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.
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.
“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.”
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.
Read full story - Musicians’ Income Can Still Be Huge — With The Right Brand, Team.