Financing a Recording
Having recorded well over a thousand projects, we’ve seen them funded in a whole host of ways. We hope these tips (not detailed financial advice) help you feel that you’re not on your own and it’s possible to fund your project from a range of sources:
- Sponsorship / Investor
There are two types of sponsorship that we’ve experienced; individual and corporate
Individual: We’ve seen philanthropic investors give generously to projects that they believe in. It happens more often than you’d imagine – especially to those with a strong vision or backstory. Sometimes family members, friends and even random people whose paths an artist has crossed simply want to enable art to thrive and see the creative’s vision come to fruition. It’s always worth having a think and sharing any initial press kits, or project vision plans, with them as early as you can.
Corporate: Sometimes a business invests their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in the arts. Normally this is because a CEO has an interest in a particular artform. Check LinkedIn for potential organisations and look into their directors or leadership team to see if it’s worth pursuing. This is competitive, organisations get asked for money and sponsorship constantly, ensuring your story is one that they want to align themselves with and where you will help reach their target market.
Charities, religious and arts organisations: We’ve seen charities, religious and arts organisations take an artist on as the face of their charity. Does your project align with the vision of any organisations, charities, faith-groups, education establishments or venues?
Early on, establish the terms of the relationship, legal support is often a worthwhile investment. We’ve seen the best of friends terminate relationships over misunderstandings of ownership during recording projects.
- Grants and seed-funds
These change all the time and deadlines are different throughout the year. Search in your region for “musician grants”, “recording grants”, “songwriter grant”, “touring musician grants” or search your particular genre. This is not an easy route, you will need a good understanding of grant applications to stand a chance. Think who you might be up against and put yourself in the panel’s position. Why would they choose you? Make sure your unique selling point (USP) is definitely what they are after. It is also hugely time consuming; form filling, tight deadlines, word count limitations and… lots of waiting, often with strings attached – demanding particular features that aren’t currently a part of your plan. This may be the route for you if you are experienced, have support from an experienced fundraiser or have plenty of time.
- PRS PPL
Royalties will only find their way back to you if your song is protected and registered correctly. Aggregators such as Distrokid or Emubands will help you with this, it’s always best to register with PRS PPL directly, to ensure there are no places that your music might be used, that you won’t see the return from. If all this confuses you, then, for a small fee – join the Association of Independent Musicians (AIM) who provide so much support, excellent networking events and one off courses giving all the essential information – like how to get money back from PRS PPL!
An easier and less risky way for your fans and supporters to sponsor you is to invest in a crowd-funding exercise. Don’t promise too much in return – remember you’re a musician – that’s your gift to the world. Have a look at what others are offering and see what ideas they spark, we like the ideas in these kickstarter campaign rewards.
- Your own funds
There’s a huge advantage to raising the funds yourself. Every penny comes back to you. Every choice and success is yours. Every failure demands no explanation to anyone else. Things haven’t changed much – going back to the baroque era, musicians were paid by the courts, the church or they did it themselves and were usually poor – we like to think they were also fulfilled and happy, living the dream
If you are concerned about funding your project, call us for a chat, we are able to skilfully adapt projects to meet financial restrictions. We would prefer music was created, rather than withheld because of money.
Book your recording session now on 020 8540 5643.