This week we had the pleasure of sitting down with the popular boy band group the Hansons, which was hosted by the wonderful people at 36 Degrees North. The Hansons touched on a Number of topics from booking shows, to getting your music to the right people, to how to engage with your audience.
Here's the full audio:
Here's a few Takeaways from the event:
- Find a band or performer that has the lifestyle you want and that aligns with where you want to be in the future. Then do the RESEARCH. Find out why their music and is working. Look for patterns. Do they drop multiple songs a year? Do they only drop albums? Are they selling their album on their site only? Is their whole catalog on streaming sites? It takes research. And after that it takes doing. Trial and Error to be exact. DON'T BECOME A PROFESSIONAL STUDENT!
- Everyone wants to be a millionaire living in huge mansions, designer clothes, and fancy cars. Record companies use to give crazy large advances to artists, and they usually were looking to recoup this advance through record sales. Hopefully the first album's record sales, but don't be surprised if it was the 2nd album's sales that were still paying for the first album's advance. But the days of big budget advances from record labels is a thing of the past, especially for new artists. So how will artists make money in this new digital age? Touring! This is your baby for. This goes for any artist these days, so protect it.
Here are some other tips Hanson came up with: Have a Destination Concert with your super fans. For example; people like to go to the Bahamas. So why not have a destination concert at the Bahamas where your super fans can come and party with you? Heck their already going to be going there. So a concert of their favorite artists is a plus many super fans are willing to pay for.
The smaller snowball of revenue is royalties received from streaming such as Spotify. Apple Music, and TIDAL. But they have traditionally saw very small margins, especially for smaller artists.
Next is YouTube. It's funny how music videos use to be a marketing tool that most labels used to help promote a single and hopefully generate more album sales. They use to be a black hole to the record label's bottom lone. But with YouTube (Make sure you have MONETIZE setting turned ON) music videos have become a revenue generator and has actually created some millionaires in the process. Some don't even sing at all. Yep the person uploading those cat videos is a millionaire because of Aunt Sue with the cats.
Radio. But lets be honest Radio isn't what it use to be. Streaming sites have killed the radio.
Merch. Every chance you get you should sell merch. It's a huge part of an artist's income. Especially when touring. Merch is that tangible item that concert goers love to get after seeing an awesome concert. So always. Always have merch available no matter how big or how small a venue you are performing.
Super Fans. Yep you read that right Super Fans. The people that have been listening to your music since your first mixtape dropped. The fans that have been to multiple shows and stood front row to sing every song. Super Fans. But How Do You Know Who Are Your Super Fans? Data. From Where? Streaming Sites and Social Media. In this new data driven age. Those that know the numbers win, and those that don't. DON'T. Analytics pages are now accessible to artists from apps such as Spotify or Instagram and are helping artist identify who's been listening and viewing their content, how long, and if they have come back for a second or third helping. Now that's data that you can use to build a fan base and one day plan one of those Destination Concerts we were talking about earlier. It also shows you where your Super Fans are. Have a big following in Topeka, Kansas. Why not have a concert there? On Spotify and TIDAL you can even have customers purchase tickets right in the app. Here's an example how Grammy Award Nominee Brent Faiyaz built his career off of streaming:
Last but not least. To really make it in this industry you have to have a TEAM. Nobody does it by themselves. But one person can do many roles. Two people may have to do the same role. But there are roles and they need to be filled. But what are the roles? Here's a few the Hansons pointed out as key roles to have in a Team:
Artist- Of course you need an artist because somebody has to play the music.
Writer/Publisits - You gotta be able to get your music out there, and this role does just that. From blogs, streaming sites, podcasts, magazines, TV, etc the list goes on.
ASCAP or BMI - you want to start making money? Well these are the collection companies that help you get paid from Spotify or from YouTube. Of course they take a little bit for there service. But hey it's better than not getting paid at all.
Manager - This is a key role to the success of your career. The manager has to be that shark that is there to fight for you. From booking shows, to managing your schedule, even making sure you have the right food in the dressing room. They are necessary! They will also take up to 10%. Why? Because you want someone who is just as vested in your career as you are. So that means they need some skin in the game. Better yet money. The more money they get you. The more money they make. And make sure it's only if your in the green. And not a flat fee.
Music Attorney - This is also a key role. Especially when contracts get thrown around. A good attorney can save you millions when it comes to bogus record label contracts. You heard of the term 360 deal? Lawyers are another necessary piece that is vested in your career because you pay them. But not your uncle that practices family law. Naw. You need an entertainment lawyer that has experience. Ask for references. And a good lawyer can point you to other people that can help complete your team. But the one thing about lawyers is that they don't care if your in the green or not. They want their money.
The Hanson's were even gracious enough to lend us some practical advice:
Know who you are? It's easy to get lost in the chase of fortune and fame. Know who you are. And the rest will fall in to place.
Perform everywhere. No stage is to big and no stage is to small. You never know who will be in the crowd during a performance or who knows who. Plus the world just got that much smaller with the internet, so every performance give it your all. And be humble and willing enough to perform anywhere. Even at a pizza shop.
Don't catch yourself waiting! It's never going to be the perfect time. It's never gonna be the perfect situation. It might be raining. Your flash drive might not work. No matter what the 'it' is. DON'T WAIT. DO!
Hope you enjoyed the podcast and the article. And thanks to the Hansons and 36 Degrees North for hosting the event.
Let us know what was your major key you took away from the Hanson interview.