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How Blockchain And Cryptocurrency Can Speed Up Spotify International Publishing Royalty Payments To US Songwriters

cryptocurrency and music

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!

Dae Bogan To Join Association of Independent Music Publishers’ Panel Event “UNCONVENTIONAL MONEY: Royalty Sources You Might Not Think Of”

wb-aimp-indie-publishing-summit-040517-620x420

Dae Bogan (Founder & Executive Consultant, Rights Department) joins Landon Austin (Co-Founder and President, Noisely),  Larry Mills (Co-President, Tresóna Multi-Media) and Mitch Rubin (VP Label & Publisher Services, Dubset Media) on a panel to be moderated by Michael Eames (President, PEN Music Group / AIMP President) at the Association of Independent Music Publishers‘ panel event:

UNCONVENTIONAL MONEY: Royalty Sources You Might Not Think Of To license your music is to monetize your music.

Whether it be via marching band, show choir, orchestra rentals, iPhone apps, online games and uses, wedding videos, photograph montages – the possibilities are endless. Join us for an exploration of non-traditional outlets and how the variety of them just might surprise you.

Date: September 27, 2018
Time: 11:30 – 1:45 p.m.

Register: https://www.aimp.org/events/register/922

Reservation Cutoff: September 26, 2018

Place: View Map
Lawry’s The Prime Rib
100 N. La Cienega Blvd. (near Wilshire)
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Entrees:

  • Lawry’s Roasted Prime Ribs Of Beef (Cutoff: September 26, 2018)
  • Crispy Chicken w/Lemon Butter Glaze, Mashed Potatoes & Vegetables (Cutoff: September 26, 2018)
  • Blackened Salmon w/Black Bean Pineapple Salsa, Mashed Potatoes & Vegetables (Cutoff: September 26, 2018)
  • Roasted Vegetables with Quinoa (vegan) (Cutoff: September 26, 2018)

Cost:
AIMP Members – $44.00 per person
AIMP Non-Members – $57.00 per person

Our banking sponsor for this event is:

 

City National Bank

Parking: Self-parking is available on site at no additional charge.

Reservations accepted online at www.aimp.org or by telephone at 818-771-7301 until Wednesday, September 26th at noon.  Advance registration deadline with entree choice also ends on Wednesday, September 26th at noon Premier Members and/or groups of 5 or more who have RSVP’d and paid online may request reserved seating by e-mail or phone, 818-771-7301.  We will do our best to accommodate late reservations made the day before the event, but please be advised that entrée selection and space may be limited. Online reservations can be paid online by credit card.  Payment at the door is by cash, check or credit card (with a $5 surcharge).  Those who walk up without a reservation will be served whatever is available, but most likely prime rib, and may have to wait at entry.  

Full-time students with a current student I.D. – $47.00 per person*

*Qualifying students must reserve by phone and pay in advance by check or at the door. There are no online reservation or payment services for this discounted rate.
NOTE TO BERKLEE ALUMNI: If you are inquiring in response to a special offer via the Berklee Newsletter, please email LAinfo@aimp.org for registration instructions.

Attention Students!  The AIMP has launched its education initiative at Lawry’s.  What this means is that up to 8 students are allowed to attend each panel for $20 per person.  The fee does not include food. This is a great opportunity to learn about music publishing and network. You must RSVP and pay in advance via e-mail or by calling 818-771-7301.

Attention attorneys: this activity has been approved for 1.0 hour of Minimum Continuing Legal Education Credit by the State Bar of California. Attorneys wishing to register for MCLE credit should bring their state bar number with them for the sign in sheet.
[Pick up your certificate at the luncheon – AIMP cannot issue certificates after-the-fact.]

Additional Speaker Information

Landon Austin is the co-founder and President of Noisely which is a licensing search engine for content creators. His career began as a creator where he gained a large online following from finishing top 3 in Dorito’s Crash The Super Bowl competition. His music videos on YouTube have accumulated over 25M vews and resulted in an international touring schedule and over 1.5M monthly listeners on Spotify. In 2017 Landon transitioned to an executive and founder role with Noisely to help bridge the gap between traditional publishing and the necessity for a more streamlined approach to licensing music in smaller applications such as wedding videography, photography, in-app music, YouTube and more. Noisely is currently focused on working with publishers and helping them to launch their own white-label micro-licensing platforms to increase bottom line revenues through access to niche markets.

Dae Bogan is a music rights executive, serial entrepreneur, music creators’ rights advocate, and educator with over a decade of experience in the music industry. Through his boutique music rights & technology consulting firm, Rights Department, Dae assists tech founders license and bring their products and services to market. Dae also works with small to medium-sized music rightsholders to help them navigate and evaluate new media deal terms. He has worked with Beatshare, mydiveo (acquired), PicPlayPost, Acappella, Stryve, WeGo Concerts, and many others.

A serial entrepreneur, Larry Mills has forged his way in the entertainment business over a 25-year career, which has seen him start Record Labels, Marketing Companies, Management Companies, and most recently as Co-President of music licensing company Tresona Music. Tresona is the world’s leader in the issuance of custom arrangement licenses. Tresona exclusively represents the catalogs of Sony/ATV, EMI, Universal Music Publishing, Kobalt, BMG, the catalogs of Hal Leonard, Disney and nearly 7,000 other music publishers for these rights. Tresona’s world class technology makes the licensing process seamless, and currently works with nearly 10,000 performing ensembles worldwide. Larry’s career kicked off with a record company he founded, Steam Records, which was started in the kitchen of his apartment in Atlanta back in 1992. Steam put out early releases by Rusted Root, Lisa Loeb, Shawn Mullins, Kristian Bush (Sugarland) and others. Soon after starting Steam, Larry was brought in to run Autonomous Records, another independent label, which spawned the careers of Sister Hazel and Creed. Autonomous was sold to Roadrunner Records in 1997. After that acquisition, Larry was brought in to run marketing for Pump Audio, the independent music licensing company, which was ultimately sold to Getty Images. After the acquisition, Larry ran the music division of Getty Images for 3.5 years. In 2011, Larry was recruited to be the VP, Strategic Marketing for Sony/ATV Music Publishing. During his tenure, he conceptualized and realized We Are The Hits, which is an on-line music video network, predominantly on YouTube, which allows the aspiring artists of the world to share in the advertising revenue from their cover songs, legally. Currently WATH generates over 3 Billion views a year on YouTube and pays out millions of dollars a year to both songwriters and independent artists. Larry acquired WATH in 2013 from Sony, and at that time partnered with Tresona.

Mitch Rubin is Vice President of Label & Publisher Services at Dubset Media, which offers an innovative music marketplace for artists, labels, publishers, distributors, and DJs. Through cutting edge technology, a rights management database, and easy to use dashboards, Dubset creates new mix & remix distribution and monetization opportunities built on transparency, ownership control, and simplicity. Mitch held senior management positions as a music publisher and for a digital music service, both in the United States and Internationally. He was an integral member of the team that grew BMG Music Publishing into the third largest music publisher in the world prior to its acquisition by Universal Music Publishing in 2006. Among his more notable accomplishments were developing BMG’s production music library business, now the largest in the world and, as Managing Director, turning around and growing the historically unprofitable Australia/New Zealand operation. Immediately prior to Dubset, Mitch was the Global Head of Licensing, Composition Rights, for Nokia, Microsoft, and MixRadio (a division of Line Corp). In that role, he oversaw the licensing of composition rights and managing rights holder relationships in more than 40 countries for such innovative products as Comes With Music and MixRadio. He concluded and managed dozens of agreements, many of which required bespoke licensing solutions due to lack of commercial precedents. Mitch joined the startup Dubset Media in early 2017.

Michael Eames is President of PEN Music Group, Inc. Founded in April 1994, PEN is a full-service independent music publishing company with a worldwide presence who is celebrating its 23rd anniversary in 2017. PEN offers efficiency and personal attention as a boutique company. With PEN’s A-list music contacts in film, TV and advertising, and a success rate that continues to grow (with 100+ placements each year), it is an effective alternative to the large multinational publishing companies. Eames and PEN proudly represent the catalogues of writer/artists as diverse as: JOHN FARRAR (legendary producer of Olivia Newton-John who wrote many of her biggest hits); DON FELDER (formerly of The Eagles who co-wrote the classic copyright “Hotel California”); Oscar®-winner DONNY MARKOWITZ (including the smash hit “(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life” from DIRTY DANCING); OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN herself; Grammy®-nominated artist/producer WENDY WALDMAN (who co-wrote “Save The Best For Last”); Emmy®- nominated lyricist AMY POWERS; GINA SCHOCK of the Go-Gos; the estates of late composers EARLE HAGEN and ALLYN FERGUSON who between them co-wrote classic TV themes such as The Andy Griffith Show, Barney Miller (and its spinoff Fish), Mod Squad, I Spy , Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. and The Dick Van Dyke Show, and many others. PEN is also well known for supporting and developing indie buzz artists such as Kimberly Cole and ShyBoy (both of whom have over 1 million followers on Twitter), as well as many other up-and-coming artists and writers. PEN has also recently begun to represent the videogame scores owned by Zenimax Media which include the Elder Scrolls franchise. PEN’s songs have been recorded by artists including The Black Eyed Peas, Celine Dion, the cast of GLEE, Selena Gomez, Miley Cyrus, Cazzette, kd lang, Santana, Christina Aguilera, Corinne Bailey Rae, Faith Hill, Paulina Rubio, Macy Gray, Kenny Rogers and Luther Vandross, among countless others. In the current climate of change in the music business, PEN has also partnered with various independent labels such as Oglio Records and Cheap Lullaby Records to leverage collective strengths. PEN has similarly been entering into joint ventures with respected music executives who start their own companies, most notably Eddie Gomez (formerly of Bug Music) who launched his Little Brother Music in 2012 and Lynn Grossman whose Secret Road Music Services manages Ingrid Michaelson and is a very successful company licensing music to film/TV/ads.
Register for this event now by clicking here.

Why So Many Hip-Hop Producers Are Putting Business Before Beats

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.

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

bobby owsinski dae bogan

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.

Another Music Modernization Act Opinion Piece

Some music industry executives believe that my position on many issues affecting music creators is too bullish. They dismiss my analyses as sensationalism. They believe, or are at least silent on the notion, that demanding the fair and equitable treatment of middle-class songwriters and recording artists should come with exceptions that disproportionately benefit corporations: major publishers and digital service providers.

But I am a copyright purist.

I believe that the authors of copyrighted musical works — songwriters — should have more say in the way in which their creations are valued and monetized in the marketplace. I do not believe in trickle-down economics or its promise that what’s best for the few at the top will benefit the majority at the bottom.

Greed disproves this all of the time.

Greed is asking songwriters to forgo the potential financial upside of bringing forward legitimate claims of past copyright infringement while simultaneously telling the songwriter community that monies that may become due to them could be redirected, by market share, to the few at the top who negotiated the preemptive dismissal of claims in the first place. Greed is telling artists to campaign for a piece of legislation that will reduce the number of entrants into the on-demand streaming market while simultaneously controlling/dominating the editorial opportunities of the DSP incumbents, greatly reducing opportunities that would otherwise be made available to emerging artists by startups that wish to partner with and elevate emerging artists.

I do believe that the Music Modernization Act will pass. I just hope that the decision-makers give some real thought to the millions of up-and-coming music creators who are not represented by the individuals who wrote the legislation that’ll change the way their copyrights will be exploited in the U.S.

Why More Pop Songwriters Are Stepping Into the Spotlight

I shared my thoughts on the status of income-earning for songwriters in today’s streaming landscape in this piece by Elias Leight for Rolling Stone:

“But regardless of whether you’re an upper-echelon songwriter living large or a middle-class one struggling to pay rent, the new system encourages writers to ‘think creatively about how to get more income streams,’ says Dae Bogan, Founder and CEO of the music-rights administration platform TuneRegistry.

If songwriters are indeed feeling the crunch, pushing for artist credit when possible is a natural response – it gives them access to money on the master’s side of recordings. Historically, “we get paid on publishing, the the words, the lyrics, the melody, the staff music written on a page,” explains Watt. “The master is the physical recording: Justin Bieber’s voice and DJ Snake’s production on ‘Let Me Love You.’ The master is where the money is. When a song is sold to a label, they buy the master. If the label gives that to an act, they make sure they own part of that master, otherwise in the streaming world, they’re not making any money.”

Now, Bogan says, “songwriters can say, I write hits; this is gonna be a hit for you; I want a piece of the master’s side.” That’s especially true if hit writers are in a position of leverage relative to the singer – “if it’s a young artist or an artist who’s been stagnant.”

This is in some sense a form of poetic justice for writers. “I used to manage songwriters, and we’d write for a number of artists who would demand that they get 10 percent of the publishing even though they didn’t write a single lyric,” Bogan says. “For decades, artists would dip into publishing to diversify their income stream. So now it’s like, let’s take that model and flip it on its head.”

Read the full article: https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-features/benny-blanco-eastside-pop-songwriter-credit-711061/

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

Over the last few years, I’ve been researching and sounding the alarm on the growing problem of unclaimed music royalties or so-called “black box” royalties.

I’ve estimated the value of the collective black box to be nearly or above $2B. I’ve presented research, have written extensively and have spoken publicly about this problem, which disproportionately affect independent and legacy songwriters.

Despite my fanfare, industry insiders and stakeholders have shrugged or have blatantly called my estimates a gross overstatement and have held that unclaimed royalties are at best a few hundreds of thousands of dollars and mostly owed to “long-tail artists” who do not quite understand how the music industry works. This is a very myopic, company-focused view. These talking heads tend to speak from their position of administering one right for some music licensees. My estimates are looking at multiple rights administered by multiple entities, which would make the collective black box exponentially greater than the escrow account of a single entity.

Also Read: State of Unclaimed U.S. Music Royalties and Licenses

Yesterday, Variety published an article on the Music Modernization Act where a very important fact was tucked away on a single sentence in a paragraph near the end of the piece:

The DSPs are holding some $1.5 billion in unmatched mechanical royalties. If the MMA passes, that money would be passed through to the MLC which would match it to the songwriters and publishers. [bold and underline added for emphasis]

via Variety

https://variety.com/2018/music/news/music-modernization-act-blackstone-sesac-congress-senate-1202881536/

$1.5B of royalties (I still believe this number is higher) is sitting in, probably, interest-bearing escrow accounts while songwriters and small-to-medium sized music rights holders struggle to understand how and why.

Last year I founded RoyaltyClaim, the world’s first search engine of unclaimed music royalties and licenses, which has recently been acquired by Made In Memphis Entertainment. We’ve helped DIY musicians and rights-holders identify thousands of unclaimed entitlements in just a few months, with one paricular music producer uncovering nearly $150k in unclaimed royalties due to him.

The problem is huge. The system is not transparent. And the people in charge could do a better job communicating these things to rights-holders.

Also Read: I’m Working On A Side Project Addressing ‘Black Box’ Royalties

I’ve been on many panels at music industry conferences where I’ve maintained my position that DIY musicians and small-to-medium sized rights-holders are owed hundreds of millions of dollars, if not several billion, and often my co-panelists have taken a position that my claims are sensational and overstated.

I disagree.

When those on the panel talk about black box we are talking about the aggregate of unclaimed royalties that occur because of any number of factors,’ and not just limited to one service or one collection society, explained moderator Dae Bogan, CEO of TuneRegistry.”

via Billboard

Source: https://www.billboard.com/articles/business/8456271/black-box-royalties-myths-panel-music-biz-2018

Read the Variety article here.

Check out my commentary on black box royalties here.

Dae Bogan To Join Panel On The Future Of Rights Technology At A2IM Indie Week In New York

a2im indie week dae bogan speaker

Dae Bogan will join Shanna Jade (Director of Brand Strategy, Stem) and Rob Weitzner (Head of North America, The state51 Music Group) on the panel “Future of Rights Technology” on Wednesday, June 20th at A2IM (American Association of Independent Music) Indie Week conference taking place at the Clemente Soto Velez Cultural and Educational Center in New York. The panel will be moderated by Anna Siegal, SVP FUGA North America.

For more details, visit https://a2im.org/event/a2im-indie-week-2018/

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