Academic Paper Sessions

Saturday 10:15-11:15
Presentation of Academic Papers 8 (Terrace C)
Bruce Ronkin, Moderator

Business Plans for the 21st Century Musician

Mark Carpentieri
Assistant Professor
Five Towns College


     Making a living as a musician has never been easy and today it may be more difficult than ever. Record sales have plummeted from 13.7 billion dollars in 2001 to 6.8 billion in 2010.  States, cities and arts councils are reducing money towards public concerts as budgets have been slashed. These facts may seem daunting to the prospective or current musician yet for truly talented artists there are best practices that can help develop a successful career. The key is creating a music business plan and that will reach out and connect with all publics that will affect success of a musician.

     Creating and following a music business plan is integral to the success of any musician. This paper discusses best practices for constructing a media-centric business plan and to articulate it to maximize its affect to all publics. For musicians who create their own music I have identified five important publics:

1. Fans - People who buy artists' music, come to artists' shows and tell other people about artists.
2. Media - newspapers, magazines, blogs who would review artists' music and/or list artists' performances to inform fans.
3. Radio - These are broadcast, satellite, and on-line stations that play artists' music and will introduce it to potential fans.
4. Music supervisors - People who place music into film, TV and games, leading to income.
5. Talent buyers - These are people who actually book musicians to perform at clubs, coffeehouses, etc.

    This paper will articulate specifically how media is created and delivered to these publics for maximum affect.  I discuss that using a systematic approach of creating media to appeal to these publics; the artist will have a better chance of having a career as a musician.

Mark Carpentieri’s musical career started in college radio in 1984. Since 1986 he has been a professional drummer having played with Hubert Sumlin, Pinetop Perkins, and Cindy Bullens to name a few. Carpentieri started M.C. Records in 1996 which has released over 35 recordings and has been nominated for five Grammy Awards. He has been nominated as producer, label, and musician and has produced such artists as Odetta, Madeleine Peyroux, Phoebe Snow, Susan Tedeschi, and The Holmes Brothers. Carpentieri is currently an Assistant Professor at Five Towns College where he teaches “Record Promotions and Broadcasting,” “Business Organization and Management”, and “Media Programming.” In 2011 he earned his MS in Media Arts and Journalism from Clarion University

In Today’s Recording Environment, Can an Independent Recording Artist Have as Equally
Successful a Career as a Major Label Recording Artist?

Rush Hicks
Assistant Professor, Belmont University

Jennifer Fowler
Assistant Professor, Belmont University

David Maddox
Assistant Professor, Belmont University


     The recording industry has suffered tremendously during the past five years in terms of reduced CD sales and digital piracy resulting in job layoffs and reduction of artist rosters.  Because it is still expensive to “break” an artist in any mainstream genre, do record labels avoid signing too many artists and does that translate to less artists who are marketed to the consumer?  Does it still make sense to actively pursue a major label recording contract or is the new artist better off by pursuing an independent record deal and/or marketing themselves directly to the consumer?  What’s the percentage of recording artists who are offered a major record label compared to those pursuing a recording contract in light of today’s music business climate?  Do we really know how many artists are no longer pursuing a recording contract, and instead focusing on alternative ways to establish or maintain their careers. (This research has been funded in part by a 2009 MEIEA Research Grant.)

© 2012 MEIEA Nashville TN