Building a more equitable Music industry
A typical artist will spend this every year (being VERY conservative here):
- $50 on distribution
- $350+ on music promotion
- $250+ on graphic design (cover art, music video, Spotify Canvas, etc)
- $100+ on mastering
- $50+ on courses/educational material
Total Spending: $800+/year
The future of music Distribution
Exploitation is the foundation of recorded music
We at Boost Collective are fostering then next generation of global artists.
The music industry has many issues.
While I don't mean to beat a dead horse, we've all heard of the classic record deal, yadda, yadda, yadda.
In a typical record deal, an artist gives up the rights to their music for an indefinite period of time.
The artist does this in exchange for an advance payment and possibly the right to keep 18 cents of every dollar earned from those recordings.
this may sound good to an inexperienced ear but...
The artist can only bread after paying the label back their advance, marketing budget, tour support, and other expenses.
It's a loan where after you finish paying off, you don't get to keep the product.
How has this disproportionately affected black musicians?
Race records: the beginning of the end
Race records set the foundation for unfair music distribution practices.
If you aren't aware, race records are early twentieth-century sound recordings made exclusively by and for African Americans.
(This was created in the times of segregation, so contextually it makes sense.)
Ralph S. Peer (who worked for OKeh Records at the time) is sometimes credited with coining the word.
"Race records" was most commonly used from the 1920s through the 1940s to designate the target audience for recordings.
These "race recordings" were ONLY available to Black people.
They were not sold in white neighbourhoods, and few white people were familiar with the artists who were popular in Black communities.
Segregation takes its roots in music business
At the time, schools and buses in America were separate. In the Jim Crow South, black people had to watch movies and plays from hot, dirty balconies.
They were also kept out of much of white culture.
Even popular culture was split into different groups. "Race" media, like music, movies, and magazines, were made by and for African-Americans, and white people rarely knew about them or cared.
Black artists pushed to the side Take a bow Lady Kenny Rogers Let’s dance Davin bowie.
Black radio distribution became… Non existent
how shellac accidentally killed black music
Between 1889 and the 1950s, shellac was the most common material for making record discs.
Shellac is a natural resin that comes from an insect that lives in India and Southeast Asia called the lac bug.
It is a fragile material, and the ridged discs it made are harder, heavier, and more fragile than the vinyl discs we know today.
During the Second World War, the American public was asked to send records to the troops to boost morale.
Shellac records were made a lot less, and there was also a public call for people to donate their old records so they could be recycled.
Black artists still got their royalties… right?
In the past, these record labels often underpaid their performers and occasionally kept their names off of records.
This causes difficulties in building a true brand, and securing future industry work.
They were always refusing to give Black musicians the recognition, credit, and compensation they deserved.
To make matters worse, the handful who did have royalty agreements had little prospect of getting them enforced.
There was not much support for black music.
As of 1939, only 6 of ASCAP's 170 members were black, making it a "closed club with a virtual monopoly on all copyrighted music.
Since there was a bifurcation between black music and white music... Where do you think resources went?
why the "urban" label matters
A few years ago, Tyler Tyler won Best Rap Album for his 2019 album "IGOR."
He said that the Recording Academy's decision to call his music "rap" was a "backhanded compliment."
Tyler is not the first black artist to say that the Grammys don't pay enough attention to black artists who have changed the world.
Sean "Diddy" Combs said that the Academy has never given black artists the respect they deserve.
The Recording Academy announced new diversity programmes to "ensure that the Academy is truly representative of artists and their audiences."
The record industry pyramid: white at the top
Only 13.9 percent of the top executives at 70 major and independent music companies 4.2 percent were Black
Live music and concert promotion companies (Live Nation and AEG Presents) had no Black people on their senior management teams.
African-American promoters say that an industry run by white executives has kept them from putting on concerts because of their race.
Now, what can be done about this?
We'll need more equitable music distribution practices.
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We're on a mission to change what is possible in the music industry and we need you!