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DJs, You’re Next

DJs, You’re next! 😊

After 10+ years of building software to help recording artists, songwriters, composers, lyricists, background vocalists, session musicians, independent labels, and music publishers with their music copyrights and royalties; and on the back of helping thousands of the aforementioned administer thousands of copyrights while unlocking tens of millions of dollars in royalties, it’s time to turn my attention to another group of underserved music creators: DJs

There are over 13,000 DJs in the United States and over 56,000 DJs around the world.

There are more DJ/Producers collaborating with independent music creators and influencers than ever before, and DJ/Producers creating new expressions of original music and derivative works for which they often undervalue and underrepresent their own rights and entitlements (that’s if they’re even aware of their entitlements).

I entered the music industry in 2008, while a senior at UCLA, when I formed Renaissance Artist Management (RAM Artist) and began representing DJs, DJ/Producers, and DJ/Remixers. From local up-and-coming DJs to GRAMMY-nominated festival DJs, I’ve had the pleasure of advising, representing, educating, and collaborating with DJs of all walks of life.

Over the past few years, I’ve been privately advising a number of DJ/Producers on their business and careers. From helping to clear samples, to advising remix negotiations, to pitching mix sets to DJ playlists, to web3 experiences (metaverse and NFTs), to setting the music rights administration plan for collaborations on original songs I’ve been having fun guiding and advising a small group of DJ friends.

Now, I’m looking to my next side project: DJ Music Rights

If you’re a DJ/Producer or represent a DJ/Producer, sign up to be the first to know about my forthcoming side project at http://www.djmusicrights.com

Understanding the New United States’ Mechanical Royalty Rates

🚨Attention Music Creators & Indie Music Publishers🚨

Understand the New United States’ Mechanical Royalty 💸 Rates

📱Streaming: 15.1% of DSP revenue
💿Physical: 12 cents per media (e.g. CD, Vinyl)
🎧Downloads: 12 cents per download

Previously, streaming was 10.5% of DSP revenue and physical media and downloads were 9.1 cents.

Looking ahead to 2023, songwriters will see a 32%-44% increase in mechanical royalty income.

It is more important than ever before to make sure that your songs are registered at The Mechanical Licensing Collective.

Check out this explainer video that I helped to create on how song metadata influences your money:
https://youtu.be/BprSCHUAIcw

(Side Note: Before you sign a recording contract, understand how a “controlled composition clause” may reduce your income as a songwriter and how your obligation to pay collaborators the full statutory royalty rates, while you’re being paid less than the full statutory rate, will impact your overall net income as an artist.)

[Video] Artist Managers Connect presents AMA About The Mechanical Licensing Collective with Dae Bogan

Dae Bogan conducts a Facebook Live “Ask Me Anything” regarding The Mechanical Licensing Collective in the Artist Managers Connect Facebook group on January 20th, 2021. Watch

Is the blanket license royalty rate determined after the majors have negotiated their license with the DSPs?

Does registration with the MLC supersede registrations with HFA and MRI?

If a song was previously licensed under the voluntary license, does it now have a secondary revenue to coming from the blanket license, or do you have to choose one path over the other?

Will the MLC establish reciprocal mechanical collections with foreign mechanical CMOs such as MCPS and AMCOS?

Watch me answer these questions and many more from artist managers in my “Ask Me Anything About The Mechanical Licensing Collective”

Watch: https://youtu.be/Kz43LyYXMUI

[Video] Songtrust Presents ‘Let’s Talk Music Publishing: The Mechanical Licensing Collective (The MLC)’ With Dae Bogan

Watch the recording of Songtrust’s webinar.

Description: With the beginning of the new year, as the initiation of The Mechanical Licensing Collective (The MLC) begins, songwriters have a lot of questions about how this will affect them in 2021 and beyond. Join the Songtrust team, along with special guest Dae Bogan, Head of Third Party Partnerships at The MLC, to discuss everything you need to know about The MLC and their relationship to Songtrust.

[Rewind] On This Day Last Year I Spoke At The Library Of Congress

On this day last year, at the invitation of the Honorable Steve Ruwe, a United States Copyright Royalty Judge, I went to Washington, D.C. to participate in the U.S. Copyright Office’s Unclaimed Royalties Study Symposium and speak at The Library Congress on strategies for the effective outreach and engagement of music publishers and independent songwriters. A few months later I joined The Mechanical Licensing Collective as its Head of Third-Party Partnerships to develop and execute strategies to reach and empower music publishers and independent songwriters, composers, and lyricists.

So You Received A Notice From Music Reports Or Harry Fox Agency?

Earlier this week a number of artist managers in a Facebook group posted photos of letters that their clients received from Music Reports Inc. on behalf of Amazon. They asked what the notices meant and if they were legit.

I am sharing my post, which was shared to a number of other music industry groups:

In the last couple of days, several of you have posted about receiving a notice from Music Reports Inc. and questioned whether or not you should act on the letter.

Let me clarify what you’re receiving, why you’re receiving them, and what you should do about it.

The short answer: Unless your client is signed to a major music publisher or major indie (e.g. Kobalt) OPT IN TO ALL DIRECT LICENSES!

Who is sending these notices?

Music licensing clearing houses such as Music Reports Inc. and the Harry Fox Agency (via it’s service Rumblefish) are hired by digital music services (including the big ones like Amazon, Apple, and Spotify; as well as hundreds of small startups like what musically was but is now TikTok) to help the digital service to secure proper licenses (compulsory or direct) to use music in their service, to calculate royalties, and to make payments and remit statements to the proper copyright owners.

What are you receiving?

What you are receiving are opportunities to opt-in to a predetermined (generally nonnegotiable) direct license, alongside every other non-major / non-major-indie publisher in the world, to license your copyrights to a digital platform within the United States (sometimes the deal is worldwide, which can be problematic, but I don’t want complicate this post). There are also Section 115 NOIs, which goes out for every track released on a DSP for the US mechanical license for the underlying composition (this process is being disrupted by the Mechanical License Collective beginning Jan 1, 2021).

Why are you receiving the notice?

You’re receiving the notice because the agent has your information as the copyright owner (or authorized agent of the copyright owner) for copyrights (generally compositions) that have been matched to sound recordings that the digital service either already has or has access to. THIS IS A GOOD THING. This means that the digital service, via their agent’s (MRI, HFA, etc) database of song ownership information, knows who to pay once the copyright begins to earn royalties (or in the case of a one-time payment, they know who to pay from the pro rata advance pool). The flip side is if they do not have your ownership info, the copyright would not be properly licensed and the creators would not be paid — the royalties earned against their copyright would go into the so-called “black box” or the content will be blocked from the service altogether (e.g. notice that your music isn’t on or monetized on Facebook, Instagram, and Oculus?). Also, if the agent does not have your info for certain uses covered by Section 115 of the US Copyright Act, the notice is currently being remitted to the US Copyright Office.

How do you respond?

Review the license and decide if you want to opt-in or not. For most copyright owners, opting in is really your only shot at being licensed by the service. Up-and-coming artists are not going to be able to do a separate direct license with the service as the service has zero incentive to administer a separate agreement with you. They will do a deal with the major publishers and major-indie publishers and a unicorn artist here or there.

How to make sure that your contact information is readily available to these agents to ensure that they can contact you with licensing opportunities and have your payee info for royalties?

You can hire a pub admin (they’ll earn a 15% to 25% commission on all royalties collected) or you can do it yourself and keep 100% of your royalties in North America via TuneRegistry. See this article as an example of DIY.

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