The commercial music industry has changed quite dramatically over the past 5 years, with record sales dropping significantly. So it has been quite a game changer for any singer to know how to become a famous singer like Taylor Swift and get paid very well. It is a new art form to get paid like Taylor Swift who made $57 million in 2011.
The Huffington Post reported that:
In 2011, Taylor Swift made $57 million, Rihanna made $53 million and Kenny Chesney made $44 million, Forbesmagazine estimates.
That’s more than almost anyone else in the entertainment industry.
So the question is what are these guys doing that the others are not, especial when…
…the Future of Music Coalition found that musicians made an average of about $34,000 off their music in America, before deducting expenses from touring and recording, while the music media tolled the same old bell of doom about the state of the music industry.
So what are the cold hard facts?
It’s tempting to chalk the difference up to disparities in record sales — some musicians have always gotten huge while their peers languished in obscurity. But even top artists are selling far fewer records than they used to. Total North American sales of recorded music fell 36 percent between 2007 and 2011 alone, according to a recent report by PwC. And it’s clear that digital music sales haven’t yet made up for lost physical sales, and won’t anytime soon.
Entertainment lawyer Dina LaPolt who arranges many of the industry contracts said:
“It wasn’t that long ago that we were getting $3 million as an advance for the record. That’s way over — those deals don’t exist.”
How to become a famous singer than earns significant money – The secret sauce
Today, according to industry experts, the only way to make money in the music business is to turn an artist into a brand — then do everything in your power to maximize that brand’s value.
Now we’ve heard this relating to corporates and other businesses, so I guess it makes sense that it applies to the entertainment industry too. Gene Simmons from Kiss is a long standing success in the realm of monetizing from branding.
So is this the reason why a number of singers are finding their careers heading to a whole new level doing reality competition shows like American Idol, X-Factor, The Voice and the like. Do these shows work for famous singers that become judges and coaches to develop and expand on their own brand further?
So is there a new formula? Or is there simply an adapted formula that singers like Taylor Swift are working?
A singing career formula
The first step on this path still involves music. Songs make an artist famous in the first place, and allow the artist to define his or her brand. Touring can also be lucrative; spending on concerts in North American surpassed spending on recorded music in 2009, and stood at $9.5 billion in 2011, up almost 20 percent from four years before. But tours are also expensive to produce, so they aren’t necessarily as profitable for the artist as they initially appear. For that reason, artists have gotten increasingly creative with their business ventures.
So this is quite an interesting insight…
“Ten years ago, if you had a hit song on the radio, and you had a great tour, then you’d sell a million records, two million records. That’s not necessarily the case anymore. But today, if you have a hit song and you have a sold-out tour, then other ancillary opportunities are available to you: sponsorships, endorsements, TV, movie, animated features … all different types of things,” LaPolt said. “Recording an album really has become like a promotional tool.”
Lets imagine we’ve got to this stage now what’s the next step:
So once an artist becomes popular through music, the four members of his or her management team (agent, manager, lawyer, business manager) work to turn fans’ goodwill into revenue. They secure deals for music-merchandise manufacturers to sell keychains with their clients’ faces on them, get their clients lucrative judging positions on reality TV shows and help broker clothing-design jobs with apparel companies.
Some artists have made more with these kinds of deals than they would have in the golden age of the CD.
So lets have a quick look at Taylor Swift:
Taylor Swift, for example, collaborated with Elizabeth Arden to release a perfume that generated $50 million in a single month. Swift, of course, also sells millions of records — but music manager Allen Kovac said that it’s possible even for moderately successful artists to start lucrative businesses.
And what about other artists and their ventures into setting up additional businesses:
Kovac cited his client Nikki Sixx, who has parlayed his position as the bassist of Motley Crue into a clothing line, several book deals and a talk radio show. Sixx is also in talks to start a talk show on cable.
“He’s making more money now as an individual than he did in Motley Crue,” Kovac said.
The best deals, in addition to being lucrative, also make an artists’ brand more appealing for future endeavors. LaPolt cited her client Steven Tyler’s job as a judge on ‘American Idol’. The role netted Tyler a fat check — around $10 million, if rumors are to be believed. But the show also introduced Tyler to a new generation and became a showcase for Tyler’s personal style, which helped him land deals with fashion companies, said LaPolt.
“We did a deal with Tommy Hilfiger’s rock-and-roll line, Andrew Charles, last year. And that was successful because we had a debut of his own menswear and womenswear. Now we’re putting together a deal with a very prominent fashion executive and business owner, and Tyler is doing his own line,” she said.
So it appears this step by step ‘Branding’ exercise is highly profitable for those that can do it.
I guess it’s a journey to get to that stage, but very useful to understand the terrain to develop into.
Most musicians don’t have the brand recognition of Steven Tyler or Nicky Sixx, so they couldn’t land those deals even with the best attorneys and managers in the industry.
Jean Cook, the program director at the Future of Music Coalition, said that just 2 percent of musicians’ total income in America comes from “brand-related revenue.”
“Anybody who’s able to leverage their brand and get income from it is probably doing fairly well,” she said. “But most people are not in a position to leverage their brand.”
That’s not to say that lesser-known artists are going hungry. Some have responded to dwindling recorded-music royalties by taking on non-music jobs, said Cook. Teaching income has increased even for unknown artists, across all genres. According to Cook’s data, side-jobs end up boosting the average total income for a musician to $49,000, pre-expenses — still less than a tenth of a percent as much as Taylor Swift.
It is quite an interesting playing field these days. So if you want to learn how to become a famous singer like Taylor Swift and earn good money study the moves that these guys are making. Contemplate how you can develop your own brand. Doing it now may be the best thing you ever did.
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