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The ISM Trust launches a new webinar series in partnership with Delic

This summer, The ISM Trust, in partnership with Delic.network, host a series of free future-focused webinars for music professionals.

Over four sessions, panels of industry experts discuss a current issue for musicians, and then explore how we might find a solution to overcome this challenge, focusing on tools, skills and strategies to help music creators succeed.

Session 1: How technology can aid creativity

Tuesday 10 August, 6-7pm

Critics say that technology is compromising our ability to be creative, but, if used correctly, it could have the opposite outcome. In this session, our panellists examine how technology can be an intrinsic part of making music, focusing on the types of technology available to them and how it can be used to enhance their creative process.

Session 2: Using merchandise to diversify your revenue

Tuesday 24 August, 6-7pm

From a 2-Chainz nodding dog toy to a set of FKA Twigs silk pyjamas, artist merchandise has become big business. For many years musicians sold merch like t-shirts and posters simply as a way to make extra cash, but when fans stopped buying music and flocked to piracy sites like Napster, and then onto streaming giants like Spotify, Amazon Music, Pandora and the like, merch sales took on a new importance. Artists of all sizes now need to bring in additional revenue wherever they can, especially those in the early stages of their career.

So how do you find your place in this ever-growing marketplace? What merch could you create, how could you sell it, and who to? We look at the environmental cost of creating physical products, and how musicians can earn responsibly, while discussing some of the most successful examples of fan merch in recent memory.

Session 3: An interdependent future: Why collaboration is key

Thursday 9 September, 6-7pm

While technology has arguably made it easier than ever to release music independently, many of the tools needed are still designed to take advantage of their users. From social media to streaming platforms, music’s power structures are shifting, with artists often finding themselves falling through the cracks. This leads to questions when using this technology about who profits from an artist’s music, and how can the rights of the creator be safeguarded? One solution may lie in networks of interdependent co-operatives, whereby labels, studios, publications etc. can work together to retain collective ownership of music and create a fairer system for their artists. This talk introduces pioneering new tools to help artists collaborate, and examines the role that the traditional world of labels and distributors might play in an ‘interdependent’ future.

Session 4: How to make money from your music

Thursday 23 September, 6-7pm

Looking beyond streaming and live gigs, we explore how musicians and music creators can make money from their music.

Independent artists increasingly have portfolio careers – they need to manage multiple revenue streams to build career momentum. For independent artists, streaming is their primary source of income at 28%. Live revenue is second at 18%, which means they are less exposed to lockdown’s impact than established label artists. But the key for today’s artists is to make revenues from multiple professions, such as publishing, session work, sponsorship and merchandise. Artists should think of themselves as small entrepreneur businesses, and they may need four or five income streams to get off the ground.