We recently had the opportunity to talk to Anthony, the mastermind behind Eye in the Sky Collective (www.eyeinthesky.org). Eye in the Sky Collective is an Austin-based business that provides everything from artist and producer management to music marketing and event production.
Here’s a transcript of our conversation (edited for clarity):
ME: Can you tell me a little bit about you and what you do?
ANTHONY: I am the owner and founder of Eye in the Sky Collective, which is a label services and artist management company. On the label services side, that involves coordinating teams around the release of, typically, music records. Sometimes we do events. We also work with the labels and the artists themselves on the creative direction of assets around that musical release. So video shoots, photo shoots, graphic design, and web design. And we do the promotional side of those assets once they’re made, like radio promotion, video promotion, publicity, or digital marketing — all those pieces of the puzzle.
Beyond that, I found some artists that I wanted to work with in the management capacity rather than having them pay us as a provider. I work with them as a partner to provide strategy and those services.
ME: What’s the difference between what you do and what a record label does?
ANTHONY: So the primary difference is that the record label funds those operations themselves and takes a stake in the copyright of the musical work. We don’t take any stake in the intellectual property of the artists or labels but get paid a flat fee upfront or a project or retainer fee to help coordinate all of that.
ME: How many people are you working with?
ANTHONY: It varies between three to five or six projects at a time, which it ends up being about 15 to 20 a year. And projects run from three to six months at a time.
ME: With all that’s going on, what would you say are your current work challenges and priorities?
ANTHONY: I would say project management in the broadest sense. It’s always a challenge to keep all of these projects on time and in order. We use many different tools and each of these vendors have their preferred form of communication. There’s just a lot of communication and sharing that’s happening.
ME: What information sources do you go to to stay on top of your industry?
ANTHONY: Music Business Worldwide is a great resource. It kind of follows both the music industry at large but also gives granular artist marketing techniques and other information like that. I’m part of a Facebook group where artists and managers connect, which is a great resource as well. We’re more independent artists and managers, but also at the forefront of any piece of breaking news that’s relevant to us. There certainly has been a buzz about the SXSW cancellations and virus concerns.
ME: How is that by the way? Has the Corona virus been very impactful to you?
ANTHONY: It’s playing out down the calendar into the future, which is the concerning part. It’s been a crazy time just from initially the SXSW cancellations, then all these other cards falling — big stakeholders like Live Nation and AEG canceling things through March and possibly April.
I’m right in between the line of being upset that it’s messing up some things in the immediate future but also understanding the precautions that need to be taken. Everyone is bleeding across a lot of industries. It’s interesting because a housing market crash isn’t necessarily going to immediately impact the music industry, and there are things that affect the music industry that don’t impact the economy. So the virus is unique in that it’s hitting everything.
ME: It seems like a lot of artists, especially smaller bands and artists, are having lots of trouble right now.
ANTHONY: Yeah, it’s hitting everyone. My artists make a lot of money in live music, so it’s definitely going to be a hit. And we’re all essentially independent freelancers. We’re not employed by an employer that’s going to offer a severance package or PTO. So all that kind of stuff is concerning. We’re trying not to go into full panic mode about it but instead just balancing things. Keeping the coffers close to the chest, so to speak.
If you want to learn more about Eye in the Sky Collective, you can visit their website here: www.eyeinthesky.org
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