All indications suggest that Adele has just broken the all-time week one album sales record in the US with 25.
It’s a breathtaking commercial performance, and one which puts paid to the idea that recorded music – and the album format itself – doesn’t sell anymore.
Time to whack out the party poppers and fizz for a music business which suddenly doesn’t quite feel quite so pessimistic…
Some of you, though, will be doing so with a little knot in your stomach.
For small businesses (including artists), the tax return deadline is drawing ever nearer. That is not as fun as talking about Adele’s sales. But it has to be done.
It has to be done.
NWN Blue Squared CEO, Nick Lawrence (pictured inset), wants to offer you some sage advice on this matter, but doesn’t want to spoil the Adele extravaganza.
What to do?
Of course! An Adele-themed platter of pointers – five of them, in fact.
Nick’s done this before with some success – just see his tribute to Rihanna from earlier this year.
Can he pay equal puntastic respect to everyone’s favourite Tottenham troubadour?
This one goes out to those in the music industry that think accountancy just happens by whistling a happy (or not so happy) tune…
- Take It All – You accountant isn’t just for tax returns (or Christmas). If you want to make a serious living from music, you need to think of it as a business. Any good music accountant should be offering you broader business advice and even business management and support, not just doing the sums. Take everything they have to offer and don’t just think of them as bean counters – it will be worth every penny.
- Rumour Has It – Just signed a deal with a new label; agreed a world tour; committed to a heap of merch? Don’t let your accountant find out about your bank account-changing exploits via Twitter, Instagram or MBW (although we read them all). Warn them in advance, in fact, talk to them before you put pen to paper; they may have some useful advice and/or contacts that could make you, or save you, serious money.
- Cold Shoulder – It’s a tough world out there and not all the news will be good. But don’t take it out on your accountant. If the numbers aren’t looking healthy or their advice is radical to get you back on track, don’t ignore it and think the problems – or your accountant – will go away. Facing up to the tough times might be a game-changer and may even save your career with the right intervention.
- I’ll be Waiting – Don’t leave things ’til the last minute, particularly paperwork for annual tax returns, tour accounting or witholding tax, etc. Even if they’re filed carefully in a carrier bag (there could be tax relief on the 5p), get them to your accountant in plenty of time – that’s weeks or months ahead, not days. Leave your accountant hanging and you can guarantee rushed results which could mean mistakes (yes, even accountants are human) or you have limited time to review and understand the numbers they produce.
- Chasing Pay(v)ments – Forget your latest release, your entire catalogue will be earning you royalties and you should know how much and who is accounting to whom? If you want to stay in business you need to be sure you’re getting paid what you’re owed and, equally importantly, paying what you owe other people. Your accountant should be all over this, ensuring that all your rights are monitored and you’re keeping things cozy with your collaborators.
Music Business Worldwide