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

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

The More You Know, The More You Grow

There is no denying that the more that you know, the more that you are able to grow. Learning on (and off!) the job is essential to developing your working self, regardless of what your job technically is. I am excited to share some tips that I’ve learned through being a vagabond intern, an unemployed graduate, and, currently, the Publishing Coordinator at Songtrust, as well as show you how Songtrust enables you to “know and grow” as a songwriter.

May 24, 2018

ISRC vs ISWC - What's the Difference?

The music industry is full of acronyms - ASCAP, BMI, IP and DSP are just a few. As a songwriter, you probably know about PROs (performance rights organizations) like ASCAP and BMI, but you may not know the terms ISRC or ISWC, or even what they mean – and that these two acronyms can have a major impact on collecting your royalties.  

May 22, 2018

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

On The Road: What To Know When Touring

Hitting the road in support of your latest songs can be an exciting experience. Even so, it's important to remember that touring isn't just a chance to travel and meet your fans, but also a chance to bring in income. Taking care of business before you leave home can be the difference between making money and returning with little or nothing to show for all your hard work. Every experience is different, we get that, so here are just a few things to keep in mind when you’re preparing to go on tour:  

May 15, 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