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Corona Virus Exposes Huge Music Industry Flaw
#3034041 03/19/20 01:38 AM
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Royalties used to be a significant part of a musician's income, because back then, consumers were willing to pay for recorded music. Music is a fashion industry, and trends come and go. Royalties could hold you over during the lean times. Even today, I was talking to a musician who had a bunch of gigs canceled. Luckily, she still had a royalty stream flowing from having had multiple hit records in the past.

For musicians coming up today, the attitude is "don't worry about royalties, the real money is to be made from gigging. Why, look at Ed Sheeran! He's just a singer and a guitar, and he's cleaning up."

Not to take anything away from Ed Sheeran, but there are only so many of him.

Back in the day, you didn't have to be huge to get royalty income, and besides, you could get an advance for your next album. Royalties were like a security blanket for musicians. For most musicians, it's gone.

So your gigs are canceled. And you're not going to get any royalties.

What are you going to do? It could be months before this whole thing blows over, and you can gig again.

The silver lining: I suspect there's going to be huge pent-up demand. People are going to be craving live music when the all-clear signal sounds.

But until then...

Re: Corona Virus Exposes Huge Music Industry Flaw
Anderton #3034042 03/19/20 01:43 AM
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A lot of local musicians are starting to schedule live streams with links for PayPal, venmo or gofundme for tips during the performance. I would guess that some more refined live streaming options will be developed during this time that allow for more interaction and payment methods. My original band is already planning the logistics of a live stream if our May 2nd gig falls through. We're fortunate enough to have after hours access to a professional space normally used to shoot commercials and promotional videos for corporate entities.


Dan

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.
Re: Corona Virus Exposes Huge Music Industry Flaw
Anderton #3034047 03/19/20 02:07 AM
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One of many flaws in the system.
ASCAP and BMI come around the clubs here on the regular to collect money for royalties but how do they know what songs have been played?
There is a club out on Highway 9 that will only book all original bands so they don't have to pay ASCAP?BMI fees.

And, I've been here before, bands don't last forever.

I've learned to live cheaply. I bought up here when you still could, pay way less in mortgage than most pay for rent and I have a bigger place.
Will be remodeing a bit and then I can rent a room if I want. That should cover the mortgage.

As a hobby/income stream, I've been surfing thrift stores, pawn shops, craigslist for decades.
If something is priced stupidly low and I know I can sell it, I buy it. Sometimes I flip it immediately, other times I put it aside and wait for lean times.

A bulky, cumbersome "savings account" but the returns are often very good.
I have way too much stuff right now.

Just sold a nice camera lens for $340 plus $15 shipping. That keeps the wheels on the wagon for April at least.

Will be busy photographing and listing stuff for the next week or two. I'll use some of that money to buy more stuffs.

2 best ever scores - a Gurian guitar in Salvation Army in Fresno - $68 plus tax. It needed work but very repairable. I got almost $1,300 for it on eBay years ago.
Last year I found an ancient fancy ukulele in the furniiture at Goodwill - $5. Sold for almost $600.

I try to at least double or triple my $$$ with a minimum of making $50 for something I can flip on craigslist.
Right now musicians with extra music gear are selling it to for shelter and food. There will be deals.


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Re: Corona Virus Exposes Huge Music Industry Flaw
KuruPrionz #3034050 03/19/20 02:19 AM
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Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
There is a club out on Highway 9 that will only book all original bands so they don't have to pay ASCAP?BMI fees.
That's a peeve of mine. Technically, those acts are supposed to be getting paid through that as well, AFAIK. I'm not saying the PROs are doing everything right, but they aren't wrong, either.


The great thing about music is that there's always something to learn. The frustrating thing about music is that there's always something to learn!
Re: Corona Virus Exposes Huge Music Industry Flaw
J. Dead #3034052 03/19/20 02:31 AM
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Originally Posted by J. Dead
A lot of local musicians are starting to schedule live streams with links for PayPal, venmo or gofundme for tips during the performance. I would guess that some more refined live streaming options will be developed during this time that allow for more interaction and payment methods. My original band is already planning the logistics of a live stream if our May 2nd gig falls through.

The virtual tip jar...hmmm...I wonder if this might actually become "a thing," even after the whole virus issue blows over. Or maybe bands will use Patreon to fund concerts?

Kudos on planning ahead if your gig falls through. I hope it doesn't, but if so, I'll be interested to see how it goes for you.

Re: Corona Virus Exposes Huge Music Industry Flaw
KuruPrionz #3034053 03/19/20 02:33 AM
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Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
I've learned to live cheaply. I bought up here when you still could, pay way less in mortgage than most pay for rent and I have a bigger place.
Will be remodeing a bit and then I can rent a room if I want. That should cover the mortgage.

As a hobby/income stream, I've been surfing thrift stores, pawn shops, craigslist for decades.
If something is priced stupidly low and I know I can sell it, I buy it. Sometimes I flip it immediately, other times I put it aside and wait for lean times.

A bulky, cumbersome "savings account" but the returns are often very good.
I have way too much stuff right now.

Just sold a nice camera lens for $340 plus $15 shipping. That keeps the wheels on the wagon for April at least.

Will be busy photographing and listing stuff for the next week or two. I'll use some of that money to buy more stuffs.

2 best ever scores - a Gurian guitar in Salvation Army in Fresno - $68 plus tax. It needed work but very repairable. I got almost $1,300 for it on eBay years ago.
Last year I found an ancient fancy ukulele in the furniiture at Goodwill - $5. Sold for almost $600.

I try to at least double or triple my $$$ with a minimum of making $50 for something I can flip on craigslist.
Right now musicians with extra music gear are selling it to for shelter and food. There will be deals.

All excellent points. My daughter does the same thing with clothes...she finds clothes, enhances/fixes/modernizes them, and then flips them.

Too bad the only gear I have is worth a fraction of what it was, and much of the cool stuff was stolen from my old place in Santa Fe before I could return from Nashville to retrieve it. That ASR-10 would have fetched me quite a bit...:(

Last edited by Anderton; 03/19/20 02:37 AM.
Re: Corona Virus Exposes Huge Music Industry Flaw
Joe Muscara #3034061 03/19/20 03:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Joe Muscara
Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
There is a club out on Highway 9 that will only book all original bands so they don't have to pay ASCAP?BMI fees.
That's a peeve of mine. Technically, those acts are supposed to be getting paid through that as well, AFAIK. I'm not saying the PROs are doing everything right, but they aren't wrong, either.


If they don't register with ASCAP or BMI then there is no reason for the fees.

I do batch copyrights, legally if you are the only creator you can copyright 10 songs with one submission.
I've got a few I still need to protect.

Unless I've got some incentive to accrue the new unbelievably minute "royalties" through online streaming it makes little sense to register with ASCAP or BMI. If they gave me a royalty check every so often it would be theft on my part at this point since nobody has even heard most of these tunes.


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Re: Corona Virus Exposes Huge Music Industry Flaw
Anderton #3034062 03/19/20 03:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
All excellent points. My daughter does the same thing with clothes...she finds clothes, enhances/fixes/modernizes them, and then flips them.

Too bad the only gear I have is worth a fraction of what it was, and much of the cool stuff was stolen from my old place in Santa Fe before I could return from Nashville to retrieve it. That ASR-10 would have fetched me quite a bit...:(

Clothes can be lucrative also. I got some weird looks but back in Fresno I used to buy "genuine reptile skin" stilleto high heels for $3-4 dollars a pair and sell them for $40 or so.
A good friend who has since passed on used to collect vintage tea sets. Very common at places like Goodwill for those to get seperated so that was the challenge.

In December I picked up a Roland Cube 40gx at Value Village, it looked like new and is fully functional. $40. Low to high completed items on eBay showed $225 to 275.
I like it - have and will gig with it. It might be one of the two small amps I use for my stereo tiny amp rig.

If I really needed the money...


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Re: Corona Virus Exposes Huge Music Industry Flaw
KuruPrionz #3034075 03/19/20 05:00 AM
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Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
Right now musicians with extra music gear are selling it to for shelter and food. There will be deals.

I agree with this, but who is buying if no one is generating any income?


A reason why I collect old keyboards is that I feel partly responsible for doing it, responsible for preserving history and being a custodian for these things
Plus, old gear has a story. I like that.
Re: Corona Virus Exposes Huge Music Industry Flaw
davedoerfler #3034076 03/19/20 05:09 AM
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Originally Posted by davedoerfler
Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
Right now musicians with extra music gear are selling it to for shelter and food. There will be deals.

I agree with this, but who is buying if no one is generating any income?

I don't always buy things to keep them or even play them.
Sometimes I make sure all is well, clean it up, take accurate photos, describe all defects (I don't want returns!!) and find a happy new home for it.

It is assumed that somebody selling on craisglist has the option to try other websites.
Lots of students here, they flip stuff all the time for dimes on the dollar.
One of them sold a nice Squier P-Bass for $30 yesterday but I was too slow...


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Re: Corona Virus Exposes Huge Music Industry Flaw
KuruPrionz #3034089 03/19/20 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
2 best ever scores - a Gurian guitar in Salvation Army in Fresno - $68 plus tax. It needed work but very repairable. I got almost $1,300 for it on eBay years ago.
Last year I found an ancient fancy ukulele in the furniiture at Goodwill - $5. Sold for almost $600.

I try to at least double or triple my $$$ with a minimum of making $50 for something I can flip on craigslist.
Right now musicians with extra music gear are selling it to for shelter and food. There will be deals.

I have an engineer friend who also plays fiddle and mandolin. He had a good career working for several electronics and telecommunications companies, and spent his "mad money" investing in high quality instruments, mostly Gibson mandolins from the 1920s through 1940s. Only a couple of them were real steals, but these are things that appreciate fairly predictably. He only bought instruments that he liked to play, he'd play a "new" one for a while, enjoy it, then buy another. He was doing that for at least 15 years (it took a while before he had enough cash buffer so could buy a $2000 instrument when it came up) and when his two kids got to college age, he started selling the accumulated instruments, a few a year, and that's what paid the college bills, and he still has a lovely collection of instruments that he enjoys.

As for me, I have a few fine instruments and I don't have the heart to get rid of them. The finest and oddest will probably be donated to a couple of museums where I know the curators.

Re: Corona Virus Exposes Huge Music Industry Flaw
davedoerfler #3034093 03/19/20 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by davedoerfler
I agree with this, but who is buying if no one is generating any income?

My wife needs a better quality mandolin.

Re: Corona Virus Exposes Huge Music Industry Flaw
Anderton #3034107 03/19/20 02:40 PM
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Royalties have been a significant part of a musician's income only for a blink on an eye for the time musicians have been here. Perhaps 50 or so years. Even in the early days of records, Glenn Miller, Sinatra, and those of that generation looked at recordings as a way to get 'exposure' to generate crowds for their live performances. And what about the troubadours, or the classical musicians/composers. Liszt, Tchaikovsky, Bach, Brahms, and others never made a dime off a recording.

Musicians have always relied on live performance to make a living. We are first, entertainers.

Me? I keep a reserve, the mortgage is paid off, so I can survive on little and stretch that reserve. Keeping a reserve is an essential part of being self-employed in any profession.

I'll be working more on my 'moonlighting' Band-in-a-Box aftermarket gig. Creating new products to generate future income.

There are a lot of bartenders, wait staff, DJs, Karaoke hosts, fishing boat captains/crews, housekeepers, theme park workers, dancers, 'ladies of the night', taxi/uber drivers, construction tradesmen, tourist shop workers, valet parkers, and so many others in the same spot. Many of these people live from week to week with no reserve. I especially feel for the domestic help in the hotel industry. They are underpaid to begin with.

I have a buddy who is a journeyman electrician. All his gigs have been cancelled for the foreseeable future too.

There will be casualties in plenty of markets.


Bob "Notes" Norton
Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com
Style and Fake disks for Band-in-a-Box
The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<

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