SoundExchange is an independent nonprofit organization that is dedicated to collect and distribute royalties resulting from digital performance rights of sound recordings. When it was created in 2000, this organization was a division of the RIAA but in 2003 it became an independent organization, currently representing the interests of more than 110,000 artists and copyright owners. As reported by SoundExchange, they have already successfully paid nearly $3 billion since they first started doing business.
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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.
Hello all, and welcome to Part 1 of what I hope will be a ongoing series on how to better make money in your music career. Whether you want to earn a full time income from your music or you simply want to make enough to cover recording or equipment costs, this series should go a way in helping you achieve that.
Today I’m going to look particularly at how you can make money from gigging. I often see musicians leaving money on the table from their gigging efforts, either through shyness, or simply because they didn’t know how best to monetize their performances. With that in mind, here are some of the main ways you should be making money from each gig.
So you’re an independent recording artist, casting about everywhere you can for airplay and exposure. Pandora, the internet-radio service with the taste-smart music library, has just accepted one of your original recordings for rotation. Great, right? Pandora provides access to your music on one of the most talked-about music platforms out there. It’s a step in the right direction, a win.
Except it isn’t anymore.
BMI began sending communication regarding the restaurant’s lack of proper licensing back in September of 2009, but it wasn’t until May of 2010 that BMI even bothered to visit Fosters to verify that the business was actually playing unlicensed music. (From page 32 of the PDF.)So without verifying anything, BMI starts demanding payment from a restaurant for “Piracy”.
This is how the mafia demands “protection”.
This is a repost of something I published earlier today on my personal blog. Normally, I don’t like to repost stuff - but it kind of occurred to me that this is probably where I should have blogged it in the first place… :)
Performance Rights Organisations pay composers when their work is broadcast or otherwise performed in public. And rightly so. But making sure that everyone gets paid fairly is difficult to ensure - particularly when you consider how much data you’d need to track in order to be entirely accurate.
I think there’s another way.
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(Updated July 8, 2015)