Music Publishing News Weekly Roundup: July 18th, 2014

17 Jul


Martin Bandier is threatening to withdraw all rights from ASCAP and BMI. Most major music publishers are looking to withdraw digital rights from the PROs and negotiate direct deals with digital services due to low royalty rates for publishers from digital services. Withdrawing digital rights from the PROs presents challenges to publishers like licensing to small businesses. Martin Bandier, the CEO of Sony/ATV  has made it clear that if the Decrees are not amended he will “explore other options”.

Over 700 Independent labels have come together against digital services to support fair deals for their recordings. This follows last month’s leak of YouTube’s controversial was contract proposalto Indie labels for their new subscription based streaming service. The Worldwide Independent Network (WIN) have coordinated the launch of the “Fair Digital Deals Declaration” to help establish fair negotiations for the respective labels. The official “Worldwide Declaration Signing Day” was held Wednesday, July 16. Signatories for this initiative included Domino, Epitaph, Sub Pop, and Rough Trade among others. Included in the manifesto are 5 major points, calling for fair compensation for the use of their recordings.

Rap Genius has raised $40 million in their latest round of funding from Quicken Loans founder, Dan Gilbert. The company has also decided to re-brand their website with the new name “Genius”. With their new website, they will expand from song, poem, and, book annotations to any open information available on the web. In this way, they will directly compete with Wikipedia. This follows recent controversy for the use of unlicensed copyrights in the form of song lyrics on their site.

Music Publishing Weekly Roundup: July 11th, 2014

10 Jul

IXibUk6o has raised $2 Million in funding from Charles River Venutures. Launched in December 2013 by CEO Shehzad Daredia, the startup music streaming service provides a single platform for users listen to any song from any music service. With Rdio, Beats, Deezer, Spotify, Youtube, and Soundcloud integrated into their system, is attempting to bridge the gap between the several growing music services that may have different catalogs available. The company has also verified several of their artists and included tour dates, song lyrics, and playlists in their profiles. They hope that artists will also use their link to reach the user base of each service. With the new funding, the startup will allow their 6 employee staff to hire more engineers and expand their growing listener base.

Rap Genius has secured a licensing deal with Warner/Chappell. Following legal attack from rights holders since launching in 2009, the lyric and annotation site will now be free to publish lyrics from the vast catalog of Warner/Chappell including Katy Perry, Paramore, and Ariana Grande. This is the final deal of the major publishers the site needed to secure following deals with UMPG in January and SONY/ATV in November 2013. The site also came to a legal agreement with the NMPA last May agreeing to properly compensate composers for the use of their works.

UMPG has partnered with Moodagent to incorporate Music Tagging into their repertoire searches. The Denmark based company specializes in music analysis and navigation and will provide metadata tags for all UMPG tags. With this system in place, clients will be able to seamlessly search the UMPG catalog based on keywords including moods and genres.

4 Royalties You Are Missing, Even With a PRO

8 Jul

music money

So you’ve set yourself up as a member of a performing rights organization. Congrats, you’re off to a great start! However, you will still need a publishing deal before you can collect all of the royalties owed to you. Let’s find out what you might be missing.

Mechanical Royalties:
Performing rights organizations (ASCAP, BMI, SESAC) only collect performance royalties, not mechanicals. When you join Songtrust, we will register your songs with Harry Fox Agency (the US mechanical licensing agency) and other mechanical collection societies worldwide. With your music registered for mechanicals, artists we be able to obtain mechanical licenses to release cover versions of your songs.

Interactive streaming services allow you to choose the songs you listen to (Spotify, Rdio, etc). Most of the royalties generated from interactive streaming come in the form of mechanical royalties. (There are also a small fraction of performance royalties that will be collected by your PRO.)

International Sales:
Outside of the US, music retailers (iTunes, Rhapsody, etc)  are required to pay mechanical licensing societies (think Harry Fox Agency but in other areas of the world) around 9% of revenue earned from each download. This amounts to about 9 cents per digital download, owed to the songwriter. This money sits at the mechanical society until it is collected by a publishing administrator like Songtrust. If you have international sales, you are likely missing your international mechanical royalties.

International Performance Royalties:
ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC are designed to collect performance royalties in the US. Songtrust registers your songs directly with international performing rights organziations worldwide and collects royalties directly from these sources. Our direct agreements function faster and more efficiently than ASCAP/BMI/SESAC’s reciprocal agreements.


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Not yet affiliated with a PRO? When you join Songtrust, we will help you become a member of ASCAP or BMI!

Music Publishing News Weekly Roundup: July 4th, 2014

6 Jul


Google has acquired Songza for a financial figure undisclosed to the public. Launched in 2010, the music streaming app is designed to curate playlists for a listener according to their mood. Unlike other competitors, Songza doesn’t use algorithms, they employ over 50 employees to create playlists for specific settings including weather, special activities, and moods. Google plans to bring on all of Songza’s current staff and eventually incorporate the service into Google’s “Google Play Music” and the new subscription based Youtube Music streaming service. Early investors in the company were music executives Scooter Braun and Troy Carter who manage the careers of Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga.

Neilson Soundscan has released a mid year report on physical sales, downloads, and streams in the US for the first half of 2014. The evolution of the music industry towards streaming and away from physical sales and downloads is apparent according to their report. Total album sales 227 million and digital album sales 113.2 million are down from last year’s 235 million and 15.9 million whereas “streamed equivalent albums” are up to 46.9 million from last years 24.8 million. Universal Music Group remains the leading in market share at 38.1% with Sony (27.9%) and Warner (18.8%) behind. The most streamed song is Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” with a combined 188.2 million streams.

Universal Music Publishing Group will be launching a new public repertoire in an effort to allow their catalog to be more easily accessible to potential licensees. Similar to performing rights organizations ASCAP and BMI, UMPG will post their entire catalog of songs online and include data such as songwriters, country of origin and other relevant information.

Music Publishing News Weekly Roundup: June 27th, 2014

26 Jun


YouTube’s contract with Indie’s has been leaked via Digital Music News. As the world’s largest video streaming service gears up to launch their new subscription based music service, indie labels and publishers are angered by the unfair terms presented in their contract. Under YouTube’s new service, only 65.5% of revenue will go to the labels and publishers. This rate is lower than the roughly 70% revenue of competing services Spotify, Rdio, and Beats Music. In addition, YouTube will only pay royalties on ad supported content; they will not pay per each play like competitors Spotify and Beats Music.

The 29th Annual ASCAP Film and TV Music Awards were held Wednesday June 25th, 2014 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in LA. The 100 year old Performing Rights Organization celebrated the top songwriters behind music of TV, film, and video games in 2013. Highlights included the Shirley Walker Award presented to writing duo Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman as well as Steven Price winning the Best ASCAP Film Score of 2013 for his score in Gravity. Performances included Ed Robertson of The Barenaked Ladies performing his theme song to The Big Bang Theory and a string quartet performing the Top Video Game Score from the game BioShock Infinite.

A new on – demand music streaming service will launch July 4th called ROK Mobile. John Paul Dejoria (previously behind Patron Tequila) and Paul Mitchell hair products as well as Jonathan Kendrick will lead the company. They will attempt to set themselves apart from competitors with their Mood Grid feature that specifically personalizes the listeners music based on their mood. They will launch with mobile services Sprint and T-Mobile. The rates at which they will pay publishers and labels have yet to be announced.