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Music Publishing News Roundup: Friday June 5th, 2015


Bobby Braddock worked on a new venture of writing a memoir about his life as a songwriter on Nashville’s historic and ever growing Music Row.  He has written huge hits from some big time artists such as Toby Keith and Blake Shelton and has established himself within a music scene that seems to be evergreen with a lot of history.

Grooveshark is re emerging in Sweden as a leading streaming service. Not only is Grooveshark surfacing in Sweden, but it is establishing its rapport and growing in countries such as Spain, Colombia, and Israel.  Even through the music industry’s efforts to bury Grooveshark away, somehow this streaming service keeps rising back.

Daniel Ek, Spotify’s CEO and Co-Founder, speaks up in regards to Taylor Swift and his ‘freemium’ business model for the next coming years in the digital age of the music industry.

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Music Publishing News Roundup: Friday May 5th, 2015


Pandora may pay lower rates to rights holders due to their ownership of a terrestrial radio station in South Dakota. The streaming giant acquired KXMZ in June of 2013, but have not been able terrestrial radio rates due to the FCC’s foreign ownership rule, requiring Pandora to be 75% owned by US citizens. FCC chairman, Tom Wheeler, however has recently endorsed the idea of waiving this rule, claiming that its an outdated tool for evaluating ownership.

 Grooveshark, the free music service, is finally giving up after a six-year legal battle.  Through a settlement with Universal Music Group, Sony Music, and Warner Music Group, the company has made the decision to shut down their services and is instead redirecting users to subscribe to streaming services such as Spotify, Deezer, and Google Play.

Copyright review, in House Judiciary, concludes with the final hearing as the ball passes to Congress.  This hearing was mainly a conclusion to a two-year review of copyright allowing opinions to be put in the public record.  The legislative framework that surrounded this was the Fair Play, Fair Pay Act.  Most of the hearing was focused on the Copyright Office’s pursuit for more independence


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5 Things You Had Wrong about YouTube Royalties

5 Things You Had Wrong about YouTube Royalties

What site has over 300 hours of video uploaded every minute and 7 billion hours watched every month?  Well if you have been living under a rock, get ready, because YouTube is here to stay. With over $4 billion in revenue in 2014 alone, you may be wondering “Where does all this money go?” and “How can my songs make money from it?” Well here are some common misconceptions on how songwriter royalties work with this service.

1) YouTube does not pay songwriters:

Actually, with each YouTube video that uses music, there are 4 different royalty types generated, 2 of which are for songwriters! See below list:

1) A royalty for the content owner

2) A royalty for the sound recording owner

3) A performance royalty for the public broadcast of your song – to you

4) A mechanical royalty for the interactive stream of your song – to you

2) The more views the more $:

The view count per video is actually just one of several different factors that contribute to the amount of $ calculated for advertising on a video. Additional factors include how much of the video is actually watched, how many comments per video, how many subscribers, what kind of content is in the video etc…

3) Artists get paid from live videos and all user generated content:

YouTube royalties are only payable to the artist when a video has the master recording of the song, so if a fan uploads a video of a live performance after seeing the concert, the artist would not be able to monetize on that video. You, the songwriter however, can monetize anytime your song is used regardless of the recording. In this way, composition owners may have a wider range of opportunities for monetization, compared to master recording owners who can only monetize from videos that contain one specific recording.

YouTube’s Content ID system matches audio from original recordings using the sound file and relevant information (Songtrust clients can find and submit ISRC’s and other metadata by going to our Songtrust Dashboard –> Spotify/iTunes lookup section) to identify videos that may be a potential match, this goes for cover videos, live performance videos, lyric videos, cat videos etc. giving you the opportunity to either monetize from them or take it down. You can also manually claim videos using your music through Songtrust’s YouTube monitor.

4) YouTube royalties get paid to you by your distributor or label:

Unlike mechanical royalties generated from physical sales and digital distribution, for the most part labels are not involved with you as a songwriter on YouTube. If you are affiliated with ASCAP or BMI, you are eligible to collect the performance royalties generated from your video. Additionally, when you signup with Songtrust, you will automatically be opted into our YouTube partnership and claiming technology, allowing you to collect your interactive streaming mechanical royalties, the other bucket of income generated from YouTube.

5) YouTube pays publishing royalties worldwide:

The money paid out by YouTube directly as well as the money from ASCAP and BMI is primarily US only. Foreign collection societies also track and collect royalties from the service, so in order to make sure you are eligible to collect publishing royalties worldwide you will need to affiliate and register your songs with these societies, Songtrust will take care of this for you.

Author: Alex Badanes

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Music Publishing News Weekly Roundup: Friday March 6th, 2015


ASCAP topped one billion dollars in revenue in 2014, being the first time that any performing rights organization has collected so much money.  As this company has been fighting for survival within the digital age, it has also been finding efficient ways to distribute a significant amount of money to thousands of songwriters.  As ASCAP and BMI’s licensing is regulated by the federal government, it has become a debated topic as it results in low royalty rates and in relation to this, Senate Judiciary subcommittees will hold a hearing on ASCAP and BMI’s consent decrees.

The Songwriter Equity Act has been reintroduced to Congress regarding section 114 and 115 of the Copyright act with the goal to achieve better rates for songwriters.  This act represents a step in the direction to create a fair market royalty rate for streamed or downloaded music as well as updating the current music licensing system.  This is a hopeful work in process and is commended by music representatives.

Pandora is appearing as the leader in streaming according to a recent report from Edison Research and Triton Digital.  As music streaming’s popularity consistently increases so does the opportunity to targeting different groups that haven’t dived on these services, specifically ages 25 to 54.  The main question of 2015 is how the on-demand steaming market will pan out with both young and old consumers.

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Music Publishing News Roundup: February 27, 2015

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Friday has been set as the global record release day according to a recent report from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. This announcement follows the IFPI’S recent report that showed that a majority of active music listeners prefer new music to be released on Fridays and Saturdays. With this in place, international music listeners will have access to new released at the same time regardless of the country they live in. Press releases have been released from executives at RIAA, Concord, The Orchard, and Rdio in support.

Spotify has added a lyrics button to their desktop player through MusixMatch’s Lyrics. With the latest update of Spotify’s desktop client, they have removed the “App Finder” feature and added a button that allows users to lyrics for any song they are listening to. The newest update will also feature a new Friend Feed that vies users more information on what their friends are listening to. Plans for releasing a lyrics button to their mobile apps are still to be determined.

Beatport has released a free dance music streaming service. The music site, originally providing high quality downloads for DJ’s live sets was acquired by SFX in 2013, at which point they began planning a complete overhaul of the entire site. The new streaming service will focus on discovering new music and will focus on the dance/EDM genre.

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