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The Music Biz

The Music Biz

Friday, October 7, 2011 • User Submitted

As a new songwriter, you may be overwhelmed by all there is to do when it comes to moving forward in your career. I'd compare the approach of this article to eating the elephant one tiny bite at a time.

Original Article @ http://www.bmi.com/news/entry/552948

As a new songwriter, you may be overwhelmed by all there is to do when it comes to moving forward in your career. I'd compare the approach of this article to eating the elephant one tiny bite at a time. In other words, by being patient, organized and methodical in your daily work as a songwriter, you're guaranteed to make steady progress in your career. If you follow the suggestions below, the results won't be immediate, but when you look back after six months or a year, I think you'll be amazed at how much you've accomplished.

By Cliff Goldmacher

1. Do One "Business" Thing Every Day. This is the musical equivalent of eating your vegetables. They may not taste great but they're good for you. It's the same with the business side of music. We all know how much more fun it is to play the guitar, sing and even write compared to making phone calls, sending emails or following up on something you've already submitted, but if you're hoping to have financial success with your music, then they're all equally important. By making the rule that you'll do one business thing every day means that at the end of a year, you'll have done 365 things to further your career above and beyond your songwriting. I guarantee that's more than most.

2. Join/Start A Songwriting Group. Getting yourself to write on a consistent basis can be a real struggle. Writing is emotionally draining and tough for most of us to do in a vacuum. Ironically, I've found that even we creative types like assignments when it comes to our writing. By joining a songwriting group where you're required to bring in a new song or a rewrite of an old song every week, you'll have the additional motivation of being held accountable by more than just yourself. It really does work. If you're not aware of any existing songwriting groups in your area, make it a point to get to local writer's nights and reach out to other writers about starting a group. By simply showing up every week and doing the work, you'll find your songwriting muscles getting stronger no matter whether you agree with all the group's suggestions or not.

3. Don't Wait For A Publishing Deal To Act Like You Have One. If you find yourself thinking that if only you had a publishing deal then you could write every day, get great demos and have your songs pitched, then I'd humbly suggest that you've got it backwards. In order to get a publisher interested in what you're doing, you need to behave like you've already got a publishing deal. This means you'll be infinitely more attractive to a publisher if you can show them a body of work that's well written, well recorded and maybe even includes a cut or two. Don't wait around for the affirmation of a publisher to get up every day and do the work. In fact, if you get to the point where you can do all of the above on your own, you might look up to find you don't need a publisher after all.

4. Make One Song Pitch Every Week. Having exceptional songs and beautiful recordings of those songs is a great start but in terms of getting them recorded by other artists or placed in a film or TV show, they might as well not exist if you haven't shown them to anyone. I know this sounds obvious, but, as songwriters, we get so wrapped up in the creative process that we somehow, amazingly, seem to forget that until someone in the industry has heard our songs, they can't do anything with them. This means you need to begin your search for outlets for your music. There are industry pitch sheets and organizations out there that can help put songwriters together with industry folks looking for songs. Make it your business (see #1 above) to find out about these pitch sheets and begin the process of submitting your songs when you see an appropriate opportunity. If you do this once a week, you'll have pitched to 52 separate opportunities by the end of a year. That's a significant number.

5. Reply Promptly To Any Opportunity, No Matter How Small. The likelihood of Faith Hill calling you to ask if you've got a song for her is small but you should treat every email or voicemail from someone regarding your music as that kind of top priority. If another songwriter reaches out to say they liked one of your songs they heard you perform at a writer's night, reply quickly, even if it's just to say thanks. You never know when a causal contact could turn into something more significant. Our industry is full of stories of songwriters getting their material cut in the least likely of circumstances. All this is to say, there's no percentage in ignoring or putting off any opportunity no matter how small it may seem at the time. By acting professionally and responding promptly to anyone and everyone who reaches out about your music, you'll be sure not to miss something huge that might appear insignificant at first glance.

As I'm sure you know, there's no one way to have success as a songwriter. That being said, you can certainly improve your odds by staying patient, working consistently and treating your career with the respect it deserves.

Cliff Goldmacher is a songwriter, producer, session musician, engineer, author and owner of recording studios in Nashville, TN and Sonoma, CA. Cliff's site, http://www.EducatedSongwriter.com, is full of resources for the aspiring songwriter and his company, http://www.NashvilleStudioLive.com, provides songwriters outside of Nashville with virtual access to Nashville's best session musicians and singers for their songwriting demos.

You can download a FREE sample of Cliff's eBook "The Songwriter's Guide To Recording Professional Demos" by going to http://www.EducatedSongwriter.com/ebook

Sunday, September 18, 2011 • BeatsBySwiss.com

This is really important because a lot of people don't know the difference between Royalties from Sales and Mechanical Royalties so i thought this might help you too.

What up this is Swiss Boy

My last email was about Royalties from Sales. In this one you will learn about Mechanical Royalties and Licenses. This is really important because a lot of people don't know the difference between Royalties from Sales and Mechanical Royalties so I thought this might help you too.

Mechanical licenses are the rights granted by the copyright owner or publisher to reproduce songs for public distribution. Money paid by record companies to manufacture and sell records is called mechanical royalties. Mechanical royalties are paid to the publisher who pays the songwriter accordingly. Mechanical royalties are typically determined by multiplying the mechanical rate by the number of tracks on each record or CD that is sold.

Mechanical royalty payments are typically not reliant on the record label recouping their expenses from recording, producing or marketing the record like royalties from sales.

Compulsory Mechanical Licenses were introduced as part of the Copyright Act of 1909 and allow anyone to reproduce a previously recorded work as long the copyright holder is notified, provided monthly royalty statements and paid the royalty rate set by law, called a statutory rate or stat rate. What this means is that you can record a cover version of a song without explicit permission of the copyright holder as long as the song has already been recorded and distributed, you don't substantially change the song's lyrics or music, and you comply with the licensing and reporting requirements. As of January 1, 2006 the statutory rate is 9.10 cents for a composition five minutes or less in length, or 1.75 cents per minute, rounded up, for songs over 5 minutes, per copy.

Record companies often negotiate down mechanical royalties from the statutory rate, for example, 75% of statutory rate.

A record with 12 tracks on it and a negotiated mechanical rate of 75% of stat ($.0.06825) that sells 50,000 copies would generate $ 40,950 in mechanical royalties (12 tracks X $.06825 X 50,000 sold copies) that the record company would pay to the publisher.

The Harry Fox Agency is the primary mechanical rights administration organization in the United States that issues mechanical licenses, collect royalties, and provide reporting for almost 35,000 music publishers. They are paid a percentage of gross royalties collected for their services.

More information about the music business coming soon!

To buy Industry quality beats visit http://beatsbyswiss.com


Thanks for your support. - Swiss Boy


Monday, March 7, 2011 • BSR Admin

There have been six fundamental changes to the music industry that have revolutionized and transformed the business.

Originally posted in: TUNECORE | Written by: Jeff Price
There have been six fundamental changes to the music industry that have revolutionized and transformed the business. It is vital that artists are fully aware of these changes in order to make the most money and pursue their passion on their own terms.
These six changes are:
  1. Music fans now buy and listen to music from digital music stores and services.
  2. There is unlimited shelf space where everything can be in stock at no detriment to anything else.
  3. For no up front cost, there is unlimited inventory always available on demand as a perfect digital copy.
  4. With the launch of TuneCore, there is no gatekeeper to placing a song on Apple, Amazon's etc store or hard drive.
  5. Distribution of a release is now global and not restricted to just one country.
  6. Artists can market directly to their fans.
With these changes, gone are the days of needing to be able to negotiate a label and/or distributor deal agreement (provided you were lucky enough to get one).
Instead, with self-distribution and access to marketing, the artist is now: The Label, The Performer, The Publisher and The Songwriter. While wearing all of these "four hats" at once, artists are now uniquely positioned to profit from the best possible contractual distribution terms and highest revenue generation via the sale, use, or streaming of their music. The challenge is that many artists don't know what these rights are, or how to collect the money they've earned from these revenue streams. A comprehensive, streamlined, and completely inclusive infrastructure does not yet exist that enables every artist who is owed money to easily collect it. However, there are solutions out there for artists, and it's imperative that you understand these.
The entire music industry is built on six legal copyrights.
The six copyrights are:
  • Reproduction
  • Derivatives & Samples
  • Public Display
  • Public Performance
  • Distribution
  • Digital Transmission
For a more detailed explanation of each one, please download or read the free TuneCore Music Industry Survival Manual: How Not To Get Screwed: The Six Legal Rights That Drive The Music Business
Money is made from music by either selling, licensing or using it -the sale of the music is the one that gets talked about the most.
The others also generate a LOT of money for artists, performers and songwriters. This money is made based on the USE of music as opposed to just the SALE of the music - in other words, music does not necessarily have to be sold to make the artist, songwriter, performer and label money. Much of the money from these six copyrights is collected by entities located on every continent around the world called Performing Rights Organizations (PROs). PROs tend to be not-for-profit or government controlled and/or mandated. Their function is to collect and distribute money owed to songwriters, labels and performers. The amount of money the writers are paid comes from federal laws in those countries that mandate entities MUST pay them for the USE of music.
This has become increasingly important now that the music industry is global - with one click your music can be distributed, sold, shared, tracked and marketed around the world.
As one example, unless the songwriter agrees not to be paid, every single time a song is streamed legally for free on the Internet, money is owed to the songwriter. This money is paid to the PROs and sits there waiting to be claimed.
As another, every single time a song is played on the radio (either via the Internet or broadcast from an AM/FM transmitter tower) the songwriter, label and performer must get paid. As an interesting twist, and to make a point, there is an exception to this rule - everywhere in the world the songwriter, performer and label get paid when a song is played on AM/FM radio EXCEPT for the United States. In the U.S., only the songwriter gets paid. This means from radio play, there is money sitting in other parts of the world with a PRO for the label and performer. If the label and performer are based in the U.S., they are not able to collect this money UNLESS there is someone in another country working on behalf of them to collect it.
As yet another example, if you are a U.S.-based band and you write your own songs and use TuneCore to distribute your music into another country like iTunes Japan, each time your music sells in Japan, iTunes pays the Japanese PRO money for the "reproduction" of your song. This money is in addition to the money iTunes pays for the sale of the song. This money sits with the PRO until it is collected by the songwriter/publisher. After a certain period of time, if it is not collected, it is given to other members of the PRO.
It is vital for you to know about all of these potential revenue streams and how to collect on them around the world.

Major Artist Initiatives in 2011

I view it as TuneCore's job to go into the world on behalf of its artists and help them plug into and collect all the money that exists for them. This is a major initiative for us in 2011. Over the next 90 days, we will be providing significant news and updates on how we intend on doing this for this new industry.
Also, in the next 45 days or so, we are rolling out a new accounting system that allows for even more transparency down to the one trillionth of a penny as well as even more advanced custom sales reports and free access to iTunes trending data.
A major education initiative is also being undertaken to provide the knowledge and information every artist should know. To that end, we will continue to post a large amount of specific information on the blog as well as create more PDF booklets for free download. George Howard (former President of Rykodisc, current professor at Loyola) and I are embarking on a series of free to attend multi-hour seminars discussing in-depth the nuances and information around the six legal copyrights.
If you are attending South By Southwest, please make certain to join us for a free two and half hour seminar on:
The Six Legal Copyrights:
Friday March 18
2:00 - 4:30 PM
Room 8 (Third Floor)
Austin Convention Center
The power of TuneCore Artists is now unquestionable - they have sold over 300 million songs via paid download or stream over the past 2 ½ years and have transformed the industry. Artists today not only can take the power and control into their own hands, but they must do so. This does not mean that you must go it alone; there are resources that you can avail yourself of in order to create and succeed on your own terms. It is our mission to continue to work with you to further transform the industry and provides these resources. Only by setting it free can the industry grow to its full potential.
Stay tuned for the next transformation...

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