Acquisition for the Warner Music Group.  That means she’s in charge of hiring people.  If you’re interested in how they hire and what they look for, tune in!In the meantime, listen all of our other on-demand podcasts HERE – and we’re always open to answer your tweets, so ask away.Now scroll down for those articles that make the most sense of your sensibilities.Adios!
Your Professor David Kirk Philp

 

How Did Johnny Depp End Up In A Financial Crisis?

This could never happen to you, right?  Well, yeah.  That’s probably right.  Read this to get a laugh at this guy’s crazy spending habits.  But also think about why he did this to himself.  And were his business managers helping him or hurting him?  Who’s at fault?  Let’s just say the only winners here are the lawyers.

 Your Knowledge Presented By:

The book is out!  Did you buy it?!?

Order & memorize this masterpiece HERE.  Just like happy customer Paul Sinclair of Atlantic Records.

What is the single most important aspect of the music industry an artist manager needs to understand?

This Week’s Response: Dave Lory, Former Manager of Jeff Buckley/Gregg Allman/Courtney Love

“All of it because you don’t manage the artist as much as the areas around the artist. How can you manage a tour manager if you’ve never tour managed? How can you manage side musicians if you’ve never played?”

Podcast of the Week: Billy Fields, VP of Sales & Account Management at WEA

Last week’s radio show featured this fancy man, Billy Fields, who’s a funny and fun VP at WEA (Warner/Elektra/Atlantic) in New York City.  We saw him last week and he says hello.  He also says you should listen to the podcast because it’s chock full o’ good stuff.

Click and give this one a listen.

Here’s Spotify’s Biggest Problem – In A Netflix-Shaped Nutshell
Netfilix is doing very well.  Its subscriber base is growing and its stock price is at an all time high.  In addition, it has steadily raised the monthly subscription rate to help revenues grow (especially as the costs of licensing studio content has grown).

Spotify is the leader in music streaming.  It too is doing well.  However, this article shows the differences between the two services.  First, Netflix creates original content (Spotify may or may not do this – see HERE – but not enough to move the revenue dial too much).  Second, Spotify’s subscription price has NOT been steadily rising.  Why not?

Read this article to get a sense of how the movie and music industries are similar and different.  This is worth four minutes of your time.

The Interview: Jonathan Dickens, Adele’s Manager
What do you want to know about her and him and what goes on?  Click and read and it’s probably here.

Live Nation Now Manages More Than 500 Artists Worldwide
This kind of makes sense, right?  Live Nation is all about driving revenue through concert promotion.  If they can also make income off of the headliners performing in those concerts, that’s good business.

The way they’ve gotten so big in the artist management field is by acquiring management companies.  Read this:

“In the US, these include Roc Nation Management, 24 Artist Management, Blueprint Artist Management, Spalding Entertainment, LMG Management, Mick Artists Management, Three Six Zero Group, Vector Management, Career Artist Management and Philymack Management (home to Demi Lovato and Nick Jonas).”

Now, my only concern as an outsider looking in is this:  If I’m the artist and a ticket to my show is sold, the promoter gets a piece of that and my manager gets a piece of that.  If Live Nation is ultimately my manager’s parent company, they’re now getting a piece of the percentage I pay my manager.  In effect, Live Nation is double-dipping on me.

Or is it?  One could state this is more like a different kind of 360 deal; more like a 90 deal, since it just deals with live.  But…
Suppose I do have a 360 deal.  In theory, my label is getting a piece of my merch and my ticket sales.  My manager gets a piece too, of course.  But Live Nation is getting two pieces of both since they get their percentage on the front end AND on the back end (since they own my manager’s company).

Isn’t this a conflict of interest at some point?  On the live end, my agent (who gets 10%) is negotiating my deal with Live Nation for this tour.  Live Nation gets to hedge their bets on me by knowing they have a buffer, since they get part of the 20% my manager gets.  If my tour isn’t awesome, they’re in better shape as owner of my manager’s company than if they didn’t own it.  So maybe, in this case, they’ll be a little more generous with their offer to me for the tour.

Or, maybe, they don’t need to be as generous because they’re following the market pricing anyway.  Who, reading this, knows more about this than me?  I’d love your feedback.  Give me a lesson and let me know if I’m overthinking this or not thinking this through far enough.

Click for more.

Even ‘Big’ Artists Don’t Have Control Over Their Labels
Iggy Azaela’s most recent single, “Switch,” didn’t do so well (relatively).  Just looking at Spotify streams, of her Top 10 single streams, “Switch” is #9 and going nowhere.  It’s had just under 19 million streams (compared to “Fancy,” her biggest hit, which has garnered 325 million streams).  A label might look at this and say, “She’s toast.”

That’s probably a little harsh, but when your new single doesn’t even get 50% of the streams of the next single (“Pretty Girls” has 40 million streams), the label might want to cut its losses early.  Plus, there’s the theory of opportunity cost.  Does a label spend money and time on another Iggy Azaela song or on a song by another artist who is trending upward?  You know the answer to this.

So does Iggy.  And she’s not happy.  But she has no control.  Click.  Read.  And remember, just because you were at the top of the mountain once, that doesn’t mean you’ll always be there.

Now, don’t feel too sorry for Ms. Azaela.  As long as she doesn’t follow the Johnny Depp model of spending, she should be okay financially for the rest of her life.   Her kids will be okay too.  And their kids.  Will Iggy be happy?  Well, that’s another story that only maturity and a good therapist can solve.

We’re deep today, aren’t we?

 

Artist Manager Interview: The Who’s Bill Curbishly
This is a very interesting interview with Bill Curbishly, who’s managed The Who for decades.  He also managed Robert Plant and Jimmy Page, separately.  There are some great stories and some great lessons in here.

The best line:

“Money is a transitory thing. It’s a very short distance from driving the limousine and sitting in the back of it – one does well to remember that. Money is a transitory thing. It’s a very short distance from driving the limousine and sitting in the back of it – one does well to remember that.”

Click for more.

Music Biz 101 & More Podcasts: Stream Us 24/7

Our 2017 schedule looks like this:

July 26 – Katelyn Drozd – Director, Talent Acquisition at Warner Music Group

August 2 – Alix Kram – Warner Music Artist Services/SaulPaul – Artist With A Message

August 9 – Charity Lomax – Tour Manager for the Eagles, Christina Aguilera

August 16 – Peter Jenner – Former Manager for Pink Floyd and The Clash

August 23 – James Stewart – Director of Marketing at em.CO (Tim McGraw’s management company)

August 30 – Caylnn Green – Warner Chappell Songwriter

September 6 – Brian Schechter – Former Manager My Chemical Romance/Current Manager Palisades

Mark those dates on your calendar; 8 PM on Wednesdays.  What do you want to know?  Who do you want to hear from?  Let us know!  The best part?  It’s FREE music biz talk.

__________________________________________________________________________________________

For full details about the Music Management Program, including courses, the minor, and our MBA, click HERE.

For full details about the WPU Pop Music Studies Program, including courses and audition requirements, click HERE.

__________________________________________________________________________________________

Professor David Philp is Assistant Professor Music Management & Popular Music Studies at William Paterson University. He is the co-host of the only FREE advice college radio-based music & entertainment industry talk show in America, Music Biz 101 & More, which airs live most Wednesday nights and is available as a podcast HERE every night (days too).  Your favorite professor is also co-author (with Dr. Steve Marcone) of Managing Your Band – 6th Edition.  Reach him at PhilpD@wpunj.edu or find him on LinkedIn HERE.

Leave a Reply