I recently received a list of very good, well thought out questions from my pal Dave Brewer with the great NC band Possum Jenkins. Dave and Possum are considering moving their band to the “next level” which involves questions about exploitation of material and business licensing. I thought his questions, and my answers (in red) would make a good post. I also explained to Dave that I am NO expert, but am happy to pass along my personal experiences and those of my clients.
Do you have questions about the music business? I’d be happy to answer them, to the best of my ability, at this site.
How important is it for a band to form an LLC? Does it make doing web sales of shirts and CDs much easier?
An LLC becomes really important when your band is actually making enough income and creating enough expenses to justify LLC status.If you’re signing contracts and getting big guarantees and if people are going to lose money on ticket sales if you don’t show up, then by all means form an LLC. But doing things “the right way” often means getting some sort of business status set up by a band, whether it’s a DBA bank account or an LLC or INC.
-When sending your CD to radio stations (terrestrial, web or otherwise) to be considered for airplay, is it important to include a one sheet talking about the disc, players, etc…? YES- it is very important to include a one sheet. It’s also a good idea to have your name on EVERY single sliver of anything in the package. It’s also a great idea to tag the cd with a sticker that states name of selected cuts, track number, track time, and contact info. This needs to be stuck directly ON the cd or cd cover. No slim line cases for radio. They like the regular size jewel cases.
-It your honest opinion, would it pay for a relatively unknown band to hire someone in Europe to push the disc to Americana stations there in the hopes of possibly touring at some point? NO
-There has been some talk about trying to get our tunes placed in ads/shows/movies/whatever via a couple of websites. Is there one that your recommend or are they a total waste of time?
Again it’s the accountability thing. Some placement companies will send emails to you stating, “We just submitted your music to a producer at FOX tv for use on a new show!!!!” It’s THAT vague. There’s no way for YOU to follow up or any one in your organization to actually get USEFUL info from folks like this. ALSO don’t forget before you start exploiting your music it needs to be copyrighted and published by YOU.