I had the privilege to moderate a panel last week at South by Southwest (SXSW) with Money Mark, Ted Leo, and Rebecca Gates on the need for the music industry to look to our artists and songwriters for leadership as we navigate the ever-evolving landscape of creativity and commerce. I began my career in music as a songwriter and performing artist with my group Bratmobile and since then have participated in nearly every corner of the industry, with the good fortune to have worked with amazing artists, songwriters, labels, publishers, music services and trade organizations. A recurring theme throughout has been the need for artists and songwriters to be more at the center of the decisions our industry is facing, particularly as the landscape of revenues has shifted dramatically in recent years.
When I was given the task of helping scale Songtrust from a small team into the team it is today and what it will be in the near future, I knew I was living a recruiter’s dream. Songtrust is a unique company that is on a mission to disrupt and modernize an industry that has been operating within an antiquated model.
I spent Valentine’s Day digging through fourteen million digital streaming assets trying to match them to those from our clients in our system. Three weeks later and I’m still not done. I don’t say this for you to feel sorry for me (although if you’d like to buy me flowers, dinner, etc. who am I to stop you!), I say this because I’m one of the few people in music publishing equipped to tackle problems like these using data. I write a structured query to run identifiers through our database and matches return, while my counterparts at other publishers are hand matching on an excel sheet. Why is this relevant? There are so few data savvy practitioners in this part of the music ecosystem and I want to give it a voice.
The first royalty checks for Songtrust clients are in the mail! 100% of all royalties from ASCAP, BMI & SESAC have been passed on to our community of songwriters.
Having launched in early 2011, we've been excited to send out our first round of royalties to clients. We're also currently awaiting royalties from other collection agencies such as the Harry Fox Agency, CMRRA and Music Reports.
We're looking forward to sending out more checks soon!