MYnstrel responds to Artists’ most common questions

After listening closely to the artists who we’ve had the privilege to interact with, MYnstrel has answered the most frequently asked questions on their minds:

  1. I’m a passionate musician/vocalist. I love music, but I’ve never thought about the music business. Why should I care about the music business?
    • This is a fantastic question. You shouldn’t have to think about the music business, unless you love music so much that you’d like to make money from all of your hard work and dedication. What did you do with that money the club paid you last weekend? Did you figure out how you could use it to grow your band? Do you have a plan to get yourself to the next level?
    • If you can’t support yourself and put food on your table with music, then it’s not going to be much of a career for you, and you’ll always have to put music on the backburner while you work to support yourself in another way. Many artists don’t even know all of the different ways they can make money with music – and truly make a career out of it.
    • MYnstrel will provide you with much needed help, products, and services so that you can make the most out of your music – while still maintaining artistic integrity. One of MYnstrel’s largest impacts will be maximizing artistic freedom while helping artists to improve their own personal business results. We’re here to help you make the most out of your music.
  2. I think that I can make it big. My only plan is to give music a shot and hopefully get signed to a major record label when somebody finally ‘notices’ me. Are you saying that’s not a great plan if I want a career in music?
    • Actually, that’s a terrible plan if you want to make a career in music. We won’t say that it’s impossible, but that plan is a lot like playing the lottery. If you think that getting signed to a major label is tough, you should learn about what happens after you get signed to a major.
    • For decades, some players in the music business have taken advantage of young musicians who are just coming off of parental support, have stars in their eyes about the possibilities of ‘getting signed to a label’, and haven’t given their careers too much thought.
    • The contracts are signed. To the record label, it’s a subsidized gamble. To the young and hopeful artist, it’s a chance at stardom. The problem is that many artists don’t quite understand the actual chances of winning the game. For the vast majority of artists, it turns out to be a delusion of grandeur.
    • So the reality of ‘getting signed’ is much different from popular perception. Only 5% of major record label deals make their money back on an album. Only 2.5% of albums cut a profit every year. That means even when you get signed, the odds are against you – most likely you’ll net zero dollars, and spend around five years of your life bound legally to a corporation. Typically you have to sell around 250,000 copies of your major album to recoup the money that the label used to record your album and promote you – and as we said before, 95% of the new releases do not achieve this simple benchmark, and another 2.5% might recoup the costs but make no profit.
    • What do you do when you’re one of the 97.5% of major-label artists who couldn’t make money? What’s worse, it’s likely that your talent and passion have nothing to do with this sad probability. Why are these numbers so staggering to a hopeful musician? Where are the problems sourcing from? Why are some of the best new artists here today, but gone in 5 years, dropped from the labels? MYnstrel knows. We’re here to fix the problems like this. We’re here to show the industry better paths to success for everyone involved.
  3. So the strategy of playing the local scene, cutting a demo, and trying to get signed to a major isn’t a likely winner. Can you tell me at least a little about MYnstrel’s strategy that you’ll bring to the music industry?
    • One of MYnstrel’s innovations is providing an appropriate level of business support to every aspiring artist. We think that increasing the level of fairness and merit-driven rewards will not only make being a musician easier and happier day-to-day, but it will increase the quality of music as a whole.
    • We want to support you. We want to inform you. We want to protect you. We want to give you the best chance at fulfilling your potential as a musician. Our philosophy is to empower you to reach your full potential.
    • The first step is for you to start thinking about your career in music.
    • It’s difficult for artists today. MYnstrel is here to demystify the realities and make them easy to understand. MYnstrel is here to make your career as an artist satisfying and rewarding.
    • Our strategy didn’t come from a corporate retail conglomerate. Our strategy isn’t an exact copy of major record label mentalities. Our strategy isn’t a naïve (though well-intentioned) “us against the system” start up. We developed our strategy for aspiring artists like you who want to use a music business system they believe in, control, and define for themselves. We used all the industry knowledge available from all the players in the industry to do this. We took the good things from all of the players, and left out the bad things that leave artists and fans on the bottom.
  4. I understand why the music business is important to me as an artist if I want to make a living with music. What kind of changes and innovations has MYnstrel planned, and what can I do right now with MYnstrel?
    • We’ve invented new technologies from every angle – stuff you haven’t yet dreamed of. We’ve created new business avenues that are aligned for the self-sufficient musician. We’ve made partnerships with other players in the business to make the most out of everyone’s strengths – and bring the benefits of these improvements to you and your music.
    • We can’t divulge explicit details, or else some of our less-than-friendly competitors may steal them, and hurt the community by messing up the implementation. We’d also like the MYnstrel community and team to get full credit for its innovations and hard work, rather than have them scavenged by others. We’ve definitely seen our share of competition, and it increases our confidence every year we see competitors putting out features and products that aren’t even close to the bright future we’ve invented at MYnstrel.
    • Your best way to stay up to date is to visit our Artists’ homepage by clicking on “Artists” at the top menu of this site, and enjoy browsing through the items we have created in that Artists’ menu.
  5. I’m discouraged because I’m not making much money on iTunes and with other ‘online music retail’ gimmicks. Is that the same kind of thing MYnstrel has planned?
    • We understand your pain. Remember, the original founders of MYnstrel invented it because they are musicians themselves who want a better way. Music retail is a huge portion of your potential income as an artist. It’s not the only one. It all depends on what you’re doing as an artist.
    • What’s worse, the music retailers are still trying to achieve mass-effect using mass-marketing techniques. This is fundamental to the underlying philosophy of any retailer. As an aspiring musician, it leaves your music products in the dark – just another one of the 69,000 albums released every year that won’t get any advertising and won’t reach the right people who would love them. The retailer could care less whether or not 0.42% of all albums released per year account for 56% of their sales, and whether or not 0.14% of all albums released per year get any radio play (those were the sobering figures as of 2006). The monotony of product choice doesn’t impact the retailer’s profits, so long as they’re pushing sales volume. But MYnstrel believes that over the course of time, these iniquities DO impact the art and business of music negatively. MYnstrel is the first company to invent real solutions to these problems.
    • When our online product comes out of Research and Development, you’ll no longer have to be disappointed with music retailers who just don’t have the capabilities to make your product sell as you expect, because they use indifferent retail systems that don’t seek to elevate the art and business of music.
  6. Why did you think of MYnstrel? What motivates the leadership of MYnstrel from their perspective as artists?
    • The short story? The original founders of MYnstrel have been aspiring musicians since they were in elementary school. Throughout their rigorous studies and careers, they have nourished their understanding and passion for music and the business of music.
    • MYnstrel CEO Tommy Kurek says, “The music industry has been in trouble for a number of years. I see that nothing is getting better – the big players are trying new things that won’t work. I believe in a music industry where artistry is king and business is good and efficient. I don’t believe that Artists can reach their full potential if they have to hold other jobs to support themselves. MYnstrel will increase the ability of Artists to become full-time musicians if they want to, and support musicians during any phase of their career or goals. Improving business is an important part of improving the art.”
    • MYnstrel founders wanted to get their own music to the public – but not in the ways that the music industry has developed. MYnstrel founders believe that it’s time for an overhaul.
  7. How is MYnstrel different from a major record label? How is MYnstrel different from other ‘new-music’ organizations?
    • MYnstrel is different from a major record label in too many ways to describe here. Most importantly, MYnstrel’s philosophy is that you are our partner. We won’t seize lifetime contractual control over your band, your image, your music, and your art. We won’t tell you what to do. We won’t tell you which artists you CAN and CANNOT collaborate with. We won’t tell you what your songs should sound like. We won’t keep you hostage to a contract that is not in your best interest.
    • The difference between MYnstrel and other ‘new-music’ organizations is that MYnstrel has taken an academic and rational approach to the business. Some of our competitors have an attitude of “us against the world.” Others are not real music companies, but are trying to use music to slightly expand their already-gargantuan enterprises. Others are led by people who aren’t on the inside of music and couldn’t tell you objective reasons why a particular song is masterful if they tried. MYnstrel doesn’t think that these companies will get the music industry to where it needs to be.
    • We have analyzed the music industry, independent record labels, and major record labels. We’ve figured out what major record labels have done well for so long, and what they have done wrong for a long time. We’ve taken lessons from everyone. We threw out the bad, saved the good, and then invented new things that no one else has thought of. The result is MYnstrel – poised to be the strongest new music company in the world!
  8. My band got signed to a major record label, but was dropped. How is MYnstrel going to give me a better chance at succeeding?
    • You are in luck. You already have a fan base that is typically much larger than other bands that have not yet been signed to a major record label. If you’re free of all contractual obligations to the record label that dropped you, now you can cut your costs, make great music, and sell it to your loyal fans.
    • You’ll need a capable partner to do this well. You’ll need a partner who can make the business easy for you and give you technologies that maximize your sales and minimize your costs. You’ll need a partner who’ll put that pristine major-label sheen on your products to give your fans high quality experiences that they’ve come to expect.
    • MYnstrel will do these things for you and so much more. We are the only company capable of bringing new solutions and technologies to market every single year to help Artists in any situation.
  9. Do I have to be in a band to be a MYnstrel artist?
    • MYnstrel has all Artists in their thoughts and plans. Whether you are part of a band, an independent commercial jig composer, or a new budding Artist who would like to join a great community of Artists and make connections, MYnstrel welcomes and encourages you to join us!
    • We will always listen to your voice and engineer new products to make your activities in the music industry (whatever they are) easier and more satisfying.
  10. Why is MySpace and Facebook (social networking) not enough for marketing my band?
    • Social Networking sites like MySpace and Facebook are great tools for your marketing strategy. MYnstrel recommends using these tools extensively today. We also recommend that you view them as supplements (and not total solutions) to your overall strategy for getting your music out there.
    • Social Networking sites are made for socializing and are not specialized for music; nor will they ever be, so long as those companies are not 100% focused on music like MYnstrel is. The Social Networking companies get their money from foot traffic and advertising. This makes them an ideal partner for anyone trying to market things, but it mandates a totally different business focus than a true music company like MYnstrel has.
    • MYnstrel’s products and services, and new technologies will provide the complete solution for all of your needs in marketing your band. Integration with Social Networking partners is just a small piece of that total solution.