Creative Hub

9 things we learned at the Music Tech Talks

We were at the Music TechTalks to find out how the landscape of the music industry is constantly changing. Check out what we discovered…

Jim Ottewill
  • By Jim Ottewill
  • 28 Oct 2015
  • min read
While we all know the music industry is changing faster than ever, as a new songwriter it’s a challenge to stay on top of it and what you need to do to build a successful career.

So we were at the Music Tech Talks, organised by the Creative Industry Hub, to find out more. The day’s panel of experts included Rory Bernard, SynchTank chairman, Music Gateway CEO Jon Skinner and Harry Leckstein. Read their top tips for getting ahead in the industry…

Know your own brand

Jon Skinner (JS): Define your plans and think of yourself as a small business.

 Remember your songwriting splits

JS: Work out your songwriting splits from the start. At the beginning bands will do equal splits but when they start getting successful, it can all go wrong and even break a band up (just look at what happened to Spandau Ballet).

Collaboration helps you grow as a songwriter

JS: Working with others is a learning curve. But you need to get out there and take risks to develop as a songwriter.

Be prolific

Harry Leckstein (HL): Constantly release music. If you can curate 30-50 pieces of music per year, then that’s a lot over a 30-40 year career. Over time, this catalogue becomes significant and remember to look after it - it’s your calling card.

Your songs may have a global audience

JS: Everyone should think about working on a global platform - ask yourself where your music relates to in and outside of the UK - where else will it work? Which other territories?

 There are more sync opportunities than ever

HL: There are so many channels to market these days - and every channel has a certain amount of time which needs filling. Everything has music on it - incidental, credits, themes - so there are many content opportunities.

 Get your data right

Rory Bernard: One of our clients generated a sync on a popular TV show in the states. They got a meaningful sync fee but had little information on their cue sheet. They lost out on future royalties because of the lack of attention they paid to their admin responsibilities.

Don’t worry about getting signed

JS:  People focus too much on trying to get signed/published that golden egg – the egg broke some time ago. There are so few people getting signed – it’s not worth the energy to worry about – timeis better spent focusing on the quality of your songs.

Use the free resources available to you

JS: Be careful when you’re signing off on deals. Sign up with the Musicians' Union and take advantage of their free legal service.

Visit to find out more.