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Business News (more headlines) 04-26-2014

James Citkovic, President Of Countdown Entertainment Helps Musicians, Bands, Producers And Others Secure Deals

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Website: http://www.countdownentertainment.com

As options for artist development-once readily provided by record and production companies-dwindle, and recording contracts for unknown and unproven talent become virtually extinct, many musicians, bands, producers, even young managers and independent labels are left out in the proverbial cold.

But it doesn't have to be that way. So says James Citkovic, president of Countdown Entertainment (www.CountdownEntertainment.com), a traditional artist management firm established in 1983. More than a decade ago, after seeing development opportunities for both young and established musicians, songwriters and bands all but disappear, Citkovic decided to put his years of experience and extensive network of contacts to work in a different way. He founded "Hire A Consultant," a division of Countdown Entertainment, which offers fee-based artist development services designed to help musicians, songwriters, bands, producers, managers and others not only get their musical house in order business-wise but to also have their music heard by top-level industry professionals. And during that process, have the opportunity to secure deals.

To elaborate, services include: Song placement with major artists; music placements opportunities in TV and film; international licensing; access to international industry decision-makers; image and presentation development; business advice about such critical documents as band agreements and work-for-hire contracts, and much, much more.

Although some of the services Hire A Consultant provides are similar to those of a manager, there are several major differences. "As personal consultants we are paid a retainer but we NEVER take a commission on any deals our clients secure," states Citkovic. "And we are non-exclusive, meaning clients can work with anyone else they choose while taking advantage of our services." In addition, there's also no long-term contract involved.

Citkovic is clear, however, "Artists should NEVER pay a manager a retainer fee. Managers should only be paid a commission based on an artist's earnings. Period." Consultancy and other fee-based services like those provided by an attorney, PR agency, radio promotions company and Hire A Consultant are valuable resources that assist artists to take the next step in their careers and shouldn't be overlooked or undervalued because they involve a retainer fee. In fact, paying a fee-for-services is a "clear-cut" way of doing business in the music industry these days since it ensures the artist is always in control, always the one responsible for the result-for better or worse.
Drastic industry changes particularly over the last decade are forcing artists to become more directly involved in their own careers. And Citkovic, like many of his clients, thinks that's a good thing. "If you're going to endeavor to carve out a successful path in such a risky industry, it's a good idea for an artist to make his or her own decisions not only creatively, but to know the parameters of various types of licensing and publishing deals, be responsible for keeping track of monies due them and know how to put their best foot forward via image and presentation materials. But there's no substitute for professional guidance, knowing the right people and having the inside track on opportunities for their music to be heard and used. That's where Hire A Consultant comes into the mix. "Although we charge a fee for our services, we are also very selective about the clients we take on. It's always about the music first and foremost. We have to believe that our clients' music is good enough to score deals," Citkovic is quick to point out.

Through these Hire A Consultant services he began offering in 2002, Citkovic has helped hundreds of artists, and dozens of his clients have landed deals.

Jordana Greenberg of Harpeth Rising (www.harpethrising.com) is one such example. Here's what she writes. "Working with James Citkovic has been fantastic for us-he helped us to get our image, website and publicity materials in great shape, and within a few weeks of receiving our first leads we've been offered two deals. We are thrilled!"

As a manager, James Citkovic has represented clients as diverse as one of the Top 100 Black Entertainers of all time, platinum-recording artist Irene Cara; Grammy-nominated producer Chris Conway; songwriter and Epic-recording artists, Wood Ready, among others. He has also contracted more than 40 full-length albums, 50 singles, numerous international licensing deals and music publishing contracts for his clients with companies such as BMG Entertainment (www.BMG.com), Warner/Chappell (www.WarnerChappell.com), and MCA Music Publishing (www.UniversalMusic.com). Over the years, Citkovic has also partnered with other music managers including Michael Lang (Joe Crocker, Billy Joel, and the creator of the Woodstock festival), Mike Appel (Bruce Springsteen) and John Regna (Jose Feliciano).

Citkovic has also been quite successful brokering music publishing catalogues and music masters of major artists including those of The Ramones (www.image-entertainment.com), Elvis Presley (www.deltamusic.co.uk), Joe Strummer (The Clash) and Lynyrd Skynyrd (www.bicyclemusic.com), among others.

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