Speed Networking Plus Invades the Americana Music Association Conference & Festival 2013
Nashville, TN September 18, 2013– Atlanta based “The Music Specialist”, Allen Johnston, presented three (3) diverse sessions at the Americana Music Association Festival & Awards 2013. Selected by the Arts and Business Council of Greater Nashville, all of his written & visual session materials were certified by presented at the Nashville Entertainment Law Symposium.
Copies of these materials can be found on the American Bar Association website at http://www.americanbar.org/groups/entertainment_sports/events_cle/symposium_materials.html
MUSIC SPECIALIST SESSIONS:
Wednesday September 18th
Song To The Bank
Song To The Bank
Totally updated for 2013, each and every indie musician, publisher or serious fan will gain inside knowledge on what makes the music industry tick; especially how it's changed and what to expect in light of the digital landscape. In addition to straight business talk, we'll add some career coaching/marketing speak to our discussion. Covered topics will include: information for touring artist, singer songwriter, self-publishers and those interested in International business deals, How to establish, maintain and promote a viable International music business. What should I be doing to promote myself; what options are available to me - the artist
B2B Speed Networking
Speed Networking is one-on-one face time with film/TV music decision makers and influencers. Our panelists will meet a participant for a three-minute period before the attendee is asked to move on to the next panelist
Thursday September 19th Synch Licensing
The biggest money generating sector of the publishing business Synchronization licensing is probably the most misunderstood. Let our experts tell you what is, how to license your songs and how to collect.
ABOUT MUSIC SPECIALIST
Allen Johnston consults new and existing entertainment businesses, increasing their revenue streams while making them technically astute. With over four decades of progressive experience in all aspects of music product development, licensing, sales, promotion and distribution for national and international markets, he has worked with labels including Ariola, Arista, Capital, EMI America, Fantasy, Island, K-Tel, Mercury, Sony, Stax and Warner Bros. Records. As Industry Consultant, he provides business operations back office services for many music industry clients. Independent labels and publishers rely upon his expertise in the areas of publishing administration, licensing, royalty recovery, business affairs, label operation, business administration and the digital marketplace. http://www.asha.com
ABOUT MUSIC SPECIALIST SPEAKS
Conceived and dedicated to the advance of entertainment industry education and independent business building, Music Specialist Speaks uses multimedia, internet capabilities and live sessions to impart knowledge, education and business building connections. The newsletter division now reaches 19 countries with an overall readership of 1.2 million plus. http://www.musicspecialistspeaks.com
ABOUT ABA PARTNERSHIP
The ABA Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries is delighted to bring the Americana Music Association and The Arts & Business Council into this successful partnership, offering new sophisticated content from some of the leading entertainment law practitioners across the country. http://www.americanbar.org/
As I travel from city to city, country to country having speaking engagements at schools, universities and on conference & seminar panels, I have found that the current generation has one great misconception.
THE GAME IS TO BE SOLD AND NOT TOLD!
One popular school of thought is that the information on this industry is so valuable that it should be expensive to obtain. This is a position easily taken by the many” seminar hustlers”, conference organizers and independent business owners with questionable practices who make a living on selling access.
These very same people now have a generation believing that the entire entertainment industry is built on service organizations & companies that care less about your project and more for your continuous monetary payment. Their goal is to get you into a contract where you are paying for services that have little or no effect upon your career.
I want to tell you today about some changes that have occurred without notice within the music business.
- RELEASE DATE - Once upon a time this was a cherished word ultimately meaning that a date had been planned when your music would be released to the stores for sale. To make this happen there would be thousands of dollars spent in marketing plans, sales programs, advertising and salaries. Tour expenses had been approved and the artist probably al ready had a major budget video shot with airplay and TV advertising run.
Today the Internet has made the term Release Date virtually disappear by offering direct access to the consumer. Most independent artists are trying to get as many songs as possible in front of as many people as possible so they can start selling themselves doing shows, merchandise and anything else that can make them a living. Sales programs have been regulated to the major 4 stores, Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Target & Best Buy and this doesn’t even take into consideration iTunes and the Internet.
- INDEPENDENT PROMOTER - This is a real lost to many within the recording industry. Here were the Kings & Queens of the record business. The people actually dealing directly with the radio station personnel and making the deals that would get records played, promoted on-air and eventually place the artist in the market doing a show. A good record promoter could command a 6 figure salary for themselves and a 7 figure budget for the promotion of the product. These were the Knights Templar of the recording business not only bringing airplay home to the major labels, but also being able to rectify problems between artists, labels and radio.
Consolidation, National & Regional consultants, corporate advertising and governmental politics made this job start to dry up. Add onto that the unscrupulous individuals that take your money promise you a group of stations or an individual radio station and then find reasons to say that you are at fault for making the song NOT get played. The Independent promoter is now history totally ineffective at creating radio spins on any major chain of radio stations.
- RECORD POOL –Pools were created to receive music FREE from the record labels and charge the DJ’s to have access to the music. As part of the service of being the mediator from streets to corporate the record pool had each one of its members give written feedback on every song that they attained. For this the pool directors were treated royally by the record labels, given trips, free admission to conferences, and other perks.
This phrase has not disappeared but only morphed into something entirely different than its original context. Now record pools charge the RECORD COMPANIES to place their music within the clubs of the specific membership. Record pool directors and upper echelon pool personnel have become quasi-Independent promoters and are charging enormous fees to place music on radio mix shows and occasionally on the air for a limited time. (Make it or Break it) This is really a travesty for many of these people have no business acumen, formal training or scruples.
- CHARTS – A sacred word among major label executives and a magical word for independent record companies. Being on the charts meant that you were popular, making spectacular sales and probably had a record that was destined to give the artist the ability to perform in regional and national tours. The bible of the Industry was Billboard with R&R running a close 2nd.
Chart position today is a farce at best, not signifying massive sales. For example this week’s #1 album in the country sold 166,000 a far cry from the weekly sales of over 600,000 common just a few years ago. The #5 record on the Billboard Top 200 albums chart only sold 55,000 and has a grand total of 551,749 for 18 weeks’ worth of sales. I don’t even know anyone outside of a major company that evens subscribes to any of the trade magazines. But even more critical is the concept that new artists still believe that if you are on the charts than you will get some type of preferential treatment within the entertainment industry. There are now Chart Promoters that will take your money and promise you position on a major record chart, even though you don’t deserve anything. Please don’t think that your record is the only “hyped” record on the charts and this helps make the charts useless
The other school of thought remains rooted with tradition and history claiming the industry information should be free so that our offspring’s can learn faster with greater knowledge and less mistakes.
The actual cost of information sharing is getting lower and lower all of the time. Years ago you would have to find a conference or seminar to attend, pay your expenses, pay admission and then research the people that you wanted to meet just so you could sit with them and hear “first hand” the knowledge you desired. Follow up phone calls, mailings, and physical trips kept you up to date and in tune with the industry. Today all you have to do is pick up an electronic device, surf the web and immediately acquire information, contacts, knowledge and opportunities.
Information is readily available in many different countries and languages, what this generation seems to fail to recognize is the WISDOM to know right from wrong and the ability to interpret the information for their betterment. Because you want someone to hear your music, pay you money, make you a career and all you do is perform, is the primary reason you are destined for failure. Creating a true business environment that includes a plan for growth using multiple revenue streams is a path to long life.
Today I am telling you that this business model has changed entirely.
People are interacting with one another at an alarming rate, passing information, audio, video and business files around without any funds being transferred globally. The ability to reach your customer directly is causing a new business model and governments plus private industry are adapting rapidly while many in the public sector continue the 1980’s practices.
We once knew that you had to have a distributor to sell your products. We put up with paying distributors to ship, house, and even communicate with our companies. We signed contracts with distributors allowing them to make advance money from our projects if they became a hit and were “picked up” by major labels. This was what we accepted and allowed as normal business operation.
The world’s largest distributor of audio & video projects today is FACEBOOK.
In years past creativity was extraordinary, each individual writer, musician, singer, dancer, film maker, painter, designer and more worked on their craft and fashioned their distinctive individual style. A few collaborations were developed but for the majority of the entertainment products these collaborations were small (2-3person) units.
The majority of today’s creativity comes from the ability to hear, see and read ideas from other people globally. We originally called it “sampling” or “biting” but now it is the way of education world wide. Most of what I write about comes from ideas already circulating on the web. Being an avid reader I am in tune with many different people from different countries all speaking the same inferences. We have become “people of the screen” and millions of followers are looking at their screens daily. In todays market if you do not have a website, can be Google and have a positive social media score than you are not to be trusted or to do business with. This is not my call, but the direction that society has taken. If you see a person online with negative Google comments concerning their business or service, with no visible web presence or with dislikes (thumbs down) on their Facebook account you leave them alone. The public has the power to make or unmake anyone just on the “thumbs up” rule.
The concept of Piracy has now changed into a new concept called Motivation meeting
Opportunity. If I have a copy of your movie and you decide
that only the people that pay you should see it, then I now have an audience
(MOTIVATION) that wants your product and since I have it available ( OPPORTUNITY) I can send it to them for FREE. A few readers just got mad, but this is file
sharing at its lowest level and millions of people are doing it daily. There is now an entire generation of teens
and young adults that will always believe the Internet is the source of FREE
information, video and music.
For years the idea of copyrights has bothered me, I know that it is an archaic regulation. I have only seen it work when you have money and power to use it . I have watched the major labels, publishers, performing rights organizations and other groups make BILLIONS of dollars, Euros, yen, pounds, marks or whatever your countries currency is called based on copyright infringement regulations. Very few original songwriters or original publishers make a portion of the huge profit being generated by copyrights. The Internet is changing the entire structure of copyright law worldwide, causing problems and many different fixes.
The new school of thought expands of the concept of “User Licenses” instead of mandatory copyright rules that the public ignores. A user license is an agreement between the purchaser and the licensor for the right to use the product. This makes so much more sense when dealing with the Internet and the download and uploading of files. In particular the End User Licensing Agreement (EULA) is becoming more and more popular among originators of entertainment products worldwide.
Today’s business needs open communication between users for the flow of information to travel while the concept of keeping the information until you get paid is DEAD. Many of you will continue to think in this antiquated way, as for me I’m opening up my business to interested people for FREE. My open hand will receive more than your closed fist every day. I never said that I won’t get paid, but I won’t wait to exchange information, files and business acumen on a perceived payday.
Paulette A. DeSuzia
If you've been in the record business at least two months or thirty years, it's almost certain that you've heard the name, or communicated with, or received correspondence from or even been called on the phone by Paulette De Suzia.
Entering the recording industry as a secretary at A&M Records, six months later she was promoted to Assistant to the Vice President of Urban Promotions. Later she became the first black female Promotion Coordinator for A&M Records.
Her early industry credits ensued after years at A&M Records. Then she joined Far Out Productions whereby she coordinated duties for musical personalities such as the Blood, Sweat and Tears Management Team and the legendary group WAR.
An eight-year stint with Palo Alto/TBA Records provided the opportunity for her to become the first black female National Contemporary Jazz Promotion Director. She produced early hit songs for Dianne Reeves and George Howard.
Her productive results created quite a stir in the music industry which compelled artist managers and other music labels to start seeking her services. In light of this demand, she decided to open her own promotion and marketing firm called "From A Whisper To A Scream."
Developing additional skills, she can take a project from the recording stage to radio airplay, then to distribution and finally to retail, which nets the needed results.... sales.
Her promotional guidance and productive results track records for various artists reads like the "Who's Who" of the entertainment and recording industry. Some of these artists include: Herb Alpert, LTD, The Carpenters, Esther Phillips, Hugh Masekela, Solomon Burke, Wayne Henderson and Wilton Felder of the original Jazz Crusaders, Bobby Caldwell and Linda Hopkins. She also played a role in the development of young contemporary R&B artists like Joe, Mary J. Blige and Grammy winner Lauryn Hill, coupled with other notables such as the Five Blind Boys, Soul Stirrers, Anita Pointer of the famed Pointer Sisters and Lou Rawls.
Her thirst for the business of music allowed her to get an assignment and move to Paris, France for a short while to learn the international marketplace and work with European Gospel Diva Liz McComb.
Paulette coordinated all of the Urban radio, retail and public relations for Bottled Majic Music for the 2002 Grammy nominated CD of the legendary Ike Turner "Here and Now" project.
Involved with all facets of the entertainment industry, Paulette crossed into the dramatic film industry having been the Assistant Location Manager for various movies, most notably "Colors" featuring Sean Penn.
Working closely with industry trades, Paulette exchanges information with consumer publications, consults with clients, relates with distributors and various vendors, deals with pressing plants as well as graphic artists and goes that extra step to produce positive rewarding results.
In addition to her radio promotional skills of over 300 radio stations, her ability to cross musical formats such as NAC, Pop, Alternative, Gospel, Reggae, Jazz and Rap is all in a day's work which explains why her slogan "From A Whisper To A Scream"... says it all!
In 2005, she embarked upon another adventure by publishing her nationally distributed newsletter
“Peepin’ The Scene”. This publication has garnered attention with her format being informative, educational and historical with past and present events.
websites…www.fromwhisper2scream.com and www.peepinthescene.com
Written by: Warren Lanier
© 2007 Paulette De Suzia