The Heretic’s Comment: Before sharing my observations concerning the 2012 Stellar Awards, I want to first say congratulations to all the winners and nominees. My comments following are not meant to be disrespectful toward the winners and nominees, but it is more directed to the powers that keep them propped up.

Now that the formalities are out of the way, on this past Saturday, I made up my mind that I was going to force myself to sit down and watch the entire Stellar Awards show no matter how tempted I was to change the channel. And that is what I did. I watched the entire show and even though I had clients that were nominated in certain categories it turned out to be a tortured experience for me.

The entire affair just seemed to be an overproduced, detached and unrealistic attempt to connect christian music to an audience. And I am not talking about the audience in attendance, because it appeared that the entire audience was on the payroll of the producers of the show to make it seem like every performance was full of God’s anointing and power.

The problem that I have with the Stellar Awards is that it comes off as one big propaganda tool to keep pushing the same small crop of christian entertainment royalty as the center of the christian musical universe. Keep in mind that the small group of christian musical artists I am referring to are for the most part owned and controlled by the Conglomerates. By the way, my complaints about the Stellar Awards, is essentially the same complaint I have about the Grammy’s as well, but I boycotted watching the Grammy’s this year.

At any rate, Christian Music is so much more dynamic, powerful and impactful, then the propaganda show we witnessed in this year’s Stellar Awards.

The only way to change the old guard protecting the same group of gospel and christian artist who keep being renominated and winning year after year after year is for you and I as listeners and lovers of gospel and christian music to support (truly) support the artist we love even if they don’t happen to be a house hold name.

Support Independent Music.

If you enjoy The Heretic™ and the information we provide please sign up as a subscriber today! Thank You!!!

Let us know your thoughts and comments.

The Heretic™ © 2011 Cross Live Media All RIGHTS RESERVED For the MAKE YOUR OWN MONEY FROM YOUR PROJECT Movement……..

www.thecrossfirm.com

Follow us on Twitter @attorneycross

Join our Facebook Fanpage: Search for Music Business Heretic

The E-Book version of  “Before You Sign That” is now available for purchase at the following sites:

Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Before-You-Sign-That-ebook/dp/B006D0G67M/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1325093316&sr=1-1

Barnes and Noble Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/before-you-sign-that-leslie-warren-cross-jr/1030195081?ean=2940013453357&itm=1&usri=before+you+sign+that

Through Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/114597

The print version is coming soon. We will keep you posted.

We also have other projects in the works that we will be sharing with you soon!!!

 

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We Are Back!!!

attorneycross On February - 9 - 2012ADD COMMENTS

The Heretic’s Comment: We took the first part of this year off to focus on putting the finishing touches on Cross’ book “Before You Sign That”.

Well the  Book is completed and we can now start back providing you with the insight, information and resources you can use in order to cash-flow your creative projects.

This is the first break we have taken in almost 3 years of posts and we want to thank the hundreds of you who have continued to visit our blog and utilize us as a resource library.

2012 is going to be an interesting year for creative projects. It is an election year, plus many believe it is the end of the world as we know it.

Whatever your beliefs, if you are a creative person and you plan to put out a project this year, you will have to realize that most of the country (in fact) most of the world is financially hurting and if you want people to spend their hard earned money on your project, you are going to have to give them maximum value.

Another commitment YOU will have to make is connecting YOUR project to people. It is becoming more and more apparent, that people don’t want to spend money with strangers (especially when it comes to buying music, books, films).

Fans and consumers want to feel connected to you and a part of your movement before dropping money on your project.

As a result, it is timeout for those of you who believe that you can disrespect your fans and still get them to spend money with you. It ain’t happening. They have too many choices now and they will just pass your project to go with the next.

Okay that’s it for now, but we will get back on our post schedule and we want to say again how grateful we are and appreciate all the love and support you have shown us during our time focusing on other projects.

Now let’s go make this money doing what we love!!!!

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SOPA Revisited

attorneycross On January - 20 - 2012ADD COMMENTS

The Heretic’s Comment: The following post is my contribution to a lively discussion taking place in the LinkedIn group Music Publishing and Licensing. I am posting here on the Heretic because it was too long to post within LinkedIn. It’s a long read, but let me know your thoughts:

Hey Guys this truly has turned into an excellent discussion and I greatly appreciate all the well articulated positions and passions shared. I know that for the moment SOPA is on hold, but there is no doubt that this fight is not over. With that being said, I want to come back to the point I was attempting to make in my original Blog post:  “SOPA is a vehicle that has been created by a consortium of major entertainment conglomerates and pushed by lobbyist paid by them as a legal method to exert control over the flow of content over the internet which has been couched under the propaganda of fighting foreign piracy of domestic content.” (Wordy I know, but I could not think of a shorter way to say it).  As such, my essential argument stated again is that SOPA was not designed to protect and/or advocate the rights of small and independent content holders like you and I.

Now in making known my thoughts on this issue, many say I sound like a conspiracy theorist, but I don’t think so.  The executives employed by the major entertainment conglomerates don’t make significant policy directives by accident. I deal with them daily, and while many of them are great people individually, I never forget the fact that these executives are paid brain trusts (many of whom are highly paid) who are employed to protect and pursue both the Conglomerates interest as well as its survival.

More to the point, I look at SOPA (as presently drafted) much like I look at how the Conglomerates were able to reconfigure the playing field concerning Broadcast Ownership rules by relaxing both the total number of radio stations that could be owned by a single individual or company as well as relaxing the number of radio stations that could be owned by a single individual or company within a particular market.   Let’s take a brief look at the history concerning this issue before moving forward.

In 1975, the FCC passed Newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership rules which were designed to prevent a single corporate entity from becoming too powerful a single voice within a community and thus the rule was created to maximize diversity under “the conditions dictated by the marketplace.” Also keep in mind (for those of you who are unfamiliar with the role of the FCC)  that the chief aim and purpose of the FCC is not to provide a platform for profit maximization for Conglomerates, but instead the FFC is charged with promoting the public interest and thus the diversity of voices through protecting the public airways.

Unfortunately, in my opinion, the heart of the 1975 FCC Media Ownership Regulation has been greatly eroded through subsequent FCC rulings and legislation – - most especially with the proposed 2003 change in Media Ownership rules passed by the FCC in a close 3 to 2 vote (republicans over democrats) under then FCC Chairman Michael Powell. Now I will be the first to admit that issues revolving around the Media Ownership rules remain in a state of flux and such issues are well beyond the scope of this discussion, but suffice it to say that with the current legislation in place a single company can now legally own hundreds and hundreds of AM/FM Radio Stations. For example, Clear Channel Communications currently owns 850 radio stations.

Now let’s next look at how the diversity of voices was fostered by the 1975 regulations particularly with regard to radio music programming and then how the diversity of voices was destroyed as the protections provided by the 1975 regulations were eroded away.  One note before I move forward: now obviously, there are differences between preventing the piracy of original content which is the issue SOPA is attempting to address versus the FCC’s effort to protect the right to hear a diversity of voices through our public airways, but I am attempting to make a point….so please hear me out. Okay, with that out of the way, let’s keep moving forward.

Under the 1975 Act, the variety of music programming available for audio consumption over the various radio stations was excellent. Each individual town or city had a group of musicians and songwriters that had developed a distinct musical sound for that particular area which could be easily heard over the radio. Taking a road trip doing this time period would easily bear my argument out. For example, let’s say your trip originated in New York City. As you get in your car to leave the city and turn your radio dial, the various radio stations you scan would be playing a variety of local music unique to the New York City metropolitan area. You could then travel down to Miami and hear distinctive music playing on Miami based radio that you did not hear while driving out of New York.  And then you could drive on to Nashville and Memphis each having distinctive music playing on their respective radio stations. Then travel to Atlanta, New Orleans , Houston, Austin, Santa Fe, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Oakland, Portland and finally ending your road trip in Seattle, with each town or city having radio programming that was unique to that area and where you would discover music that you had never heard in any of the other places you had visited.

Why was the above true?  It was true because you had local radio stations that were closely tied to the local communities they serviced. In other words “Local” radio really meant “local radio.” Additionally, “these” local radio stations (in many cases) were intimately tied and bonded to the musical community and vibe of their particular location and supported the local music and nurtured it through spinning the music on their play lists. Thus, in my opinion, the FCC 1975 standards created a near perfect synergy by fostering the ability of the local radio stations to support the local music community…each needed the other to survive and grow market exposure.  Of course in the midst of this time period, Music Conglomerates were always lurking in the background attempting to usurp control over programming through payola, but in many cases the system worked just as I described.

Now, let’s look at what was happened to local radio and radio programming as a result of the Conglomerates successful efforts to relax media ownership rules.

First, legislation was implemented which choked off local independent radio stations ability to find space on the FM dial, which in turn resulted in long established independent stations quickly and suddenly  dying out, not only because dial space had become more difficult to secure, but more importantly because their advertising bases were raided and pillaged by the Conglomerates’ aggressive pricing models…so almost overnight the local radio stations cashflow positions disappeared which directly affected their ability to fight back against the hostile takeover of the airwaves.

Secondly, the music programming playlists for the Conglomerate controlled Radio Stations quickly became homogenized and uniform and (with the exception of college radio and pirate radio stations) radio listeners were forced to hear the exact same play list of songs rotating over and over throughout the day and night no matter what area of the country they lived in. The same set of songs were  driven to achieved heavy rotations, which in turn generated millions and millions of dollars in performance royalty fees for the PROS and Conglomerate controlled Publishing Companies in addition to positioning the Conglomerate controlled Major Record Labels to sell millions and millions of Albums, CDs and Cassettes.

Unfortunately, indie Publishers, Songwriters and Composers on the one hand and indie artists, bands, musical groups and labels on the other hand, had very little chance of participating in this cash bonanza described above other than essentially witnessing their content being used by the Entertainment Industrial Complex to generate massive cashflow with only a small select group of superstar artists making any significant money.

In essence, the eventual erosion of the protection to free speech (diversity of voices) afforded to us by the 1975 FCC Act, has allowed the Conglomerates to have a virtual strangle hold over music programming as well as gatekeeper on what music is played over the PUBLIC AIRWAVES and most importantly positioned Conglomerates to deny access to the PUBLIC AIRWAVES to any artist/musical group/band/songwriter/composer who refused to sign exclusive contracts with the Entertainment Industrial complex  (which essentially forced the indie artist to give up substantially all of his/her/their rights in the music).

Now looking at SOPA, as Lance correctly pointing out in a earlier comment, the U.S. Government already has federal laws in place to deal with piracy (and I do agree that these laws can be updated to some degree), but the real issue here is that the existing laws don’t provide the leverage the Conglomerates need in order to control the flow of commercial content over the internet which in my opinion is their true goal. When we look at how SOPA is to operate (as currently drafted), we see legislation that provides a near perfect fit for allowing Conglomerates to LEGALLY control commercial content over the internet.  Just think about it, if there is a measure that allows the Conglomerates to petition the federal government through the Justice Department to block a supposedly offending foreign website’s DSN from being visible, then access is now denied. A communication platform has been removed from the diversity of voices available to the public to hear and see. Now true, at this stage SOPA is drafted to only be able to block foreign websites pirating content and not domestic websites which will still be subject to existing U.S. Law against piracy, but I see SOPA eventually expanding in scope and it will be only a matter of time before domestic companies will be subject to SOPA as well.

If citizens sharing content become intimidated to do so because of fear of criminal prosecution and fines, the spread of ideas becomes much more difficult, because now permission must first be obtained from the content owner  with the added responsibility of having to explain what you plan to do with their content before posting.  The same is true for websites which allow users to post content on their individual profile pages. It will be much more difficult for sites like YouTube and Facebook to continue this practice because now the pressure is being placed on them to decide who is authorized to post content versus who is not authorized to post the content. So when you think about it…who offers sites such as YouTube and Facebook the best option to avoid getting caught in the quagmire of SOPA? The Conglomerates, that’s who.

Sites like YouTube and Facebook will ultimately decide to limit themselves to only allowing their platforms to be used to distribute (share) commercial content that has been pre-approved by the Conglomerates. With the passage of a law like SOPA, the Conglomerates (who in reality contractually control much of the commercial content in existence) have a way to force their content down everyone’s throat and thereby solidify their long desired goal of effectively maximizing web-based revenues and residuals through the control of what content can be ultimately shared through social media platforms.

To me that is what SOPA represents. I see it as clearly as I see the back of my hands while typing this post.  In most cases, especially when we deal with America, keep in mind that there is little to no separation between federal governmental  agencies and the Conglomerates who pay lobbyist millions and millions to get Congress to pass laws which dictate how that Agency is allowed to exercise its authority. Also keep in mind, that there is a revolving door between ex-governmental officials who become high paid executives with the very Corporations that they were to police as well as ex-corporate executives becoming high ranking government officials working for the very agency that use to regulate his or her company. It happens all the time in America. Just google Michael Powell’s name and see who he is currently employed by.  So the actual implementation of SOPA will be closely controlled and dictated by the Conglomerates who have the bank rolls to get the law to work in the way they need it to work, even if it comes at the expense of our free speech rights (diversity of voices).

Look, as I indicated in a earlier comment, the Music Industry has already tried to criminalize socialization of content when it used the RIAA and federal/state laws to prosecute individuals for P2P file sharing some years ago. Despite all the headlines, the RIAA’s efforts  ultimately did not stop file sharing and mainly acted to generate a huge amount of ill will by the general public toward all of us connected to the music industry.

That being said, I believe that music has value (great value) and I believe that we (in the indie music community) do ourselves a great disservice when we give our music away for free. When we give our music away for free, then we establish the dollar value of our music in the public’s eye as ZERO.  There are all sorts of creative things that can be done to bring value to music, short of surrendering and saying I will just give it away, because nobody wants to pay for it. Just think about it, despite all the setbacks and missteps the music industry has experienced over the last several years, commercial music is still generating billions and billions of dollars of sales each and every year. For those of us trying to eat and pay bills from our music, this is not a hobby it is a business.

But it truly saddens me to think that most of the artists/musical groups/bands/songwriters/composers who are so adamantly in support of the implementation of SOPA as a way to protect their musical content from being pirated, will in the wink of an eye,  jump at the opportunity to sign a recording agreement with a major record label and thereby sign over all rights and title to their music with the understanding that the Conglomerate is only required to pay them pennies on the dollars if anything at all. In other words, if you are a music content creator, stop giving up your ownership rights to these Conglomerates who are then positioned to use your content through a law like SOPA as a weapon of mass destruction against free speech (the diversity of voices).

Notwithstanding the above, I must say that social media sites such as facebook, youtube, twitter, google as well as others engage in a number of practices which infuriate me, but despite the imperfect nature of the sites, there is no question that each provides a  powerful platform for new ideas to spread many of which are outside the control of the Federal and State Governments as well as the Entertainment Industrial Complex.

Finally, Small Independent Content Owners must accept the responsibility to connect their content to a Fanbase. It is difficult to do…I know, but this is truly becoming the best way to position yourself to be paid from your content.  Individuals who feel connected to your content because they feel connected to you will financially support your content. I see this phenomenal happening everyday with clients of my entertainment practice who are making money with their commercial projects. Now, if a law like SOPA is passed, if forces the very individuals (our Fans) who would be inclined to spread our videos and content so that others can discover us will now be possibly denied the opportunity to do so because 1) they don’t want to be personally exposed to prosecution and  2) the social media platforms that once allowed them to  share independent music  (diversity of voices) will be limited because of all the restrictions in place for posting commercial content.

If you enjoy The Heretic™ and the information we provide please sign up as a subscriber today! Thank You!!!

Let us know your thoughts and comments.

The Heretic™ © 2011 Cross Live Media All RIGHTS RESERVED For the MAKE YOUR OWN MONEY FROM YOUR PROJECT Movement……..

www.thecrossfirm.com

Follow us on Twitter @attorneycross

Join our Facebook Fanpage: Search for Music Business Heretic

The E-Book version of  “Before You Sign That” is now available for purchase at the following sites:

Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Before-You-Sign-That-ebook/dp/B006D0G67M/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1325093316&sr=1-1

Barnes and Noble Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/before-you-sign-that-leslie-warren-cross-jr/1030195081?ean=2940013453357&itm=1&usri=before+you+sign+that

Through Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/114597

The print version is coming soon. We will keep you posted.

We also have other projects in the works that we will be sharing with you soon!!!

 

 

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When Free Cost Too Much!!!

attorneycross On December - 23 - 2011ADD COMMENTS

The Heretic’s Comments: Andrian Brigham a true gentleman of the Music Industry shared some commentary on his thoughts on artists who give their entire album away for free and we wanted to share his wisdom with you. We have encouraged you repeatedly in this blog to establish value in your music and reinforce this value with your fanbase. If you insist are giving your music away, then what you are doing is establishing that the value of your music is $0.00. Clients and people asking advice and counsel of me argue with me all the time in trying to justify why they are giving their music away for free, but at the end of the day, if you are giving it away for free, the dollar value of your music is $0.00. That cost too much for you!!!

Check out Adrian’s observations about Artist who give away their entire album for free in hopes of generating buzz and let me know your thoughts:

They may be talented musicians but they’re marketing idiots! I can see giving away a song or two, but to give away complete albums in hopes of future sales is just plain dumb. We have a friend who is a rock artist and he puts out several albums a year, and keeps giving them away to get people to come to his club gigs. Now nobody will pay for them because they expect them for free. What is more important though is when you give your product away for free you establish a worth of $0. The whole purpose of a marketing and P/R campaign is to establish a value for the artist, and value is measured in how much the audience is willing to spend for you or your product. Giving away product basically tells the audience that your product isn’t worth buying. That’s what the marketing is supposed to do, give them a reason to buy it. Problem is most musicians don’t know anything about marketing or how to build their value so they fall into the “freebie” trap.

Those that have known me for a long time have heard this story many times, but for my new friends here’s something to think about. One of my good friends and really my mentor in the world of performing is a retired “super agent” to the stars. Nowadays he manages a small theater in one of Chicago’s suburbs. We have had many long and informative lunches and he has taught much about this business and how it really works. Anyway, during one of our lunches we were talking about potential acts for the theater, and I suggested one entertainer who works a lot of Chicago’s clubs and bars with his comedy/music act. Without even pausing the soup spoon to his lips he simply said “never!” I was kind of surprised as the guy is somewhat popular and has a good show. I asked why in a puzzled way. My friend calmly replied “how could I ever get anyone to spend $25 for a ticket to see him in my theater when they can wait a week and see him for free at the bar down the street?” It was true. And in the bar they can order a beer and a burger. The theater only sells bottled water.

So really, honestly, and truly what is that artist’s value to his fans? It’s $0. We know another local singer who works a couple of area restaurants. He is very talented, yet why is he working there where people don’t pay to hear him when Micheal Buble, who really isn’t as good as this guy, can fill a stadium a few miles away with ticket prices hovering around $100 a seat? Buble’s backers and management worked hard to establish that value, not by giving away his music, but through marketing, otherwise Michael would still be singing at weddings in Canada.

The day we signed the deal to make my wife’s album I did what others would think is crazy; I cancelled all of her remaining club dates. I actually took her completely out of circulation. She “disappeared” for almost two years while the album was being recorded. There would be no more “free” performances in clubs. The next time her fans wanted to see her it would be in a theater and they’d have to pay for those seats. And if they wanted a copy of her album they’d have to buy that too. The only freebie we gave out went to the radio stations and the media to get the publicity we needed to sell those theater seats. It was the press coverage and advertising that sold the tickets, not giving away our music to the fans. Just some food for thought folks!

If you enjoy The Heretic™ and the information we provide please sign up as a subscriber today! Thank You!!!

Let us know your thoughts and comments.

The Heretic™ © 2011 Cross Live Media All RIGHTS RESERVED For the MAKE YOUR OWN MONEY FROM YOUR PROJECT Movement……..

www.thecrossfirm.com

Follow us on Twitter @attorneycross

Join our Facebook Fanpage: Search for Music Business Heretic

The Official Release of the  “Before You Sign That” is coming soon. An indie artist inspired book Authored by The Heretic’s very own Leslie W. Cross Jr. and co-authored by platinum recording artist Paul Wall.  More details are coming soon if you are interesting in pre-ordering the book. We are very excited about this Project!!!! We also have other projects in the works that we will be sharing with you soon!!!

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3 Sites to Target your Music Marketing in 2012

attorneycross On December - 20 - 2011ADD COMMENTS

The Heretic’s Comments: Music Blog Hypebot has recommended three sites to target your music marketing in 2012.

To cut straight to chase, the three sites are:

1) Facebook

2) YouTube

3) Your own website.

We have provided a direct link to the full article below. The article is short and will only take you a few minutes to read, but is worth the read because HypeBot provides good explanation on why they believes this is the best way to focus your efforts (and we agree).

http://www.hypebot.com/hypebot/2011/12/mobile-marketing-for-independent-artists-reality.html

Closing Comments:

YouTube in a lot of ways is becoming the center of the Universe to market independent music. If you don’t have a YouTube Channel, then you are setting yourself up to enter the fighting ring with one hand tied behind your back. That being said, the ultimate goal is to use social media sites as road post pointing Fans to your own website. This is the most critical aspect in marketing your music. You must invest the time, money and effort into developing, launching and maintaining your own website as the hub for your everything that you do and everything that you are attempting to sell.

Go into 2012 seeing yourself as a STORE and not just as a artist/musician/songwriter!!!

If you enjoy The Heretic™ and the information we provide please sign up as a subscriber today! Thank You!!!

Let us know your thoughts and comments.

The Heretic™ © 2011 Cross Live Media All RIGHTS RESERVED For the MAKE YOUR OWN MONEY FROM YOUR PROJECT Movement……..

www.thecrossfirm.com

Follow us on Twitter @attorneycross

Join our Facebook Fanpage: Search for Music Business Heretic

The Official Release of the  “Before You Sign That” is coming soon. An indie artist inspired book Authored by The Heretic’s very own Leslie W. Cross Jr. and co-authored by platinum recording artist Paul Wall.  More details are coming soon if you are interesting in pre-ordering the book. We are very excited about this Project!!!! We also have other projects in the works that we will be sharing with you soon!!!

 

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The Wheel is still Round

attorneycross On December - 17 - 2011ADD COMMENTS

The Heretic’s Comment: We want to share a link below regarding a post we did back in 2009 discussing the importance of  maintaining your independence and ownership.

Let us know your thoughts/comments.

http://www.myspace.com/thecrossfirm/blog/511152598

Closing Comments:

OFF D GRID is a movement we are still pushing. It essentially means developing your own alternate musical universe which is not reliant on Conglomerate operated and controlled distribution/supply chains. It advocates that you create and fight an insurgency campaign to connect your music to a paying fan-base in spite of the Conglomerates’ propaganda campaign to brainwash you into believing that your only route to achieve significant success and exposure is to sell out to them!!!

If you enjoy The Heretic™ and the information we provide please sign up as a subscriber today! Thank You!!!

Let us know your thoughts and comments.

The Heretic™ © 2011 Cross Live Media All RIGHTS RESERVED For the MAKE YOUR OWN MONEY FROM YOUR PROJECT Movement……..

www.thecrossfirm.com

Follow us on Twitter @attorneycross

Join our Facebook Fanpage: Search for Music Business Heretic

The Official Release of the  “Before You Sign That” is coming soon. An indie artist inspired book Authored by The Heretic’s very own Leslie W. Cross Jr. and co-authored by platinum recording artist Paul Wall.  More details are coming soon if you are interesting in pre-ordering the book. We are very excited about this Project!!!! We also have other projects in the works that we will be sharing with you soon!!!

 

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The Heretic’s Comment: The issue revolving around how recording artist should be paid from digital downloads continues to be fought out in court. In 2010 Eminem was able to win a lawsuit against Universal Music Group for how it was calculating the royalties payable to him for digital downloads (please search for our earlier post which discussed the Eminem lawsuit). And now a few weeks ago, a California Federal Judge gave initial approval for allowing a class action lawsuit to move forward against Universal Music for the same issue that was the basis of the Eminem lawsuit.

As a brief review, the essential issue that recording artists are hopping mad about revolves around Universal Music’s “fuzzy logic” in arguing that digital downloads operate as a sale and not as a licensing event.

Why does Universal Music want digital downloads to be classified as a sale and not a license, because their recording contract will allow them to pay the artist the standard artist rate (10 to 20 percent of retail) (in other words pennies on the dollar).

On the other hand, why do recording artist want digital downloads to be treated as a license, because recording contracts normally require that granting a license to a recording requires the Record Label and the artist to split the licensing fees 50/50.

So we are talking about a significant difference in the amount of money the artist can make per digital download sold based on whether the digital download is classified as a sale versus a license.

Please see the link below for further discussion of this very interesting topic. We will keep you posted on this developing issue.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/universal-music-lawsuit-rob-zombie-rick-james-256662

Closing Comments:

If you are already selling product independently and a record label offers to sign you to a recording agreement, look at the way the record label is attempting to calculate your payments for product sold. Remember, most artist who sign with major record labels never see one dime of artist royalties, so make sure that if you are able to sell enough units to pay for your recording fund that you have maximized the money you will make per unit sold.

Your best defense against the above, is to try and get the record label to pay you the biggest advance possible upfront. Unfortunately, however, advances are not what they use to be…but if you sign a recording agreement and don’t get any money up front, you are setting yourself up for the victim scenario!!!

Something to think about!!!!

If you enjoy The Heretic™ and the information we provide please sign up as a subscriber today! Thank You!!!

Let us know your thoughts and comments.

The Heretic™ © 2011 Cross Live Media All RIGHTS RESERVED For the MAKE YOUR OWN MONEY FROM YOUR PROJECT Movement……..

www.thecrossfirm.com

Follow us on Twitter @attorneycross

Join our Facebook Fanpage: Search for Music Business Heretic

The Official Release of the  “Before You Sign That” is coming soon. An indie artist inspired book Authored by The Heretic’s very own Leslie W. Cross Jr. and co-authored by platinum recording artist Paul Wall.  More details are coming soon if you are interesting in pre-ordering the book. We are very excited about this Project!!!! We also have other projects in the works that we will be sharing with you soon!!!

 

 

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An example of Music CD Cost and Payout Breakdown

attorneycross On December - 10 - 20112 COMMENTS

The Heretic’s Comment:

According to Moses Avalon’s 1998 Book, Confessions of a Record
Producer, the proceeds of a then-$17 CD would typically be distributed
as follows:

Retailer: $5 (29.4%),
Record label: $4.92 (28.9%),
Distributor: $2.40 (14.1%),
Giveaways: $1.80 (10.6%),
Duplication/recording: $1.10 (5.8%),
Artist royalty: 83 cents (4.9%),
Songwriter license: 60 cents (3.5%),
Producer royalty: 27 cents (1.6%),
Musicians union: 8 cents (0.4%).

Now mind you, the numbers used in our example are from years ago, but it is instructive to show you just how greedy and abusive the Major Labels have been both to recording artists/producers/songwriters as well as to the general consumer.  The physical production cost of each CD might have cost the Major Label anywhere from 6 cents to 50 cents to manufacture, yet the Labels had the price jacked up in some cases as high as $19.98 for the retail price of the CD. Of this retail pricing, the combined money paid out to the recording artist, songwriter, producer and musician was  less than $2.00 per CD sold (in our example, it was actually $1.74 per CD sold).

The saddest part about the above is that despite using numbers from over 10 years ago, nothing presently has changed in the artist’s favor in reference to those signed under major recording contracts. In fact,  it is even worst now,  because of all of the 360 arrangements that Major Labels force artists to eat in exchange for getting a deal. So the possibility of an artist making money through record royalties in 2011 remains almost non-existent despite the fact that in this year Major Record Labels and their partners will pocket millions upon millions of dollars from physical CD sales.

Sadly enough the numbers on the digital side are even worst than the physical side, but we will deal with that in a separate post.

Closing Comments:

You have to have the courage to speak to Power and refuse to bow down. That is the only way these slave deals will ever change. As long as we are fighting and competing against each other to see who will have the next opportunity to be offered the major label deal, 10 years from now…nothing will have changed. Your musical sons and daughters will be signing the same slave deal you were forced to sign. Even more sadder than that is the fact that you will own none of your music…it will be under the firm control and ownership of a Conglomerate that has long forgotten about you.

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The Heretic™ © 2011 Cross Live Media All RIGHTS RESERVED For the MAKE YOUR OWN MONEY FROM YOUR PROJECT Movement……..

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The Official Release of the  “Before You Sign That” is coming soon. An indie artist inspired book Authored by The Heretic’s very own Leslie W. Cross Jr. and co-authored by platinum recording artist Paul Wall.  More details are coming soon if you are interesting in pre-ordering the book. We are very excited about this Project!!!! We also have other projects in the works that we will be sharing with you soon!!!

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Old Media is selling this Holiday Season

attorneycross On December - 5 - 2011ADD COMMENTS

The Heretic’s Comment: Don’t count physical product out just yet. We found just the story we had been looking for  which indicates that a number of mom and pop retail stores are selling independent movies, games, books and music cds at a very brisk rate.

The story we found deals with sales taken place in the state of Maine, but we are hopeful that this trend will be proven to be applicable for other areas of the country as well. We have provided  a direct link to the story below.  The story will take you between 5 to 10 minutes to read.

http://www.kjonline.com/news/old-media-holding-its-own-this-holiday-season_2011-12-04.html

Closing Comments:

If you can afford to do physical product (and you have a fanbase that supports you), invest in physical product and don’t just limit yourself to digital.

Your profit margins are so much better going physical over digital and additionally you can be more creative with the packaging you offer…which will hopefully entice your fans to buy your product as gifts for others.

Its crunch time for the Holiday buying season…so if you have product…push it…push it…push it….

I know times are challenging, but this is the time of year that relationships you have developed consistently over the months leading up to the holidays can pay off.

On the other hand, if you are not having a successful holiday season selling your product this year, then come up with a game plan to introduce yourself to local retail business owners and service shops such as barber shops/ beauty shops/cleaners/convenience stores/medical offices.

Get to know the managers/owners/service providers. Find out if there is a way you can put your product in their stores on consignment. Let me emphasize, don’t limit yourself to music stores or stores that specialize in selling what you do.Expand well beyond that.

So you say to me…you crazy…I am not going to do that. Well my response to your reservation is to first make the owner or manager a Fan of what you do. If you are performing, make an effort to give free passes to local retail store owners. If you have new music, give a complimentary copy to the store owner and pitch them on the possibility of placing your product near the register or checkout if they truly like your music (or whatever you do).

It won’t be a hard sell for the store owner/manager, because hopefully their customers  will just naturally ask, what is going on with this music cd or dvd or book you are carrying. And a conversation can take place from there which will hopefully lead to a sell. Your sell!!! Anything can happen!!!

One Last Thought

Develop a thick skin and go beyond your fear of rejection. You have to be willing to do what others are too intimated to do in order to give your product a fighting chance of generating a profit. That being said, don’t be a pest. If they don’t like what you do, move on to the next until you are able to make the connection.

If you enjoy The Heretic™ and the information we provide please sign up as a subscriber today! Thank You!!!

Let us know your thoughts and comments.

The Heretic™ © 2011 Cross Live Media All RIGHTS RESERVED For the MAKE YOUR OWN MONEY FROM YOUR PROJECT Movement……..

www.thecrossfirm.com

Follow us on Twitter @attorneycross

Join our Facebook Fanpage: Search for Music Business Heretic

The Official Release of the  “Before You Sign That” is coming soon. An indie artist inspired book Authored by The Heretic’s very own Leslie W. Cross Jr. and co-authored by platinum recording artist Paul Wall.  More details are coming soon if you are interesting in pre-ordering the book. We are very excited about this Project!!!! We also have other projects in the works that we will be sharing with you soon!!!

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The Heretic’s Comments: We wanted to share a very popular post from Mike Masnick  of TechDirt describing why even major label artists rarely make any money from Album Sales. Mike’s post will take you about 10 minutes to read and we have provided the link directly below. Let us know your thoughts/comments.

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100712/23482610186.shtml

Closing Comments:

The individuals that the entire industry is built on (artists/musical groups/bands/songwriters/composers/producers) are getting paid peanuts in some select cases, but in the vast majority of deals, artists end up being upside down to the Record Label and walk away with no money and no music….just fleeting fame.

The Major Label Game is not designed for you to make money.The Major Label Game is designed for you to make the Major Label money and then they chunk you some peanuts after they have fuzzy math(ed) you to death.

Unfortunately, these arrangements won’t change as long as Artists/Songwriters/Musical Groups/Bands/Producers keep biting and scratching to see who will be first in line to secure the next “big” slave deal.

One Final Note:

The lawyers, managers and accountants you might be introduced to represent you (in a lot of instances) have ongoing business relationships with the major labels you are paying them to protect you from. Always know that when a major deal is signed there is underneath table monies and kickbacks if your team is more loyal to the Major Label than to you.

Let us know your thoughts.

If you enjoy The Heretic™ and the information we provide please sign up as a subscriber today! Thank You!!!

Let us know your thoughts and comments.

The Heretic™ © 2011 Cross Live Media All RIGHTS RESERVED For the MAKE YOUR OWN MONEY FROM YOUR PROJECT Movement……..

www.thecrossfirm.com

Follow us on Twitter @attorneycross

Join our Facebook Fanpage: Search for Music Business Heretic

The Official Release of the  “Before You Sign That” is coming soon. An indie artist inspired book Authored by The Heretic’s very own Leslie W. Cross Jr. and co-authored by platinum recording artist Paul Wall.  More details are coming soon if you are interesting in pre-ordering the book. We are very excited about this Project!!!! We also have other projects in the works that we will be sharing with you soon!!!

 

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