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Why I Founded TuneRegistry

When I managed artists, I made this “Song Processing Checklist” to keep track of everywhere that I was aware of to register my artists’ music. It was daunting. TuneRegistry simplifies this.

Nearly 10 years ago I founded my first music company. It was called Renaissance Artist Management (RAM Artist) and I managed DJs who I had for several years prior booked often to play club events that I produced while in undergrad at UCLA. Some of these DJs were also aspiring music producers, so later I launched Loft24 Records and Loft24 Publishing to help them collaborate with artists and topliners. I picked name Loft24 because I was 24 years old and I lived in a loft in Downtown Los Angeles, which had been a goal of mine since my youth (I have no idea why). I had also signed my first two live acts – a singer/songwriter and a rapper/songwriter — after producing a multi-city mall talent search tour for Reebok…they were the winners.

Prior to founding RAM Artist, Loft24 Records, and Loft24 Publishing, I had some music business exposure having grew up in a multi-generational music family and having been an aspiring musician myself, but my knowledge was nowhere near as expansive as it is today (insert a lot of self-teaching and an eventual masters degree in music business).

One of the things I was really good at as a manager and music entrepreneur was creating systems and processes to make workflows efficient. This was necessary considering all of the tasks I had to juggle as an artist manager, label owner, and music publisher. And I had a daytime job as VP of Marketing & Partnerships of a youth-targeted retail chain and founder/GM of its music division.

I had previously built database-driven e-commerce systems at two companies where I had worked in marketing; and with a history of event production, I was generally a very logistical and process-oriented person.

At the time that I was managing artists, DJs, producers, songwriters and marketing music, I was unaware of software that would make my life easier in these administrative tasks. So, I built my own.

I had previously developed a checklist of everywhere that I was aware of where my client’s music needed to be registered before it was released. I used this “Song Processing Checklist” for every work in our catalog. I’d manually login to ASCAP and the Copyright Office systems to register works and record confirmation numbers. It was daunting!

To pitch our catalog, I built an internal platform called “Music Licensing Portal” (basically an early version of what DISCO or SourceAudio is today). I’d invite music supervisors to search our catalog and initiate sync license requests.

Then I built what would be my first music tech startup, SongBank, a marketplace where A&R’s could shop for unpublished songs using an audio fingerprint of a reference songs. SongBank was described as a robust cloud-based project management platform developed specifically for songwriters and record label A&Rs (I’m still unaware of anything like it on the market). I wanted to help undiscovered songwriters get placements on major label projects after my experience pitching my writers to A&Rs. I had brought on advisers who were A&Rs or VP of A&R at Hollywood Records, Island Def Jam Music Group, Roc Nation, and Atlantic Records. I later stopped working on SongBank to launch Maven Promo (formerly ChazBo Music), which is an in-store independent music video network, which I sold to EMPIRE Distribution last year to fund the development and launch of RoyaltyClaim, the world’s first search engine of unclaimed music royalties, which I later sold to Haawk Inc and then to Made In Memphis Entertainment this year.

All of this leads me to this: TuneRegistry.

TuneRegistry is a software like no other. I conceptualized it based on all of the above experience (although I had been working on it prior to RoyaltyClaim). What started as a Word Doc checklist of places to register my client’s songs has evolved into a robust software to streamline the process of registering works across rights organizations, delivering music metadata across the music industry, the management of disputes and conflicts, and the insurance of royalty accountability, all in one place.

We had a setback for a few months, when I had to buy the company back from a company that had acquired it in 2017, but will be launching an new and improved platform on October 1st and I can’t wait

(Photos below are of the tools and platforms that I referenced above. I built these in my early twenties to operate my music companies and manage my clients’ careers more efficiently.)

Dae Bogan Included In Bobby Owsinski’s ‘The Music Business Advice Book: 150 Immediately Useful Tips from the Pros’

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Bobby Owsinski is one of the music industry’s greats. His ability to curate music industry knowledge into easy-to-ready texts across his over 20 books has helped thousands of music creators and music industry professionals in their careers. I’ve had the pleasure of being on Bobby’s podcast, Inner Circle, and participating on several music conference panels with Bobby. He is truly an inspiration. In fact, it was partially my participation in the making of his book “Music 4.0: A Survival Guide for Making Music in the Internet Age” that inspired me to write my first, very short, ebook “The DIY Musician’s Starter Guide To Being Your Own Label & Publisher.”

I am honored, once again, to have been included in Bobby’s latest book, “The Music Business Advice Book: 150 Immediately Useful Tips from the Pros,” available on Amazon.

About the book:

The music business can prove to be a difficult career road when you’re first starting out, but it can be traveled a lot easier with some helpful guidance from a pro who’s willing to share a few hard-earned hints. The Music Advice Book is a compilation of the pearls of experience from 130 top music pros from various segments of the industry who have previously shared their most important tips on Bobby Owsinski’s Inner Circle Podcast over the course of almost 5 years.

These 150 tips cover everything from following your passion, learning to network, and working well with your musical team, to owning your own content and even figuring out how much to charge for your services. Also included are even some useful music production words of wisdom, as well as the indispensable “10 Rules Of Networking.”

The insights in The Music Business Advice Book are essential for those new to the music industry but valuable to seasoned pros as well.

What Can The Socioeconomic Context Of The Culture From Which Hip-Hop Is Derived Tell Us About How The Biggest Genre In The World Gets The Shitty End Of The Royalty Stick?

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A young Talib Kweli on a New York City block as published on this Cuepoint article.

This piece is not meant to answer the question presented in its title, but rather to preface a discussion that should be, that needs to be, had in the music industry.
Streaming services are a beast that needs constant feeding. Younger hip-hop artists, already accustomed to providing sites such as SoundCloud with a constant stream of mixtapes and features, have adjusted to its demands more quickly than artists from other genres, and have thrived accordingly. At the heart of rap’s streaming dominance is something more ephemeral: Some songs just stream better than others, for reasons that no one can really explain yet. Hip-hop streams better than other types of mainstream music, and trap music streams better than other types of hip-hop. – The Washington Post (April, 2018)
R&B/hip-hop music was the year’s biggest genre, accounting for 24.5 percent of all music consumed….R&B/hip-hop genre represented 24.5 percent of all music consumption in the U.S. — the largest share of any genre and the first time R&B/hip-hop has led this measurement for a calendar year. (The 24.5 percent share represents a combination of album sales, track equivalent album units and streaming equivalent album units — including both on-demand audio and video streams.) — Billboard Magazine (January, 2018)
The statistic presents the number of on-demand music streams worldwide in 2016 and 2017, by genre. According to the source, the number of urban [Hip-Hop and R&B] on-demand streams rose from 55.9 billion in 2016 to 100.34 billion in 2017 – Statista (2018)

Most Hip-Hop and R&B artists do not have publishing representation. Therefore, a significant number of their digital music income streams fall into the unclaimed royalties (aka black box). After 3 years, those royalties can be forfeited to major publishers without the rapper kid from the block ever knowing he/she had money sitting on the table. Feeling so disenfranchised that you won’t even try (or know where to begin) to properly setup and unlock what is owed to you is part of the socioeconomic context from which much of this street music is derived.

This is part of the reason why I founded TuneRegistry and why I wrote the ebook “The DIY Musician’s Starter Guide To Being Your Own Label & Publisher” available for free download.

In a culture where access to institutional and compounding forms of wealth is but a dream and where living paycheck to paycheck is such a prevalent reality, how does this condition young Hip-Hop and R&B artists to be blinded to the ways in which their craft earns residual income? Let’s discuss in the comments.

Find Your Ikigai And You’ll Never Work A Day In Your Life

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Ikigai is the Japanese concept meaning “reason for being.” I’ve just heard of this, but it speaks volumes to me as an entrepreneur, educator, and advocate focusing on DIY musicians. I absolutely love what I do and I think “Ikigai” is why.

Find your Ikigai and you’ll never “work” a day in your life. 

Read more on this concept here.

Music Industry Professionals: Never Let “Genreism” Pigeon-hole You (My Brief Reaction To Music Business Worldwide’s Sit Down With IGA’s President & COO, John Janick)

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Music Business Worldwide set down with Interscope Geffen A&M President & COO, John Janick, to “ask about his five years at IGA, how building Fueled By Ramen prepared him for the job, and a host of modern industry issues.” What I like the most about this piece is the fact that it demonstrates and reinforces the idea that, against the general notion that music industry folks are narrowly focused on specific genres (or genre groups), one can achieve success across genres.

Too often do we pigeon-hole ourselves (or others) because of this limiting idea that you’re just an “emo-indie dude” or just a “hip-hop head”.

When you love music, you love music. When you’re savvy, you’re fucking savvy. Genres are labels. There are nuances between genres, of course, and obviously there are stereotypes and customs that drive “communities” around artists, but on a high-level, if you really care about what you’re doing and have the tenacity to get shit done, things will work out.

It reminds me of when I got into managing EDM DJs. I was side-eyed by a number of promoters until my DJ played Coachella the same year that my hip-hop act was in a national ad as the face of a Reebook sneaker campaign.

Don’t let “genreism” stop you!

 

Read the full interview here: https://www.musicbusinessworldwide.com/john-janick-im-entrepreneur-dont-like-lose/

Career Transition Tips: Moving From The Financial Industry To The Music Industry

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Do you work in the financial industry and want to transition into the music industry? From time to time I receive messages from friends or strangers who work outside of the music industry but looking to make a career change. Recently, folks in the financial industry have been contacting me and want to know how/where their skill sets and experiences translate.

Generally speaking, with the industry being the Big Data industry that it has become, I feel that many of you how have experience with financial data modeling, forecasting, and other “financial/number people skills” could be a viable asset to numerous music companies.

Here are a few companies who specifically exist at the intersection of music and money, which could be a good transitional outlet for the right candidates:

And the publishing administration departments/divisions of every music distributor could use good number people (e.g. TuneCore Music Publishing AdministrationCD Baby Publishing, and Songtrust).

Good luck!

Looking Back: 10 Years Of Los Angeles…

BEFORE THE BIG MOVE, I had visited Los Angeles only twice. The first time was for orientation at California State University, Los Angeles (Cal State LA). I had applied in summer 2003 after receiving notice that I was not accepted to my dream school, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). I had never heard of Cal State LA until one of my best friends told me they were still accepting applicants. Immediately, I went online, applied, and was accepted. It was a desperate and hopeful attempt to go to college anywhere in Los Angeles so that I could be closer to Hollywood–the land of dreams.
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10 Years In Los Angeles: The First Big Milestone

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Today is a very special day for me. Ten years ago today–December 4th, 2003–with a one-way ticket, $500, some clothes and a mission, I moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. Although homeless and unemployed when I arrived, I hit the ground running towards the first few steps that have become an incredible journey of peaks and valleys. I’ve met some of the most amazing and douchiest people in the world, experienced some of the most awesome opportunities and depressing hardships, and have accomplished a few cool things along the way. It is far from over, far from peak, but this 10 year milestone is nothing short of awesome sauce!

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