Excerpt #7 from “Winning The Music Game” by Brian Allen
Shhhhh….. I’m going to give you the number one investment tip for the highest possible rate of return:
The most valuable commodity you can invest is your time.
The best investment of your time that you can make is in great songs.
No other component of your career will replace a great song or yield the staggering ratio of return on your investment like great songs do. The best production, the coolest clothes, the most creative videos, the shrewdest manager, and the hardest working record company are all no substitute for the power and longevity of a great song. If you write your own material, take a minute and think about all the hit songs you have heard and estimate the shortest and longest time you think was spent writing them. There are the inevitable “that thing was done in twenty minutes” stories, but I suspect the average is a few hours. But, even if it took 50 hours, look at the return – a multitude of better paying gigs, sales of your recordings and merchandise, tons of attention, respect, business opportunities and a lifetime of collecting performance royalties. Maybe even an inheritance for your kids. Not bad for just 50 hours (or way less!). To put this in perspective, 50 hours is roughly equivalent to an active work week for a middle manager at a busy company in an urban environment. What do you think they took home?
Of course, there are myriads of other activities that we must devote our time to in this business. But which of them can yield as many benefits? And I’ll bet anybody reading this has had at least one observation of someone that made them think: “What the **** are they doing THAT for when they should be writing better songs!” Listen to your own advice!
A hit song can have so many watershed revenue streams that it approaches incredulity. Not only are there the obvious benefits from sales and royalties collected for radio, TV and concert performances, but placement in film or television productions, commercials, games, theatre and ringtones (to name only a few) carry enduring benefit to the artist, composers, publishers, record companies, managers, agents, attorneys, accountants, performing right organizations, mechanical and digital right organizations, website administrators, retailers, radio personnel, (come up for air!) and more – right down to the crew catering company at the concert venue and the diesel sale to the tour bus operator. The ongoing uses and benefits are simply staggering.
However, as in any other endeavour, consistency is one of the keys to longevity. People who have a hit don’t necessarily have long careers, but those who have successful careers inevitably have more than one hit.
So, there’s my sure fire investment tip. Many happy returns!