The Basics of International Publishing

Songwriters dream of hearing their music in every far-flung corner of the world. Right now your music could be wafting through the streets of Tel-Aviv, Tijuana or Tokyo. Keeping track of what has been played where and by whom across the globe can be complicated, expensive and time consuming, but since international markets are a great source of revenue it makes sense to understand some international music basics.

Apr 19, 2018

Covering and Sampling: The Basics

Despite its deep roots in musical tradition, covering and sampling other artists’ work is a sticky topic. Some songwriters have no issue with drawing inspiration from existing songs and sounds, while others insist it’s “cheating” and prefer a more traditional approach to songwriting.

If you’re in the second camp, we offer sincere and heartfelt admiration for your purist approach. If you’re in the former, we want to assure you that you’re in great company (see: “The entire genre of hip-hop”).

More to the point, we want to make sure you’re aware of the legal ramifications of recording or incorporating other artists’ work when it comes to the—let’s face it—sometimes confusing world of music publishing. While registering covers and samples is an increasingly common practice, you should know the upsides and downsides of covering and sampling before you start building sample-based tracks, or recording cover versions of existing songs.

Apr 18, 2018

YouTube 101: A Beginner’s Guide

Savvy musicians know that YouTube is one of the best ways to locate fans and potential fans around the world. If you’ve started your own YouTube Channel, you’re on your way, but are you taking all the right steps to earn royalties from your songs on YouTube?

Apr 12, 2018

I've Written a Song, Now What?

You finally finished writing/producing that perfect song, worked out all the kinks and chosen the perfect words, and now you’re ready to share it with the world. How you move forward from here can define who you are as a creator/writer. The most important next step is to record, master, or mix your song. You can’t start collecting royalties or get public interaction until your songs are complete, so decide the way that works best for you and get finalizing.  

Apr 5, 2018

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