Five Questions to Ask Your Publisher

For many songwriters and musicians, the idea of signing a publishing deal is so exciting the only question they think to ask is, "Where do I sign?" However, it's worth it to take a deep breath and ask some questions that can ultimately have an impact on royalties, sync deals, and your entire career. Here are just a few questions you should consider asking your potential publisher before signing a deal:

Nov 15, 2018

Publishing vs. Distribution

Most songwriters know that having great songs and a great sound is only the first step to making music a full-time career. The next step is to assemble a team of professionals to distribute your music and make sure you collect all your royalties. Even songwriters with a distribution deal in place should understand what a publisher does and how they can help you succeed. Working with both is the best way to make sure you effectively manage the business side of your career and collect all the money you earn. Below are the major differences between what a publisher will do for you and what a distributor will do - make sure to know the difference.

Oct 24, 2018

Top Four Reasons You Need Music Publishing

The act of creating music is a reward unto itself – but even the most evolved songwriters need to eat. While it can be a thrill to hear your music on Spotify or YouTube, it can be even more exciting to be compensated for your work every time someone listens to it. But reaping those rewards can seem like a daunting task to a songwriter – especially one who doesn't know the complex path to compensation. Here are the reasons every songwriter should have publishing.

Oct 18, 2018

Songtrust: The Music Modernization Act and You

Though they may not grab the same headlines that SCOTUS, the 2018 midterms and #MeToo so rightly do, there have been massive and historic changes in the music business this year. Three separate but related pieces of legislation—the Music Modernization Act here in the United States plus significant copyright reforms both in the US and the EU—are poised to alter the financial landscape for the better for artists, songwriters and publishers. After many long, lean and frustrating years for many in the music business, a sensible and up-to-date framework for managing the complicated business of music rights is finally coming into view.

Oct 11, 2018

Industry Spotlight: HeadCount

FOUNDED IN 2004, HeadCount is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization dedicated to voter registration and voter engagement. Working with a small core staff and a national network of volunteers, they hold voter registration and get-out-the-vote drives at music festivals, concerts, and cultural events nationwide.

Their work focuses on advancing participation in the democratic process by going directly to new and young voters to educate them on upcoming deadlines and elections, as well as registering them if they are not currently on the voter rolls in their states. HeadCount has registered more than 500,000 individuals to vote through their work at live music events and cultural gatherings. Additionally, HeadCount is partnered with March For Our Lives, having served as the lead voter registration organizer for the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students’ nationwide bus tour. This summer, HeadCount also organized voter registration efforts on summer concert tours including Jay-Z and Beyonce; Macklemore and Kesha; Dave Matthews Band; the Vans Warped Tour; and many other musical artists.

They are now focused on get-out-the-vote initiatives, as many states have already begun their early voting periods for the 2018 midterm elections.

Oct 10, 2018

Producers Are The New Songwriters

The music industry has once again gone through a tremendous transformation. Traditional roles in the business of creating music have been redefined and revolutionized. Picture the traditional scene of a music creation team in a studio--in attendance you may find the artist, the band, the manager, possibly the A&R rep of a label, the audio engineer, etc. Maybe you’ve hired a team of songwriters and curated a set of songs to record from their work. These roles are the traditional puzzle pieces required to produce good music. Now forget all of that. Consider what one person can accomplish musically on a Macbook alone. With a DAW (digital audio workstation) like Ableton or Fruity Loops, a few royalty-free sample packs, some cheap-to-free VSTs/Plugins, and a bit of a musical ear, the ‘laptop producer’ now has all the ingredients she needs to create commercially viable music.  

Oct 9, 2018

What is the Music Modernization Act?

Click the image above for the full timeline

Update: The Music Modernization Act has been signed into law on October 11th.

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.

Oct 8, 2018

How to Decide What to Charge for Your Next Gig

One of the first financial decisions you’ll make as a band is how much to charge for your gigs. And while I’d like to say that setting an appropriate price gets easier the more you play, the truth is it always feels a bit like haphazardly choosing a number and hoping people are willing to pay it, or lowballing yourself with a pay-what-you-can (PWYC) entry just get some people in the door in a weird city on tour

Oct 4, 2018

How Songwriters And Publishers Can Benefit From The Rise Of Smart Speakers and Voice Interfaces

As smart speakers continue to grow in popularity, music is taking center stage. Multiple studies have shown not only that playing music is easily the most popular function for smart speakers—ahead of getting the weather and news—but also that owners of smart speakers are more likely to pay for music streaming. In fact, according to the 2017 Smart Audio Report by NPR and Edison Research, nearly 30% of smart-speaker owners said their device led them to become a subscriber to a music streaming service.

Oct 2, 2018