The Truth About Advances

Like any new entrepreneur, songwriters may experience cash flow problems and look for additional financing to keep the lights on. However, unlike businesses that have inventory to put up as collateral, songwriters have only their intellectual property and the royalties that property can earn. This limits the options from traditional banking sources and requires songwriters to seek out alternative funding that’s available as an advance against royalties or from selling some rights in exchange for quick cash.

May 17, 2018

Songwriter Success: Webinar Recap

 Last month we held our first-ever webinar - Songwriters: Setting Yourself Up For Success - for new songwriters and those songwriters looking to refine their process. Hosted by Songtrust's own Elizabeth McBride, Publishing Specialist, and Adam Schwartz, Client Success Manager, we covered topics from the creative process and how to get yourself organized, to understanding publishing, PROs, and royalties. The turnout was tremendous and we were asked a lot of excellent questions from the community that tuned in.

We're including some of the questions asked during the webinar and our answers below. You can watch the entire webinar and download our Packet of Success by clicking on the button. Thanks to everyone that made this a huge success! Don't forget to do your research and set yourself up to be not only a songwriter, but a great music business person as well.  Take Me To Webinar

May 16, 2018

Streaming Royalties Explained

Thanks to the internet, streaming has become one of the primary ways people listen to music, whether on their smartphones, at home, on their computers, or elsewhere – but that doesn't mean it's been easy for songwriters to sort out the process of getting paid for all that exposure. Royalty rates are set at a variety of different percentages, usually based on the digital service’s gross revenue for a period of time, and even industry pros and publishing execs who have been in the industry for decades can find themselves confused.

May 10, 2018

ASCAP, BMI, SESAC: The Guide to PROs

Songtrust works globally to collect songwriter's composition royalties from performing rights organizations and mechanical rights societies.

Performing Rights Organizations (aka PROs) are an important part of any songwriter's career – even when a songwriter doesn't realize it. While PROs collect royalties for songwriters when their works are performed publicly, such as played on television and AM/FM airwaves, through internet radio services like Pandora, at a club, inside a restaurant, or at a concert, most organizations don't stop there. Many tackle other issues impacting their members, such as fighting music piracy and keeping up with changes to the industry that have resulted from the advent of digital music. They advocate for artists and writers in their countries or origin, too. We strongly believe that it’s important for songwriters to learn about the PROs in their territory and around the world. Here's a quick overview of just some of the biggest players in the industry:

May 3, 2018

How Your Song Works For You

Understanding how royalties are generated, collected and ultimately deposited in your bank account is as important as songwriting and performing - and it’s not as complicated as you think. The more you know about the business life cycle of a song, the better you’ll be at making smart decisions about your work when it’s released.

May 2, 2018

Songwriters are Business People

When songwriters think of making it big, it usually inspires thoughts of winning an industry award or a beloved artist performing their songs. But a major part of making a career as a songwriter is understanding that the music business is, yes, a business – and that means it's up to every songwriter to seek out education, to learn how to network, and get organized as much as any big CEO would.

Apr 30, 2018

Understanding Split Sheets and Lyric Sheets

Songwriters should know how to show off their work with the best advantage and how to make sure they are paid for their work. While not used by every songwriter, lyric sheets and split sheets are two important documents that may be of use to you as you grow, and something that you need to know how to create and use.

Apr 24, 2018

Avoiding Songwriter Burnout

"The more you know who you are and what you want, the less you let things upset you.” - Lost in Translation

Songwriting comes to each person in a different way - for some, it’s easier than others. It's not uncommon for songwriters to experience burnout, and many careers have plateaued or ended completely because of it. It's important to remember that burnout is usually the culmination of issues that are troubling you – whether it's friction with collaborators or a negative reaction to your songwriting from loved ones – and this can eventually rob you of the joy you used to take in it. Even though burnout has leveled many talents, you can avoid it – or, if you burn out, fight your way back. Here are a few ways to jumpstart yourself:

Apr 23, 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