Punk: Then & Now

Imagine, if you will, the musical landscape of 1976. Disco and soft rock rule the airwaves; in November of that year, Captain & Tennille’s “Muskrat Love,” strangely, will go to #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. Mainstream music remains placid, pleasant, and unchallenging, save the occasional sprinklings of prog and harder-edged stuff. “Harder” meaning, in this case, Boston and Ted Nugent.

Now, picture a sonic hand grenade thrown into the center of this safe and serene environment: A deafening wave of crashing guitars and furious, bile-spewing singers set on destroying everything that’s come before it. We’re talking, of course, about punk rock.

Jun 21, 2018

Off The Blockchain

I take delight anytime I’m at a tech gathering and no one brings up blockchain or bitcoin. It’s a buzz word and very few actually know what it means or what it entails. Blockchain is very fetch in that it’s not going to happen, at least not anytime soon. Mean girls reference aside, many critics are hyping blockchain up to be this magic bullet that can fix the music industry, bring us world peace, and make everyone and their mom happy. But just like using a unicorn to commute to work, it’s a nice thought but not actually feasible, and I’d like to break down why.

Jun 19, 2018

What is Music Sub-Publishing?

It’s easy to assume that your Performing Rights Organization (aka PRO) has you covered whenever a song you’ve written is played anywhere in the world - and that’s mostly right. Whether your song hits the airwaves in Seattle or Hong Kong, you can expect that eventually royalties will be paid to you. But when your song is stored on a server, downloaded, or used as a ringtone somewhere far away, your PRO may not have a deal with the reproduction rights collective in that jurisdiction. That’s where sub-publishers come in.

Jun 14, 2018

The Guide to Music Streaming Platforms

Last year, streaming platforms were the music industry's biggest source of revenue, surpassing physical sales and digital downloads. While the music industry is seeing a surge for streaming, it’s still not a direct path to riches for the beginning, and even the experienced, songwriter.

Jun 12, 2018

What's The Deal With Black Box Royalties?

If the term black box royalties sounds a little ominous, it probably should. Black box royalties, or black box income, have become a blanket term for money – an estimated $2.5 billion – that is earned but never paid out to any artist. Finding a way to get it is, in many ways, like trying to locate a black box at the bottom of the sea – frustrating and overwhelming.

Jun 7, 2018

You Can Be Your Own Music Publisher

Ask any aspiring songwriter what they want more than a number one worldwide hit and they’re likely to tell you they want a deal with a music publisher. In exchange for a percentage of your royalties, the music publisher will collect royalties and licensing fees, seek out synchronization deals for TV and film placement and sometimes provide cash advances to cover living or touring expenses.

Jun 5, 2018

Industry Spotlight: Talking About Artists With Pandora

PANDORA’S Artist Marketing Platform (AMP) is a suite of free, self-serve marketing tools to help artists promote their music and careers. These tools support the artist’s goals of breaking music, connecting with fans, and making more money – both on and off Pandora. The marketing tools on AMP are supplemented by artist data insights and analytics on Next Big Sound. We sat down with Heather Ellis, from Pandora's marketing team, to talk about artists - from how the industry has changed to the tools now available - and why it's never been a better time to be a songwriter. 

May 30, 2018

Why Use a Publishing Administrator?

The first day into my first job in music publishing, my boss took me aside and said, with earnest, “Give it time, Mandy. It will take many years to master music publishing administration”. How right he was! I’ve been working in music publishing for over a decade now and I’m still learning. The landscape is currently vibrant. There is erosion and evolution.  

May 29, 2018

Songtrust's Music Publishing Glossary

The definition of a successful artist or songwriter is evolving. To thrive, you have to learn the business to make informed decisions. We know, perhaps better than most, that the music industry is flooded with acronyms and terms, probably a few hundred too many. Sometimes just adding a word to an existing term can create a whole new definition! As a part of our continued mission to help songwriters and rights holders become better business people through expert resources and explanation of the music business and music publishing industry, we’ve curated a collection of music industry, business, and publishing terms. Below are a few of the top ten commonly used industry terms and their definitions. Check out the Songtrust Glossary for our full list of terms and educate yourself on their definitions.

May 24, 2018