Archive for March, 2010

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Listen to me live on the radio in Los Angeles tonight (Wed night)!!!!

March 25, 2010

I’m a featured guest on Samm Brown’s “For the Record” radio show discussing artist management.

Broadcast Date: WEDNESDAY, MARCH 24, 2010 11:00 PM (Pacific Time)

If you’re in LA and near your radio Wed night, tune in live at KPFK 90.7 FM at 11pm.

Or

Listen online here:

http://sbrownkpfk.com/

or here:

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/sbrownkpfk-live

If you miss the show, you can listen to the achive here:

http://archive.kpfk.org/parchive/index.php?shokey=fortherecord

Jennifer Yeko
True Talent Management
9663 Santa Monica Blvd. # 320
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

~Music Marketing~Music Licensing~Music Publicity
http://www.truetalentmgmt.com

“Do, or do not. There is no try.”
— Jedi Master Yoda


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Why is it so frickin’ hard for an artist to license a song these days?

March 20, 2010

I’ve been pitching and licensing songs for film/tv for almost a decade now. (Yikes!)

And boy, a LOT has changed since I since I started.

I wanted to address some of the reasons it’s become SO competitive and increasingly challenging/difficult to license songs these days.

1) So many projects are so specific, the best way to get a song licensed is to WRITE A SONG SPECIFICALLY FOR EACH REQUEST. Sure, you wouldn’t bother doing this for a $150 placement…but you sure should for a $30,000 or $50,000 ad / tv commercial. I’m amazed, simply AMAZED, that when I had a request for a song paying $400,000 only one artist took the time to submit for it. Get off your butt and write and record something people – if you got that spot you wouldn’t have to work for YEARS!!!!

2) If you AREN’T writing songs to specific requests or with film/tv/ads/games in mind, the problem is, you’re now competing with dozens (hundreds) of production companies and music libraries that have composers on staff or on call who WILL write to specific requests. So, you may be pursuing music as a “hobby” and creating your art, which is fine and admirable, but there are some SERIOUSLY big players in the business that have studios and composers and singers waiting around to write and record a song to get that big spot. So if you can’t do this, or won’t, realize your chances of getting a lot of placements is decreasing. Listen, no one ever said this would be EASY. Competition in the music business has gotten FIERCE. Either you step up to the plate or you sit by and watch as others make their living making music…

3) Sheer VOLUME. When there is a slot to fill on a TV show or in a film, know that you are competing with not only EVERY major label in the country (and world!) for that spot, but also every major publishing company (many that own a MILLION + copyrights/songs) and then EVERY indie label and indie publishing company, music licensing company like True Talent, not to mention EVERY indie band and artist in the world and on my space. Oh yes, and every music library that has tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of songs in their library to pull from. There are also labels and artists all over the country and WORLD so you have to be the best fit for the spot to get a placement.

4) Music supervisors – so many right now are either out of work of going “to the other side”. Because of all the budget cutbacks at the studios and networks (hello – one studio made 18 live action films 2 years ago – last year they only made 10!) many music supervisors are literally out of work. I’d say maybe 80% of the supervisors I know either aren’t working right now or are “between” projects. Add that to the fact that many of them have jumped ship to “the other side” and now work for music publishers or music licensing companies. I don’t understand how this is possible as if there were 10 supervisors working (random number to use an example), and now 3-4 of them have jumped to the pitching side, well, do the math. That’s 40% less demand for music and 40% more supply of people pitching music.

5) Competition – in general, too many artists and composers are willing to license their music either for free or cheap. This saturates the market with, well, cheap crappy music but these days, studios and networks and businesses in general care less about quality and more about saving money.

6) Supervisors/editors/composers/tv networks and film studios “double dipping” – It seems like these days EVERYONE is double dipping. Amazingly, the entertainment industry pretty much condones this behavior. I think they call it “strategic partnerships” or something. A TV network or studio may look at all the millions of dollars they are spending each year to license songs and then say, “Duh, let’s start our own record label/publishing company” – not because they usually know the first thing about running one – but because they want to SAVE MONEY. Why pay you, an indie artist, even $1000 or $5000 let alone more for a song when they can sign some artists themselves? If the artist never recoups, the company uses the tax write-off against their profits. And if they can throw those artists into their own films or TV shows, they are literally paying themselves back. Make sense? Grrr, this practice, IMO, while perfectly legal, is incredibly unethical. Why? Because I bet the producers and directors don’t know the songs they are being pitched for their shows are owned by their own studio or network’s label or publishing company. Furthermore, a lot of the people who do these deals are incredibly shady, lying, unethical bastards (not all of them, but some for sure) and they will lie and cheat and steal to sign an artist all in the name of saving their company a few bucks. Who cares if the artist’s original manager or label or bandmates get screwed over in the process.

Besides, if you’re Studio “A” why would you want to license a song for your next movie from a competitor’s Studio “F”?

Or if you’re a network, would you want to go to a competitor to license a song? Doubtful.

Best to stay as an independent, “free agent” and be repped by an outside record label or publishing company, even if it’s an Interscope or Warner Chappell than to be part of a shady set of characters.

And yes, if you sense some hostility and ranting in this particular paragraph, maybe it’s because I’ve had artists stolen by these shady people – years of back breaking hard work and my own money swallowed up by some evil corporation. They didn’t LOVE my artist or promote them 24/7 for 4 years. But they sure did know how to write a check! And where is that artist now? Probably washing windows or waiting tables somewhere again…but I digress…don’t do it. Fight the good fight and stay indie – or go for BIG bucks with a MAJOR publishing company if you do sign your rights away. Because I guarantee you, when you get in bed w/the devil, if he screwed one person over, he’ll screw you over too!

Oh and I almost forgot to mention the part where editors or supervisors or managers – you name it, have a “side deal” with a publishing company so they are more likely to license a song from a company where say, they get a 10-20% kick back on the side than to license from someone entirely indie like you where there’s no kick back.

Make sense?

I mean, if I’m editing a scene, so much easier to throw MY OWN song in there that I wrote and make a few thousand bucks than to ask anyone else out there for one. And this happens more than you realize!

7) Crazy supply – There is just SUCH an overwhelming amount of music out there. Blame myspace but now EVERY artist in the world can pitch their songs for a project. Whereas before, if I knew a supervisor, I could literally just send them my band’s CD and I’d stand a VERY good chance at getting a song licensed. Not so anymore! Now if they need a “sad, poignant love song” they have thousands of mp3s coming their way. Just to give you an idea, one supervisor I talked to told me he gets over 1,000 emails a day. 1,000 emails! Now I don’t know what percentage of those emails are mp3s but 1,000 emails a day! If the song you submit has pitchy vocals or is just “average” what do you think your chances are of getting it licensed? Right…

8) Every music publicist is trying to get into “pitching for film/tv” – I can’t imagine any of them are effective as they simply don’t have the relationships that someone like me does. But, they like to add it as a “service” they provide their clients since every artist under the sun is all about “getting a song in film/tv” these days.

9) Did I mention competition is incredible? Look at a supervisor’s office (or even my own) and you’ll see literally boxes of packages that arrive daily, weekly, monthly.

10) I know I’m probably forgetting 10 more reasons but these are the main ones I could think of.

I want to emphasize, despite what I’ve written above, DO NOT GIVE UP HOPE. Licensing your music is still one of the ONLY ways in the world that you can make money from your living room, bedroom or studio.

Just realize that:

a) You must make the BEST, most AMAZING songs possible.

b) If the vocals are pitchy, your chances of landing a placement are slim to none. Why? Because you’re competing with thousands of other songs that are simply much better!

c) It may be a bit like gambling or getting a winning lottery ticket to get a placement these days.

But if you win, you win big!

Film/TV and ads/video games can still BREAK an artist!!!

I’m sure you’ve heard that Phoenix song in the Cadillac commercial about a MILLION times by now, haven’t you?

You gotta be willing to try hard, try often, and try more than the other artists out there. Maybe you get a placement after one pitch. Or after 10. Or more likely, these days, 100 or even 1000 but if you keep at it you will do well!

NEVER GIVE UP!!!

Jennifer Yeko
True Talent Management
9663 Santa Monica Blvd. # 320
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

~Music Marketing~Music Licensing~Music Publicity
http://www.soloendeavorrecords.com
http://www.truetalentmgmt.com

“If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.”
-Yogi Berra

“Don’t bunt. Aim out of the ballpark.”
-David Ogilvy


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Artists — Are you owed money? Make sure you register with SoundExchange

March 18, 2010

Make sure you’re registered with SoundExchange.com to collect any royalties due you from airplay on Pandora, last.fm, etc…

“SoundExchange is an independent, nonprofit performance rights organization.

SoundExchange is a non-profit performance rights organization that collects statutory royalties from satellite radio (such as SIRIUS XM), internet radio, cable TV music channels and similar platforms for streaming sound recordings. The Copyright Royalty Board, which is appointed by The U.S. Library of Congress, has entrusted SoundExchange as the sole entity in the United States to collect and distribute these digital performance royalties on behalf of featured recording artists, master rights owners (like record labels), and independent artists who record and own their masters.”

www.soundexchange.com

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In other news, I’ve been very, very, very busy working on a bunch of radio and film/tv campaigns. I’m finishing up some projects this month and have more starting in April so if you need a radio promoter (esp. to non-commercial, NPR/KCRW type radio & college stations), film/tv promotion or music publicity, reply to this email ASAP so I can block off some time for you.

Jennifer Yeko
True Talent Management
9663 Santa Monica Blvd. # 320
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

(310) 560-1290
www.truetalentmgmt.com

“Do, or do not. There is no try.”
— Jedi Master Yoda


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Record labels…Change or die?

March 14, 2010

This is a spot on article on the state of the music business, particularly major record labels.

Think you need a label?

Read this:

http://gizmodo.com/5481545/record-labels-change-or-die?skyline=true&s=i

Jennifer Yeko
True Talent Management
9663 Santa Monica Blvd. # 320
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

~Music Marketing~Music Licensing~Music Publicity
http://www.truetalentmgmt.com

“Do, or do not. There is no try.”
— Jedi Master Yoda


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Advice for artists on sending emails to industry folks in the music business

March 10, 2010

Here is a great article with tips on how to contact industry folks.

My favorite part? “Keep it short.”

If I get an email that’s a few sentences, my chances of responding right away are 80-90%

If I get an email that’s paragraphs, or pages long, with (god forbid) attachments or any mp3 files, I likely will either delete it, or respond days, weeks or even months later:

http://musicians.about.com/od/musicindustrybasics/a/promoemailsampl.htm

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Also, for all of you wonderful folks out there, thank you for keeping me so busy with all these promo campaigns.

I’m in the middle of several big projects so if you need a radio promoter, film/tv promotion or music publicity, I likely won’t have time until April.

If you want, email me and we can discuss!

Thank you I’m finding more and more incredible talent each day and it’s so exciting to be getting some amazing CDs out into the world!!!

I’m also finding that artists are really responding to my honesty. I’ve told a lot of artists lately that their vocals are “pitchy” and need to be fixed if I were to pitch their songs. I’ve also told artists their music isn’t right for film/tv and it’s so nice that you guys are really loving my honesty and I guess (sadly) honest people in the music business can be a bit hard to find so happy to help. I’ve turned down a lot of work (and money) because I just didn’t think I could get behind a project.

The last artist I promoted has received amazing feedback from over 10 music supervisors and film/tv executives on her music.

You could be next!!!

Email me for details!

Jennifer Yeko
True Talent Management
9663 Santa Monica Blvd. # 320
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

~Music Marketing~Music Licensing~Music Publicity
http://www.truetalentmgmt.com

“Do, or do not. There is no try.”
— Jedi Master Yoda


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What does True Talent Management do?

March 9, 2010

It occurred to me that you may or may not know all about True Talent and what we do here – artist management, music marketing, film/tv promotion, radio promotion, indie record label, music publishing company, music publicity and music consulting.

So here’s a brief history.

I started out in artist management in 1998. Artist management meaning the management of singers and bands. My early days as a manager consisted of many countless hours spent at Borders reading every book and magazine I could about the music business. Career highlights include having my band perform and be intereviewed live on KCRW and perform in front of 10,000 people alongside Lifehouse and watching hundreds of girls line up after their show to meet them. It’s also definitely a trip to look out from stage onto a crowd as far as the eye can see. Oh yeah, and hearing your band for the first time on mainstream radio on a Clear Channel station as you drive to a show is a huge, huge thrill as is having major labels fly their A&R guys to your band’s home town to see them showcase. When I started managing, I had one singer/songwriter on board, then a band, then another and another. At my peak I had 4 bands and artists and let me tell you it was fun but a LOT of work. Luckily, when one band was doing shows, another would be in the studio so I somehow managed to juggle them all. While management is where I got my start, I’ve evolved my business over the years into other areas. I haven’t signed a new management client in a while but that appears to be changing as I found a singer recently who has blown me away. So stay tuned for details on him.

Around 2001/early 2002 (so 8-9 years ago) I started pitching and promoting songs to film/tv. I was doing this LONG, LONG, LONG before it became the “new radio” or the way to break artists. My relationships go back 8-9 years so I kind of laugh when I hear that every music publicist, manager and fly by night company under the sun is trying to dip their toe into this field. This is what I do, and what I do best. Over the years, I’ve been approached by countless big wigs because of my deep connections in this world. However, I’ve found many of them to be extremely cheap (the biggest people in the business want you to work for free or almost no money – no thank you. Your companies have made millions of dollars and indie artists can hire me – so should you!), unethical or at the very least, disorganized. Like I would go work for a company that interviews me one day and only weeks later decides to put the job “on hold”. Thank you I’m very happy being independent, although exploring new opportunities is always exciting. I’ve been wined and dined and picked up in fancy cars and taken to the finest restaurant in LA so that part of it is definitely fun.

As I got deeper and deeper into the film/tv world, I also got heavily involved in promoting music for advertising and video games. In fact, the last video game compilation CD I did was so well received I was told there’s a good chance one of the songs I pitched will end up in a major video game! And I’m currently looking for more songs for video games in the hard rock, hip hop, electronica, even classical songs – just any songs that would work well for a driving, fast paced video game.

Most recently I’ve launched a radio promotion business and my hands are INCREDIBLY busy working numerous projects right now to radio. I’m so thrilled to have found some incredibly talented artists out there. I’m not going after Clear Channel type stations but mainly college radio and non-commercial/public radio stations around the country that love singer/songwriters and NPR type artists.

Early in 2009 I started an indie record label and indie publishing company. I only have one artist signed right now and my focus is pitching her songs 24/7 to various film and TV opportunities. We had serious interest from “New Moon” and a lot of others are fans of the music including MTV so that’s been a thrill. Running an indie label is incredibly fun but also a lot of hard work (not to mention expensive). The competition is fierce so I look for the best talent out there that works harder than I do (a hard feat to accomplish). Signing an artist is a bit like putting money on a roulette wheel. It’s very risky and you never know if you’re going to lose it all or win big but you have to take chances in life if you want to succeed, right?? Oh, and work your tail off!

I do some music publicity. You know, pitching bands and singers to magazines, newspapers, online blogs, looking for CD reviews, etc. As a manager I’ve developed all sorts of relationships, especially in the Los Angeles and northern California markets and my press list is ever expanding as new clients come to the fold. I’ve been written up in Billboard and the New York Times and Music Connection and clients have been featured everywhere from local newspapers to Music Connection.

And lastly, I do consulting. Artists have hired me to consult on everything from how to pitch themselves effectively to radio to how to book shows to how to get the attention of a major label. Consulting is definitely one of the most fun things I do because every question is different, challenging and it really feels good to be doing something to help artists. Normally, I’ve only done phone consulting because so many of you are around the country — but going forward I might take some in person consulting gigs for artists in the Los Angeles area.

And yes, it’s a lot. But these days, you have to be small, fast and nimble and make changes to your business in order to survive and thrive.

So, there you have it!!!

Jennifer Yeko
True Talent Management
9663 Santa Monica Blvd. # 320
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

~Music Marketing~Music Licensing~Music Publicity
http://www.truetalentmgmt.com

“Do, or do not. There is no try.”
— Jedi Master Yoda


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NY Times article – the importance of licensing your music

March 7, 2010

Here is a great article on the importance of licensing your music:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/28/arts/music/28pareles.html?_r=1&ei=5070&adxnnl=1&emc=eta1&adxnnlx=1230557672-P9zPoDAg6OLThCXRbEuofw

Want to get your music in film and TV?

Just in the past 2 weeks I’ve had artists songs up for major network TV shows, 2 songs being sent to 2 big Hollywood producers and today I’m meeting with a video game company about future music in game opportunities.

Need help promoting your music to film/tv?

Email me back.

I’m working a couple artists right now who are getting amazing feedback and interest. You could be next!

Jennifer Yeko
True Talent Management
9663 Santa Monica Blvd. # 320
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

~Music Marketing~Music Licensing~Music Publicity
http://www.truetalentmgmt.com

“Do, or do not. There is no try.”
— Jedi Master Yoda