Songwriters in the Kitchen!

Board index => The kitchen café => Topic started by: Friedemann on April 11, 2016, 10:51:45

Title: Why You Don't Make Any Money With Your Music | Producer's Edge 1
Post by: Friedemann on April 11, 2016, 10:51:45
Check out Episode 1 of my new Youtube show Producer's Edge here: (

Have a question for next week's Producer's Edge? Let me hear it!

In the first episode of Producer's Edge, we're talking Music Business
and what you need to know if you want to make a living in today's

THANK YOU for 500 likes and all your great messages. :)

Title: Re: Why You Don't Make Any Money With Your Music | Producer's Edge 1
Post by: CrystalSuzy on April 11, 2016, 14:51:39
WOW, FF! I threw that question out as a joke ;D but that's was a pretty interesting rundown of why songwriters can't make $ with their songs
and how to improve the situation  ::thumb::
For myself, I know I'll never make any $ with my songs, because for one, my songs are not that good 2) I'm not a good singer or musician and 3) I don't write
songs in the current pop format  ::) But that's OK, because I don't expect to  ::)  I do it for the love of it  ::Suzy::
Title: Re: Why You Don't Make Any Money With Your Music | Producer's Edge 1
Post by: moolatte on April 11, 2016, 17:50:00
Super nice! I appreciate so much that You keep having valuable content and not trying to "sell" tips and tricks to get some views! I can see that You are really experienced! I would like to find out about how to got in touch with the right target audience I since everyone is looking for some universal solutions and I guess each genre has a bit different rules :)

Keep it up!

I really like what You are doing!

Moo Latte  :D :D :D
Title: Re: Why You Don't Make Any Money With Your Music | Producer's Edge 1
Post by: Dutchbeat on April 11, 2016, 17:54:06
*edit, Hi Moo, my post crossed yours, but i want to say, welcome to our forum, thanks for joining!

@Friedemann: cool new format once again, i loved watching it

i am one of these hobby songwriters that always knew, that in my case, i should not give up my day job.....

but i found this interesting, you are being very honest and give good information here

i am fascinated by the live streams, in your example you give this average hard working band a 1000 streams on spotify

i was wondering how one achieves that alone, how to get people to stream your music in the first to attract attention to these streams are pointing out that the major acts are touring and playing gigs more, nowadays, because that is wehere the money is

which makes it harder for smaller bands to get gigs and get people to go to these gigs because they can also go see major acts...

isn't that a general problem with the (pop) music business today, there is too much to choose from..., loads of free music on the internet
so prices can only go down

and.....isn't that because since only one decade or so people can really make decent multitrack recordings and mixes themselves
on a laptop or a more expensive studio time having to be selection processes like that anymore in choosing which song is being recorded well....

these - you can all do it yourself at home- options have increased, and must have increased the amount of reasonable to high quality tracks (soundwise) enormously. So the supply of music to choose from is sky-rocketing and that will only increase

while the demand will stay the same (one cannot listen to two songs at the same time, so the demand will stay much more constant)
so the streaming prices will only go down in a way.... ??? ??? ??? ???

but, i was wondering, are their any tips on to get people to stream their music in the first place?
how do people find and click on tracks from unknown bands...

your middle column in the video (merchandise) makes sense...but i think only few can write a book on music or give workshops like you do, because that requires writing skills, but more importantly, very serious music skills

but good food for thought again!!!!!!  thanks  ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Why You Don't Make Any Money With Your Music | Producer's Edge 1
Post by: GTB on April 11, 2016, 20:33:01
Thanks for posting this Friedemann, very interesting.  I'm glad I'm too lazy and totally unmotivated to 'play the game' - I.e too old now 😎 It requires far too much effort and faith...
I do feel for all the youngsters going for a career in music though.
Title: Re: Why You Don't Make Any Money With Your Music | Producer's Edge 1
Post by: LenB on April 12, 2016, 21:30:32
Interesting thesis, Friedemann. I've long been aware of these figures, plus the additional one of, is it 75,000 new albums every year?

I would argue that the format and meta-genre is dying (the 4 minute pop song) and soon will be in the hands of the talented hobbyists alone (that's us), as no one with intelligence and talent will take a career that doesn't earn any kind of reasonable income. What is absolutely happening is that the music career paradigm is transforming, and few people are yet ready to confront that fact.

It's very unclear how it will go from there onwards. I once thought that the flooding and musical genre crossover of the internet would eventually lead to more boundaried localism based on defined social groups who might support their specific musicians and styles. Perhaps. Alternatively we will go back to a situation where the rich sponsor musicians and composition, and the music becomes once again more complex and longer. That is not going to support a lot of people either.

Increasingly the audience for music is becoming worldwide. That means the base of the pyramid of achievement is getting broader and the space at the top much more limited. Incidentally the same is true for many other art endeavours.

Music will always continue one way or another, and beautiful, numinous pieces will always be written and recognised. The scope for getting paid in its production is possibly in terminal decline, unless climate change and catastrophe puts the internet out of reach of ordinary people - then we can go back to locally performed folk music for a performance fee :)

Title: Re: Why You Don't Make Any Money With Your Music | Producer's Edge 1
Post by: Vince on April 13, 2016, 00:12:10
I know nothing about the business of music, but you make sense. I have such horrible stage fright I haven't played in front of any one for over 40 years. But , now with inexpensive technology and web-sites such as SoundCloud - it seems everyone can be a rock star - there is so much out there I can't even listen to it all.
I identify with crystalsuzi. I just have always had a need to create (can't explain it)

My brother in law's band found a niche market in America. Here we have American Legions, Moose Halls and other clubs. These guys love to have bands on  Friday nights, they pay - the check clears the bank, and close at midnight. Also, since they're clubs the band doesn't need a following. Steady work, but  forget getting famous and playing original stuff.

My musical goal is to get enough Karma Points to submit a song for this sites compilation of songs. That to me would be the big time -


Title: Re: Why You Don't Make Any Money With Your Music | Producer's Edge 1
Post by: Friedemann on April 18, 2016, 15:21:31
Wow guys, I did not expect this to go over this well :) Have been stuck in writing sessions all week last week and didn't get a chance to read all this.

@crystalsuzy: Great and glad I could help! I also still love what I'm doing. Last week's sessions were a blast and even though selling what we wrote is another thing entirely it just makes me happy, which is why I keep doing it :)

@Moo Latte: Sounds like a great question for Producer's Edge ;) Thanks!

@Dutchbeat: Several things. First: Good questions, something I'll discuss on Producer's Edge soon! :) Note that merchandise can be ANYTHING other than music that you sell. T-shirts, mugs, caps, bag packs, mouse pads, shoes, perfume, etc. Whatever fits your image (do you guys want to know more about Image? Could make an episode on that!).

Yes, there is more music being created than ever. But the average amount of music consumed per day has also grown substantially (even though I suspect that a lot of that is "background listening"). The problem with Spotify is another. While the idea was good ("free", ad-supported streaming or paid program for streaming & downloads -> value of each Spotify user is about $41/year according to Spotify, so the more users the more they can pay out), this turned out problematic in practice.

Why? Because Spotify pays out the artists based on the following calculation:

Number of plays you got this month / total plays on Spotify * whatever your percentage is (You have to split with spotify, the label, etc).

So the problem is the more songs people listen to in total, the LESS you make. People don't listen to albums anymore, they listen to one or two tracks from each artist, which means all the money being made by Spotify is split up into gazillions of small units. So it will only get worse.

@GTB: Haha ^^ Yeah, definitely not an industry you want to switch to in your later years. The amount of marketing and knowledge in social networking required is absolutely insane.

@LenB: Make no mistake, the music industry is still VERY lucrative for the big artists. Beyoncé made what, $72M in royalties last year? Plus those Pepsi commercials, interviews, live shows (think SuperBowl!), perfume sales - she is doing VERY well! Who suffers from this movement is again the middle class who has to make a living from music but doesn't have the clout to get the gigs.

@vincent_stewart: I know what you mean. And yes, playing covers can be / is very lucrative. Playing your own music has become a privilege though. If you want to play live a lot I think key is to make the bar owners happy. If they can see you're attracting a crowd or that everyone there is loving you, they'll hire you back. In other words: Performance and audience interaction is more important than ever.

Again, thanks for all the nice comments. Posting this week's episode now :)
Title: Re: Why You Don't Make Any Money With Your Music | Producer's Edge 1
Post by: Mar T. on April 19, 2016, 02:21:23
Hey Friedemann, I was busy as well and completely missed this one. Great story, thanks for sharing with us!!
I think you are completely right in presenting the facts. I'm not sure if I agree with the conclusion that 'Merchandising' will be the solution, after all music is our passion isn't it? And when we choose to make a living in music I think we'd be most happy when we'll be able to sell them. Of course I don't disagree with your approach, I have a lot of respect for the way you establish your goals, luckily you have great presenting talents and you are a very skillful songwriter. And for you that combination makes you unique as a person. And you seem to feel really comfortable at both sides (sharing knowledge AND writing music).

When I left the live scene (in a local band) I decided to go develop my own music. As @it must be me, Dutchbeat? says we can all be home producers. My initial goal was to collect a following and make sure my songs were listened to on SoundCloud. Songwriting is my #1 passion and I just like to share. I never had the goal to earn a living from making music. Although that would be really nice!
So I quickly learned how much interaction on SoundCloud it takes to be even 'visible' to others. And then I started to love listening to other's creations. And before I know I had a 2nd passion: sharing knowledge and helping each other improve. Then I was invited to this place by DB. For me this community is the ultimate place where gems develop to really special art. 'Kitchen Art'. These days I invest 75% of my spare time (I have a job and a rl as well  ;)) in this community (and 25% in actually writing my own songs). And by helping each other we'll all develop faster than the emerging solo home-recorders. I believe that helping each other improve, collaborate, make friends, accept each other for who we are, creates a strong and powerful community. I believe when songwriters interact like on this forum, there's fun, we all develop and get better, and someday we'll produce kitchen results that are interesting to the outside world (we already do), without that being our individual purposes (most of us just want to write, collaborate, share and have fun). Maybe communities need a special place in this world? I love it when I see people reach the top when their only intention was to just have fun at what they do.. And I think communities are a great place to start. So my question to you is: how do communities fit into this picture in your vision?

Thanks for sharing my friend, and wow, how I like this format of presenting an answer to @crystalsuzy 's question!
Title: Re: Why You Don't Make Any Money With Your Music | Producer's Edge 1
Post by: Friedemann on April 19, 2016, 14:22:51
Hey MM,

Interesting question! I think the biggest takeaway from forums like this one is understanding that you're not the only one struggling (with the industry and songwriting), getting patted on the back for your songs and being able to ask questions. And the whole community thing isn't to be underestimated as well of course :)

I think the bit about Merchandising wasn't clear: I don't mean teach, I mean figure out other things you can sell that support your music. For me, that's teaching, for you it might be selling hand-knitted scarves in the shape of your logo. :)

Title: Re: Why You Don't Make Any Money With Your Music | Producer's Edge 1
Post by: LenB on April 20, 2016, 11:40:37
Hi Friedemann,

But if Beyoncé never starts her career because there is no way to support herself in the interim and only a thin hope of making it big, then there never is a Beyoncé. The implication then is that the only way to get to the top is via a sudden rise/discovery coupled with financial backing. And that's pretty much what we have now, isn't it? Star creation rather than birth and development?
Of course there are some striking exceptions, but we are pretty much there, aren't we?

For me this is only of academic interest, as I have no need or desire to make money out of my music, leaving me free to do exactly as I want which is just make the best music I can. But if I did have such aspirations for a career, I think I'd weep at the steepness and altitude of the slope that needs to be climbed. I'd be no good at the popstar lifestyle anyway: I'd be bored with gigs in 5 minutes, hate my fans because of the stupid reasons they liked my music, resent my PR advice, fritter away my money on inanities and consume more substances than I should. Hmm, actually maybe I am suited to it. Where do I sign up?

Title: Re: Why You Don't Make Any Money With Your Music | Producer's Edge 1
Post by: Friedemann on April 20, 2016, 14:40:03
@LenB: Haha, well put! You've summed it up nicely. Stars aren't born, they are made. But 2 questions come to mind:
1) Do I have to be a star? -> You can still make a living playing music if you do it right.
2) If you want to become a star, how do you get noticed by the people calling the shots? -> Justin Bieber did it on Youtube. The trick is to have a following first, money comes later. :)