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Industry Level Music Group informs artists on “how to” avoid music scams.

April 9, 2013

Industry Level Music Group is a private talent development firm that seeks talented artists and actors to represent at major music labels and film companies.   Industry Level is made up of ex-music executives and A&R’s who posses the knowledge and relationships to negotiate multi-million dollar recording deals.   With over 20 major recording/film deals successfully negotiated, Industry Level is constantly seeking the next biggest act!

Below is a list of things to watch out for in the music industry that Industry Level and associates have composed to make sure that artists don’t steer off the correct path!

1. Do Not Pay For Shows: Chances are that artists will not be paid for a gig if they are not seen on major platforms such as hip hop blogs, major radio stations, MTV or BET. It is going to be very difficult to generate interest from show promoters and venue’s that will want to pay them to perform.
Pay-to-perform business models DO take place on a larger scale as well. Live Nation sometimes will allow a tour “buy-on” in which an up and coming act (usually signed to a major label who is capable of spending the $100k or more budget) gets offered the deal. Up and coming unsigned artists typically will not be offered this type of deal. The reason the money is required is the fact that touring with a huge industry name i.e. Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake, will create massive exposure and a building fan base for the artist. The touring agencies know this very well and that is how they are able to close these types of deals.
Hint – Acts get paid to perform by the club or venue’s business model to SELL TICKETS and ALCOHOL. If they feel that booking the artist won’t do JUST that, they simply will not be paid to perform. This is why it is important for the artist to focus their energy on appearing on major platforms so they can be seen by a massive target audience to build confidence with the show and venue promoters. Follow this tactic and you WILL be contacted by paying customers who will compensate you for your performance services.

2. Do Not Pay ANYONE with a Western Union or MoneyGram Transfer: One of the easiest ways to spot a music industry scam is to find out the companies “method of payment”. If the company you are dealing with is offering “Too Good To Be True” type of deals and pressuring the compensation through a Western Union or MoneyGram transaction….WALK AWAY. Thieves and Scammers prefer these types of Payment methods because they know you will not be able to retrieve the funds once sent.
Legitimate companies in the industry will be willing to provide you with a services invoice or contract and accept monetary transactions that are traceable i.e. PayPal, Major Credit Card. Therefore if any problems arise the company representatives will be willing to delegate and resolve any disputes. However some music producers and artists do prefer the old-school method of “cash”, just make sure you know the trusted source, have a receipt or invoice/contract and meet them in person if all possible before spending money.

3. Do Not Pay Just To Get Advice: There are many, many consultants out there who charge musicians an hourly rate for the privilege of receiving basic (at best) or bad (at worst) advice. This is not money well spent, and it could send you down the wrong road in terms of reaching your goal.
Ian Martin had a great quote when he said, “Music executives should want to grant you free advice because it will only help with the overall goal of negotiating a fruitful deal for both parties. “

4. Do Not Pay for Industry Contacts: There are numerous websites that promote the sale of “Music Industry Contacts and Record Labels”. Artists can purchase the material if they choose to but will run the risk of the content not being “up to date” or even valid. Besides, industry executives and A&R’s typically want to approach the artist not the other way around. These major labels do NOT take unsolicited material. This means that if the content they are providing is not taken through the doors of a label through a trusted source it most likely will not reach the right hands. Waste of time move on.

5. Do Not Pay Non Exclusive or Exclusive rights for production: We see a lot of artists that come to us with beats purchased on popular beat websites like “Soundclick and Beatsplanet.com”. These sites connect up and coming producers with up and coming artists, sounds great right? Even though this seems like a match made in heaven, to a music executive it is a NIGHTMARE.

First off, when purchasing the non exclusive right to a track it is basically the same thing as renting a house with roommates. You are allowed to stay in the house, but you also have to share the house with the thousands of other artists that pay rent as well. Purchasing the exclusive rights to a track means that you are the only one that is allowed to rent the house. At the end of the day YOU DON’T OWN THE HOUSE. The master recording, or “final compilation” of an artists music, is what creates value for the artist and the record label. If the artist doesn’t own the master than they are NOT in control and the producer will make out with most of the royalties and credit for THEIR work.

Second off, if you DO purchase the exclusive rights to the track, what about all the other artists that purchased the track non-exclusively before you? They are just all of a sudden supposed to send the beat back to you? No, these artists are still writing lyrics to the songs, performing them, COPYRIGHTING THEM, and submitting them to record labels and talent agencies such as ours. We would be billionaires if we had a dollar every time we heard multiple artists submit the SAME BEAT! Try to find relevant producers with credentials.

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