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Seminar to help musos earn an income

How songwriters and musicians can earn an income from their art is the focus of a free seminar in Gisborne next week.

The Make Money From Your Music seminar will cover topics such as how artists can tap into revenue streams via APRA (Australasian Performing Right Association)/AMCOS (Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society) and Recorded Music NZ’s direct-to-artist scheme.

The seminar will also cover various forms of digital income, music streaming platform Spotify’s playlists, essential data and analytics musicians can access, touring, merchandising and sync income.

Aimed at Gisborne-based musicians, managers, self-managed artists and anyone interested in the New Zealand music industry, the seminar’s speakers include APRA AMCOS director of NZ member services Victoria Kelly, Recorded Music NZ member services manager Dean Cameron and general manager Andy Low, independent artist Ladi6 and Cushla Aston of Aston Road Management and the NZ Music Managers Forum.

“The whole industry has changed and one of the biggest challenges for us has been the advent of free streaming,” says Kelly.

“The biggest music streaming platform in the world is YouTube. It’s free, which makes it extremely difficult for paid services to compete.”

However, the increase in the number of subscriptions for Spotify’s advertisement-free, downloadable service shows people do value music and the artists who produce it, she says.

“If everyone who used the internet to hear music paid a subscription fee for the music they accessed, the return to artists would be much greater.”

The music industry has been in a state of transformation for at least the past 15 years, says Kelly.

One development has been the decline in music downloads and CD sales, and the huge increase in streaming.

Another is APRA members’ increasing reliance on performance and mechanical royalty income as sales have been replaced by licenced services.

Driving the change is digital technology, which comes with pitfalls and advantages.

“It can be harder for musicians to earn money in the current environment but technology also offers direct access to a global audience,” says Kelly.

“Technology has democratised people’s ability to create music. Music is not just easier to distribute; it’s easier to make. That’s changed everything about the music landscape.”

The proliferation of information technology has also amplified a culture in which consumers want access to the artists as well as their music.

“The technology has allowed the audience to look behind the curtain. They want to know more about the people making the music they love.”

Cameron says the ever-changing music industry landscape means income opportunities for recording artists and rights holders exist, but the challenge is how to maximise those opportunities.

Maximising revenue streams requires sound understanding of changes to the industry model, where the market is and what potential income streams are available.

Digital technology means artists can now reach a global audience with a single click, he says.

Recorded music revenues have risen over the past few years but the challenge is in finding how to tap into those increased opportunities.

The seminar aims are to help recording artists, rights holders and songwriters understand how they can broaden their audience, be heard and be paid for their work.

The Make Money From Your Music Seminar is at Te Wananga o Aotearoa Whirikoka, Childers Road, Tuesday, August 27 at 6pm. Bookings are essential. RSVP to lorraine.owen@mmf.co.nz