Treating Your Music Like a Business

Treating Your Music Like a Business

(bell chimes) – [Narrator] Ok. So you want
music to be your business? Then you gotta treat
yourself like a business. Because building a solid
foundation up front sets you up for success later on. Here to give us the scoop is Charleton. – [Charleton] Hi. – [Narrator] He’s a
product marketing manager here at Spotify. – [Charleton] Whether you’re
an artist or a team member, you wanna start treating your music like a business from day one. Especially when there’s
potential to make money. – [Narrator] You could start by locking down a financial plan. First, keep good records. Nah, we’re talking more like this. – [Charleton] No matter
where you are in your career, documentation is key. If you buy the band
lunch, snap the receipt. If you have to fix some
equipment, snap a receipt. Keeping records of what you’re spending helps you build a plan
and it’s a lifesaver during tax season. – [Narrator] And if you’re confused about taxes and finances in general, you can always hire a business manager, AKA an accountant. (slurping)
(bell chimes) – [Kristin] Oh man, this is good. – [Charleton] The main
thing is understanding the true cost of doing business and being able to anticipate
the cost in the future. – [Narrator]
Singer-songwriter Nick Murphy, formerly known as Chet Faker, learned about some business
costs the hard way. – [Nick] Here’s something
that I didn’t know. You pay for the rider; it’s not free. (chuckles) So you could put all
these bottles and things on the rider and like, “Oh I want fruit and pink M&Ms and (beep) like that.” That comes off your invoice, not theirs. – [Narrator] Got it. Ok, let’s talk putting
your business on the books. – [Charleton] One way to start is to set yourself up as a business entity, if and when that’s the right time for you. – [Narrator] Wait, wait, hold up. What’s an entity? Kristin will know. She handles business for bands like Bad Wolves and Thunderpussy. (chuckles) – [Kristin] It’s adulting (chuckles) on a grand scale. – [Narrator] Boom. – [Kristin] An entity is
a person, or a structure that houses a business, essentially. When you hear the terms LLC, corporation, partnership, those are all entities. Even you as a sole
proprietor are an entity. – [Narrator] And your options vary on a tax basis scale, and where you are in the world. When set up correctly, entities can also protect
you from liability. – [Kristin] You have exposures, especially in entertainment
if you’re a touring artist; you’re exposed to all kinds of dangers, and you don’t want to be
exposed as an individual to lawsuits that come along with that. – [Narrator] Ok. So what happens next? – [Kristin] After you’ve
established your entity, the next thing to do is define
your operating agreement. – [Narrator] Operating agreement, huh? – [Kristin] It’s almost
like a prenup, you know? When bands break up, everybody has to take a little piece of that with them, whether it’s good or bad. So, what does that look like? You have to kind of define
that at the beginning when everybody’s getting along. – [Narrator] And don’t get it twisted. An operating agreement is a contract. – [Charleton] No matter
which path you take, the second there’s a contract, you really should consider
getting a lawyer involved. Spending a little bit of money on that legal advice up front, can save you so much time
and energy down the line. – [Narrator] Alright.
So what about insurance? – [Charleton] If you have any
kind of gear or equipment, you should think about
property insurance on day one. And you might think about
general liability insurance, especially once you’re going on tour. I was at a Girl Talk concert once, and somehow a girl ended up, like, under the stage. – [Narrator] But don’t
worry, no one was harmed. – [Charleton] That’s
something you obviously have no control over
while you’re performing, but you might be
responsible for it legally. – [Narrator] Ouch. Oh, and another thing: understand your rights. Not just your copyrights, but protections you might
need for trademarks, too. – [Charleton] The best
thing about taking care of business is what it allows you to do. Setting up that foundation from the jump allows you to look ahead
to your next opportunity. It lets you take risks, and it’s gonna help your career grow in all the ways that you want it to. – [Narrator] Word. Anything else? – [Charleton] Let’s
definitely cut the part where I say I was at a Girl Talk concert. (chuckles) Or make sure to clarify
that I was in college. – [Narrator] You got it Charleton. That’s business for ya. Check ya later.

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About the Author: Oren Garnes


  1. This don’t have a millions views !!! Tuh they don’t want free knowledge I think y’all should add one of my songs on the playlist just for taking advantage of this amazing information 🥺😍

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