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Entries in publishing (15)


7 Things I Wish Somebody Had Told Me About Releasing Music

 About 10 years ago, a pretty awful music producer was sitting in his parents spare-room on his computer trying to make sense of Ableton Live, and the world of record labels, sales and music production.

That producer was me, and there are a few things I wish somebody had told me back then.

I’ve come a fair distance since those days, but many of the things I wish I’d been told are still as true today, so I’d like to cover a few for you.

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The Return Of The Song Plugger - The Unsung Heros Behind Songwriting’s Renaissance In The Digital Age 

By Thomas Scherer, EVP US publishing and international writer services at BMG

We’re in the middle of a golden age of collaboration in the music industry. The digital age has removed barriers for artists and writers teaming up to work together, contributing parts, ideas, lyrics and so much more. In the past twelve months, some of the biggest hits in our catalogue - such as DJ Snake’s “Let Me Love You” ft. Justin Bieber and Florida Georgia Line’s “H.O.L.Y.” - have been co-created by amazingly talented writing and production teams. Yet all of this creativity is underpinned by an unsung role that has never been more important within the music industry - the song plugger. 

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Is Your Single A Flop?

“Oh well, there’s always the next single.”

“It doesn’t seem like anyone is interested.”

These are two things I often hear from bands following the first week of pitching media on a single. This is often after only seeing ten to 20 outlets cover the band. Did I mention it was after only one week actively promoting the release?

There’s often a sense of panic from musicians after that first week – the band invested a lot of money – and it’s already a flop.

It’s not, I promise.

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Consent Decree Impact Infographic

Editor’s Note: This infographic is intended to visualize the recent decisions made by the Department of Justice for the Consent Decrees. For more information on these decisions and how they could impact songwriters, please check out our post, “5 Things Songwriters Need to Know About the Consent Decree.” This post originally appears on the Soundstr Blog


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Maintain Media Relationships Between Releases 

Are you frustrated because all the music bloggers who loved your last record seem to care less about the new one you’re releasing? After repeated attempts to contact the writer, you can’t seem to get a response no matter how hard you try.

Here’s the cold, hard truth: Your band is not the center of the journalist’s universe. Writers are often battling fast-paced deadlines, an overflow of submissions in their inboxes, and, more often than not, a full-time job with deadlines and demands of its own.

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5 Things Songwriters Need To Know About The Consent Decree

What is the Consent Decree, and why are people talking (and so upset!) about it?

While the music industry can seem glamorous, it does have its “unsexy” parts just like any other business sector. For songwriters, one of the least discussed (yet most important topics) is music licensing. But major changes to the consent decree – the federal agreement that governs how ASCAP and BMI operate – is bringing this topic to the surface.

The truth is, these changes could be the biggest in the music industry in 75 years and greatly impact your career.

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What 'No Unsolicited Material' Means And Why You Should Take It Seriously

This article originally appeared on the Sonicbids Blog

Artists and songwriters have encountered this roadblock of a phrase many times before: “no unsolicited material.” The ominous slogan conjures up images of faceless label execs in black suits and ties with an arm out, palm forward in the universal gesture for, “Stop. We are untouchable. Your career goes no further.”

It can be the most infuriating thing for an eager artist to deal with. That’s especially true when youknow you have great material that aligns with the label’s brand and roster. I get you, buddy. I’ve been there, too. But “no unsolicited material” is actually not as scary and unapproachable of a term as it seems once you understand why labels use it in the first place.

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Legal Issues With Songwriter Collaborations

Under the US copyright law, an author or creator owns a copyright in his or her work the moment it is “fixed in a tangible medium” (i.e., the moment the expression of an idea is written down or recorded in some manner). When it comes to the recorded music business there are two primary copyrights of interest: one in the musical composition or song; another in the sound recording of that song. A copyright extends for the life of an author plus 70 years, and in the case of collaborators on a copyright it extends for the life of the last surviving collaborator plus 70 years.

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4 Things Your Music Publicist Should Never Say

This article originally appeared on the Sonicbids blog

There are things that a publicist, or someone purporting to be a PR professional, will say that are instant red flags. If these statements don’t sound quite right, that means they probably aren’t. So you better ask the person who said them to clarify. That, or reserve your right to be a bit suspect.

I’ve heard certain people who claim to be/who act like PR people say a handful of things that cause my eyebrow to raise a little. These sayings indicate that they don’t know what they are doing, that they aren’t legit, or that they might be a poser. Four of the most questionable statements I’ve heard in some variation or another are below, and are what to be on the lookout for.

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Score a License: What Music Supervisors are Looking For

There has been a great deal of buzz about music licensing in recent years, and with good reason! Compared to other revenue streams, licensing can have potentially big payouts for indie musicians. It’s also a pretty confusing aspect of the music industry. Just how exactly do songs get on those TV shows? The conductors behind those licenses are music supervisors.

What is a Music Supervisor?

Music supervisors oversee the music-related aspects of TV, films, and video games. They are in charge of interpreting the producer’s vision, finding the right track, and negotiating the contract with the artists. Of course, there are MILLIONS of songs out there, so finding the right one is no easy task. On top of that, licensing for use in visual mediums is a juggling act, with as many as eight separate deals depending on how many parties are involved (songwriter, recording artist, record label, publishing company, etc.) and how the song will be used.

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Self Publishing on YouTube

Everyone knows how important the YouTube platform is for indie musicians. It’s a great way to get your music out to fans, grow your fanbase, and provide your fans with great content from music videos to vlogs. There are plenty of musicians out there who have become successful mainly because of their YouTube channel, with Karmin and Pomplamoose being two of the most successful examples. They grew their audience by targeting young teens with covers of popular songs. Other musicians, like Alex Day, have based their career entirely on recorded music sales and a YouTube channel featuring music videos and hilarious vlogs.

However, there is another aspect of YouTube that is vastly underutilized by the musician community on the platform - publishing. You don’t need a publisher to get your music placed in YouTube videos. You just need to be proactive with social media and reach out to YouTubers you think would be interested in using your music with their creative content.

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How Understanding Publishing Can Help Independent Artists Make Money

I have read a ton of articles over the past few months about how important understanding publishing is to the independent artist, and it is. What confounds me is that even with all of this information, there is still confusion in the marketplace on how this works, especially when it comes to streaming services like YouTube, Spotify, SoundCloud and others.

Lots of people in this business don’t understand it. Friends of mine at labels and management companies don’t understand it, independent artists don’t understand it and as more music consumption services come online, it is becoming more valuable to get the whole picture.

There is a great article here that gives a thorough overview of how publishing and other performance royalties work – so I don’t want to be repetitive, but I do want to take this opportunity to dive a little deeper into the way publishing works on YouTube – especially when it comes to cover songs.

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Ariel Hyatt: 7 Questions For A Real Live Music Supervisor Sarah Gavigan of Get Your Music Licensed

I’m kinda obsessed with how artists make money mostly because artists constantly ask me how they can make more of it.

Several weeks ago, we proudly blogged in support of The Future of Music’s incredible undertaking Artist Revenue Streams, which is a must read for any artist looking to monetize their music.

The FMC has begun to release the results of their in-depth study and they have identified 42 ways artists can earn money.

Numbers 5 & 6 on the list are:

5. Composing Original Works for Broadcast (an original jingle, soundtrack, score, or other musical work for a film, TV or cable show, or an ad agency…)

6. Synch Licenses (Typically involves licensing an existing work for use in a movie, documentary, TV, video game, internet, or a commercial).

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How Middle Class Musicians Navigate the Nodes on the Network: Topspin Media's CEO Ian Rogers Says "It Just Takes a Long Time"

I recently asked Ian Rogers, CEO of TopSpin Media, about the role of the press in music careers in the new era of the music industry. Topspin Media is a direct-to-fan marketing and retail service, so Ian observes a lot of bands stepping through the stages of development from unknown to known. Here’s what he had to say:

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