Online service pairs budding musicians with industry experts
NORTH HAMPTON, N.H. (AP) — After decades working at the highest levels of the music business, Mark Eddinger is launching an online service to link local artists with “household names” for industry guidance.
My Music Career, which should launch next year, will let artists submit their music to a panel of more than 100 industry experts gathered through Eddinger’s music network to provide feedback.
Eddinger, a keyboardist and industry expert who has worked with artists including Elton John and Ray Charles, said such guidance is valuable for musicians in the modern era where many artists are using social media on their own to build a following. He said of the hundreds of thousands of people recording music each year, most are operating without a clue when it comes to navigating the business side of their craft.
“Anybody can do it. That doesn’t mean anybody has particular expertise to do it right,” said Eddinger. “These people have no mentors or guidance.”
The service, still in the early stages, will cost a one-time fee of less than $1,000, actual pay packages yet to be made public. He said panelists, many of whom already have busy lives as music professionals, will use simple questionnaires to critique music submitted to My Music Career so they can quickly provide their feedback from whatever hotel room or airport they are in.
Eddinger said he is also working with a top entertainment law firm to provide legal advice for members, who will go through an evaluation that questions them on everything about their work so far and what agreements and deals they have made so far. Members will be guided on music recording, production, merchandise sales and agreements between band members and venues.
“These are things that, until you bring it to their attention, they don’t even realize the importance,” said Eddinger.
Eddinger got his start playing in northern California in the 1970s when famed concert promoter Bill Graham discovered him, creating opportunities for him to meet some of the biggest artists of the day, often backstage at concerts like Graham’s annual Day on the Green. He made a name for himself partly as programmer of synthesizer sounds, working in the 1970s with renowned producer Brian Eno. He went on to program synthesizer sounds for Michael Jackson, Herbie Hancock and the Butthole Surfers.
When Eddinger first entered the music industry, artists relied on record companies to provide expertise needed to find success in the business. Record companies, he said, were musicians’ means of making it big in the industry, and once an artist was signed, the record company would handle everything from finding management to providing legal counsel.
Today, he said musicians are better off foregoing agreements with record companies, the internet offering plenty of opportunities to build followings through social media. Being on their own, though, he said, leaves them susceptible to mismanaging their money and missing opportunities.
“Our goal is to really, in general, help artists,” said Eddinger. “They shouldn’t think that they can do it themselves without expertise and guidance.”
Information from: Portsmouth Herald, http://www.seacoastonline.com