Sugar Moon Music Inc. – Case Study

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(Pictured: Maria In The Shower)

Sugar Moon Music Inc. is a publishing, label and management company, working with artists on varying projects. Their main focus is recording, licensing and international touring.  Margaret Dinsdale, President of Sugar Moon Music Inc., attended the international activities presented by CAAMA at CMW 2013 under the International Marketplace. Looking to promote its ever-expanding catalogue of diverse musical styles, about 400 pieces of music under their exclusive, world-wide control, as well as representing several artists, below is a case study of what Margaret was able to accomplish.

Preface:

It is my humble opinion that the B2B meetings are one of the most essential components of CMW as it is here that deals are struck, or potential deals noted and followed-up upon. As in all business, it is the face to face meetings that help ease business dealings as we all go back to our corners of the world and keep in touch via e-mail and telephone. We all have a sense of who we’re dealing with and there is some assurance that all parties are credible. Though I have yet to ink a deal with India, I still have a couple of contacts there who I met several years ago at CMW and am monitoring their progress in developing touring infrastructure as well as the changing tastes of the rapidly rising middle class.

The main thing I’ve learned, as the music industry continues to sort itself out into new models, is that there is no cookie-cutter approach to any deal. Every artist and every market must be viewed with an open mind, every project is unique though certain aspects remain fixed, such as the need for good management and cooperation with different parties.

Sugar Moon at CMW:

OBJECTIVES AT CMW

  • Sugar Moon Music hopes to meet and make relationships with promoters/booking agents with experience in three areas: roots/blues, Medieval/classical chorale, and jazz/cabaret.
  • We are also interested in meeting publishers and those looking for high-quality material for placements in film, television and other platforms. We are interested in representing catalogues from outside of Canada.

The first event Sugar Moon attended was the reception for Pierre Lalonde on Wednesday. I reconnected with people I already knew and, of course, met some new people. But what I was most anxious for were the B2B meetings, and subsequent receptions to hopefully meet those I couldn’t during the scheduled meetings. This year, after my lengthy illness that took up most of 2012, it was important to get Sugar Moon moving in the right direction.

These are the companies and people with whom I met at CMW 2013:

Japan:

(2 meetings)

Though I constructed a tour for a jazz artist that included Japan, the market remains a bit of a mystery. Japan is the number one consumer of physical music product in the world but, outside of “J-Pop”, their tastes can be unpredictable. I did have a couple of conversations including Takeshi Matamura of Village and Steve McClure of mccluremusic.com. Japan remains to be a market I am interested in but it will take time to find the right artist(s) for that market.

Korea:

(1 meeting; one potential deal)

One company that does distribution in classical and jazz, Chili Music, was busy for the meetings, although I did meet with Clare Sohn during the Saturday reception for Korea. I have also been in conversation via e-mail with JunSang Lee of the same company. They are interested in some classical and jazz recordings I am working with. Given the current political situation in that area, I will be seeking touring initiatives at a later date.

Potential for licensing/sub-publishing: $ 5,000

Australia:

(6 meetings, 5 deals)

These were my most successful meetings of CMW wherein I landed a tour deal and a possibility for sub-publishing. The tour will be the Canadian band Maria in the Shower (MITS), for whom I am the international marketing manager. I met with the manager, Tim Price, and media coordinator, Graham Ashton, for The Good Ship, a band with a similar style and fan base. The tour will start at the Woodford Festival in late December/New Years, and then MITS will tour with The Good Ship for 10 days. The Good Ship will then come to Canada and MITS will assist them finding a good festival anchor and then tour with them in summer 2014.

I also met with Clancy Bennett from Centrifuge Music Publishing about possible licensing/sub-publishing; Geoff Trio from Code One and Damian Cunningham from Elastic about touring appearance opportunities. I also met with Millie Millgate from Sounds Australia. I met with Aaran Gicquel from December Dogs from Perth, but I am not sure of the viability of touring Western Australia as part of an eastern tour. It would only be logical if tied in with Singapore or India or other countries more in the vicinity of Perth.

Potential for touring, sub-publishing/licensing, future festivals/tours: $ 25,000

 

European Nordic Region

(6 meetings;  5 deals)

This is a region I am interested in for touring with Schola Magdalena, a classically-trained sextet of female voices who do medieval chorale as well as Maria in the Shower, folk/jazz/blues. Of course I am also interested in licensing/sub-publishing for my ever-expanding catalogue. I had the good fortune of meeting and spending further time with Rowan Rafferty and Tero Viikari of Nem Agency from Finland. They are interested in Maria in the Shower and have offered assistance in helping identify potential venues for Schola Magdalena. I met the staff and ambassador of our embassy in Copenhagen when I was there for Womex 2011 and will utilize that connection as well as one in London, England that I established several years ago as well as Claudia Seeburg at our embassy in Berlin, and establish new ties to develop touring strategies for these two acts as well as one with whom I am currently in artist development.

I also met with Ulrike Halmberg and Peter Astedt from AddMore by music branding from Sweden and have subsequently exchanged e-mails about potential licensing. I met Dagfinn Bach of Music DNA. He is based in Norway and has offices in Germany and China. They have a unique program for radio tracking and could be very useful for distribution and touring in the area. I also had a discussion with Paul Cheetham of Berlin Music Week.

Potential for touring, sub-publishing/licensing: $30,000

Canada:

(20 meetings; 4 deals)

It is always a delight to meet people from Canada with whom I can do mutually beneficial projects. I met Sarah Shoucri and Melanie Turner of Pop Montreal. We have subsequently been in touch via e-mail and look forward to helping promote Canadian talent as well as a possibility of getting the Maria in the Shower/The Good Ship tour (see Australia, above) some sort of Quebec exposure.

I was introduced to Jeff Andrusyk of JMA Talent regarding the artist Tim Armour with whom I am engaged in artist development as a solo artist after years of fronting bands. Jeff is the agent for Valdy and other artists who enjoy the sort of touring I would like to acquire for Tim in due course. Also, I am pitching Schola Magdalena to him for touring within Canada. He is currently out of the country but we will be getting in touch by the end of this month. He is interested in these two acts.

I was invited to a private party in the Marriott the last night of CMW by Duane Gibson (aka D.O. Gibson). I was introduced to Farley Flex and a number of other people, both artists and business people, including: Jossef Hennessy, Yvonne Valnea, Julz, Tony Grace, Deryck Roche, Chelsea Stewart, Darryl “Daz” Coppins, and others. Some of these contacts have original music that I will be assessing for potential inclusion in the Sugar Moon catalogue. Several are artists interested in artist development.

I also met Laurie Brown of LJB Management based in Alberta, George C. Eyer, editor of Torontoartsandevents, Bobby Curtola representing Light Burst International, Roseline Boire of Sennheiser (Canada) Inc., and others with whom I’ve been previously acquainted, Sebastian Mair of Rdio, Andrea Morris of AM2FM, Shain Shapiro of Sound Diplomacy, Derek Andrews of Global Cafe, and many others.

Potential for touring/representation, licensing: $20,000

 

Hong Kong:

(1 meeting, 1 deal)

I met with Sammy Shirra-Moore of Branded Ltd. He is their festival manager and works throughout south-east Asia. I see a potential there for Maria in the Shower for touring and festival appearances. I am always on the lookout for export-ready acts, so these sorts of contacts could have very positive long-lasting effects on my business.

Potential touring revenue: $ 12,000

United Kingdom:

(1 meeting, 1 deal)

I met with Jyri Forsstrom and Roger Kent from LiveMusicStage.com. They have a unique method of producing ticketed live music events for the Internet. While none of the acts I am working with are quite ready for that level of production, it is hoped that they will in due course, especially Maria in the Shower and Schola Magdalena. I also chatted with Roger in his role of consultant with Proper Records about potential distribution deals.

Potential ticketed live music productions, distribution: $ 10,000