#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.

Statement By Dae Bogan On The Cancellation Of His ‘Music Industry Entrepreneurship’ UCLA Summer Class

Dear UCLA and non-UC Students who enrolled in my Summer 2019 Music Industry Entrepreneurship class:

Regrettably, my class, which was scheduled to begin this Thursday through UCLA Summer Sessions and UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, has been cancelled. If you enrolled in the course, the school has already unenrolled you and you can find another course in the Music Industry program.

I decided to cancel the class due to low enrollment, which has impacted a number of classes this summer. Unlike my winter class, which is generally over enrolled with a wait list, summer has proven to be particularly difficult (Maybe students do not want to take class in the summer?).

My curriculum requires a significant amount of group work (60% of the grade) to be distributed across student group members as groups progress through the class as mock co-founders of a fictitious music industry startup business. Consequently, the class requires a minimum threshold of enrolled students to make the course dynamic enough to highlight the entrepreneurial principles, fundamental business strategies and music industry best practices that I teach.

While I hate that the class had to be cancelled with such short notice, I felt that to maintain the integrity of my curriculum and to ensure that student who get to take my class benefit from the way in which it was designed cancelling was the only option.

Student reviews of Dae Bogan’s Music Industry Entrepreneurship class:

Hi Dae, Just wanted to thank you for an awesome class. This was one of the few classes at UCLA where I felt I was taught skills, not just about the subject matter but in how to go about achieving my career goals, that were applicable to my endeavors and will be used for the rest of my life. I got more out of it than I had with any other course here and I would highly recommend your class to to anyone interested in a music industry career.

– Student testimonial, Winter Quarter 2019

Without a doubt one of the most useful classes I have taken in my undergraduate career at UCLA. Professor Bogan has so much real world knowledge and knows how to convey that knowledge in a classroom setting immensely well. All the course material was invaluable to my progression and aspirations of being in the music industry. Every lecture was extremely well-prepared, with amazing guest speakers and information that I will be using for the rest of my life. Professor Bogan did a phenomenal job and I will be recommending this class to all my friends interested in music or starting their own company. Can’t say enough good things about this class.

– Student testimonial, Winter Quarter 2018

If you are still interested in exploring entrepreneurship in the music industry, you may consider taking my online program Music Industry Entrepreneurship Masterclass which is a 4 hour sample of my full course. You can sign up for the masterclass at www.marcatoacademy.com.

[Video] Music Tech Investors and Incubators — Investing in the LA Music Tech Scenes

Last month I had the pleasure of curating and moderating the panel “Music Tech Investors and Incubators — Investing in the LA Music Tech Scenes” at the Amplifying Music in Our Los Angeles conference produced by the UCLA Center for Music Innovation.

My panelists included representatives of investors, accelerators and co-working communities in Los Angeles that focus on music industry entrepreneurship including Techstars Music, Capitol Music Group’s Capitol360 and gBeta Music Tech Accelerator, and The Rattle LA, as well as more open format accelerators including Expert Dojo and Startup UCLA & Blackstone Launch Pad.

In this <60 minutes discussion, we covered plenty of information that any founder of a music startup would want to know about where and how to seek resources to develop, launch, or grow a music venture in Los Angeles.

Bios of my speakers can be found below the video of the panel.

 

 

  • Moderator: Dae Bogan, Founder, TuneRegistry; Lecturer, UCLA Alpert
    Dae Bogan is a music rights executive, serial entrepreneur and educator with over a decade of experience in the music industry. He is the founder and CEO of TuneRegistry, which develops music rights administration software and solutions for small and medium-sized music rightsholders. He also offers music rights, business, and technology consulting through his firm, Rights Department. Dae also teaches the Music Industry Entrepreneurship course at UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music and was an Innovation Fellow at the UCLA Center for Music Innovation. Previously, Dae owned and operated an independent record company (Loft24 Records), a music publishing company (Loft24 Publishing), and an artist management company (Renaissance Artist Management) until 2012 when he founded an in-store independent music video network (Maven Promo), which was later acquired by EMPIRE Distribution in 2017. Dae also founded the world’s first aggregator and search engine of unclaimed music royalties (RoyaltyClaim), which was acquired by HAAWK in 2017.

 

  • Jonathan Wallace, Investment Director, Expert Dojo
    Jonathan Wallace joined Expert Dojo upon its inception as an investment analyst. Over the course of the next 3 years he established relationships with some of the largest venture capital funds in the world and helped dozens of startups raise investment. Jonathan is now the investment director for Expert Dojo and oversees all follow on investments. Expert Dojo has over 30 companies in its portfolio after investing for the last 12 months. 

 

  • Josh Remsberg, VP, Business Development, Capitol Music Group
    Josh Remsberg is Vice President of Business Development at Capitol Music Group. At Capitol, he oversees the Capitol360 Innovation Center, and is focused on finding & developing new revenue opportunities to exploit and extract value from CMG’s copyrights, content, brand assets, and artists. Josh also leads the eCommerce, CRM, audience ownership and gaming strategies for the label group.

 

  • Leah Nanni, Venture Coach and Outreach Coord., Startup UCLA & Blackstone Launch Pad
    Leah is a business owner and Venture Consultant at Startup UCLA, where she helps Bruins become confident and competent entrepreneurs. She also co-leads Startup UCLA’s outreach and inclusion efforts with the goal of reaching entrepreneurs at any stage, in any industry, and from any background and any area of study. Leah holds a M.S. in Social Entrepreneurship and a Master of Social Work, and she brings more than 9 years of business ownership experience to the UCLA and greater Los Angeles communities. 

 

  • Jen Hall, Director, TechStars Music
    Jen Hall is a music industry veteran having worked in management with major artists and at record labels over the past 15+ years. Jen joined Techstars with the inception of the Techstars Music program in 2016. Techstars Music has just finished its 3rd program. Alumni companies from the Techstars Music 2017 and 2018 class have gone on to raise over 50 million dollars in follow on capital.

 

  • Michael Frick, Advisor/Executive Producer, The Rattle, LA
    Michael Frick is a creative solutions innovator with the ability to build consensus among disparate stakeholders. His expertise in music driven strategies for brands, motion pictures, television and digital entertainment has seen him partner with numerous major global brands, agencies, networks and studios. As advisor to the Rattle he is assisting with the launch of the UK-based collective in Los Angeles, CA.

Introduction to Music Royalties Forensics (North America – USA & CAN)

Introduction to Music Royalties Forensics (North America)

Price: $90
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
Order: Click here to purchase.

 

Course Overview

Every day, millions of music streams, downloads, digital transmissions, public performances, and broadcasts generate tens of thousands of dollars in unclaimed royalties. To date, the estimated pool of unclaimed royalties exceeds $2 billion.

These royalties are often due to independent music creators, heirs and beneficiaries, and legacy artists. After a period of time, these unclaimed royalties accrue in escrow accounts around the world only to be disbursed by market share to the major labels and publishers leaving the indies, to which much of the money belongs, underrepresented and unaccounted to. Music royalties forensics is the process of searching for, identifying, and claiming these royalties. This course is an introduction to the art and science of finding and unlocking unclaimed royalties.

Your instructor, Dae Bogan, is a music rights and royalties tech entrepreneur (original founder of music rights administration platform, TuneRegistry, and the world’s first search engine of unclaimed royalties and music licenses, RoyaltyClaim), music creators’ rights advocate, and lecturer of music industry entrepreneurship at UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music. He has written about black box royalties extensively on his blog DaeBoganMusic.com. He has helped hundreds of music creators and rights-holders find and unlock hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid music royalties from around the world. And his research on the state of unclaimed music royalties was used by US Congressional Budget Office in its analysis of the Music Modernization Act of 2018.

 

Learning Objectives

  1. What are your rights, entitlements, and income participations as a music creator and/or rights-holder?
  2. What are the most common royalty streams generated from a variety of music usage types and where do those royalties flow?
  3. How are music royalties allocated and distributed by music rights organizations?
  4. What are niche funds and sub-funds that often generate unmatched so-called “black box” royalties and how do you check for your records?
  5. How to track music usage to leverage usage and detection reports to reconcile or audit royalty statements?
  6. What are some tools and resources to help you search for, identify, and claim unclaimed royalties and music licenses?
  7. What are the requirements to properly setup to be accounted to and paid royalties from previously unaffiliated sources going forward?
  8. What are some tips for managing your music rights affiliations?
  9. What are some tips for preparing your music rights and royalties for beneficiaries?

Music Industry Entrepreneurship Masterclass

Music Industry Entrepreneurship Masterclass

Price: $190
Duration: 4 hours (with breaks)
Order: Click here to purchase.

Course Overview

From digital-first record labels and social music apps to AR/VR music experiences and blockchain-based music streaming startups, entrepreneurs have been disrupting and innovating across the music industry since the launch of Napster in the early 2000’s.

In this masterclass, you will learn to apply principles of entrepreneurship and fundamental business strategies to the music industry in ways that will make you a stronger asset within a team or a more strategic music creator or entrepreneur.

Learning Objectives

  1. How to form quality ideas using design thinking techniques in the ideation process.
  2. Understanding the intellectual property implications of your creations, products and services in the music industry.
  3. How to utilize market research and quantification methodology to vet ideas and quantify opportunity in the music industry before you invest your time and resources.
  4. How to throw away your 30 page business plan and instead develop an actionable business model that centers around product-market fit.
  5. How to launch with a lean go-to-market strategy.
  6. How to develop basic digital marketing funnels.
  7. How to get out of your own way by applying data-driven strategies to prioritize your monetizable skills. (Key insight for music creators seeking to monetize their skills while building a career as a performer.)
  8. How to keep yourself motivated by identifying and repeating your most powerful motivators.
  9. How to attract co-founders and build teams on a budget.
  10. How to build company culture in small or remote teams.

Live Online Workshop: Introduction to Music Royalties Forensics (May 18th and May 19th)

Workshop Flier

About Me: I am a music rights and royalties tech entrepreneur (original founder of music rights administration platform, TuneRegistry, and the world’s first search engine of unclaimed royalties and music licenses, RoyaltyClaim), music creators’ rights advocate, and lecturer of music industry entrepreneurship at UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music. I have helped hundreds of music creators and rightsholders find and unlock hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid music royalties from around the world. And my research on the state of unclaimed music royalties was used by US Congressional Budget Office in its analysis of the Music Modernization Act of 2018.

 

9 Questions – 90 Minutes – $90

The 9 questions this workshop will answer:

  1. What are your rights, entitlements, and income participations as a music creator and/or rights-holder?
  2. What are the most common royalty streams generated from a variety of music usage types and where do those royalties flow?
  3. How are music royalties allocated and distributed by music rights organizations?
  4. What are niche funds and sub-funds that often generate unmatched so-called “black box” royalties and how do you check for your records?
  5. How to track music usage to leverage usage and detection reports to reconcile or audit royalty statements?
  6. What are some tools and resources to help you search for, identify, and claim unclaimed royalties and music licenses?
  7. What are the requirements to properly setup to be accounted to and paid royalties from previously unaffiliated sources going forward?
  8. What are some tips for managing your music rights affiliations?
  9. What are some tips for preparing your music rights and royalties for beneficiaries?

REGISTER

Register for Sat. May 18th @ 9am PST

Register for Sun. May 19th @ 9am PST

Register for Mon. May 20th @ 9am PST

If you can’t make either dates, register anyway to receive the full replay video.

Upcoming Music Industry Events

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I might lose my voice over the next few weeks as I join many of you fine people attending and participating in a number of upcoming music industry conferences.
 
If any of the following sparks your interest, I’d be delighted to see your face in these space:
4/27, 4/27, 4/30 – Music Industry Entrepreneurship Masterclass (Online)
Not a conference, but informational nonetheless. Enrollment is now open until 4/25 for my live online masterclass, with 3 sessions available to choose from each day on 4/27, 4/28, and 4/30. This masterclass is an “essentials” version of my Billboard-recognized Music Industry Entrepreneurship course, which I develop and teach at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music. (Attend)
05/03 – ASCAP “I Create Music” Expo (Los Angeles)
I will moderate the panel, “Learn To Earn: New Royalty Opportunities For Musicians, Vocalists, Producers and Engineers,” with Richard James Burgess (A2IM), Maureen Droney (The Recording Academy), Dan Navarro (National Recording Artist), and Stefanie Taub (AFM & SAG-AFTRA Intellectual Property Rights Distribution Fund) who will be discussing new royalty opportunities for music creators. (Attend)
05/07 – Music Biz 2019 (Nashville)
Join me in discussion with Warner Music Group’s Chief Innovation Officer, Scott Cohen, on the topic “Music 2020: The Next Era of Innovation in the Music Industry.” (Attend)
05/15 – Amplify Music in Our Los Angeles (UCLA)
I will moderate the panel, “Music Tech Investors and Incubators — Investing in the LA Music Tech Scenes” with Josh Remsberg (Capitol Music Group’s Capitol360 & gBeta Music Tech), Jen Hall (Techstars Music), Jonathan Wallace (Expert Dojo), Michael Frick (The Rattle LA), and Leah Nanni (Startup UCLA & Blackstone LaunchPad) who will be discussing empowering and investing in tech entrepreneurs in the music industry in Los Angeles. (Attend)

Dae Bogan To Moderate Panel On Los Angeles Music Startup Scene With Capitol360, Techstars Music, Expert DOJO, The Rattle LA, And Startup UCLA / Blackstone Launch Pad At UCLA’s Amplifying Music In Our Los Angeles Conference On| May 15th, 2019

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Amplifying Music in Our Los Angeles

A Conference Amplifying and Connecting the Music Scenes of Los Angeles

Host: Center for Music Innovation at UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music

Location: Charles E. Young Research Library Auditorium, UCLA North Campus

Time: 9 am – 4:30 pm

Date: Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Cost: Free for Registered Attendees


How can we support Los Angeles’ music scene(s) and work together to continue to create something robust, diverse, and dynamic in this changing era?

This day-long conference expands the conversation of how Los Angeles can grow and connect/collaborate around its diverse music scenes. If other cities are challenged by gentrification in having vibrant live music scenes, (a) why is Los Angeles seeming to be growing, despite these difficulties and (b) how we we enhance and amplify this growth?

Background

This Conference is the second in a series of events that UCLA Center for Music Innovation is holding with this Future of Music in LA focus across 2019 across LA, so we welcome you to be involved in those programs as well.

On February 6th, the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs held a half-day Symposium as part of its February COMPOSE LA series of events. With partners that included UCLA’s Center for Music Innovation, they brought together different voices across Los Angeles and music to talk about the future of Music in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles is a complex environment. From panels and provocations, we came up with many things that weren’t right within the overall ecosystems in terms of policy, permitting, and procedures. We also explored our very vibrant environment that seems to be growing — despite the systemic challenges.

The Invitation

We invite the community gather again on May 15th at UCLA to both expand the conversation and to add new voices into the mix. We’re going to include people joining us from video conference from other cities and locations. We’re going to include new parties — and parties with different perspectives. And we’re going to include roundtable conversations, where the conversation will come out into and with the audience.

We invite you to join us for this community event at the Charles Young Research Library at the UCLA campus. The event will be free, along with the support from our community and marketing sponsors.

The Schedule

Sessions and the full schedule will be posted mid-April.

 

FREE REGISTRATION (INCLUDING ONLINE STREAMING OF CONFERENCE)

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