On Digital Radio Royalties: What Are They And How To Look For Unclaimed Royalties

afm & sag-aftra intellectual property rights distribution fund unclaimed royalties dae bogan

(This was originally post on my Facebook page, so my apologies if the hyperlinks directs you to Facebook pages of the mentioned companies).

On Digital Radio Royalties

DIY Musicians – If/when you get a recording placed on non-interactive Internet, satellite, or cable radio (e.g. Pandora, SiriusXM, Music Choice) it earns multiple royalty streams. It is important to understand how to collect them all. I will get granular below to break this down.

Let’s use for example the recording “6 Inch (feat. The Weeknd)” by Beyonce. When this recording is played on Pandora (or iHeartRadio, 8Tracks, TuneIn or any of the other 2,500+ properly licensed webcasters serving the United States), here are the royalty streams:

1. Master Royalties for Featured Performers – Royalties paid to SoundExchange for the featured performers, which are the “named” artists on the track. For “6 Inch,” the featured performers are Beyoncé (main artist) and The Weeknd (guest artist). They each must have an account at SoundExchange to collect these royalties. Here is the unclaimed royalties list for featured performers: https://www.soundexchange.com/…/does-sou…/search-for-artist/

2. Master Royalties for Master Copyright Owner (Label) – Royalties paid to SoundExchange for the copyright owner, which is the label. For “6 Inch,” the label is Columbia Records. The label must have an account at SoundExchange to collect these royalties. (A Few Notes: (1) Major labels have direct deals with most music services, so it is likely that Columbia is paid directly by Pandora. (2) Unsigned artists can collect this income if you properly create your free account with SoundExchange as the copyright owner. This means, you cannot only sign up as the Artist. You are the label!). Here is the unclaimed royalties list for copyright owners: https://www.soundexchange.com/…/do…/search-for-rights-owner/

3. Master Royalties for Non-featured Performers – Royalties paid to AFM & SAG-AFTRA Intellectual Property Rights Distribution Fund (“the Fund”) for the background vocalists and session musicians who performed on the recording. For “6 Inch,” the non-featured performers include Ahmad Balshe (background vocalist) and Derek Dixie (session musician) among others. (Note: 5% of the royalties paid to SoundExchange is passed to the Fund. The Fund conducts research to identify the non-featured performers. They use published credits, such as those published on AllMusic.com (Ex: https://www.allmusic.com/album/lemonade-mw0002940342/credits), Discogs, and other resources to identify the vocalists and musicians on a recording. Keep in mind that if the producer of the track contributed background vocals or live instrumentation, it is important to credit him/her separately as such in addition to his/her producer credit, so that they can access this income stream. At TuneRegistry, we deliver credits to TiVo, which makes metadata available to AllMusic, among other services. If the Fund does not have the non-featured performer on their list, you can check and submit. See “6 Inch” only shows two (2) non-featured performers, but there may be more who just do not know: https://www.afmsagaftrafund.org/covered-rec-artist_SR_Maste…). Here is the unclaimed royalties list for non-featured performers: https://www.afmsagaftrafund.org/unclaimed-royalties.php and here is the list of recordings that the Fund has credits for here: https://www.afmsagaftrafund.org/covered-rec-title_sr_master…

4. Publishing Royalties for Composers/Writers – Royalties paid to performing rights organizations (PROs) such as American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers (ASCAP)Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI), and SESAC in the United States for the composers and writers, which is Jordan Asher, Burt Bacharach, Ahmad Balshe, Hal David, Ben Diehl, Beyoncé Knowles, Noah Lennox, Terius Nash, David Portner, Danny Schofield, Abel Tesfaye, and Brian Weitz. Because “6 Inch” uses samples, there are more composers/writers credited on the recording. You can view the full publishing credits for “6 Inch” at ASCAP here: https://www.ascap.com/repertory#ace/search/workID/890413300 (Note: US PROs, like most PROs/CMOs around the world, do not have a public list of unclaimed royalties. It is important to register your song before the release or as soon as possible after release to limit the possibility of having your royalties fall into the “black box,” which is an industry term of unclaimed or unmatched royalties. Also note that if you collaborate with someone who has not affiliated with a PRO, that can slow down the registration process.)

5. Publishing Royalties for Composition Copyright Owner (Publisher) – Royalties paid to PROs for the copyright owner in the compositions. This is the publisher or a self-published songwriter’s own publishing entity. For “6 Inch,” the publishers are 2082 Music Publishing, BMG, Domino Publishing, KMR Music Royalties, New Hidden Valley Music Co, Oakland 13 Music, Sal And Co LP, Songs of FujiMusic, Universal Music Corportation, WB Music Corporation. Because “6 Inch” uses samples, there are more publishers credited on the recording. You can view the full publishing credits for “6 Inch” at ASCAP here: https://www.ascap.com/repertory#ace/search/workID/890413300 (Note: In the US, if you are a self-published writer, you do not need to have a publishing account at BMI in order to unlock your publishing income. You will need a writer AND publisher account at ASCAP. So, if you do not have a publisher account at ASCAP and you are self-published, you literally leave 50% of your income on the table because ASCAP will not pay out the so-called “publisher’s share” to writers (unless they’ve changed this policy).)

In conclusion, if you get a recording on a digital radio platform and it takes off, make sure you have your business in order. We help with all of the above at TuneRegistry. This is what I am doing every day — helping thousands of independent music creators properly register their music so that they are 1.) identified, 2.) accounted to, and 3.) PAID.

Check out my free ebook “The DIY Musician’s Starter Guide To Being Your Own Label & Publisher” available for download at www.daeboganmusic.com (subscribe to my blog) and catch me speaking Oct 12th at A3C Conference in Atlanta or Oct 30th at Music Tectonics Conference in Los Angeles.

CC: Dae Bogan Music

Dae Bogan To Speak At A3C Conference

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I look forward to joining Marcus Cobb at this year’s A3C Conference to present “Ownership & Song Registration in the Palm of Your Hand” on Saturday, October 12th, at 2:30pm.

Presentation Description: In this digital age of music, songs have the ability to go from conception to the public in the blink of an eye. Within this new age, it has never been as vital to establish ownership and collect metadata as it is today. In short, your money depends on it! Learn how Jammber’s game-changing technology puts ownership and song registration in the palm of your hand.

***Earlier this month, Jammber announced its acquisition of TuneRegistry. The story was covered in Music Business Worldwide, Billboard, Music Connection, Digital Music News, Hypebot, and others.*** 

Dae Bogan To Moderate Panel On Royalty Payments At Music Tectonics Conference

As music is more fluid across listening services, social music apps, and countries, royalties are more complex than ever. At Music Tectonics Conferece, experts from HFA, SynchTank, and Hyperwallet will unpack challenges and solutions, moderated by Dae Bogan, SVP of Global Music Rights at Jammber / TuneRegistry. Learn more at http://www.musictectonics.com

Breaking: Jammber Acquires TuneRegistry

jammber tuneregistry music business worldwide

 

I am super excited about this!

I’ve been a fan of Marcus and Jammber, and they of me/TuneRegistry, since I first learned of Jammber. Over the last few years, TuneRegistry has been empowering thousands of songwriters, artists, and publishers while Jammber has been empowering producers, engineers, studios and labels. By bringing our expertise and resources together, we believe to have established the first economical end-to-end music business platform for music creations and workflow management, rights administration, and royalty processing for all music creators and rights-holders.

In the coming months, we will be working to integrate TuneRegistry into the Jammber product suite as well as beefing up the Los Angeles-based music rights administration department under my direction as Jammber’s Senior Vice President, Global Music Rights. I look forward to continuing to empower music creators and rights-holders with effective tools and resources to self-administer their catalogs via Jammber’s suite of products.

Here’s a few press links:
 

The Cost of Excuses

I wish there was a device that counted how many excuses we made in a day, a week, a month, and a year and could calculate the cost of opportunities lost.

“I can’t”.

“Next time.”

“I want to, but…”

“It’s too difficult.”

“I will get around to it after…”

“I’m not like you. We’re just different.”

How much time do we lose in our lives telling ourselves that we can’t achieve something? That we’re not good enough? We’re not smart enough? We don’t know where or how to start, so why even bother?

If we add that time up it is probably enough time to accomplish something small, then something medium, then something big, then something life-changing.

I remember when I told myself that I didn’t have time or didn’t need to (because I enjoyed where I was at in my career) go to graduate school.

Then, I was abruptly laid off of my $65k per year job.

I decided to take the time to go back to graduate school and I found a nights and weekends program at CSUN Music Industry Administration that fit my schedule.

That was a life-changing decision.

As a result, I had the availability and took an opportunity to teach at a college; and now I develop and teach a Billboard-recognized course at UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music.

As a result, I took a music publishing and copyright administration class taught by Steve Winogradsky, which strengthen my interest in music rights, which evolved into a research-fueled obsession with conceptualizing strategies and solutions to a broken and seemingly unfair system, which became my area of expertise, which changed the focus of my profession as a music industry professional, and which shaped my achievements as a serial entrepreneur to the point that I’ve sold nearly $2M of my ideas in this space.

As a result, I’ve advanced my role as an executive and increased my pre-graduate school salary to post-graduate school salary by 115%.

As a result, I’ve been able to financially gift my family, claw myself out of debt, and afford certain life experiences.

As a result, I look at excuses differently now. I look at the cost of excuses differently now.

We can measure our achievements, but can we measure opportunities lost? The cost of putting it aside one more day?

How much will one of your excuses from this morning cost you?

Set Goals Or Struggle

I honestly believe that some people are so comfortable with struggling that they refuse to make uncomfortable changes in their lives that would see their outcomes improve in the future. It’s a “chasing immediate results” mindset that encourages them to think about and talk about how a better future could look; all the while simultaneously taking no actions that create long-term and lasting changes.

What is your 5 year goal?

What are your 2nd, 3rd and 4th year milestones?

What is your 12 month plan?

If you took stock of where you are today compared to where you were 5 years ago and have little to no measurable net improvement in income, wealth, professional or academic achievement, global life experiences, health and fitness, or relationship status (I don’t mean just single or taken, but rather does the new or existing relationship (or lack thereof) make you feel happier, more secure, better, more loved than this time 5 years ago?); then you need to think about breaking the cycle and making real changes.

Get used to doing things in phases, whereas a phase could be several months or years, and stop thinking in terms of quick and immediate results. Those generally prove not to be long-lasting.

I’ve completely changed my life outcomes by applying the above to myself. You can too.

Fall Upcoming Music Industry Conferences and Networking in Greater Los Angeles

SCMIP Music Industry Happy Hour 15

SoCal Music Industry Professionals x Artist Managers Connect
Music Industry Happy Hour (15th Edition)
An evening of mingling and networking with musicians, songwriters, producers, and music industry professionals from across Southern California hosted by Dae Bogan.
Thursday, September 26th | 6pm to 9pm | 21 and over
at Sassafras Saloon, 1233 Vine Street, Los Angeles, CA 90038

Fall Upcoming Music Industry Conferences and Networking in Greater Los Angeles
*I will be speaking on a panel.
Am I missing anything? Please send information regarding conferences and networking events (no shows/gigs) to me and I will add to the list. Contact me.

‪On Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” record-breaking chart success and the propensity of people to discredit the song as not being of good quality:‬

I am reading social media posts by old people (30yo plus) who assume that consumers care about music quality.

Guess what? They don’t.

We have entire genres of music born out of shitty quality (i.e. mumble rap) and entire genres going extinct as a result of apathy to music quality (i.e. soul).

The youth of today have their own standards for consumption. What matters to youth today is the social aspect of music — that is, how music creates a gateway to a sense of community. This has been going on for some time now, but the rise of social music apps and the growth of the first generation born with cell phones in their hands has exacerbated things.

Music quality need not be measurably “good” against songs we’ve historically deemed good and worthy of chart-topping recognition. For consumption in a streaming and social music era, music needs only to strike a chord with audiences that have the time and incentive to play it on repeat.

Charts, after all, are measurements of popularity and not quality. The latter is too subjective to measure anyway.

Music Industry Rant: ‘Rights’ Is Not A Buzzword

I think it is quite disingenuous and frankly misleading to slap on the term “rights” to every music tech platform that collects some minimum amount of metadata regarding musical works.

Music rights administration (including publishing and neighboring rights) is not a frivolous add-on to be used as a way to beef up one’s otherwise undifferentiated service offerings in an effort to attract customers in an ever more saturated music monetization and catalog management marketplace.

Music rights administration requires a comprehensive understanding of music publishing, copyright administration, licensing and multi-territorial relationships with CMOs, intermediaries, and administrators that goes well beyond delivering releases to DSPs or creating playlists to pitch to music supervisors. Understanding the nuances between royalty accounting and royalty forensics (not just parsing income statements), and having a grasp on the complicated music licensing and rights management ecosystem — not just direct deals — are bare minimum requirements for being a “rights” company.

Music rights administration requires knowledge, experience, and skill set that only comes from spending years doing nothing but this kind of work (it doesn’t hurt to have a masters degree specifically in music industry administration either); handling complicated issues around works registrations, disputes, and conflicts; combing over raw CWR and certain types of DDEX files; being in the room with the powers that be at CMOs and adjacent entities; and understanding how works are licensed and how income participants are accounted to in different territories under potentially overlapping representation mandates framed by international treaties (Berne, Rome, etc.) and bilateral agreements and supported by local copyright laws and termination terms.

In a word, slapping “rights” into the company tagline/description of a music tech platform that was founded to do anything but rights administration and for whom the founders have little to zero background and experience specifically in music rights administration is the new adding “decentralized” to data company descriptions.

Music industry people, be careful regarding the services that you sign up for. Your copyrights are the most important assets that you have. Putting the management, representation, or administration of these assets, for any period of time, in the wrong hands can and will lead to a world of trouble for you now and potentially for years to come.

Music industry colleagues, don’t let non music rights people abuse the term “music rights”. It isn’t a trendy phrase to add to your tagline to be current with everything that’s going on in the industry (e.g. MMA, MLC, CRB rulings, Article 13, etc.)

#MusicBusinessMonday: About Direct License ‘Black Box’ Royalties And Music Publishing Administrators

(Author’s Note 07/08/2019 10:33 AM PST: An industry associate of mine who is an independent music publishing industry leader and activist/advocate, as well as the owner of a small music publishing administration company, reached out to me to express his concern that my blog post paints all music publishing administrators in a bad light. He explained that entering into direct licenses is common practice for all publishers — including full-fledged publishers that own or co-own copyrights, as opposed to just handling administration like pub admins do — and not just pub admins. I know that. He felt that pub admins are being unfairly singled out in my blog post. As I explained to him, that is not my intent. I have many blog posts of opinions, analyses, criticisms, praises and reviews of many sectors and companies of the music industry. It is my role as a music creators’ rights advocate and watchdog, if you will, to raise awareness about these issues and practices, and educate music creators on their rights and business. This particular blog piece is not about small pub admin shops, like the one he operates, that has an overage of a few thousand dollars at the end of the year from direct deals, but rather the nature and effect of some of the large “catchall” pub admin services aggregating hundreds of thousands to millions of copyrights and the potential voluminous black boxes that direct licenses can accrue for their bottomline. These are some of the issues that we are asked about at TuneRegistry when speaking with songwriters who have or are considering switching to self-administration or to supplement the efforts of their existing large pub admin. Calling out provisions, or lack thereof, in contracts that songwiters may not be aware of, and which ultimately impacts their income, regardless of if it’s a small shop or goliath, is fair industry criticism. But, for clarity, this piece is in direct response to recent inquiries we’ve received at TuneRegistry regarding some of the popular catchall pub admin services on the market and not small pub admin businesses)

In this particular case, I get that he may take offense when the criticism may extend to parties that are not acting malicious — and I’m not saying that the big players are acting malicious anyway, but rather this issue is a fact of the deal that songwriters sign and should be aware of — and want to be presented in a fair light. So, to that end, I’ll update the post and my socials.

A music publishing administrator’s (“pub admins”) job is to register your musical works with CMOs/PROs/MROs in the territories for which you’ve hired them to represent your administration rights and to collect your royalties, prepare and remit income statements and payments to you. However, some pub admins go a step or two further and issue or enter into direct licensing agreements with companies on behalf of the compositions that it represents, such as direct performance licenses for startup social music apps or a blanket license for background music services.

The right to enter into direct licenses may be included in your contract with the pub admin. In this case, you will have explicitly granted the pub admin the right to license your songs, without asking permission per license, to third parties. In some direct deals, companies give advances or negotiate minimum guarantees to be paid to publishers. These advances and minimum guarantees are deducted from the actual earned royalties that are calculated from the usage of songs by the licensed service. However, in the event that there is an overage (meaning, the total volume of usage does not equal or exceed the advance or minimum guarantee) the difference between the overage and the actual earned royalties is the unallocated “black box” royalties.

It is important that these monies flow to the songwriters that the pub admin represent (less an appropriate commission) as the license fees were paid against the licensed catalog of songs, regardless of actual usage.

Surprisingly, although pub admins that ask songwriters to grant them the explicit right to direct license the songwriter’s songs, many pub admins do not have or do not communicate their policy for distributing unallocated “black box” royalties that stem from these direct licenses. And some cases, they just keep the black box royalties as miscellaneous income.

What’s in your contract? Talk you your pub admin about direct license black box royalties.

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