Jessica Toyne started her musical career after graduating with a BA(Hons) in music business from the Academy of Contemporary Music in 2008. Her career began in music publishing at Platinum Sound, an independent publisher that specialised in sourcing music for media. After relocating to the Isle of Wight, Jessica set up and ran her own professional recording studio and in previous years has worked with the artist liaison crew at the Isle of Wight Festival main stage.
In a musical capacity Jessica has worked as a songwriter, lyricist and vocalist in performing bands, in addition to composing music to brief for other artists and for media usage.
Ever keen to broaden her horizons, Jessica has also written a number of non-fiction books, which have been published in physical format internationally. She thrives on exploring new musical avenues and enjoys sharing her knowledge with emerging and established artists and composers alike.
So you want to be a full time musician? Want the good news? Statistics published by IFPI showed that global recorded music sales totalled $15 billion (approx £9.5 billion) contributing to $45 billion (£28.8 billion) that the global music industry is estimated to be worth.
There are dozens of potential revenue streams available in the exciting modern industry, however the bad news is that it’s tough to get your head around them. Who owns what, and who takes which ‘slice of the pie’ can get a bit confusing. It comes as no surprise that in a report published by Rethink Music it is stressed there is a serious lack in transparency in the music business. The report also cites that more than 20% of royalties are not making it to their rightful owners (and in some territories as much as 50% are not making it to their rightful owners).
“Like few other industries the modern music business inherently involves millions of daily micro-transactions generating revenues from songs and albums… New technologies should have the ability to create a high degree of transparency for this process. The transparency has been largely absent from the music business; instead, the industry has, in many ways, applied less transparent frameworks, technology and processes that have evolved over decades in an era of music-as-a-product into the transformed, music-as-a-landscape. The result of this uneven application of technology can be a spectacular mismatch, creating friction, opacity and frustration”
You see, musicians need to be more than simply incredible songwriters, skilled instrumentalists or extraordinary vocalists. They need to be more business savvy and equipped with the skills and knowledge to navigate their route into the music industry and then develop and sustain revenue streams from their art form.
So, imagine this; you’ve written some great tunes, dedicated hours in the studio to create a recording and regularly perform live. How can you make money from your music?
Before we begin its important to understand that for every recorded song there are two very different copyrights associated with it. First, there’s the composition itself (“Work”), which includes the music and lyrics. This belongs to the composer/songwriter. Second, is the sound recording (“Master”) – this belongs to the person/company that paid for the recording to take place. We’ll dig a little deeper on copyright another time.
Okay so these last few haven’t been related to the songs but are still valuable revenue streams that shouldn’t be ignored. This is why labels came up with the 360 deals. These agreements enable them to receive a portion of the revenue generated from merchandise, endorsements, sponsorship and other activities in the entertainment industry such as acting or writing a book.
So there you have it; there are many opportunities for musicians to make a living from their art. We’ve just scratched the surface on some of the revenue streams available, and while some of these may seem incredibly obvious, it is essential to register with collection societies in order to obtain funds from these sources. We’ll have a thorough look at collection societies another time.
Don’t be afraid to explore some non-traditional channels for income too. If you’re able to demonstrate some entrepreneurial flair you’ll be adding “another string to your bow” in your musical career.