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Don't Be Part of the 99%: How Artists Unknowingly Sabotage Their Success

If you're an artist in today's music industry, chances are you've felt the creeping fear of getting ripped off. It's a shared anxiety, a ghost note in the melody of your career, and perhaps that's what led you to this article.

The industry can seem like a labyrinth, with gatekeepers at every turn, holding back the essential knowledge you need to navigate safely. Without understanding the basics, apprehension can stifle your creativity and your progress. After all, it's a bitter pill to swallow: realizing that creativity alone cannot sustain your career. You pour your soul into your music, and you deserve to see tangible, monetary returns from your talent.

As someone who has witnessed the trials and tribulations of countless artists, I understand your position. Many promising careers have withered away, not from a lack of talent or passion, but from a lack of knowledge about how the industry operates. It's heartbreaking to see artists leaving the field because they've been exploited or because they've failed to grasp the complexities of the music business.

But you don't have to tread the same path. Drawing from my experience and insights, I aim to demystify the industry for you, breaking it down into manageable, understandable components. It's time to turn the tables, empower yourself with knowledge, and ensure your art pays off.

Artists Often Unaware of Their De Facto Record Label Status

Many artists venture into the music world primarily to express themselves through song. They often fail to recognize the true nature of the industry they're in or their immense potential power. In reality, all recording artists act as their own record companies, shouldering the financial responsibilities. Many creatives who lack business acumen fall into this trap, consequently surrendering significant portions of their future revenue early in their careers.

Giving Away Excessive Percentages

You might wonder how much is too much to give away, or which portions you should retain. Many artists surrender 50% of their masters to producers and other writers who never contribute financially or put effort into promoting the master recording. Moreover, artists often quarrel over publishing rights, not realizing that in the short run, these yield less than the masters.

Copyright Negligence

Artists frequently neglect to copyright their music at the right times and for the appropriate purposes, leading to the all-too-common “so-and-so stole my music” scenario. Timely registration for copyright equips you with the legal leverage to combat infringement, giving you governmental support in fighting federal violations.

Late Business Establishment

Many artists let others establish their businesses, which prevents them from understanding operational nuances and detecting potential deceit. Artists often allow others to register their songs, neglect essential registration checks, and even lose access to their royalty collection accounts.

What Essential Accounts Do You Need?

To simplify, you need a distribution account, a PRO account, mechanical collection accounts, and your digital master recording royalties.

How Much Should You Allocate from the Master?

As an independent artist owning your record label, never give away more than a total 25% to any parties asking for a share. Have them split that 25%.

How Does the 99% Get Ripped Off?

The answer lies in intellectual property (IP). Your IP forms the foundation of your career; without it, you're constructing a house of cards.

Check This Out!

If you're a music creative or executive looking to build your label or publishing company in 60 days or less, grab the 60-Day Record Label Course and get it done today! You’ll gain the ability to get real funding, avoid contractual pitfalls, and keep the middleman out of your pockets. Click the link below to get started now! If you’re skeptical, grab the free guide, "10 Ways to Increase Your Record Label Profits," which comes with a free split sheet download.

The Rewards of Correct Actions

Retaining your intellectual property:

  • Boosts cash flow

  • Establishes a solid foundation for growth

  • Enhances your bargaining power in future deals

  • Increases career longevity

  • Amplifies career satisfaction

The Costs of Negligence

Ignoring these key aspects can:

  • Lead to low return on investment

  • Decrease your bargaining power during negotiations

  • Stifle future growth


By understanding how this industry operates, you can forge your own path independently, enabling a more successful and satisfying music career. From an artist lost in the industry’s complexities and prone to exploitation, you'll transform into an empowered, knowledgeable musician with a firm grip on your career and future.


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