Music industry expert Martine Cotton is giving aspiring industry professionals a kick-start with her new online development community: Music Industry Inside Out.
While working as Program Manager for QMusic, Martine was shocked at the abundance of young talent she saw going to waste in rural Queensland. Lacking the knowledge and experience to take their skills further, she noticed aspiring musicians, managers and small labels fall into gridlock with nowhere to go.
She had an idea: to offer these impassioned individuals a pool of easily accessible advice and tips from the best the Australian scene had to offer, and so Music Industry Inside Out was born.
An online, members-based digital resource gives power back to the individual. Offering bite-size video interviews with acclaimed artists and members of the music industry, the website also features information on how to book gigs, self-management techniques, tips on technology and how-to's such as preparing for a tour. “Basically, I wanna create a generation of really savvy musicians and music-industry workers to deal with the new music industry. And when I say the 'new' music industry I mean, it's a lot more DIY.
“The days of the major labels are over and everything's become much smaller and it's reduced to small music communities of very DIY ethics. I think that's a wonderful thing and I want to try and stimulate that so we all can achieve sustainable careers and earn a living off what we do. That comes from training from very grassroots levels and that's what I'm aiming to provide here.”
Although initially taking her inspiration from small-town Queensland, the community aims to provide advice nationwide and — Martine hopes — eventually go global. “There's a little bit of something for everyone,” she says. “The artist is the core of the music industry, but they can't move far unless they've got a really great team around them and I think it's there that the industry falls down.”
With 24 years' worth of industry experience, Martine knows what she's talking about, and with the Australian Artist Managers Association groundbreaking code of ethics for managers recently being published, she notes it has been a “wonderful shift. In the past there haven't been great ethics at play … I want us to really instil that in people as they're coming through.”
The advent of the internet has marked a new age in the way people listen to music, subsequently altering the way bands release and promote their material. “I think the big players and the big sharks out there are fading away. Artists have a lot more control over their careers these days, and I think we don't know how streaming is going to pan out in the long run.
“The days of the major labels are over...
“Artists have got to look at a whole new model with the way they engage with their fans in a much more direct manner … That's what I see the future of music being, the development of fan communities and engaging with them in a very personal way.”
As well as offering easy-to-digest chunks of information, Music Industry Inside Out also offers members a personal one-on-one mentoring hook-up with a professional of their choice. “That's basically a process where any young musicians or aspiring band managers or label managers can ask if they can meet and have a one or two hour one-on-one session with a person of their choice. Hopefully in their geographic location, if they're somewhere regional I'll try and get someone local, if not we'll set up a Skype with someone in one of the cities.”Music Industry Inside Out launches its membership access to the public on Tuesday 7th October.
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