Nearly 10 years ago I founded my first music company. It was called Renaissance Artist Management (RAM Artist) and I managed DJs who I had for several years prior booked often to play club events that I produced while in undergrad at UCLA. Some of these DJs were also aspiring music producers, so later I launched Loft24 Records and Loft24 Publishing to help them collaborate with artists and topliners. I picked name Loft24 because I was 24 years old and I lived in a loft in Downtown Los Angeles, which had been a goal of mine since my youth (I have no idea why). I had also signed my first two live acts – a singer/songwriter and a rapper/songwriter — after producing a multi-city mall talent search tour for Reebok…they were the winners.
Prior to founding RAM Artist, Loft24 Records, and Loft24 Publishing, I had some music business exposure having grew up in a multi-generational music family and having been an aspiring musician myself, but my knowledge was nowhere near as expansive as it is today (insert a lot of self-teaching and an eventual masters degree in music business).
One of the things I was really good at as a manager and music entrepreneur was creating systems and processes to make workflows efficient. This was necessary considering all of the tasks I had to juggle as an artist manager, label owner, and music publisher. And I had a daytime job as VP of Marketing & Partnerships of a youth-targeted retail chain and founder/GM of its music division.
I had previously built database-driven e-commerce systems at two companies where I had worked in marketing; and with a history of event production, I was generally a very logistical and process-oriented person.
At the time that I was managing artists, DJs, producers, songwriters and marketing music, I was unaware of software that would make my life easier in these administrative tasks. So, I built my own.
I had previously developed a checklist of everywhere that I was aware of where my client’s music needed to be registered before it was released. I used this “Song Processing Checklist” for every work in our catalog. I’d manually login to ASCAP and the Copyright Office systems to register works and record confirmation numbers. It was daunting!
To pitch our catalog, I built an internal platform called “Music Licensing Portal” (basically an early version of what DISCO or SourceAudio is today). I’d invite music supervisors to search our catalog and initiate sync license requests.
Then I built what would be my first music tech startup, SongBank, a marketplace where A&R’s could shop for unpublished songs using an audio fingerprint of a reference songs. SongBank was described as a robust cloud-based project management platform developed specifically for songwriters and record label A&Rs (I’m still unaware of anything like it on the market). I wanted to help undiscovered songwriters get placements on major label projects after my experience pitching my writers to A&Rs. I had brought on advisers who were A&Rs or VP of A&R at Hollywood Records, Island Def Jam Music Group, Roc Nation, and Atlantic Records. I later stopped working on SongBank to launch Maven Promo (formerly ChazBo Music), which is an in-store independent music video network, which I sold to EMPIRE Distribution last year to fund the development and launch of RoyaltyClaim, the world’s first search engine of unclaimed music royalties, which I later sold to Haawk Inc and then to Made In Memphis Entertainment this year.
All of this leads me to this: TuneRegistry.
TuneRegistry is a software like no other. I conceptualized it based on all of the above experience (although I had been working on it prior to RoyaltyClaim). What started as a Word Doc checklist of places to register my client’s songs has evolved into a robust software to streamline the process of registering works across rights organizations, delivering music metadata across the music industry, the management of disputes and conflicts, and the insurance of royalty accountability, all in one place.
We had a setback for a few months, when I had to buy the company back from a company that had acquired it in 2017, but will be launching an new and improved platform on October 1st and I can’t wait
(Photos below are of the tools and platforms that I referenced above. I built these in my early twenties to operate my music companies and manage my clients’ careers more efficiently.)
What Can The Socioeconomic Context Of The Culture From Which Hip-Hop Is Derived Tell Us About How The Biggest Genre In The World Gets The Shitty End Of The Royalty Stick?
Streaming services are a beast that needs constant feeding. Younger hip-hop artists, already accustomed to providing sites such as SoundCloud with a constant stream of mixtapes and features, have adjusted to its demands more quickly than artists from other genres, and have thrived accordingly. At the heart of rap’s streaming dominance is something more ephemeral: Some songs just stream better than others, for reasons that no one can really explain yet. Hip-hop streams better than other types of mainstream music, and trap music streams better than other types of hip-hop. – The Washington Post (April, 2018)
R&B/hip-hop music was the year’s biggest genre, accounting for 24.5 percent of all music consumed….R&B/hip-hop genre represented 24.5 percent of all music consumption in the U.S. — the largest share of any genre and the first time R&B/hip-hop has led this measurement for a calendar year. (The 24.5 percent share represents a combination of album sales, track equivalent album units and streaming equivalent album units — including both on-demand audio and video streams.) — Billboard Magazine (January, 2018)
The statistic presents the number of on-demand music streams worldwide in 2016 and 2017, by genre. According to the source, the number of urban [Hip-Hop and R&B] on-demand streams rose from 55.9 billion in 2016 to 100.34 billion in 2017 – Statista (2018)
A few months ago, I set down with music manager and “dad jokes” extraordinaire, Scott Waldman, to discuss my personal journey into the music industry. I got pretty candid as I discussed going from being homeless and unemployed to founding music tech start-ups.
You can listen to the episode here.
Direct link: https://idobi.com/podcast/057-dae-bogan/
Ikigai is the Japanese concept meaning “reason for being.” I’ve just heard of this, but it speaks volumes to me as an entrepreneur, educator, and advocate focusing on DIY musicians. I absolutely love what I do and I think “Ikigai” is why.
Find your Ikigai and you’ll never “work” a day in your life.
Read more on this concept here.
Music Industry Professionals: Never Let “Genreism” Pigeon-hole You (My Brief Reaction To Music Business Worldwide’s Sit Down With IGA’s President & COO, John Janick)
Music Business Worldwide set down with Interscope Geffen A&M President & COO, John Janick, to “ask about his five years at IGA, how building Fueled By Ramen prepared him for the job, and a host of modern industry issues.” What I like the most about this piece is the fact that it demonstrates and reinforces the idea that, against the general notion that music industry folks are narrowly focused on specific genres (or genre groups), one can achieve success across genres.
Too often do we pigeon-hole ourselves (or others) because of this limiting idea that you’re just an “emo-indie dude” or just a “hip-hop head”.
When you love music, you love music. When you’re savvy, you’re fucking savvy. Genres are labels. There are nuances between genres, of course, and obviously there are stereotypes and customs that drive “communities” around artists, but on a high-level, if you really care about what you’re doing and have the tenacity to get shit done, things will work out.
It reminds me of when I got into managing EDM DJs. I was side-eyed by a number of promoters until my DJ played Coachella the same year that my hip-hop act was in a national ad as the face of a Reebook sneaker campaign.
Don’t let “genreism” stop you!
Read the full interview here: https://www.musicbusinessworldwide.com/john-janick-im-entrepreneur-dont-like-lose/
Generally speaking, with the industry being the Big Data industry that it has become, I feel that many of you how have experience with financial data modeling, forecasting, and other “financial/number people skills” could be a viable asset to numerous music companies.
Here are a few companies who specifically exist at the intersection of music and money, which could be a good transitional outlet for the right candidates:
BEFORE THE BIG MOVE, I had visited Los Angeles only twice. The first time was for orientation at California State University, Los Angeles (Cal State LA). I had applied in summer 2003 after receiving notice that I was not accepted to my dream school, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). I had never heard of Cal State LA until one of my best friends told me they were still accepting applicants. Immediately, I went online, applied, and was accepted. It was a desperate and hopeful attempt to go to college anywhere in Los Angeles so that I could be closer to Hollywood–the land of dreams.
Today is a very special day for me. Ten years ago today–December 4th, 2003–with a one-way ticket, $500, some clothes and a mission, I moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. Although homeless and unemployed when I arrived, I hit the ground running towards the first few steps that have become an incredible journey of peaks and valleys. I’ve met some of the most amazing and douchiest people in the world, experienced some of the most awesome opportunities and depressing hardships, and have accomplished a few cool things along the way. It is far from over, far from peak, but this 10 year milestone is nothing short of awesome sauce!