09 January - 2013
International Music Deals By: Help For Bands, 0 Comments

Maybe you’re looking for international music deals with publishers, labels, or a brand sponsorship.  Maybe you’re looking to expand where you perform and build new audiences. This is about getting deals in different territories, where they can be obtained and what to do once you have the meeting.

What is Midem?

In the middle of January, the world’s music community gather together in the South of France for Midem. Midem (Marché International du Disque et de l’Edition Musicale) began in 1967 and is the largest trade fair for the music industry. It’s a real diverse mix of people and companies from all areas of the music industry.

Types of participants who attend include:

  • Artist managers.
  • Labels (of all sizes from small independents to the majors such as Universal) Distributors.
  • Producers.
  • Publishers.
  • Tour managers.
  • Accountants and lawyers.
  • Festival bookers, venue bookers (Live Nation).
  • Promotions / PR people.
  • Journalists.
  • Brands (such as Coca-Cola, Swarovski, Durex, Heineken, HTC, Ford, Nike).
  • Brand Agencies (Grey Group).
  • Games Makers (Activision).
  • Stores (Apple iTunes, Google Music, Amazon, Deezer, etc.).
  • Technology companies (Sound Cloud, Topspin).

The appeal of international music deals are very exciting. It’s not unheard of for an artist to have little success at home but make a wonderful musical living overseas. The music industry is not just about managers, labels and publishers, there are so many more important partners. So if you want international music deals, there really isn’t a better place to be.

The music industry was a different place before  2000 and deals were so much easier to obtain.  Today in 2013, any company looking to make a deal with an artist has to be much more careful.

How Do you Get a Deal?

Being on the pitch is a great start to being a part of the game, but it’s not enough to win. So what do you need to get a label deal or publishing deal?

We’ve been attending Midem for years so we’re familiar with what companies look for before offering a deal. So what important information do you need to tell them?

  1. A small amount of information about your background and how you got to where you are now. It’s important you keep this to the point and not tell long stories about your childhood.
  2. What releases have you done? Do you have sales sheets for these releases?
  3. What gigging and tours do you do? Where do you do it? Do you have any previous, current and future tour schedules to hand?
  4. What press, radio and TV do you achieve or have achieved?
  5. Do you have a music video and a live video they can see?
  6. How pro-active are you with your fans and in gaining new fans? Do you have thousands of fans on social media and do you speak to them daily?
  7. Why do you want a deal in a particular country? Do you have a lot of fans from there and can you back it up with reports from Facebook etc?
  8. What sort of deal are you looking for?
  9. What are you offering (e.g. all recorded music plus future or just one album etc.).

The above applies to all meetings, not just label or publishers meetings, but meetings with gaming companies or brands. Before anybody invests in you they want to know what your fan reach is and how hard you work.

Some Final Advice

A meeting may only last 15 to 30 minutes, so you need to keep your information to the point. It’s best to keep it professional and business-like. You need to be friendly too as business is about building good relationships. However, you don’t have much time for chit-chat so find a balance between being friendly and approachable vs. being professional and giving precise information.

Finally make sure you have done your homework on the companies you’re seeking international music deals with. Does the company deal with the music you have for example?  Do they have history in your field?