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The future of the music industry in 2017 and beyond.

What was the biggest challenge that musicians faced promoting their music in 2016?

Clutter was one of the biggest challenge for artists in 2016. Too many singers, too many rappers, too many bands, and not enough uniqueness! Uniqueness is an artist’s greatest asset. Uniqueness is not just being different, it is being relevant. To find uniqueness, open your eyes to the world.

Ask yourself these questions:

Where are things now and where are they going?

What need can you fill that no one is currently filling?

Can this unfilled need be your niche?

Determine if you have the strengths to follow this opportunity and if it is aligned with your vision. Uniqueness truly is the artist’s greatest asset. Remember this, gang! You must lead with your heart and art first. If you are an artist, you must find a way to stand out. I’m not talking about being weird, just different and relevant.

Why should artists approach their careers like entrepreneurs or tech start-ups?

Artists are businesses. They are their own company. Most investors today (labels, publishers, etc.) want to see progress in artists first. With all the tools and info, there is no excuse for an artist not to create some noise first. No one will save you! Save yourselves! You want this career? Take it! This may be a long-term endeavor, but if you love music, that shouldn’t matter.

Just be sure to measure your marketing, and make sure that what you are doing is really working! Don’t throw good money after bad money. If something is not working, figure out way and fix it or move on. It is difficult to do that if you are blending in with what someone else has already created before you. If what you are doing is working, then stick with it. Furthermore, always be open to exploring other possibilities.

How should artists leverage their intellectual property into alternate revenue streams in 2017?

If you are talented enough to create your own music (composition and charts), remember a song is an asset that can generate money in film, games, commercials, documentaries, and more. But first: Look at your product (the song) and all the various product line expansions. It’s about INNOVATION! Here are some examples:

Instrumental: Have a mix without the lyrics and you have yet another product to market.

Translation version: Sing the song in another language.
Unplugged version: Have an acoustic version of the song to create new licensing opportunities.

Live version: Create a live version of the song.

Create a manuscript of your song to create yet another product.
Write a lyric book with explanations of the inspiration behind your works.

Develop merchandising (t-shirts) based on cool phrases from your songs.

Release the recorded STEMS of your songs so fans can remix them and share.

For licensing, think out of the box. For one client we approached an MMA fighter and the client wrote his theme music for when he entered the ring.

Approach small businesses and write their jingles.

Hang out at film festivals and meet directors.

Approach college and documentary filmmakers.

Don’t just go for the “home run” BIG publishing deals. As the industry changes, these opportunities are far and in between, and require special packaging.

Jay LeVert
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Where's My Refund Check?

LeVert and Associates, Inc.

How to Use the IRS “Where's My Refund?” Tool

This IRS YouTube video walks taxpayers through the steps of how to use the IRS “Where’s my refund?” tool. The online tool gives personalized up to date tracking information on a refunds’ status. Nine out of 10 refunds are issued within 21 days when sent electronically and using direct deposit.

LeVert and Associates, Inc.
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