WATG’s BENJAMIN GROFF SHARES HIS REDDIT IAMA (ASK ME ANYTHING)
Last week, Benjamin Groff, We Are: The Guard founder, shared over 25 years of experience in the music and publishing industry as part of an official IamA thread on Reddit. IamA, for those not familiar with Reddit, stands for "I am a _____, ask me anything!"
From Bill Gates to Barack Obama, Reddit AMAs are full of wisdom on anything and everything! It's like the Q&A session after a conference, panel, screening, or performance. If you've ever gone to any kind of industry conference, you'll know that those Q&As are worth their weight in actual gold.
Here are a few of the highlights from Benjamin's AMA. You can read the full thread over here for even more knowledge!
Redditors showed up in droves to pepper Benjamin with hard-hitting questions, from his take on dinosaur nuggets (the top voted question - because, why not?!) to whether or not his tools work in the era of new media (They do. In fact, his most recent book How Do I Get A Record Deal? Sign Yourself! only came out at the end of last year).
Additionally, he shared insights on how to promote a single, the world of shifting royalty payments, and more. Here are a few of the highlights.
Q: Does your digital release blueprint work in the new era now? (/u/leadrmusic)
A: Hi LeadrMusic - Good question - Yes, and actually, it (The Release Blueprint Digital Course) was only recently released! All the tools there are what I use to release music on my own label currently. We're adding to it constantly and even just did a segment on TikTok influencers, hiring agencies, influencer marketing etc. But this space is constantly evolving, so it's such a moving target on how to get attention with 50,000 + releases coming out each and every day. No matter what though, I think what won't change is having a "tribe" and "community" that your music and art speaks to - and then to have the fire music.
Learn More About the Release Blueprint Here
Q: Hey I'm gunna ask a bunch - hope that's ok :)
Do you think Merck & Hipgnosis's plan will work? Their plan which it looks like is to buy all the classic songs then force the DSPs to change payout splits to 50/50 master/pub. (As a writer, I hope it does!)
And what do you think will be the ramifications to the majors if it does? (/r/cleverboxer)
A: I hear that's the plan! I can't speak much to that, but I think so too and I do think songwriters and publishers are in much need of a real pay upgrade! I mean- all of these megalithic services (Google, Apple, etc) built their multi-billion dollar companies from our copyrights. I'll say one other thing that I think no one is considering - but maybe Merck is? LOL> What happens to the value of a copyright - if it's the LIFE OF COPYRIGHT, if the lives of the writers themselves are extended through futurism of technology, a.i., stem cell therapies, etc.
Life of copyright is I think life of author + 70 years (??). What happens if human life is extended where by 150 years old (for an individual) is achievable. Then, buying copyrights for 20x (for a real copyright) is probably a bargain.
Q: I know I’m too old to be a pop star but what are some other ways that I can still find success at my age? (/r/chad4wick)
A: First - I think that's a mindset shift. While being a "pop star" as it's defined right now, might be yeah- perhaps unrealistic, but really, anything can happen these days. I would say to keep at it - you just never know. But certainly writing for others is ageless. I know some people in their late 60s and even 70s writing songs that get recorded by 20 year olds.
Want to read the full Q&A? Click here. If there's one thing you can take away from Benjamin's AMA, it's that if you truly love music you should never, ever give up. You also shouldn't expect overnight success, but there are also more ways to redefine success than ever before.
Here’s also a presentation Benjamin recently did for IndieFlow that might shed some more light on releasing new music and getting traction.
Hope it’s helpful!