What we learned at BBC Music Introducing Live 19

We’ve finally recovered from three full days of empowering panels, insightful advice and inspiring conversations at Tobacco Dock for BBC Music Introducing Live 19. While we were there, we picked up some valuable tips for all musicians. Here is what we learned:

1. Getting your music played on streaming and radio playlists

  • Use BBC Music Introducing’s uploader tool. Make a profile, fill in your/your band’s details, include links to your website and socials, and upload your tracks. It’s a great way to get noticed by your local BBC Music Introducing show, or another station depending on the genre of music.
  • It can be quicker to get your track onto a BBC radio specialist show, as they are able to take more risks than mainstream shows.
  • If you’re submitting to BBC Sounds, take the opportunity to send a voice note to explain your track
  • Don't be tempted to pay to get onto a playlist.
  • It can help to get a radio plugger, but it’s not essential, and if you go down that route, do your homework first and make sure they understand your genre/style.
  • Radio show producers will look at your social media engagement. High engagement with fewer followers is much more attractive than low engagement with high follower numbers (it’s not the only thing they’ll be considering though).
  • Focus on building a core fanbase.
  • Surround yourself with good people who will be honest and encouraging.
  • Don't get disheartened - it will take time.

2. Working as a freelancer in the music industry

  • Understand your financial situation first.
  • Keep track of your earnings and business spending.
  • Consider getting a separate bank account to your personal account.
  • Be aware that you’ll be your own HR, finance and management.
  • Be proactive not just reactive, by approaching clients for gigs and reaching out through social media.
  • Remember to make time for yourself to switch off to protect your mental health.

3. Making sure you get paid

  • There are many ways you can make money from your music - be sure to sign up to PPL and PRS to find out the various ways you can collect royalties.
  • For any gig you play, you should always submit a setlist to PRS via their setlist tool.
  • PRS distributes royalties four times a year: April, July, October, and December.

4. Operating at your best

  1. Figure out what success is to you (your goals)
  2. Define what is important to you (your values)
  3. Identify your key character strengths
  4. Decide how to utilize your character strengths
  5. Embrace your mistakes

5. Tackling the climate crisis (top tips for artists from Fay Milton of Savages and Music Declares Emergency)

  1. Make sure you have a green rider and sustainably sourced merchandise
  2. Only endorse sustainable products
  3. Use green energy
  4. Route your tours efficiently to reduce carbon emissions
  5. Use your voice to advocate for change