Martine Cotton

Music Industry Inside Out

Kicking off a career in the music industry is often a daunting task for up-and-coming musicians and entrepreneurs. Without the right business relationships, it can be difficult to know how to bridge the gap between aspiration and a successful career in the music industry. Now, there is a professional development resource – aptly named Music Industry Inside Out – specifically designed to answer those queries – from the inside out – unlocking the secrets of the Australian music industry one question at a time.

The brainchild of long-time music industry professional Martine Cotton (pictured), Music Industry Inside Out is a members-based digital resource providing bite-sized video interviews with acclaimed artists and members of the music industry. Launched on Tuesday 7th October, members will be privy to information such as how to book gigs, self-management techniques, tips on technology and preparing for an international tour.

The idea for Music Industry Inside Out blossomed out of Martine’s travels around regional and remote Queensland running music business workshops. “It stuck me that most young musicians and their music-mad friends who want to be band managers or put on their own music events, have no-one to ask questions to,” she says. “There is no way to really learn and understand how to create their own music careers unless they move to the cities – and even then, it can take years to build up your network of contacts and understand how it all works. They are all so hungry for knowledge and it devastated me to know that so much talent was going to waste because of lack of information and opportunities available to these people.”

Martine is well-placed to be sharing advice, she has had a long established career in the music industry. From booking one of the country’s most iconic venues to working as program manager for a key industry body, she has also worked on big and small conferences. With 25 years in the industry, there are few people she hasn’t worked with or alongside. From managing bands, music events, national tours, promoting international touring bands and running her own booking agency and music business services, there is little she doesn’t know about the industry. It is this experience and her immense passion for the local scene that has seen her branch out to establish Music Industry Inside Out.

When the Music Industry Inside Out membership site kicks off on October 7, there will be 350-plus videos online from 28 different speakers across 23 course modules. Every week a new course video unit will be added from leading industry figures, eventually including more than 35 different topics at various levels ranging from beginner modules to masterclasses. There are also free resources such as the ‘Savvy Seven’ series, which provides local advice from some of Australia’s hottest young bands. Martine has spent the better part of 2014 cajoling her music industry peers to spend an hour in front of the camera sharing their advice and insights.

“Members will get access to all course content, guest articles, forums, a mentor hook-up service and will also receive a monthly newsletter chock-full of music news, opportunities, events and a round-up of what’s new on the site,” she says. “We’ll also be blogging regularly, including our weekly Savvy Seven feature and two weekly educational blog articles, which will be a public service. There will also be an Australian Music Industry Event Calendar and our comprehensive list of resources.”

Martine says the Music Industry Inside Out resource will provide greater access to a shared knowledge base of contemporary and changing music industry practices, specific mentor programs for training and a better understanding of strategic planning required to grow within the industry. “It is my ambition to assist musicians and all those hard-working music industry workers to develop a strong, healthy industry that can provide a viable, sustainable lifestyle for its members,” she says. “The industry will benefit enormously with a generation of well-informed, smart and savvy artists and workers coming through, resulting in a wide creation of sustainable careers and bringing financial benefits to the entire industry. Plus, well, that warm gooey feeling you get when you help people really rocks.”

There are a variety of membership options, starting from $25 for individual monthly memberships (or $250 per year), as well as a variety of tiers for small music communities (5-9 members) up to major organisations and universities (70-plus members). Music Industry Inside Out launches its membership access to the public on Tuesday 7th October 2014.

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