The live music industry has been derailed by COVID-19. Musicians who depend on live shows as a primary source of income are off the road indefinitely. In the meantime, what can music creatives do with this unexpected down time to keep their career momentum going?
Below are seven recommendations and resources on how to stay motivated and productive as an artist, including information about our new, no-cost funding option established in response to the crisis.
1. Examine your royalty streams and update registrations.
Make sure you and your songs are fully registered, so you are collecting the royalties you’re entitled to. If you are not registered with a PRO and with SoundExchange, you are likely missing out on public performance and digital streaming royalties. For information about registering for royalties and more, check out our resource guide, “50 Income Streams All Music Creatives Should Know About”.
2. Create a digital marketing campaign.
Fans are looking for ways to stay connected with artists. An attention-getting social media campaign could stimulate merch and memorabilia sales when you really need the income. Raise your visibility on Instagram stories, TikTok and Facebook Live. Tease a song you’re working on or give a tour of your home studio. Show them a more personal side than you would normally have time to do.
Take advantage of a clear schedule and let the creativity flow. It may be a song you’ve been meaning to finish, a new vibe that needs nurturing, or inspiration from these strange times we are living in. You are a creator, so flex your writing muscle.
Studio time can be expensive, but recording can also be done on a budget. Whether it’s in a home studio, basement or garage, getting tracks down can deliver magical results. You’re in the content business, so turn this time off the road into time well spent making some memorable new tracks.
5. Produce video content.
Content is king, and video is the crown jewel. Like recording, there are a myriad of ways to approach this creative medium to excite and engage fans. Consider producing a short concert on video, and either monetize with a fee to download, or excite your fans by making it free on Instagram or Facebook Live. You can even make money on YouTube by sharing awesome music videos. You can also stream an acoustic set from your home, offering a stripped-down take on your craft.
6. Research music relief funds.
MusiCares (the Recording Academy) and many other non-profits, associations and city or state entities have set up financial assistance programs for creative artists impacted by COVID-19, raising the importance of government support for musicians. National Public Radio recently compiled a wide-ranging list of resources.
7. Invest in yourself by financing your own projects.
As streaming has emerged as the most dynamic way for creatives to promote their music, more artists are electing to act as their own record label and self-finance their careers. Whether you self-produce and self-distribute or enlist professional help, funding is critical, and the weeks and months ahead may present significant challenges. With income from live shows put on hold, we are offering music creators a zero-cost cash advance funding option to help ease the burden (more info below).
A $20 million response to help music creators.
On March 16, Sound Royalties established a $20 million fund to offer a no-cost financing option to any new application that qualifies. Songwriters, performers and producers with royalty income can apply for an interest-free cash advance with one-year repayment terms and no closing cost or fees of any kind. This funding option is available for qualified applications submitted by April 16, 2020, or until the fund is depleted. More information is available here or call 844-4ALL-MUSIC to speak with a specialist.