The Business of Music

By May 31, 2016September 20th, 2018Creative Business, Entertainment Industry


I’m delighted to be talking at APRA AMCOS this week along with Hugh Sanson, one of our senior accountants here at Generate. We’ll be tackling the 20 most common business questions faced by musicians. It’s a topic close to our hearts, because our company has a long and happy history of working with some of the music industry’s brightest and best.

Music is, in some ways, one of the creative industries which is easiest to turn into a commercial offer: you perform music or record and distribute music for a fee. Just add customers.

DOWNLOAD our free tax guide for musicians.

In practice, it’s far more challenging to make a decent living out of your music. Our talk at APRA AMCOS will be aimed at those musicians who are starting out, but a lot of the things we’ll be talking about will be applicable to those who have been plying their musical trade for a while.

Here are a few of things we’ll be covering:

  • Having the right structure in place: sole traderships, partnerships, companies, and trusts can all be valid business structures for musicians, but choosing one which is fit for purpose is crucial.
  • Generating regular income: establishing a good set of regular gigs can be a good way of providing regular cash, with ad hoc gigs and income from music sales offering added income in peaks and troughs. Identifying where you have the potential to earn regular reliable money can provide the financial spine to a musician’s business.
  • Sales and marketing: a crucial point, which creatives often neglect. But identifying how your music can help solve a customer’s problem can make the sales process easier. ‘Can I play at your pub?’ is a lot less appealing than ‘I can attract customers to your pub by playing music, and increase their spend by making them want to stick around’.
  • Building a community around you: if you’re selling music, it’s much easier to sell to a community of connected fans than it is to try attracting sales from all and sundry. Savvy use of social media can help you build followers and give you a customer base to concentrate your efforts on.
  • Good management: when to employ people to represent your interests is a critical question. Agents and managers can help guide and promote you, but it’s important to understand that these relationships work both ways. Each party has responsibilities and understanding those can help those partnerships last and be mutually beneficial.
  • Finance and taxation: being on top of your record keeping and knowing what you can and can’t claim is important. We’ll talk a lot about this on the night, but we also have a great free guide you can download here.

Not an APRA AMCOS member? No problem. Why not ask a question via Twitter and we’ll answer it via a blog post.

If you’ve got issues in your business you don’t seem to be able to get on top of, why not get in touch? Not only do we provide a full suite of bookkeeping and tax services here at Generate, but we’re also able to help with business coaching, strategy workshops, business plans and much more. You name the problem and I’m sure we can help.