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Published on April 9th, 2020 | by Jerry Doby


7 Things Musicians Can Do While Off the Road, Creatively and Financially

Re-post Courtesy of Sound Royalties

The live music industry has been derailed by COVID-19. Musicians who depend on live shows as a primary source of income are off the road indefinitely. In the meantime, what can music creatives do with this unexpected down time to keep their career momentum going?

Below are seven recommendations and resources for staying productive, including information on a new, no-cost funding option established in response to the crisis by specialty music finance company Sound Royalties.

1. Examine your royalty streams and update registrations.

Take some time to make sure you and your songs are fully registered so you are collecting the royalties you’re entitled to. If you are not registered with a Performance Rights Organization (ASCAP, BMI, SESAC) for public performance royalties, call them. If your songs aren’t registered with SoundExchange, you’re missing out on digital steaming royalties. Do your research, invest the time, get registered or find someone to help you. Not sure where to start? Check out the resource guide “50 Income Streams All Music Creatives Should Know About”.

2. Create a digital marketing campaign.

Fans are looking for ways to stay connected with artists. An attention-getting social media campaign, possibly supplemented by targeted pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, could stimulate merch and memorabilia sales when you really need the income.

3. Write.

Take advantage of a clear schedule and let the creativity flow. It may be a song you’ve been meaning to finish, a new vibe that needs nurturing, or inspiration from these strange times we are living in. You are a creator. Flex your writing muscle and put pen to paper, whether it’s a few pages of notes, or the sing-along chorus of your next barroom anthem. There is no better investment you can make.   

4. Record.

Studio time can be expensive, but recording can also be done on a budget. Whether you go all out with a producer, engineer and studio tech or go the DIY route in your basement or garage, getting tracks down can deliver magical results. You’re in the content business, so turn this time off the road into time well spent making those new, soon-to-go-viral tracks.

5. Produce video content.

Content is king, and video is the crown jewel. Like recording, there are a myriad of ways to approach this creative medium to excite and engage fans. Video can also be an alternative to the live experience in the wake of cancelled dates. Consider producing a short concert on video, whether on a club stage or an alternative setting, and either monetize with a fee to download or thrill your fans by making it free on Instagram like Chris Martin from Coldplay. You can also consider streaming an acoustic set from your home, offering a stripped-down take on your craft.

6. Research music relief funds.

MusicCares, Music Foundation and many other non-profits, associations and city or state entities have set up emergency financial relief funds for music creatives and artists impacted by COVID-19. The ASCAP award-winning website I Care if You Listen has compiled a comprehensive list of resources 

7. Invest in yourself by financing your own projects.

As streaming has emerged as the most dynamic way for creatives to promote their music, more artists are electing to act as their own record label and self-finance their careers. Whether you self-produce and self-distribute or enlist professional help, funding is critical. With income from live shows put on hold, Sound Royalties is offering music creators a zero-cost cash advance funding option to help ease the burden (information below).


A $20 million response to help music creators. 

On March 16, Sound Royalties established a $20 million fund to offer a no-cost financing option to any new application that qualifies. Songwriters, performers and producers with royalty income can apply for an interest-free cash advance with one-year repayment terms and no closing cost or fees of any kind. More information is available here or by calling 888-987-3224.

About the Author

Editor-in-Chief of The Hype Magazine, and internationally published arts & entertainment journalist. Member of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture as well as the United States Press Corps.

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