To Stream Or Not To Stream

To Stream Or Not To Stream - Should Artists Go Direct to Consumer?

In this episode of the Arkatech Beatz Music Business podcast, we're gonna be talking about to stream or not to stream, should artists be going directly to the consumer. And then also we're gonna be talking about the pros and cons of sponsorships and endorsements. What should artists be looking for when they get into that?

It's an episode you don't wanna miss. Let's watch it all the way to the end.

What's up everybody? What's up everybody? It's the Arkatech Beatz Music Business podcast. We are your host, platinum Producers. Arkatech Beatz. I am Jugrnaut. I am Mike Trauma D. And today, like we said, we're gonna be talking about to stream or to not to stream, right? Should artists be going directly to the consumer?

And the reason why we started to talk about that is because there are a lot of artists now who are starting to feel like. The business of streaming is not fair to artists because the rates are terrible. They've always been terrible. So we're gonna talk about how bad the rates are, and then what some artists are doing to combat that.

Some artists wanna go directly to consumer, just cut out the middleman, start to make their own money straight to it. So we wanna talk about that to see how independent artists and producers can benefit from that, from the idea of going to directly to consumer. What's the pros and what's the cons of that?

So let's jump into this. Mike D what's going on? All right.

All right. Well, lately on, on social media, we're starting to see some of that going on that, that conversation, some artists are saying, Hey, our music has been streaming and we're getting like, nothing for these streams.

Who negotiated those numbers? As a matter of fact, a little bit of history, when the internet when this whole streaming thing like popped off, the record labels and the distributors for the streamings, they had their own conversation to making decisions, deciding, how much should a artist get paid per stream?

And artists, producers were not included in those conversations. So when that happens, that you guys are getting the low end, so Jug when it takes, how many streams, how much stream does it take to even make $5,000, $10,000? Like, how much streams do you have to, to do

From my calculations and what it's been like, you need a little over a million streams to make 2000.

Oh, , if we're talking, if we're talking about Spotify. Okay. And I think that's a, that I think that's like a, I don't think anyone should quote me on that. . But you know, from what I've seen in terms of our own royalty situation, like you read about a million streams to collect somewhere about 2000.

Those numbers are, I mean, I don't know, man those numbers don't really sound all that great to me. And I'm sure you guys listening, it may not sound that great to you. So then the conversation starts to pop up. Well, listen then if we didn't negotiate that and that's what's in play.

and if your, your fans are real fans and they die hard and they rock with you, they'll have no problem with spending that, that money with you.

It's funny because I was talking to an artist earlier this week, independent, and they were talking about basically having their fans stream from their website.

And at first I, I thought about that and I said, okay, you could set it up two ways. You could stream it from your website, but that is kind of, inconvenient to a degree. Right. Especially when everything is in quote unquote all the streaming platforms. And then they were talking about maybe offering download to it.

You can download the songs, directly to your devices. Do people even do that anymore? I don't even know if that's even a thing anymore. Right, right. So, so it's like you said, it's kind of trying to create the, it's basically using the streaming platforms to get awareness out there and then trying to basically create another infrastructure.

where you can have direct to consumer interactions selling other things, like you said, merch maybe vinyls, maybe collectibles, like different type of things that maybe signed event tickets, so forth and so on. But this should have always been the model for all of these artists from the beginning.

All of these artists who've had like, like if we talking about specifically like a meek mill who wants to now go directly to consumer or wants to cut out the middle person, they should have been, they should have always had that going on. Right. I think we talked about it in the last episode. Ryan Leslie been talking about going to direct to consumer for years,


For years, this has been the thing that's kept him su that sustained him. So as to why other artists didn't adopt that or wasn't paying attention to it, or wasn't doing it simultaneously, wasn't using streaming. And then at the same time, collecting customer data is beyond me. You have to collect customer data.

You have to know who your consumers are so that you can build your own situation because. Remember what we're dealing with too. We're dealing with cancel culture, right? So if you say the wrong thing or you can tweet the wrong thing, you can get removed off a platform. So the only thing you would have is your own platform.

If you don't have a way to market to your consumers or your fans, you are out of the water totally outta the business.

Know what? But you know what jug it used to be? Your merch would promote your music. Yeah. Like you would have promo t-shirts, stickers and all sorts of items was to promote your music.

But now it's reversed. Now it's because the value of music the actual mp3 or the actual song, the value for some strange reason is deemed as much less. You have to use that as the promo item for other things. , you use that, you use your song as a promo item for promoting your clothing line, promoting any type of business that you may have.

Like these are just ways of promoting a bigger I would say asset that you have, a bigger business. Back in the days it was the other way around and it's crazy. It just flipped around. So,

But that's what that, that's what you're saying though. It's a pivot, right?

Where it used to be that way. It's not that way anymore. Now we use music to promote everything else, but let's look at it even on a deeper level, right? The platforms that we used to promote our music, Instagram Facebook, TikTok, YouTube, Pinterest, whatever, all of these platforms will pay you for your content to promote yourself.

Yeah. How do you lose.

right? So, so in a situation where you don't make the money in the streaming type of level, and if you promote yourself effectively on Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, those platforms will pay you for those views as well. You'd be paid to promote yourself.

So, and this is just one, and this is one area, because you gotta use that in conjunction with what we were saying earlier as far as, direct with consumer.

You don't need to have your own website and have all the things set up, but those

places would drive the traffic to your website. You see what I'm saying? Like, because those things are set up with, for those who don't know how to do it, okay? The way that you would do it is make sure that you put a link in your bio that would either be through a link tree, a stand store, or, there's different things that you can use Link in bio.

There's a system named Link Bio. You put your links in your bio. . And then you you promote your content on Instagram and every place else, TikTok shorts, whatever else. And that will drive people to your website. They can consume your music and then you can drive them to your website.

But again, you have to create a loop. And the loop is, you put the music out, you promote it on, you, promote it on platforms that will pay you, right? And then as you continue to do that, you'll continue to grow your audience. You'll continue to grow your fan base, and over time you'll be able to directly to directly market to your consumers.

Cause now, once you have the emails and so forth, when you have a new collection or if you have a new song or something that's out, you can send it to your folks first and they can get the leg up first. They can hear it before everybody else. ,

right? That's, yeah, that's why a lot of times when you you go to websites and a pop popup will come up about, oh, 10% off.

If you give us the email, like that's how important the email address is. As I know, sometimes it gets annoying, you trying to get to the free downloaders, whatever and a pop-up comes up. But it's very important that, as a business owner, you have that on your site because you want to get to know who is your customer.

You want to be able to get that email address so that whenever you have new merch or whatever it is, you can send the email to them and say, Hey, this is what I got. And get to know who your consumer is. And that's the beginning of that one-on-one thing that we're talking about.

Yeah. Cuz you definitely need to have that relationship so that you can market.

But when a person gives you that email, it's them giving you permission. Hey, reach out to me when you have something going on. Reach out to me, let me know what's going on. And don't be afraid of giving away. There's a power of free. Don't be afraid to give away. . And I think a lot of artists get caught up in, they're not giving away, you're not giving away enough value, for people to wanna give their information to you.

Yeah. You gotta start giving things up. Yeah. Some, giving some things away so that you can create that direct to consumer relationship, because without having that direct to consumer relationship, you're gonna find a very hard to survive. But we talked about it before, and I think we talked about it in the previous episode, where it's like, we don't, we, when you going direct the consumer, you don't need as much.

Right, right. You just need to have, you just need a handful of, loyal consumers that just, they like what you do. They rock with you. They find value in what you do. They respect what you do, and they will support you. They just, they like you as an individual. They like your craft.

And they're like, you know what? I'm gonna, I'm gonna support this person. This person's give, been giving me some jewels or been giving me some heat. You're like, Ju on, on the reel. There's a handful of producers that do some very good B packs that, that, they're doing it right, the right way.

And that will always support because they're doing it the right way. They're reaching out, they're giving out a couple of free samples, getting you like, so, and that, and not some corny sample, for example, like real good free samples that you're like, wow, this person is really giving you some good things.

And after that you're like, you know what, man, I'm gonna I'm gonna spend my money with this person because this person is going on and beyond. To reach out to you, to make sure you're good, that you got the tools you need. Giving you the, maybe the free merch every so often, giving you discounts on, every holidays or birthdays or something.

They is you getting an email about, Hey, this is just for us, like, Stuff like that goes a long way. And so, yeah, I have no problem with spending my money with people who's doing things like that and

basically creating a community behind it at the same time, because that's how it starts to feel.

It starts to feel like, Hey, you're part of an exclusive group that's getting an inside look to some of the best products. Or, getting it first and then getting it a discount, and I think that's also important is to understand the whole business of, free giving discounts, upselling, kind of understanding how to bundle, right?

Like all of these things that to kind of help you to continue to keep that sales funnel. Keep it going. And I think we may have to have a separate episode on a sales funnel, just so folks can kind of understand, like, listen, like this is a whole, this is a whole thing that you have to kind of get yourself accustomed to as a artist that's going direct to consumer.

Like we have to talk about your landing page. What do people see first when they get on your website? How do you collect the customer's data? And then how do you make your offers, right? And how often are you gonna market? And these are all important things just to make sure that you're able to create a, an ecosystem for yourself and artists like a meek mill.

Now if he goes direct to consumer and if he does it the right way, he'll never have to look back.


Like I, I think his fan base is big enough. Yeah. If it's a, if it is, his music is good enough, like, it's not a situation where he is giving you, trash music. So if he's not giving you any garbage and he's, given everything direct to consumer, if it's everything, meaning it's the music, the videos, and the merchant.

Yeah. If you create this ecosystem where you go to the consumer first. Cause some people used to do it that way too, where I think was Kanye doing it that way, where he was releasing it to his fans first. And then it would go to the streaming platforms later.

He was released into one platform specifically.

Okay. Cause he was tied into that platform. Right. And then, and they'll get it first and then , it became a thing for a quick minute, where certain pla streaming platforms got it a week ahead. And if you're tied into that platform or, have some sort of ownership or whatever the case or whatever.

So it helped 'em in that way, so that was cool for, in itself. But that's a good example of just, if you're in, you get the benefits. And I think what artists need to do is just making music is not good enough by itself. You have to add benefits, to it.

Like, have, look how on your side, a bunch of different types of merch, from coffee mugs to bandanas to, to tickets, to books, to. To, signings to, limited vinyls, limited CDs, even do collectible cassettes as some old school kind of vibe, that glass case, whatever.

Like, they're just so much things that, with this hip hop culture, we're so good at just, wanting to have like memorabilia, like, just like a piece of culture, a piece of artwork. And there's just so many things that you can use to just create that. Like, I love what Rayquan was doing with the purple tape.

Or it's classic, oh my God, with the, you have the glass box with the purple tape, or, a pair of Wutang sneakers in a glass box and with a limited supply of, I

think he was the thing with like Dior, right? Like, it was like D Purple Dior, something like that. Like

what, , like stuff like that is, is dope and people are paying hundred, a hundred dollars, $200, whatever, just to have that.

And that's, those things are such a dope piece to put in your man cave, or to, or just to put in the crib, just to have, and this is the business to do it in, man. If you have that fan base, man, you should get started. Like, cause that's a no-brainer.

It really is.

I think we should talk more about that, like, what are some of the ideas in terms of, the things that artists should be looking to offer. Like, it is so many things that you should be doing to offer right now. It's like, it's crazy. It's like, it's crazy and it's like if you have your, if your website is set up the right way and if you're connected the way that it should be connected, cuz all your website should be connected to a print on demand service.

right? Where you can basically create all of the things that you talked about. Marks pens, bandanas bags, dare I say, purses, right? Because, people are wearing those now. What else? What

else? But also it's like, right now, there's so many right now, people are like artists.

They throw out a lot of clothes too, as they wear 'em, they throw 'em out on some, trying to be always super fresh with the ladies. So they throw out a lot of clothes and like, some of those items could be in a nice glass box and just so sent to a, not even sold in arcade, some cases.

In some cases it could be free, a free, mill wore this hat at the summer, whatever, like, and send it out to a to someone who's already. Like a fan who's already signed up, sent that out.

So, so you basically, you basically, that's all on you. You just created a whole new line right there.

You created a whole new line of revenue for folks. Folks don't even realize that. So basically you taking, like the sports jersey that's been worn or the sneakers that have been worn by the artist, by the athlete that people used to take and sell and resell and do that, and so forth and so on.

It's that artists who are established can take the clothes that are, that they rocked out, that they rocked, that may have been custom, that may have been whatever. Yeah. Maybe sign it. Sign it. Right. And then resell those out. Or even give those away as giveaways. Give for fast memorabilia. Right. Man, man, that man, that's genius right there.

Hold on. I gotta give a clap for that. I gotta get a clap for that. People gotta understand you just gave them the jewel, like that's a jewel, like. But this is the way we have to start thinking in 2023, right? And beyond. It's like, it's in, in the independent artist standpoint, there are so many people that you have to compete with.

Like, look what you gotta compete with. You have to compete on so many different levels. Like you have to offer more. Like it is what it is. It's like, it's not what it used to be. In our case, we have to offer more. Like, okay, we offered a production, we offered a consultant, we offered the professional reviews, we offered the podcast, the books are coming, we have to offer more.

It's not what it used to be. In, in situation where you can just create music and that's it. For the for some folks it is like that for other folks who have to branch out and you have to pivot and you have to put yourself in different arenas in order to make sure that, you're maximizing.

So I don't think it's more of a one thing like streaming or. Not to stream. I don't think it's one or the other. I think it is something that it could be done simultaneously, because the streaming is going to allow to reach areas that you may not normally be able to get to.

Because there's certain artists that I would've never heard of if I, if they weren't streaming. Let's just be for real. Like, your music gets to places very far across the, around the world. So streaming does have its benefits, you know what I'm saying? It does have its benefits and I don't want to knock streaming, I just think that if you're going to if you're going to, stream, I think you need to do it in with, along like other things that we are talking about.

I agree with that. I think that to, there isn't a, I don't think you have a choice to not stream in this day and age, right?

I think you would be you're cutting off so much of a segment of the population that could be hearing. what everybody else is hearing or what everybody else like, like this is the reason why your fans love you. Right? If you have fans that love you there's something about your music that if it gets to the right people, it's gonna resonate.

That's the whole point of streaming. The thing is that what do you create behind the streaming? Like you said, like these things should always be done in tandem. It shouldn't be done, it shouldn't be done in a situation where it's like, I'm just streaming and I'm not doing nothing else, and vice versa, or I'm doing the other stuff and I'm not streaming.

Yeah. It's like

You're streaming. You, the music that streams should be looked at as an ad. Yes. Like any song that you make, you should think of it as an ad that when you put it on a streaming survey, it's an ad, so when that person hears that music or the content that's in that music, it should revert back to you and something, you should have something to back that up.

Yeah. Whether it's a shirt with the, with some of the song lyrics. Maybe it's the topic. in the song has relates to something that, an item that you have. I mean, this is some free jewels here, guys. I'm just going off the top of my head with some content that you guys can just pick up, but it has to be used to get you to over here, which is your website and all other things that you want to grab your consumer. It's

funny because you said the music is an ad for you, right? You are the product, like you are the brand, like the music is for you, like for them to see you.

And I, I think too often what we're seeing is that people have music output. All they got is social media accounts.

Because what the problem is that they're just they're still thinking that the music is the product. The music is not the product. And I think we have to, to fix that.

I think we gotta change that way of thinking because it has always been before that music was the product. But no, that's not the case anymore. Right? Music is not the product. Music is the promotional vehicle to move you to what you got, what's the product, so you gotta set up something else so that the music could drive you to that.

And that has to be the value.

Say it again man. Cause a lot of people realize, like you guys are living on social media and thinking that social media is where it is and it's not where it is.

You need more, you gotta have real product. And the music alone is not the product. Your music is your, is your ad.

And then social media will trick you. And I think we talked about this last week too, like where it say it'll make you feel like you got followers, but followers aren't fans. And some fans ain't consumers. .

So, so to kind of eliminate that whole thing, you need to have that website, you need to have that, that email capture, and you need to communicate with your target audience and have that a good dialogue back and forth.

You sh as an artist, you should know who your consumer is in every city. You should know that you shouldn't have a spreadsheet somewhere with everyone's name, their email address, and what city they're in. So that when you go into that person's city, you can send them a text, you can send 'em an email, Hey, I'm coming out to your city.

Come through Rock that, rock, that shirt I sent you for free. You know what I'm saying? I got some backstage passes for you cuz you've been supported, you've been on my site. Purchasing items. Purchasing items. You purchased five items last week. Yo you good over here? You coming, you back backstage.

We going chop it up. I got more merch from you when you come back. Like, they're

not treating it that way,

bro. When I'm done with this fitted hat, I'm giving it directly to you. They're not

treating, not, they're not treating it that way, man. They're treating the fans like pariahs,


Nah, man. You gotta treat 'em like, yo, like a board of directors. Like we on the board together and we

own part of your company. Yeah. And we, and we keeping you afloat. Like you have to realize that we got stock in you. Like we've invested in you damn near.

Like, I don't think artists look at it like that. Like, listen, like, like you said, like these folks are investors. They're part of the board of directors. They have been invested in your career from the beginning, and you have to treat them with a little bit more dignity and respect because they're the ones that really afford you your life step.

Like I think if more people took, if they thought about that, on that scale. Like, think about what you're talking about here. These are people that we're treating like stockholders in our company. In the brand of you. Right? So they're stockholders in the brand of you.

Why aren't we treating these folks with more, why aren't we giving them more? Because Yeah, at the end of the day, how many people are rapping? How many people singing, how many people dancing?

Everybody. Everybody.

Come on, everybody. You gotta stand out. And you have to give people the reason to keep coming back.

And that's the reality of a situation. And like, that's the reality of the situation. I, a lot of folks ain't built for this man, not for long term. Yeah.

You gotta, as a artist, you gotta treat your consumers as shareholders, and you gotta take care. And if you do anything about business, you gotta take care of your shareholders.

It's gonna be a problem, man. Listen. Go as far as inclu, including them in certain decisions you're gonna make. That's real too. Like just do it just like a real business with shareholders. Send out in the email, oh, we have no vote on, on, on which city to perform next. Or we have no vote or what style sweaters that we should drop.

Which album cover, which album covers, which

ones do y'all like, when should we drop? Should we drop on Christmas? Should we drop on, new Year's Day? Like what's, like you said, like that's really dope making because now the fans are involved, the consumers are involved, like, this is all about the community building and I think what's his name talks about this, at a great length.

Gary v talks about community building. This is now the new situation for business is you have to build a community within your business. If you don't have a community within your business, it's like you can't really thrive. And I think you see examples of that when you're dealing with high value products like Apple.

There is a community behind this. There's a community of people that are going to buy what comes out no matter what, because it's, it is now a community of people. It's now a culture of of consumer. Right. Right. And once you kind of create that, how do you lose? Yeah. So, so, so we, you have to start looking in those kind of, in that kind of vein.

Like this is where we at put some of this stuff. And I think some of the newer artists get it. Some artists get it, some artists don't get it. Some artists are still trying to do it the old way. And it's a little discouraging when I watch it say, okay, you're still trying to do it the old way. You're still not releasing enough music, still not releasing enough video content.

You may be releasing some maybe some vlogs hostile style content, but that's not enough. People kind of peeking into whether or not you're, driving around or you're cooking that that can go only, but for so long, you have to really start getting people behind the scenes.

Like we talked about, the process of the songwriting, the process of beat selection, the process of what went into, how that song came about. Give them more

so, so like, so I think when, we are having that discussion about streaming, so, or versus, versus, direct to consumer when we're talking in that vein, I just think that as far as the streaming, you have to kind of reset your mind in thinking in in, in what a song actually means.

If you are looking at it as, yo, this is my song, this is a product. Of course you're gonna be upset with how much you're getting from that as far as the return. Of course, you're gonna be upset because that's your product and you're expecting a big turnaround for your product. But if you change the thinking and say, this is just an ad.

This is just an ad for my real product. And then when you start seeing the rev, when you start looking at that that, that way, the return, you getting a return on your ad . So it is it's a whole lot different. You're not mad at the return on your ad, you're happy with, and then you got your real product over here that's making whatever money it needs to make as well as forming relationships with your consumer.

This is where it needs to be. You know what I'm saying? So, I think really we have to just change the way we think about streaming, and the purpose of streaming. I think we could, we retrain our minds to that. I think. We'll have a lot more artists that's creating like some dope content, some real dope merch.

And on top of that, I think you'll have a great relationship with your consumer and be able a real good long-lasting career.

just said everything, man. Like, the funny thing about having the music be the ad, if the music is good enough, it's the ad and the product, right?

If the music really resonates, it becomes, it's the add, then it becomes the product again. That's a bonus. It's a bonus. That's a bonus. Like, and it's like you said, like it's kind of like just re redefining how to use it. Like not realizing like, There, there are some artists that are really upset that, Hey, this is my art and you're telling me it's worth this and it's not worth that.

It's worth more. I don't disagree with you in telling you that. We're just telling you that it needs to be used as a promotional vehicle and you need to have more things to offer value to your consumers. Yeah. Like, that's what we're telling you. Yeah.

I mean, as artists, we talk a lot of different things in these songs.

There's a lot of content, there's a lot of things being said on these records, a lot of material stuff, and like, let's think, let's really think about it, man. You think about all the artists from back in the days all the way up to now, some of the brands that they've been promoting, like, like the other folks, the clothing industry the liquor industry.

They're way ahead. They're way ahead of this. , they are using artists as their promo tools. They're using your songs as promo tool, free promo tools for their products. So they're already doing this when you are out there rapping your rapping and singing, and you're promoting a specific brand, rocking My Balenciaga or you

rocking my, we can't talk about Balenciaga right now.

Balenciaga, yeah. Strike that. , strike that out. Balenciaga. Sorry. Can't do that.

Sorry. But you get my drift, man. Like, whenever you rocking and you talking about a specific brand, and you out there promoting it, that brand is like, yeah, you're promoting them. You're the ad.

So they're already doing it.

That's . Yeah that's really the joke right here. Yeah. Like joke, like really the jokes on your ass, right? Like when you think of, when you think about it in real context, like the jokes on your ass because it's like they've been using music to promote they shit. Whether it's been like you said, liquor, cars, fashion, and we the only ones still trying to pedal the music and they were like, no, you idiots.

You're supposed to use the music to pedal the other

shit. Right. So they been doing it. It's only us.

That's we use the music to sell a movie in the trailer . Right? Like, like, think about it, we still hit songs. To, to promote the movie In Damn Trailer and to promote everything else. You the only idiot still trying to run around and promote the music when you're supposed to be using the music to promote everything else.

And every time you keep running harder to promote the music, you really just promote them even harder. Thank you.

Yeah. And you know who said this shit? Way, way back. Will, IM was in the video. Was in the video and he talked about, RCA in the beginning and it was like, why did they create the record?

Right. Or why did they create the music? The music was always used to promote the record player. All right. Right, right, right. You get it. Yeah. So, so it was like, it was always about using music to promote the tangible product. So the music was used to create, to, was used to promote the phonograph or the original photograph, the actual


the photograph, actual device to play the music, like duh.

Like, hello dummy . You know what I mean? Like, like we've been had, you've been had like, like, so like once you start to really peel back the layer of the onion, like now you're just like, poof. Like I just, this is a poof on, the epiphany on live air. Like here we got, I'm having the epiphany during the situation, it's like the music was always supposed to promote a product and we side stepped ourselves in thinking that the music was a product where, yeah, it can be.

And it is monetizable to a degree, but never as monetizable as other shit. Movies books, cars, spirits, so forth. And like, you can't monetize as heavy your music as you can have monetize on that. You know what I mean? Yeah. So, so

we've been happy.

It's terrible to

hear that. Like, so, so if you're listening to this and that's your only product, good luck.

You're gonna star. Matter of fact, you gotta stop calling it a product. , we gotta stop calling it the products. That's the first law. And you have to find something else that you have or create an actual product. And if you are lucky and you get a hit, the product that's attached to that hit

Oh, Mr.

The roof, through the roof. If you get a hit or if you get a hit song. Yeah. A song. If your song is a hit then you, whatever you're selling next to it, who will change your life. Yeah. Like, that's real, but again and you

could, and you would still, you will still look at that song as a huge successful ad.

I would say it would be the equivalent of an ad placed in a halftime Super Bowl. Right. It that big, reaching that wide of an audience being a successful campaign. Let's just hope that you would have a product to go along with that. Gotta

have a product. Dropping these jewels on 'em right now to stream or not to stream?

That is the question. Doing both. Should you be going to director to consumer? Doing both. You should be going directly to consumer, but you gotta have a plan in place on what you need to get to your consumer. And how do use, differentiate yourself? Sorry. Separate yourself a differentiate yourself from everyone else, so while we're here and while we're talking about products and stuff like that, let's pivot and let's talk about, the pros and the cons of sponsorships and endorsements. Cause we talk about a lot of artists are basically positioning themselves and using their product or using their ads, their music to promote different brands, different sponsorships.

They're partnering with that because their music helps to sell those things. I guess we wanna talk about the pros and the cons in terms of ownership. , the pros and the cons in terms of control, the pros and the cons in terms of freedom, right? Because we see things happening where people may say the wrong things and then lose everything.

Right? And, the sponsorships or the deals or the brand partnerships that folks may have, they're always at risk of losing those things if they're not saying or doing the right things or if they're not doing the things as terms of service or whatever they deem to be, correct or accurate.

So. Right. Let's talk about that pros and cons. Let's talk about, what artists should be looking for in terms of, when you're partnering up and how your behavior should really change once you've partnered up with corporate sponsorships.

Well, I think the very first thing you should look at is the mission statement of.

this brand, and you gotta go behind the scenes and see what the culture of the brand is, and if your beliefs align with it, if your culture aligns with it, there's nothing worth worse than getting down with a sponsor of endorsing a brand and to find out that brand is really not for you.

That, we've seen that happen over the years with a lot of different companies. We align ourselves with a brand and then come to find out that brand don't really rock with our culture, or they're involved in something that's, frowned on or even illegal.

Right now with this Balenciaga thing where the brand is tied up in all types of weird pido and.

It's weird. It's weird.

Legend. Legend.

It's so weird. It's so weird in terms of the way that the the ad campaigns are like kind of strategically targeted to promote certain things Yeah. Regarding that. Right. So, so it's kind of a weird space. And then, people are going into, different circles talking about whether the brand itself is, a brand that's with different types of spirituality in that type of situation.

Like, it's kind of, it's a weird, it's a wood space where that brand is, but a lot of people were partnering with it.

And even a lot of even a lot of successful big brands, there may be some background to the founders or what they were involved in and, and, , you it's, you gotta really be careful of what you align yourself with and do your research.

Do your research because you don't want to be aligned with something that goes against your values, goes against you as a person, and goes against everything that you just totally believe in. Like, that's, that will hurt your brand, so it's very important to make sure that you're, align yourself with a brand that that you rock with and you believe it a hundred percent, and they don't have anything that's going to fall back negatively on your brand.

Also, you'll have to realize that when you get into the, a deal with these brands they're expecting something from you. They're expecting you to act a certain way. They're expecting you to promote them a certain way. In some instances, they may expect you just to wear their clothes alone.

So you have to be very mindful of what kind of type of deal you're getting yourself into, I know at one time Drake and was having the issues with, was it Knight or Adidas or one of them, same thing with Kanye. Like, you have to be very mindful of, what you're wearing.

And some of them don't allow you to mis match your clothes, , yeah. Some of 'em allow you to wear, this or that if it's not their brand. And God forbid you say something that doesn't coincide with what they're saying, they could pull the rug from underneath you, and we're seeing that with Kanye right now.

They're doing all sorts of things, stripping him up his brand or whatever it is, just. . It's kind of scary where you work hard to create your brand or to create your thing. And, another brand that you are a part of via a deal. You said something and they don't like it and they just, you pull the whole deal, lock up your funds and possibly even run away with your your actual product.

Listen you're one car right away from being from losing everything. That's, we all

We all are. That's what we that's where we are right now. We're one comment away. We're one post away from losing everything. So if you're jumping into these sponsorships and brand deals and so forth and so on, understand that your voice is gone, that you have to basically co, you have to tow that corporate line.

And there are certain things that you can and cannot say, especially if it goes or contradicts against the brand value or the where the brand is going. You can't, you may not be able to speak on certain topics, and this is probably why we see so much silence with regards to a lot of the controversy that we're surrounding some of our, Kyrie's and the yays and so forth and so on.

Like, you saw a lot of silence because it was like people were basically locked into their situations and they're not willing to risk, them talking about anything and, and lose it, lose their shirt behind it. And they say basically whoever controls your voice controls you,

But jug, it's not just brands as far as clothing lines, this is if you're signed to a record company, it's the same thing.

Same thing. Art. If you are a sports person, professional athlete. Yeah, same thing. Professional athlete, it's the same thing. So this really goes across the board, like whoever you sign up with, you have to be very mindful of what you're getting into, and there's gonna be limitations on what you can and cannot do.

You're pretty much, owned in a sense.

It's, listen, it's a great way to substitute to subsidize income, right? For for independent artists and producers. Like if you're able to partner with a brand, if you're able to partner with a new company that's coming up in terms of like fashion with clothes, if you're an artist, if you're able to partner with different places that sell music equipment or vsts or packs and stuff like that, as a producer if you're able to do those things, these are great ways to su to subsidize income, but you do have to realize that there are parameters in the way that you can conduct yourself in business because at the end of the day, , you'll lose that, you'll lose all of those things if you're not acting in accordance to the brand value.

Right, right. Or the brand's values. Whether it be, like you said, you're a sports team, if you're, if you sign a deal with a label or you sign a deal with a sports team, if you're an athlete, there are gonna be rules of conduct and they're gonna have morality clauses that, if you act out of certain terms, they'll have the right to terminate their agreement with you.

And I think everyone has to be aware of that before they get into those type of situations. And you have to ask yourself what kind of person are you? What kind of artist are you? If you're an artist that's into activism, you may not wanna be too tied into brands that won't give you the space or make or give you the leeway to talk freely.

Right. That's just the reality of the situation where things are right now, things are so polarizing, things are so, divisive. Or divisive or however folks wanna say that. It's just, it's incredible. So artists have to be very smart about who they align themselves with business wise because it's, you can get the bag and at the same time you can lose yourself by getting the bag and, they can be real social issues that you can impact, that you'll be at, your hands will be tied and you won't be able to get into that.

And some folks, the worst part is, the worst part is like, you could do one wrong with one brand, and they could kind of just domino across like hundreds of other brands to a point where you're pretty much blacklisted and you can't even, and you can't get yourself,

I do have a problem with that though.

Like, I do have a problem that, the blacklisting or the erasure. Of individuals for having, a contrary opinion like that is problematic. I mean, this, it is basically you are operating like a communist country. If you wanna be honest, like, but I think said it prior, free speech ain't free.

Yeah. It ain't free. And when you get into these deals, read these contracts and read 'em again and know what you're signing up for, it's you're, whenever you sign a contract you're gonna give up something. Whenever you're getting a bag, you're giving up something.

So you have to, really look around and see, what am I giving up? If you sign this endorsement deal, you may not, you might not be able to wear the other brand clothes for that length time. You may not be able to speak on certain topics or certain issues.

Or what about the other way around where they, you they call you and say, Hey, I, we need you to make a statement.

Yeah, we need to talk, need, we need you to talk out against that.

Yeah. And what if it's something that you don't believe in or it's a lifestyle or background that you're not familiar with it, or, and they need you to speak up on that. So y'all gotta be very mindful of, what you align yourself with.

And your brand can be affected by the brand that you partner with.

A good situation with partnering with the right brands. It could really propel your career forward if you're tied into the right brand. If for artists that get tied into the right situation, like I, I give a lot of the.

Female artists who get into, like, say, who got into the fashion over stuff very early, that turned out to be very lucrative for a lot of them, right? Yes. In terms of just getting online with those clothes. And then for those who were able to transition from fashion over to defend the Savage tho with Rihanna, these are good partnerships, right?

Because it, it creates this subsidized income that, you can't beat, right? It that, like you said, that your music would help to Right. Sell that other stuff, so I think artists do have to kind of make sure that they keeping their eyes open and looking out for those opportunities.

I think even in our case we looked at certain brands and, a certain developing companies and we said, Hey, what's up with this company? And we would reach out to this company, try to get an idea of who's running it, what's going on, and then we would make partnerships on that based off of that, right. And seeing which companies were bigger than others, but. It's incumbent on you to kind of see what's out there and see what aligns with your brand. You'll be surprised. You don't have to necessarily be a big brand in order for people to partner with you or for you to get a sponsorship or an endorsement.

It's not, it's it's not as hard as people might think it is.

Yeah. Yeah. I mean, it just takes, all it takes is a computer and just doing a little research, just, seeing who's who behind the scenes. Go to any company website and you can just scroll the website and you can, if you look around good enough, you'll find cer, certain people email addresses and you can start contacting people.

It's, bro, it is so it's not like it used to be. Every every person has, every person that's really in power right now is basically on

LinkedIn. Yeah. Yeah. Like, like, like there's no excuse really. So if you are looking for brand endorsements, like. , you just gotta reach out to the person, if That's right.

Right. And if you've got something to offer, then you'll be able to

partner. Right. So, but again, just gotta make sure you align with the right people. And when you've got that opportunity, take advantage of it, and use, use your music to promote the brands. Use the music to promote your brand.

Use the music to promote your products, your merchandise, your whatever it is you're selling. You gotta use your music the ad to promote whatever else you got going on. And if you're doing it like that then you will see great great success in that way, in that. Like, you can't lose in that way, man.

You can't lose that way. And if your song's a hit, man, it's the Super Bowl .

Yeah. If your song is a hit, man that's a whole nother situation in itself. Yeah. I think early on, like, Again, like you have to be open to pivoting, man. Like I think what happens is that people get too locked in to what the business used to be and not looking at what the business is becoming.

That is key. That's key. That is, that's a jewel. Yeah. Like, don't, like you, you're too worried about what it used to be and which, and what we were dreaming of it to be. To get in. And then by the time you get in, it's changed.

Yes. Right. People are stuck on what it used to be.

They're stuck on what they think it should be, as opposed to saying, you know what, then we just take this and let me take advantage of this and how could I incorporate that into what I'm doing and fully like exploit it. We get too hung up on things that really don't mean anything at the end of the day.

It's crazy to me, man. And we get caught up on, Doug, and then we had this conversation or, behind the scenes when we talk about the beat packs and just people so caught up on, well, you're not talented if you're just, if you're using that or you're not talented, if you're doing it like that, and it's like, you're sitting there, upset, mad broke, worrying about, oh, what the next person is doing, and why they're doing it like that.

Yeah. You , yo, they're doing it like that because there's an opportunity to do it like that. It allows them to do things better, quicker, more efficient. Take advantage. take advantage of these tools that's available to you. Because as we grow, as this business grows, as we continue to move forward in technology advances, there's gonna be a lot of tools that's gonna be available for you to take advantage of.

And if you're a business and you're trying to move forward and you're trying to be relevant, which is the new word, now, again, you're trying to be relevant, you're trying to be relevant. Like, You gotta pivot, you gotta, see what's going on and say, you know what?

I need to find a way to to take this new technology or this new way of doing things, incorporate that into, to my business so that I could continue to flourish. For all those producers that decided not to take advantage of software, oh, my production. that said, I will never, get on a computer and use a mouse click and Dr.

Move beats. Yeah, a kick snare. I will never do that. And I will just stick to my drum machine to make beats alone. There's very few people that's, that, that's able to even survive, you gotta move with technology, you gotta move with the storm. You got to, so, we like to highlight things and bring it to the forefront.

Streaming, branding, all of these things, all of these tools that could be used to help market yourself, to help align yourself, to help better yourself, to position yourself in ways that you can receive like some monetary value. And help your family move forward in this, cause that's what it's about the end of the day,

it's, it als it's also boils down to what's important to the individual.

And what I'm realizing is that certain things aren't important to certain individuals. And I can't knock, I can't knock that. Right. I can't knock that. Yeah, you're right. That that, Hey, I'm not I'm, I want to be a purist and I want to and I wanna just sample records. I don't want sample from splice.

I don't want to sample from, these other places.

That's fine. But they cannot knock or be mad or throw dirt and stones on the artist that says, you know what, that's cool of respect that for what it is. But, I'm not just in this for that. I'm just not, I'm not into just making beats just to feel good.

Yeah. Like I'm trying to do something here. I'm trying to create something. I'm trying to create an empire, I'm trying to, I want to get to the bag too. I wanna move this culture forward. Like, you could do all of those things. It don't gotta be one or the other.

It's crazy, man. Like, it's so crazy because I've had these conversations and I'm just trying to get into the mind frame of like, you have to see what's going on. Like, the one thing about production, and I don't think people really realize, like if you're a producer the things that you produce today come out tomorrow.

So you have to kind of see the future. You have to know what the trend is. You have to be able to see what's going forward. So for people who make music, for people who make, movies and things like that, like, you have to be able to see what people are going to want to consume in the future because you make it now to be consumed later.

and you have to think forward. And I think a lot of times we're not thinking a hundred percent forward. We're kind of, kind of like you said, stuck. Like just stuck and like, this is the way that we do it, or this is the way that it was always done, or this is the way that it made sense. It's not like that anymore and is evolving so fast.

It's like you're a dinosaur in two seconds. Yeah. It's like, it's moving so fast. It's like the other day I was talking to you about using a different platform to make some tracks and it's like lightning, like , like, it's like lightning. It's like I was like, my gosh, like this was here all this time.

was like, this is like crazy. Like it's doing everything for you in one set situation. And it feels like, as you're old, if you know the day you say you're old school, but it feels like you're cheating, right? Because it's like you're so used to having to fine tune everything.

You have to, get your ear to tune everything to the, to, to the right key and all of that stuff, and it's all being done for you. And it's whoa, like I'm not even used to this. This doesn't even make sense that it's doing this for you. Like, it's crazy. So it is. I have to encourage everybody, please don't turn yourself into a dinosaur.

Don't turn yourself into something that's gonna go in extinct. Please understand that the business is changing. Please understand that you have to see what's happening forward. Please understand that people are consuming content at a rate that you may not even be able to keep up with. , don't get discouraged at the fact that, hey, somebody looked at your video for a week, and that's it, that's all it's designed to do at this point.

The, people are used to one minute clips, 60 seconds, and they're in and they're out, an hour long. Content like this, in some cases, folks are gonna say, Hey, it's too long. That's why we try to cut it up into little bite sized pieces so that you can kinda get the, the gist of what's going on.

But at the end of the day, it's changing. So you have to be able to be flexible to the changes that are happening. So that's the takeaway for the day. Like, make sure that you're flexible to what's going on in the industry.

Yeah, make sure you're aware. Make sure you're aware of what's going on with streaming and, pros and cons with direct to consumer, all the pros and cons.

What's gonna work for you, what you think is gonna be best for your business. And, branding, just make sure you align yourself up with a brand that you believe in that, that and, will help you, and you will help them. So it's really a, you gotta keep your mind open and be down to, to pivot whenever you need to.

Cause that's what it takes if you wanna succeed in this business.

You need me to clap behind that, huh?

Yo, for everybody. If you don't, if you don't already follow us, make sure you follow us at Arkatech Beatz. That's on every platform that you can look for at this point. If you like the content, please, subscribe, share with a friend. If you have anything that you want us to talk about, drop it in the comment, leave a comment, tell us what you want us to talk about.

Then you have some questions on. . As the new year starts, we start having some more guests in here. We got some real special people, so you gonna want to tune in for that? Some real heavy hitters and, that have really contributed to this business and people that we like to call our friends, so this is gonna be it's gonna be an interesting change of events in this situation. But until next time, everybody.