Here’s a whole host of music links and info that I’ve copied over from my old blog. I haven’t had chance to check that all the links still work, but hopefully they do. Drop me a line if you find any dead links.

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The Independent Music Supplement

On the 3rd February The Independent published a supplement all about the independent music industry. I’ve listed links below to all the articles as they make very good reading:

The Mercury Prize: Behind The Scenes

UK Urban Music Underground

Downloading Music: How will it affect the charts?

Live Music’s Renaissance

Domino Records: Home of Franz Ferdinand & Arctic Monkeys

The Independent Music Revolution: Are they catching up with the majors?

The Musician’s Union

Being a member of the Musician’s Union is a must for anyone serious about making or performing music. Much of the content on their advice pages is protected and only accessible by MU members, but the following links will take you direct to their free documents:

Gig Checklist

Specimen Letter to Promoter of gig

Get It In Writing! – Factfile (contractual advice)

Musician Union recommended Rates for live musicians

Own or run a venue? – Read this then got to this page…

Other useful links

PRS and MCPS – The PRS collects and distributes licence fees for the public performance and broadcast of musical works. The MCPS collects and distributes ‘mechanical’ royalties generated from the recording of music onto many different formats. This income is distributed to their members – writers and publishers of music.

PPL – PPL is a music industry organisation collecting and distributing airplay and public performance royalties in the UK

Are you an agent? Need to find one? Look here!

Are you a manager? You should check this out…

Tons of music industry resources.

The Unsigned Guide. Does what it says on the tin.

Music Industry Jobs listings

Music Tank – A UK music business network

Studentbands.co.uk : A site for young, unsigned bands.

Article summarising the changing face of the industry

Arctic Monkeys obey new laws of the jungleBy Tom Findlay and Rob Wood – Published: January 26 2006 19:40 – www.ft.com

In its first week, Arctic Monkeys debut album has outsold the entire rest of the top 20 album chart combined. While this success is great for British music and the crucial independent music sector that feeds it, it comes beneath a veil of media hype.

Much of the success has been attached to the power of the internet, a tool this band was canny enough to make good use of. Using the US MySpace.com community site, the band gave away free MP3s of their tracks to a blossoming online fanbase; the very same people who ran to the shops to grab the album this week.

While the internet was part of the marketing tools used by Arctic Monkeys, it was relentless gigging that built up a loyal local following. Using old-fashioned glue and paper as much as the web, the band postered themselves around their home town of Sheffield and beyond.Like thousands of other bands, the Monkeys gave away tracks online a reward to their fans and a promotional device for newcomers to hear what all the fuss was about.

The net enabled the band to converse with fans beyond South Yorkshire and gain a reach that would have been impossible 10 years ago, when loading a van and driving up and down the M1 was the only, cash-sapping, alternative. By the time the Monkeys played their first gig in London, they had sold out a 1,600-capacity venue without a high-profile release. This would never have happened if the band were not as good as they are, but it was the net that gave them the means to establish a rapport with fans on a colossal scale.

So talent shines through in the end. A combination of the right band and smart use of the internet can be the spark which sets things ablaze. The beauty of online promotion is that it is cheap, fast and measurable. It is more cost-effective than the manufacture of promotional CDs and the use of radio plugging, and the results can be seen as the online hits clock up. It took Oasis at least twice as long an incubation period before they went sky high.

Giving away your product might defy the rules of economics, but in the world of the internet-savvy fan it is a gesture on which dividends will be paid when the album is available to buy. It is also a way to road-test songs where the most downloaded tracks become the obvious choice for the next single.

The huge, cranky major labels have been slow to make sense of how the internet is changing the consumption of music. The profits from the million copies that the Arctic Monkeys album will undoubtedly soon sell will largely be enjoyed by the independent label, Domino Recordings. The do-it-yourself use of online promotion gives artists more power. Rather than be enslaved to the whims of major-label Artist & Repertoire men, bands can increase their fanbase online and choose who to sign with and when, if at all. If the majors had embraced digital music distribution seven years ago, that power shift might not have happened.

We believe the future of online music lies in taking the exciting parts of community sites and joining them with retail. As experience with the band Groove Armada shows, you can tour outside of major record markets in places such as Argentina or Brazil and hear 20,000 fans sing your songs despite record sales of only the odd thousand. Audiences such as these will largely have been turned on to such music from illegal peer-to-peer networks. We do not advocate piracy but believe that recordlabels would benefit from using online promotion creatively by, for instance, giving away singles or live tracks to generate demand for albums.

TuneTribe, the online digital music store, allows unsigned artists to sell their music without a record deal. Suddenly the traditional idea that record companies will always need to exist to market bands and manage their publishing and copyright royalties becomes more wobbly. Sites such as ours can use a laptop to record a band*s live performance and make it available as an album within hours, something that would take months for the corporate machinery of the majors.

Record labels will undoubtedly adapt to change. As long as physical formats are sold, artists will need the clout of established record labels to shift units in large volumes. But with the effectiveness of online promotion and distribution set to grow, new ways to sell music are opening up. Bands with talent like the Arctic Monkeys can blossom into great acts, while their fan base can grow rapidly with access to the tunes they love at their fingertips.

Tom Findlay is half of dance act Groove Armada and a founder of TuneTribe.com. Rob Wood is a music consultant, journalist and head of content at TuneTribe.com

An article on the same subject:

This article from The Guardian also highlights the DIY nature of the music industry at the moment.

How one man sold 2000 CDs just using the internet to promote himself – from the very useful site Getsigned.com – note that this article is from 2001. Just be careful as a lot of the articles are old. That doesn’t mean the info in them is completely irrelevant though…

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