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?

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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

Industry Spotlight: Zoo Labs

ZOO LABS teaches business to artists, empowers them as entrepreneurs and directs resources towards their ventures. The process starts in their onsite intensive Zoo Labs Music Residency Program and expands to two years of artistic and entrepreneurial development. Since 2013, Zoo Labs has operated as an Oakland, CA based non-profit, and supported over 200 artists. Their goal is to empower artists to build and strive in their creative careers. We sat down with Brad Dollar, mentor and developer, to learn more about Zoo Labs creation and collective vision on why artist development is so important for aspiring songwriters. 

Sep 26, 2018

'Art of a Manager' Discusses Splits

The way the US government views the the definition differs from the way the music industry has evolved to view and make deals in regard to the writing splits of songs.

Sep 17, 2018

Figuring Out Song Splits With Producers

Determining how to split songwriting credit is already a tricky business. Do you distribute credit equally among all members of a band, even if the lead singer wrote the main musical riff and the rest of the band only added simple accompaniment? What percentage does a guest artist who contributes a rap to an otherwise completed pop song receive? Things get even more complex when it's time to figure out the split for another key player in the creative process – the producer (or producers, as the case may be).

Sep 11, 2018

How to Make The Most at a Music Conference

All industries, whether it’s for marketing, business, or music, have meetups and conferences for those in the industry to meet, learn, exchange ideas and network amongst themselves. For many songwriters, writing, recording and playing music can sometimes be an isolating experience. Attending festivals and conferences can give you an opportunity to meet other musicians and music industry professionals to talk about your work and their work.

Sep 6, 2018

Top Apps For Songwriters

When you're on the road, it may not be so easy to grab a notepad and a pen to scribble down a song lyric, or find a piano to nail down the perfect chord. Maybe you have a service like Songtrust to send your playlists to PROs across the world, but you don't have an app to help with your daily budget. Never fear – here are just a few apps that can make life on the road (or just stuck driving between gigs) a little easier.

Sep 5, 2018