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
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?
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.
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.
Sessions and the full schedule will be posted mid-April.
A breakdown of income you could earn by producing one hit (or at least, viral) record.
1. Production fee for your creative input in producing the track.
2. Recording Engineer fee for performing recording engineer duties in the studio.
3. Mixing Engineer fee for mixing the track.
4. Mastering Engineer fee for mastering the track.
(1-4 could be embodied all in one fee, or you could line item it in your contract and/or invoice.)
5. Income share in the master sales, downloads, streams, often referred to as “points on the record.”
6. If you add background vocals and/or live instrumentation to the production, while you may not earn a session musician fee, you are still entitled to receive all or a portion of the non-featured performer share of statutory master royalties for US non-interactive streams, or so-called “digital radio royalties.” To get this, make sure that you are credited not only as a Producer but also as a background vocalist or musician for whatever instrument you played. These royalties in the US are paid out by the AFM & SAG-AFTRA Intellectual Property Rights Distribution Fund. These funds do not reduce the featured artist’s neighboring rights (US = digital radio) income. It is completely separate from the featured performer share of income and non-negotiable by that featured performer. If you don’t claim it, you still earn it but you leave it on the table!
7. Thanks to the passing of the Music Modernization Act, which became law on October 11th, 2018, and the inclusion of the Allocation for Music Producers Act (AMP Act), studio professionals such as producers and engineers have a legal and permanent right to directly collect non-interactive, digital royalties agreed through a letter of direction with the featured artist from SoundExchange. Join the Creative Affiliates Program at SoundExchange and submit your letters of direction.
8. A producer’s share of international neighboring rights royalties in several territories where recordings that you produce are performed on broadcast radio and TV.
9. If you composed the melody or co-authored the lyrics, you should be considered a Writer on the musical work and be entitled to receive writer-share of publishing income (performance royalties, mechanical royalties, synchronization royalties).
10. If you composed the melody or co-authored the lyrics, as a Writer on the musical work, you are entitled to receive or assign the publisher-share of publishing income (performance royalties, mechanical royalties, synchronization royalties).
In conclusion, if you’re a music producer, make sure that you understand all of the income streams associated with the work that you put in on a recording AND your legal entitlements under copyright law and music publishing industry customs. Also, join the Recording Academy / GRAMMYs Producers & Engineers Wing.
Want to learn more? Download my FREE ebook “The DIY Musician’s Starter Guide To Being Your Own Label And Publisher.”
2021 Prediction: The United States Music Publishing Market Continues To Grow And Fragment, Creating More Silos For Unpaid “Black Box” Royalties — DIY Musicians Hit The Hardest
As the U.S. music publishing industry grows (in terms of revenue, volume of copyrights, and number of income participants), the rights administration and licensing sector becomes ever-more fragmented; giving way to cracks in its foundation through which royalties fall into the so-called “black box” — the industry name for the unmatched and unpaid royalties earned against unidentified works or unidentified or unreachable income participants that accrue in escrow only to be later forfeited and disbursed to entities to which the funds do not belong; primarily major music conglomerates and those acquiring catalogs of copyrights to expand their market share position.
In 1909, when the first federal copyright law that protected music creators and rights-holders was enacted, there were no massive music rights organizations as we’ve come to know them today. Although unions had existed — the American Federation of Musicians was founded 13 years earlier in 1896, but focused more on work conditions than collective bargaining, as it does today — ASCAP was formed in 1914 to license the performing rights of composers, authors, and publishers.
Fast forward to 2021 when the newly formed Mechanical Licensing Collective will issue its first blanket digital streaming mechanical license to the likes of Spotify, Google, and Apple. There will be over a dozen music rights and royalty collection organizations issuing thousands of licenses, administering millions of pieces of copyrights, and processing billions of micro-penny transactions.
The music licensing and royalty ecosystem in 1909: Individual music composers, aristocrats who financed or commissioned works, and sheet music publishers.
The music licensing and royalty ecosystem in 2021: Traditional non-profit and private music rights organizations (ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, Global Music Rights, PRO Music Rights, SoundExchange, Mechanical Licensing Collective), royalty funds (AFM & SAG-AFTRA Intellectual Property Rights Distribution Fund, Alliance for Artists and Record Labels, Film Musician’s Secondary Market Fund, Sound Recording Special Payments Fund), unions engaged in collective bargaining (SAG-AFTRA, American Federation of Musicians), licensing clearing houses and agents (e.g. Music Reports, Harry Fox Agency).
If I wrote a popular commercial song that is exploited to the fullest extent — released on a commercial recording; performed live in concert; licensed for use in film or television; placed in a commercial; earns viral success on user generated content platforms and social music apps; covered many times; embodied in a music video; lyrics printed and sold on merchandise; used for a live broadcast sporting event; added to Spotify and Apple playlists where it takes off; picked up on terrestrial, Internet, satellite, and cable radio; etc. — I would need to ensure that my work is registered at all of the places where the royalties earned from the uses I’ve described are paid; the music licensing and royalty ecosystem. If I do not, then my royalties will leak into the black box.
The black box is estimated at over $2 billion — and growing — of which much of it is due to independent music creators, small music rights-holders, and the estates of deceased authors and performers who do not have the access, power, know-how or market share to navigate the web of black boxes; for which there are many.
When entities charged with maintaining these black boxes distribute the funds in market share distributions, the major labels and publishers win and the independent and DIY creators lose. It is unfair and unethical. But what are we going to do about it?
Some artists, knowing that they do not know exactly how this all works, have found creative business ways to “make up” for potential lost royalties. But for the rest — the majority — of DIY musicians, they’re generally left out of the discussion and left to fend for themselves, even when they think they’re doing everything right.
As the industry charges forward with new energy fueled by the growth of music streaming, we have to consider how the continued fragmentation of the music licensing ecosystem affects the most vulnerable — DIY musicians. Major labels have direct deals with DSPs and digital services that pay them advances and account to and pay them royalties. DIY musicians rely on music rights organizations, who are often disproportionately influenced by the majors, to handle these things for them.
I founded TuneRegistry to help DIY musicians be their own advocate, to demystify the music licensing and royalty ecosystem by aggregating the fragmented world of rights administration into one economical platform. To this end, our team has helped hundreds of small to medium-sized music rights-holders and DIY musicians unlock thousands of dollars in new found royalties and to register their works to ensure that they are identified and accounted to in the future. Not all music rights organization have joined our network, but we will continue to advocate and fight for the rights and entitlements of DIY music creators as long as we can.
Are Founders Of AI Music Services Being Disingenuous When They Tell Human Music Creators Not To Worry Or Are They Just Clueless?
If AVIA is a composer and Endel is a recording artist, and they can produce massive volumes of content (WMG is releasing 20 albums by Endel this year alone), what does this mean for the quality and pace of human-created music?
I am a very vocal music creators’ rights advocate and copyright purist. Often, I have the opportunity to share my *opinions* on topics within and circling the music industry that impact the ways in which music creators — especially DIY musicians — navigate and thrive in the United States.
Over the last ten months I have been especially vocal about the Music Modernization Act. I’ve been quoted in Billboard, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork and Digital Media News. I’ve been invited to panel discussions at music industry conferences and keynotes at universities. And I have written several think pieces (and rants) on the bill, which is now law, and related issues.
Still, I am asked what my thoughts are on the MMA.
I’ll summarize my thoughts by saying that I believe the intent of the MMA is good and admirable on its surface — that is, to improve the way rightsholders are accounted to and paid for the use of their music. I believe there is some good stuff in the MMA; particularly, the entirety of Title 2 (The CLASSICS Act) and Title 3 (The AMP Act). However, I feel that there is still work to be done. I also feel that some compromises, at the expense of DIY music creators, were made too easily (this is partially based on private discussions that I’ve had with individuals with privileged knowledge of the negotiations and dealings that took place during the drafting and subsequent amending of the MMA). That being said, I also believe that the soon to be formed Mechanical Licensing Collective has the opportunity to prove to songwriters that this law was truly about them.
Only time will tell.
Here’s a 2018 curated list of my “thoughts” on the Music Modernization Act (and related topics):
- (Oct 16, 2018) Here Are 10 Ways That The Music Licensing Collective (MLC) Can Set The Bar As A Collective Licensing Organization In The 21st Century – https://bit.ly/2RW9kW2
- (Sep 14th, 2018 in Pitchfork) Why So Many Hip-Hop Producers Are Putting Business Before Beats – https://bit.ly/2PEsi1x
- (Aug 19th, 2018) Another Music Modernization Act Opinion Piece – https://bit.ly/2NLp9LC
- (Aug 15th, 2018 in Rolling Stone) Why More Pop Songwriters Are Stepping Into the Spotlight – https://bit.ly/2ClAuAc
- (Jul 24th, 2018) Songwriters Are Owed Nearly $2B In Unclaimed Royalties!!! — Maybe More — I’ve Been Saying This For Some Time Now (Against Pushback), But Finally The Press Has Confirmed It – https://bit.ly/2CMR6Sp
- (May 15th, 2018 in Billboard) Black Box Royalties Myths, Common Misconceptions Debunked at Music Biz 2018 – https://bit.ly/2q4dhLD
- (May 7th, 2018 in Digital Music News) Is the Music Modernization Act Enabling ‘Legal Theft’ Against Smaller Artists? – https://bit.ly/2IugrCS
- (Apr 25th, 2018) 5 Ways The Music Modernization Act Could Be Fairer To ALL Music Creators – https://bit.ly/2Jzn1tb
- (Apr 20th, 2018) I Was Interviewed By The Congressional Budget Office Regarding The Music Modernization Act, And Now I’m Even More Concerned For DIY Musicians – https://bit.ly/2AdwpN0
- (Jan 17th, 2018) – My Thoughts On The MMA In Light Of The CRB Mechanical License Rate Decision – https://bit.ly/2P6bT98
Where do you stand on the MMA?
Here Are 10 Ways That The Music Licensing Collective (MLC) Can Set The Bar As A Collective Licensing Organization In The 21st Century
Title 1 of the MMA, also called Music Modernization Act, sets out provisions and guidance for the formation of a collective mechanical licensing body to be called the Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC). The MLC will administer a safe harbor blanket license for the streaming of musical works, collect licensee fees from licensees, prepare and remit statements of earnings to songwriters and music publishers, and make royalty payments to the same.
The MLC will join the ranks of SoundExchange, ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC in the sense that it will become a powerful representative of the collective rights of thousands of music creators and rights-holders in the United States. However, unlike its counterparts, the MLC will be born in the 21st century. And as a 21st century collective licensing organization, the MLC has the unique opportunity to implement, at inception, 21st century business practices utilizing 21st century best practices and technologies.
How Blockchain And Cryptocurrency Can Speed Up Spotify International Publishing Royalty Payments To US Songwriters
There’s been a lot of talk about applications of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency payments in the music industry. In fact, there isn’t a single major music industry conference that doesn’t dedicate some programming to related topics. There are several projects and startups currently underway to address licensing, discovery, attribution, remuneration and more with blockchain, smart contracts, and cryptocurrency.
For those of us who aren’t blockchain developers, simply keeping up with the many applications of blockchain in the music industry is the closest we’ll get actually knowing how this all (could) works.
I’ve been thinking about how blockchain and cryptocurrency could speed up the process of paying U.S. songwriters, who wait upwards of 1.5 years to get paid for the use of their songs on Spotify outside the U.S.
The current state of the flow of international publishing income to U.S. Independent Songwriters who own their publishing and use traditional publishing administrators to collect in the U.S. is quite depressing.
As an example, Tommy released a song on Spotify in January 2018. In the United Kingdom, the song earned $100 “publisher share” Spotify UK digital public performance royalties.
Here’s the breakdown:
START: $100 “publisher share” of Spotify UK digital performance royalties in January 2018.
1. PRS collects Tommy’s publishing income in the UK ($100) in January 2018.
2. PRS retains 10% admin fee and remits the balance ($90) to ASCAP in October 2018.
3. ASCAP retains 12% admin fee and remits the balance ($79.20) to the Publishing Administrator in February 2019.
4. Publishing Administrator retains 20% admin fee and pays Tommy ($63.36) in July 2019.
END: Tommy is paid $63.36 for his Spotify UK “publisher share” income (earned $100) after waiting 1.5 years and experiencing a reduction of 37% of his royalties. Imagine $1,000 reduced to $633.60 or $10,000 reduced to $6,336.00.
Had Spotify used blockchain technology to dynamically identify Tommy as the rightsholder in his song and paid him instantly at the close of the month with cryptocurrency, Tommy would have already spent his $100 on studio time!
I shared my thoughts on music business for Hip-Hop producers in this piece by Cherie Hu for Pitchfork:
“The way many of these companies are trying to match and verify their data? Hundreds of emails,” says Dae Bogan, founder and CEO of TuneRegistry, a rights management platform for indie artists. “Many labels are still using old software and systems to manage their digital catalog, and their rights department is different from the one responsible for metadata, which is different from the one responsible for collecting royalties. There’s a lot of bureaucracy involved.”
Read the full piece here.
It is always a pleasure contributing to Bobby Owsinski’s books and podcasts. Get your copy of “The Music Businesss Advice Book: 150 Immediately Useful Tips From The Pros” in Amazon.
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