What is the Music Modernization Act?

You’ve definitely heard about it in the news as it’s been making waves in the music community for the past year—the Music Modernization Act, or MMA. On the surface it’s legislation, written and introduced by Representatives Doug Collins (R-GA) and Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), that would change the rates and the way mechanical royalties are paid out to copyright owners, and overhaul how the statutory boards and courts regulate collective licensing in the United States. Looking under the surface, this proposed legislation is much more complicated and nuanced, ultimately positively affecting the lives of rights holders, streaming companies, and the music industry for the future.

Mar 22, 2018

Artists and Songwriters as Leaders: SXSW 2018

Listen to Panel

I had the privilege to moderate a panel last week at South by Southwest (SXSW) with Money Mark, Ted Leo, and Rebecca Gates on the need for the music industry to look to our artists and songwriters for leadership as we navigate the ever-evolving landscape of creativity and commerce. I began my career in music as a songwriter and performing artist with my group Bratmobile and since then have participated in nearly every corner of the industry, with the good fortune to have worked with amazing artists, songwriters, labels, publishers, music services and trade organizations. A recurring theme throughout has been the need for artists and songwriters to be more at the center of the decisions our industry is facing, particularly as the landscape of revenues has shifted dramatically in recent years.

Mar 21, 2018

Building Team Songtrust

When I was given the task of helping scale Songtrust from a small team into the team it is today and what it will be in the near future, I knew I was living a recruiter’s dream. Songtrust is a unique company that is on a mission to disrupt and modernize an industry that has been operating within an antiquated model.   

Mar 19, 2018

Talking Songs With Common Holly

BORN IN New York and raised in Montreal, Common Holly (AKA Brigitte Naggar) puts unpredictable compositional elements into a singer-songwriter/folk framework, packaged in textured, eclectic electro-acoustic production. Her forthcoming album, Playing House, contemplates the notion that it is conscious thought and deliberate action that defines and cements maturation from child to adult.

Mar 14, 2018

Do I Need More Than a Performance Rights Organization?

Many of Songtrust’s most frequently asked questions focus on how we work with Performance Rights Organizations, or PROs. Many times songwriters will ask “I’m already registered with a PRO, do I still need Songtrust?” or “Do I need to register with a performance rights organization (PRO)?” The answer simply is yes, but it’s important to understand why you need one and why you still need publishing administration from a company like Songtrust.

Mar 13, 2018

Why Your Setlist is More Than Just a Souvenir

As an artist, sharing the hard work you’ve put into your songs is just as important as the songs themselves. You have so many options when it comes to sharing with your community -- digitally on streaming services, visually through music videos, and publically through gigs. While you often get paid through a pre-negotiated deal with the venue, did you know you also earn performance royalties from the songs that you perform publicly? This happens through your setlist -- the document, whether handwritten or printed, that lists the songs in the order you plan to perform -- which, once submitted, gets sent to your PRO (performance rights organization) to distribute your earned royalties.

Mar 12, 2018

The Case for Data

I spent Valentine’s Day digging through fourteen million digital streaming assets trying to match them to those from our clients in our system. Three weeks later and I’m still not done. I don’t say this for you to feel sorry for me (although if you’d like to buy me flowers, dinner, etc. who am I to stop you!), I say this because I’m one of the few people in music publishing equipped to tackle problems like these using data. I write a structured query to run identifiers through our database and matches return, while my counterparts at other publishers are hand matching on an excel sheet. Why is this relevant? There are so few data savvy practitioners in this part of the music ecosystem and I want to give it a voice.

Mar 7, 2018

Music Publishing Administration 101

As a songwriter, you spend a majority of your time refining and iterating your work until it’s perfect. Once you’re done, sharing it with the world is equally important, but there’s more to it than just uploading it to Spotify or Youtube. You deserve to get paid for all the hard work and countless hours you spent creating a work of art. This means collecting royalties - payments made from one party to another for the right to use a composition on an ongoing basis - in every capacity, all across the world.

Mar 6, 2018

Keychange & Songtrust

International Women’s Day gives us a chance to celebrate women’s achievements and reflect on what more we can do in our lives and in our companies to promote gender parity. Discussion and focus around diversity issues in the music industry has never been stronger, and 2018 is in position to be a new era for women in the music community.

Mar 5, 2018