How to learn specifics on business side of music?

Anything about MUSIC but doesn't fit into the forums above.
Rad Grandad
33181 posts since 6 Sep, 2003 from Downeast Maine

Post Thu Apr 01, 2021 7:45 am

BertKoor wrote:
Thu Apr 01, 2021 4:50 am
Artist vs writer. And again US vs EU. It matters!
but just ftr...if this is the subject it turns to...well we will have to send out a PRS

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KVRist
439 posts since 15 Feb, 2005

Post Thu Apr 01, 2021 8:09 am

BertKoor wrote:
Thu Apr 01, 2021 4:50 am
Artist vs writer. And again US vs EU. It matters!
-The question from the OP was from the perspective of songwriter...
-The USA is the largest market for music transactions in the world. There are only 3 EU countries in the top 10...so if we are talking monetizing of music and maximizing revenue, which I'm pretty sure is the topic,...the EU doesn't matter as much as you think
-and I literally just showed how USA vs EU is is the same for all intents and purposes.
Music had a one night stand with sound design.....And the condom broke

KVRer

Topic Starter

11 posts since 25 Jun, 2013

Post Thu Apr 01, 2021 11:47 am

bermudagold wrote:
Wed Mar 31, 2021 9:54 pm

-For performing right royalties, the rate is determined by your PRO and negotiated by them with the industry groups that own the performing vehicle...festivals,concert venues,terrestrial radio,satellite radio, internet radio, streaming services, nightclubs, restaurants, airports, etc.
You have no involvement at all, they get whatever they are willing to put in the work to track down and they send you ur cut.
How will they know if they should do this? I guess they track what's playing in certain places, and when it's reported that there is something they don't recognize, they hunt it down or something? Like Radio setlists, spotify plays above a certain threshold or something? Or do they get all spotify plays, and as long as there's any money worthwhile, they send it?

-If the singer you ask records the performance of your song and sells it, that is mechanical.
My understanding is that there is performer, there is owning the recording, and there is writer royalties. So, if my understanding is right, which of those is mechanical?
For mechanical royalties, the current rate is 9.1 cents to the owner of the publishing for every sale of the song regardless of medium (CD,download,interactive stream). This rate is set by a Copyright Royalty Board made up of 3 judges who meet every 5 years to set rates. Like I said, you have to collect that yourself, or pay a publishing agency to, unless the singer is signed to a record label cause they will.
How could collect that. Like what do they physically do to collect that? There must be some sort of infrastructure. Or, do they have just a massive databank they pay for in order to get all of the plays over everything?
Most mechanical transactions in america involve The Harry Fox Agency, issuing mechanical licensees , as well as collecting and distributing the associated royalties. The only way to get more than the standard 9 points is to record, manufacture and sell the performance yourself (be the record label), but obviously that involves costs.
I'm thinking that would mostly be digital until it would make monetary sense to make the investment in hard copies, but I don't honestly plan on making any of those ever. So, the Harry Fox agency somehow has access to the data of what gets played where, and they collect the mechanical royalties? Which, so far, I gather is the ownership of the recorded medium. Like the audio itself, not the performer royalties or songwriting.

-For sync fees (commercials, television, movies,video games). The royalty is freely negotiated in the marketplace and is typically split 50% to the publishing owner and 50% to the artist and record label.
-If you want an artist to sing your song, you have no leverage,...if an established artist wants your song, they will be bound by the constraints of their record deal and label desires, and you still have no leverage.
I can't say I agree with that. An artist would want to sing my song if my song is good, and makes the artist good, and generates fans for their brand. If there's a great vocalist and a great band and all that, but they don't have original content, then they need original content if they don't want to stay a cover band forever, or something like that. There's value in writing songs, writing the script. Talent to perform quite well, is relatively common. Obviously there are always exceptional voices or talents or whatever, but imo, it's really solid original songs that are what makes people rise above. But you know, they need each other. The look and the talent matters as well.

KVRer

Topic Starter

11 posts since 25 Jun, 2013

Post Thu Apr 01, 2021 11:58 am

BertKoor wrote:
Wed Mar 31, 2021 10:54 pm
Sound Asleep wrote:
Wed Mar 31, 2021 1:34 pm
How would I go about doing this?
That differs a great deal around the world. It would help us tell you the right things and leave out many wrong things if you'd like to share that with us. I could throw a tantrum that Harry Fox is unknown in Europe, but ...
I'm in Canada.
Sound Asleep wrote:
Wed Mar 31, 2021 1:34 pm
Also, I'm curious about what sorts of deals people will make.
The simplest deal is you sell all the rights. Collect say $30.000 from that DJ with more money than talent and let him put his name under it as the writer. Yes, ghostwriting does happen. Paper trails? Who cares apart from tax revenue office.

So maybe having your name under the song is important enough. Figure out what your time is worth. You can sell the rights for a fixed sum, or a percentage of the revenue, or a mix of both.

There's a story where the artist-writer wanted a high percentage of revenue made beyond a rather high threshold. Record company thought they had a good deal (not having to pay a lot while sales are low) but it turned out the artist had hit gold.

What's a fair deal? John Doe does not get the same deals as Ed Sheeran for example.


Homework assignment: what's TAFKAP again?
I'm not going to sell all of the rights, for sure. I'm not planning on selling any tracks to any DJs either. That's not really my style.

Having my name on it is indeed important. For percentage of revenue, I would own writer copyright, and master rights, and production/performer rights, but obviously the artist in question would also have performer royalties in it, and potentially songwriting credits as well, for lyrics. All of these percentages would have to be established by us, and then reported to our performance rights organization, and then I'd have to also register the song with the mechanical rights people I guess? SOCAN or BMI or ASCAP or whatever, would automatically take care of performer and writer royalties according to the percentages we tell them?

So, I guess it's pretty open how people decide to negotiate it? I just have no idea about even what sort of ballpark people would be at, from the unknown beginnings stage, to the big leagues either.
Last edited by Sound Asleep on Thu Apr 01, 2021 12:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

KVRer

Topic Starter

11 posts since 25 Jun, 2013

Post Thu Apr 01, 2021 11:59 am

BertKoor wrote:
Thu Apr 01, 2021 4:50 am
Artist vs writer. And again US vs EU. It matters!
CAN lol

I'd be writer and producer and all of that.

KVRist
439 posts since 15 Feb, 2005

Post Thu Apr 01, 2021 12:39 pm

Sound Asleep wrote:
Thu Apr 01, 2021 11:59 am
BertKoor wrote:
Thu Apr 01, 2021 4:50 am
Artist vs writer. And again US vs EU. It matters!
CAN lol

I'd be writer and producer and all of that.
You are thinking its open ended...it's not...the informal terms don't mean anything legally
there are only 3 entities
-the publisher entity for the song (the person controlling the copyright)...if there are different writers, musical arrangers, and producers;...then you have to determine how you split up the single publishing entity
-the performer entity (the person/people who perform and/or record the song)
-the mechanical entity (discreet copies of the recorded song)

as songwriter, the only entity you have some control over is the publishing entity...if you don't function as the creator of the mechanical entity (label), you are not owed anything other than the legal min mechanical royalty...you have no leverage with a label outside that...if you have a proven track record of making money above a certain threshold through creating hits, you can ask for an exclusive publishing deal with a label to get access to more of the profits beyond the mechanical royalty required by law...but you're not in that situation...also artists and labels can just take your idea, motif, and change it enough to avoid the copyright, because they know you don't have money to stick it out in court...happens all the time...jesus walks was written by rhymefest, kanye wanted the song for himself,...so kanye and the label used their leverage to get rhymefest to give up his full publishing ownership of the existing song for a small slice of publishing in giving the song to kanye,...in exchange for kanye soliciting a record deal for rhymefest and marketing and promoting rhymefest....Kanye went on to put very little effort and resources towards rhymefest, while jesus walks went on to become his biggest hit

Like I said the derivation of rates and the tracking down of performances are proprietary per PRO.
European PROs are more transparent and I believe all have at least a subscription to the djmonitor service in common
Music had a one night stand with sound design.....And the condom broke

KVRer

Topic Starter

11 posts since 25 Jun, 2013

Post Fri Apr 02, 2021 8:38 am

bermudagold wrote:
Thu Apr 01, 2021 12:39 pm
Sound Asleep wrote:
Thu Apr 01, 2021 11:59 am
BertKoor wrote:
Thu Apr 01, 2021 4:50 am
Artist vs writer. And again US vs EU. It matters!
CAN lol

I'd be writer and producer and all of that.
You are thinking its open ended...it's not...the informal terms don't mean anything legally
there are only 3 entities
-the publisher entity for the song (the person controlling the copyright)...if there are different writers, musical arrangers, and producers;...then you have to determine how you split up the single publishing entity
-the performer entity (the person/people who perform and/or record the song)
-the mechanical entity (discreet copies of the recorded song)

as songwriter, the only entity you have some control over is the publishing entity...if you don't function as the creator of the mechanical entity (label), you are not owed anything other than the legal min mechanical royalty...you have no leverage with a label outside that...if you have a proven track record of making money above a certain threshold through creating hits, you can ask for an exclusive publishing deal with a label to get access to more of the profits beyond the mechanical royalty required by law...but you're not in that situation...also artists and labels can just take your idea, motif, and change it enough to avoid the copyright, because they know you don't have money to stick it out in court...happens all the time...jesus walks was written by rhymefest, kanye wanted the song for himself,...so kanye and the label used their leverage to get rhymefest to give up his full publishing ownership of the existing song for a small slice of publishing in giving the song to kanye,...in exchange for kanye soliciting a record deal for rhymefest and marketing and promoting rhymefest....Kanye went on to put very little effort and resources towards rhymefest, while jesus walks went on to become his biggest hit

Like I said the derivation of rates and the tracking down of performances are proprietary per PRO.
European PROs are more transparent and I believe all have at least a subscription to the djmonitor service in common
I would make all of the music, produce all of the music, and own everything other than the performances of the artists performing the songs live, or on the recording I'd own. I would write, record, arrange, mix/master, everything top to bottom. I'm not looking to make deals with labels, or big names like Kanye west. More sort of local artists that don't have much in terms of original songs, but they're strong in other aspects.

But I don't understand exactly how I'd go about being my own publishing company, if I don't really have any way to hunt down who has played my music, and where they played it and things like that. As I understand it, places like ASCAP and BMI and SOCAN, will only look for performer, or artist royalties, and mechanical royalties would require a completely different company I register my songs to, and those have an up front cost associated per song?

The thing is, I'm not sure how these things normally work. I get it we could split royalties however, maybe an up front payment for exclusive use of the song? Or maybe it's more common to let the artist use the song as much as they want, and collect any royalties I might get from it, and let anyone else perform it also?

I guess I just really have no idea what sorts of deals people usually make. Also, how to make sure all the paperwork is done so everyone gets paid. But I think I get that now. You need to copyright, and register with artist/writer/performance collection company, and then another mechanical collection company.

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KVRAF
12692 posts since 8 Mar, 2005 from Utrecht, Holland

Post Sat Apr 03, 2021 4:46 am

Sound Asleep wrote:
Fri Apr 02, 2021 8:38 am
I would write, record, arrange, mix/master, everything top to bottom.
So you're a jack of all trades? There must be something you excel at. Writing catchy songs, production, mastering... what do you do best? Or are you an entrepeneur at heart?

Maybe start small and simple and let it grow organically. In my view that's the only way growth really works.

What if this artist comes along which says: "Nice songs, thank you. You'll get all credits, but I'm signed with this label already that does the marketing and this friend of mine does production in my style."
So you're just the writer and nothing else. How would that work for you?

If I were an artist just looking for some songs to play, and along comes this person with no track record offering to do everything, I'd be very wary. Why would an artist do business with you? What's your unique selling point?

Your question boils down to: how do I learn to do music business.
Perhaps the most honest answer is: by trying, doing, and learn from making some mistakes.
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KVRer

Topic Starter

11 posts since 25 Jun, 2013

Post Mon Apr 05, 2021 8:43 am

BertKoor wrote:
Sat Apr 03, 2021 4:46 am
Sound Asleep wrote:
Fri Apr 02, 2021 8:38 am
I would write, record, arrange, mix/master, everything top to bottom.
So you're a jack of all trades? There must be something you excel at. Writing catchy songs, production, mastering... what do you do best? Or are you an entrepeneur at heart?

Maybe start small and simple and let it grow organically. In my view that's the only way growth really works.

What if this artist comes along which says: "Nice songs, thank you. You'll get all credits, but I'm signed with this label already that does the marketing and this friend of mine does production in my style."
So you're just the writer and nothing else. How would that work for you?

If I were an artist just looking for some songs to play, and along comes this person with no track record offering to do everything, I'd be very wary. Why would an artist do business with you? What's your unique selling point?

Your question boils down to: how do I learn to do music business.
Perhaps the most honest answer is: by trying, doing, and learn from making some mistakes.
I play guitar best. good at piano also, and bass, which is a lot like guitar. Good at songwriting too. Production and mastering are probably my weaknesses, but they're good enough to market, imo. Obviously the best producers and mastering engineers in the world could do better, but it's not something I believe your average listener would really notice.

I do want to start small, but I'm wondering what sorts of deals to expect for starting small, and how to make sure all the paperwork is done correctly, so if some small artist gets some traction, everything will be in place correctly.

If an artist came up to me, wanted my songs but was already part of a label, I'd be interested for sure. But if I can do it all myself, I'd rather do that.

If the artist likes my work, that's the selling point. Why would you not want to work with someone that makes good quality products and writes good songs, and isn't charging you a bunch of money? If you're an artist that doesn't have songs, you want songs. If you want to buy songs from the guys making katy perry records, I hope you saved up. Guys with great proven records are expensive. That's what makes me affordable. Maybe you like what I do, maybe you don't. So maybe you'd like to work with me, or maybe you don't. That's your choice.

For me, personally, I only care about the results. I couldn't care less about track record. If you sing great, you look great, and I don't hate spending time with you, I'm good to go. If you need proven track records to decide who to work with, that's going to be a difficult and expensive investment. Labels can do that. If you don't have songs, don't have a label, you need songs, and you need productions.

I don't really want to try and make mistakes and learn from mistakes. I'd like to speak to people that have some experience, and may have made some mistakes, and have some expectations, and can give some advice to mitigate the mistakes, which is why I'm asking the question. Of course I can just go and make mistakes and learn from them, but I'd rather be able to take advantage of the wisdom and experience of those that know better than I do.

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KVRAF
12692 posts since 8 Mar, 2005 from Utrecht, Holland

Post Wed Apr 07, 2021 11:29 pm

Sound Asleep wrote:
Mon Apr 05, 2021 8:43 am
I play guitar best. good at piano also, and bass, which is a lot like guitar. Good at songwriting too. Production and mastering are probably my weaknesses, but they're good enough to market, imo.
OK, so you're a musician & writer first, producer & engineer comes second. That's good! Because if things don't get any traction in the market, you're still having fun doing it.
Sound Asleep wrote:
Mon Apr 05, 2021 8:43 am
I do want to start small, but I'm wondering what sorts of deals to expect for starting small, and how to make sure all the paperwork is done correctly, so if some small artist gets some traction, everything will be in place correctly.

If an artist came up to me, wanted my songs but was already part of a label, I'd be interested for sure. But if I can do it all myself, I'd rather do that.
First thing to do is read up on your local copyright laws and related organisations:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_law_of_Canada
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_Act_(Canada)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Society_o ... _of_Canada
and join: https://www.socan.com/join-now/

For the moment I think you should focus on collaboration. Work with a lot of different people in the role you excel at. Producing music on your own is relatively easy. Getting it listened to by a larger audience is very difficult. No one can do that on their own. You need other people, preferably someone that has a foot in the door somewhere. Building a network is essential. Maybe there's a https://meetup.com group for producers or songwriters close to where you live.

Contracts. I guess no one really likes them. And if you are just the composer or producer you probably don't need any contract before you go collaborate with other artists. Registering your works should suffice. It's only when you decide to become a publisher that you need contracts. For a healthy growth path I would not go into that endeavour unless you have been at the other side of the table doing such business multiple times.

And why go through the trouble of jumping through legal hoops if realistically speaking the chance of any revenue is close to zero. But be prepared for the odd chance: do register your work and don't sign anything that alienates you from your rights. So know what your rights are.

Good luck!
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addled muppet weed
77663 posts since 26 Jan, 2003 from through the looking glass

Post Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:50 am

start a band, play gigs, enjoy the ride...

see what comes along, offered deal? find lawyer who deals with entertainment if possible music of a similar vain.

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KVRAF
2215 posts since 20 Mar, 2012 from Babbleon

Post Fri Apr 09, 2021 7:59 am

Hink wrote:
Wed Mar 31, 2021 7:12 pm
Dasheesh wrote:
Wed Mar 31, 2021 4:52 pm
RIAA owns you, and everything you do, end story.
not quite the end of the story, then you die a riaa
hahaha
ah böwakawa poussé poussé

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addled muppet weed
77663 posts since 26 Jan, 2003 from through the looking glass

Post Fri Apr 09, 2021 8:03 am

harryupbabble wrote:
Fri Apr 09, 2021 7:59 am
Hink wrote:
Wed Mar 31, 2021 7:12 pm
Dasheesh wrote:
Wed Mar 31, 2021 4:52 pm
RIAA owns you, and everything you do, end story.
not quite the end of the story, then you die a riaa
hahaha
:o

KVRer

Topic Starter

11 posts since 25 Jun, 2013

Post Fri Apr 16, 2021 3:21 pm

BertKoor wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 11:29 pm
Sound Asleep wrote:
Mon Apr 05, 2021 8:43 am
I play guitar best. good at piano also, and bass, which is a lot like guitar. Good at songwriting too. Production and mastering are probably my weaknesses, but they're good enough to market, imo.
OK, so you're a musician & writer first, producer & engineer comes second. That's good! Because if things don't get any traction in the market, you're still having fun doing it.
Sound Asleep wrote:
Mon Apr 05, 2021 8:43 am
I do want to start small, but I'm wondering what sorts of deals to expect for starting small, and how to make sure all the paperwork is done correctly, so if some small artist gets some traction, everything will be in place correctly.

If an artist came up to me, wanted my songs but was already part of a label, I'd be interested for sure. But if I can do it all myself, I'd rather do that.
First thing to do is read up on your local copyright laws and related organisations:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_law_of_Canada
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_Act_(Canada)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Society_o ... _of_Canada
and join: https://www.socan.com/join-now/

For the moment I think you should focus on collaboration. Work with a lot of different people in the role you excel at. Producing music on your own is relatively easy. Getting it listened to by a larger audience is very difficult. No one can do that on their own. You need other people, preferably someone that has a foot in the door somewhere. Building a network is essential. Maybe there's a https://meetup.com group for producers or songwriters close to where you live.

Contracts. I guess no one really likes them. And if you are just the composer or producer you probably don't need any contract before you go collaborate with other artists. Registering your works should suffice. It's only when you decide to become a publisher that you need contracts. For a healthy growth path I would not go into that endeavour unless you have been at the other side of the table doing such business multiple times.

And why go through the trouble of jumping through legal hoops if realistically speaking the chance of any revenue is close to zero. But be prepared for the odd chance: do register your work and don't sign anything that alienates you from your rights. So know what your rights are.

Good luck!
Thanks but those resources don't really tell me what I need to know. I'm failry familiar with copyright law and I have a SOCAN account already. I'm just wondering how it works, so that I can make sure I get the mechanical royalties, and all of that. But I guess I've seen here I need to register with someone else for a fee it looks like.

I realize the business is difficult. I'm not really looking to collaborate with anyone established right now. But I would like to entertain the possibility of writing and producing songs for artists that don't have any, and then they can try and build up their fan base however they want. If they are successful, that's cool for me. If they are not, other artists might hear about me through them, and then maybe at some point I could write songs for them, or produce for them.

I don't find producing music on your own is easy. It's difficult to get really good at it in a technical sense. It's also very difficult to write good songs and make good arrangements. I mean anyone can make a song, of course. But making GOOD songs, is difficult. I find.

KVRist
439 posts since 15 Feb, 2005

Post Fri Apr 16, 2021 5:23 pm

- Pick a PRO
- Finish a song? Copyright it and publish it
- Find artists to record your songs.
You said you already joined SOCAN...they are moving towards the european model...they bought Medianet and Audiam, so they have started collecting performance royalties and mechanical royalties...so done
Depending on the location of the artist and their fans and as you save up money, you can consider whether to join other PROs or rely on SOCAN's ability to navigate the constantly evolving landscape of inter-PRO agreements, monitoring services, and publishing databases.
You want to share publishing with an artist?.. download a publishing contract template off the internet, customize it, pay an entertainment lawyer an hour to look it over.
You need artists?....verse-chorus.com, vocalizr.com, soundbetter.com, tribeofnoise.com, sonicbids.com, find-a-musician.com, fiverr.com,....and dozens more

never been easier...never had information more accessible
Music had a one night stand with sound design.....And the condom broke

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