Bad news first: Trickle Down Music is not a wave of the wand that will suddenly transform your independent music making into an actual, sustainable living. That’s a conundrum I’ve been struggling with for over 25 years of making and releasing music.
What Trickle Down Music does offer, however, is a solid foundation for your release and validation that you are doing everything you possibly can to make the most of it.
It also doesn’t magically do the work for you. Despite the plethora of templates and examples on offer, in the end, your mileage will vary and depend in large part upon a combination of the quality of your music, how much work you put into getting your ducks in a row to release said music, a whole lot of e-mailing, e-mailing, e-mailing (but, I’ve got tips to make that less tedious!), and sadly, a host of music industry biases.
Good news time! What Trickle Down Music does offer, however, is a solid foundation for your release and validation that you are doing everything you possibly can to make the most of it. Whether you’re releasing an album for the first time, or a scene veteran that’s always found some aspects of the music ecosystem to be a bit of a mysterious and inaccessible black box, Trickle Down’s got you covered.
Trickle Down is a set of tools to get your music not just distributed globally, but also distributed directly into the hands and ears of community & campus radio programmers, local press, national and international media. It provides important starting points and real-world examples of successful grant proposals and tips for show & festival bookings. It also ensures that you are set up to get paid for when your music is played both on radio and at your own shows. While these royalties are unlikely to add up to a livable wage for emerging and mid-sized artists, when combined with performance fees and album sales, they can go a long way to ensure that your releases, at the very least, break-even, and ideally help to fund the next one.