A Brief History of Music Publishing

Music publishing today is the business of creating, producing and distributing the written song compositions, ensuring that the songwriter, composer, and creators receive royalties when their songs are used or reproduced. However, the journey it’s taken to get here has been a long one. It’s developed significantly since the 1800s, when, during the industrial revolution, print music was introduced as an option for venues to use for their patrons. As the demand for music in venues and establishments increased, classical music took the lead by delivering sheet music to be used by the in-house musician to entertain guests.

Apr 3, 2018

An Interview with Lorenzo Cook

UPON ARRIVING in Syracuse after growing up in Brussels, Lorenzo Gillis Cook was introduced to the fast paced, lo-fi sound of the American house show scene. Though he had been making music for years under the name Spark Alaska and through his previous indie pop band, Throw Television, the franticness and earnest expression being put on display in upstate basements and attics was infectious.  In late 2014, Cook brought the first Petite League demo - Surviving October - to friend and drummer, Henry Schoonmaker. From there, the two have recorded two albums - Slugger and No Hitter - which have been written up by publications such as Pitchfork, Fader, Yours Truly, and Noisey; co-founded the notable Syracuse DIY venue Scarier Dome, and now reside in Ridgewood, Queens. The third record - Rips One Into The Night Into The Night - was released in August 2017. Blending the sweet, bubblegum qualities of bedroom pop and the snot nosed fuzz of garage rock, Petite League is swinging for the fences.

Mar 29, 2018

An Inside Look at Songtrust

Mar 29, 2018

Mechanical vs Performance Royalties

Almost every musician knows they can make some money off playing a gig or selling CDs, but not every musician knows the difference between each revenue stream, nor that they can make money in so many other ways. When you’ve finished (written, produced, or composed) a song and start to distribute your music, you're due royalties from the use of your composition -- more specifically performance and mechanical royalties. It’s important to know the different royalties you can collect - whether its from streams on Spotify or serenading your local coffee shop - and how to collect them since publishing royalties make up a significant part of your revenue as a creator or music business.

Mar 27, 2018

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