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.
Entries in publishing (12)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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:
With over 40 years of experience in the music and entertainment industry, T Bone Burnett surprised the Future of Music Coalition Policy Summit at Georgetown University when he said that the future of music is analog. This was shocking because most of the music industry conference has been focused on the Internet and digitization. David D has posted about T Bone Burnett’s concern about the quality of recorded music such as the MP3. What do you think about the quality of recorded music? Do you care more about convenience or about better quality? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
“To someone starting out at as an artist today, his advice would be “stay completely away from the Internet.” (Read on and watch the video)
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(Updated January 13, 2016)