YouTube Announces Major Change To How It Will Handle Music Publishing

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In an email sent to YouTube Music partners this week, YouTube announced that it will change the way it handles publishing.

Currently, YouTube allows rights holders to submit metadata and ownership information to a single global composition record. If there are multiple rights holders, their information is aggregated and rolled up into the “global” composition asset. Then various owners of sound recordings can create relationships (matches) between the “global” composition and their sound recordings. For example, 3 cover song recordings matched to a single “global” composition. However, YouTube is changing this process.

YouTube is doing away with a “global” composition and Composition Asset ID, which all rights holders on the composition would share, and now requiring that rights holders submit a “Composition Share” asset (think of it in relationship to a Split Sheet, the writer/publisher share) and provide their own unique Custom ID to YouTube, which associates back to the composition in the rights holder’s own database (e.g. a catalog number).

Notably, YouTube will no longer create composition to sound recording relationships on behalf of rights holders. It will become more important than ever for right holders to stay on top of their ownership splits and submissions. Furthermore, because YouTube will now rely on rights holders own Custom IDs, it will be important to implement and maintain a clean unique ID database. This could be the catalog number or the same unique ID the publishers use when registering works to PROs via CWR.

Read the full email below…

Dear YouTube Music Publishing Partner,

We are launching a new publishing data model to give you more transparency into and control over how your rights are associated with sound recording assets. In this new model, we will no longer have one “global” composition asset with metadata, ownership, and embedded relationships provided by various owners. Instead, each owner will have their own “Composition Share” assets. These “Composition Share” assets represent only the metadata and ownership information provided by a single owner. Your provided embedded relationships between “Composition Share” assets and sound recording assets will always be applied.

Our current planned launch date for this change is four weeks from now, on Monday, April 3.

This new model will require one major change on your side. Because we will be deprecating our historical Composition Assets and replacing them with a new asset type, today’s Composition Asset IDs will no longer be used. In most cases where you now use Composition Asset ID (including delivery and reporting), you should transition to using the Custom ID field. We recommend that the data you provide in this field always mirror the proprietary work codes that you use in your own database. In order for your Custom IDs to behave in a sensical and deterministic manner, it is critically important that your Custom IDs function as a primary key. That is, every Composition Share must have a Custom ID, and each Custom ID must refer to one and only one Composition Share. We strongly urge you to examine your Custom ID data now and confirm that your Custom IDs refer to only a single work each. If you suspect that this is not the case, please reach out to [omitted] for assistance. We would be happy to send you reports of how you are currently using Custom ID and where any gaps in your data may exist. If your Custom IDs do not function as a primary key in our new model, you may experience errors and ingestion failures.

Because this is a major change, this may require some workflow adjustments on your side. A few important things you should be aware of:

You will have greater control of embedded relationships between Sound Recordings and “Composition Shares.” Any embedded relationships delivered by any publishing partner will always be applied. If partners deliver conflicting data, these conflicts will immediately manifest in the YouTube Content Manager. By the same token, if you do not deliver us a Composition-Share-to-Sound-Recording relationship, we will not create one for you based on other partners’ data. You can continue to create these relationships through CSV ingestions, and we will be adding the ability to delete these relationships in bulk via CSV ingestions. We are also adding functionality to the Content Manager to allow you to edit these relationships directly in the user interface.
Conflicts now exist at the Sound Recording level, rather than at the Composition level. This means that you will see a larger number of conflicts in your conflicts queue. This increase in the number of assets in conflict does not necessarily represent a larger number of views in conflict; conflicts are merely being reported to you on a more granular level. Given that you will now have greater control over embedded relationships, conflicts caused by bad data should be much easier to resolve. When communicating about conflicts with other partners, you should now use Sound Recording Asset IDs instead of Composition Asset IDs.

Asset revenue will be reported at the Sound Recording level, rather than at the Composition level. This means that your asset revenue reports will grow (they will have more lines). To see revenue reported to you at the Composition level, simply pivot the asset revenue report on Custom ID. If you need assistance processing these larger reports, please reach out to your technical account manager or send an email to [omitted].

We recognize that this is a major change that may result in substantial changes to your current workflows. We want to make this change as easy as possible for you and we are here to help and to listen to your feedback. If you have any questions not addressed in this email or on the Help Center, please contact your regular YouTube representatives. To submit feedback directly to our product specialists, please hit the “Help & Feedback” button in CMS. For operational or technical support, please reach out to [omitted]. We will also be hosting office hours and workshops at our New York City office, at our Los Angeles office, and in Nashville in the weeks after the new model is launched. If you are interested in attending, please reach out to your regular YouTube contacts.

Best,

Taylor Fife
YouTube Music Publishing Team

Why United States Music Creators Earn Fewer Royalty Streams

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This post was originally written for and published on Tradiio’s blog.

Did you know that music creators in the United States earn fewer royalty streams than their international counterparts?

In the United States, there is no national performance right in sound recordings. The US Copyright Act sets out several rights for compositions (songs), such as the right to reproduce and distribute compositions in phonorecords, but thanks to a combination of outdated rules and tough opposition from lobbying organizations that represent broadcasters, the law does not include a performance right for sound recordings.

This means that whenever a recording is performed on AM/FM radio in the US, broadcasters are not required to pay artists or record companies any royalties from the advertisements revenue that they earn on the back of those performances. Considering that there are over 15,000 radio stations across the US performing hundreds of thousands of plays of music each week, US music creators and labels are potentially missing out on millions of dollars in royalties.

Virtually all other developed nations outside of the US have a performance right in sound recordings, which is known as neighbouring rights. When a US artist’s recording is performed on BBC in the UK, it earns neighbouring rights royalties for the US artist.

The fact that recordings earn royalties outside of the US is good news, right? Not so much.

Because the US does not have a national performance right in sound recordings (no neighbouring right), no recording earns these royalties. This includes recordings by artists from countries that do recognize neighbouring rights. So yeah, insert your favorite European band who gets high rotation on US radio.

As a result, the countries who do recognize neighbouring rights do not send the neighbouring rights royalties generated from the performance of recordings by US artists in their territory back to any of the US music rights organizations. They keep it or distribute it to the artists and labels in their territory.

Generally speaking, most indie artists who earn neighbouring rights royalties outside of the US will never see this royalty stream unless the US government makes a change to copyright law. Although there are some small companies who try to capture neighbouring rights royalties on behalf of US music creators, they tend to focus on a select roster of more established artists, leaving up-and-coming indie artists with no support.

So what now?

Well, now that you know US artists earn less royalty streams from their music than their international counterparts, it is really important to maximize the royalty streams that they do earn.

Many independent artists miss out on royalties that their music does earn because they do not properly register their songs, recordings, and releases with the various music rights organizations and licensing agencies who collect and distribute royalties. This is understandable, as it can be a pain to keep up with the many different registration processes across a number of organizations (ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, Music Reports, Harry Fox Agency, SoundExchange, the Alliance for Artists and Record Companies, and more). It can be burdensome, time consuming, and often confusing to properly register a complete album. However, missing just one registration or filing registrations late can result in lost royalties, or even disputes over ownership.

This is where TuneRegistry steps in to help.

TuneRegistry is an all-in-one music rights and metadata management platform for the independent music community. Easily organize and store your song details, recording metadata, credits and ownership splits, and release information in your TuneRegistry account. It’s your robust music catalog manager that’s accessible online, so you don’t have to worry about tracking down emails, storing through documents in various desktop and cloud folders, losing collaborator contact information, or any of the other messy issues that most indie artists face.

TuneRegistry is your one-stop source for keeping your music catalog in check.

The advantage of TuneRegistry over other catalog management systems is that we’ve integrated the registrations process directly to ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, Music Reports, SoundExchange, and many more. Save time, reduce errors, and unlock royalties with our integrated registrations module. We make it super easy to get your music registrations to the organizations and data services who need it.

I’m Going To Start Trolling My Music Creator Friends, But Not How You’d Think…

I’m going to start trolling my music creator friends.

Not by commenting on their “check out my new release posts.” 

No. 

I’m going to troll them by capturing the royalties that they WILLINGLY leave on the table by refusing to be more proactive when it comes to the business of music.

The independent music community turns its collective back on nearly a billion dollars in unclaimed royalties and unlicensed usage every year from domestic and international sources, despite the fact that artists are generally distributing music wider and further across more varied platforms and apps than ever before.

If you’re going to leave money on the table, I’ll go ahead and pull up a seat and take your share.

Global Recorded Music Revenues Grew By $1.1 Billion In 2016

Music Industry Blog

Following on from the global market share numbers we released on Sunday, here are our findings regarding the growth of the overall market.

Throughout 2016 as the major label earnings were coming in there was a growing awareness that 2016 was going to be a landmark year for the recorded music business. It finally looked like streaming was going to push the industry into growth. Now with full year numbers in, the picture is even more positive than it first appeared. The recorded music market grew by 7% in 2016, adding $1.1 billion, reaching $16.1 billion, by far the largest growth the recorded music business has experienced since Napster and co pushed revenues into free fall.

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While it is too early to state that the corner has been turned, this is clearly a turning point of some form for the business. Underpinning the growth was streaming which grew by…

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A Primer On Music Publishing, Rights Splits, And Royalties For Confused Artist Managers

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I recently assisted an artist manager with a post-release dispute between his client (DJ/producer) and their guest artists on the track.

Here’s a quick primer for new managers who may not be 100% clear on how copyright & publishing work/relate:

1. There are two (2) separate copyrights: the composition (song) and the sound recording (master).

2. There are four (4) types of income participants: songwriter and publisher for songs (we call this “writer’s share” and “publisher’s share”) / artists and record companies for masters. In the event a writer is not signed to a publisher, he/she owns the publisher share of income. In the event an artist is not signed to a record label, he/she owns what would be the record company share of income (however, if you’re working with a production company, they could own these rights depending on your production agreement).

3. COMPOSITION: Generally, the songwriter and publisher split is 50-50 (this proportion is represented in percentages as 50%/50% (most of the publishing world) and 100%/100% (specific to BMI), but it is the same proportion). American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers (ASCAP), Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI), SESAC, and Global Music Rights (GMR) collect and pay out performance royalties to songwriters and publishers. Harry Fox Agency and Music Reports, Inc. collect and pay out mechanical royalties to publishers (if you rep a writer who does not have a publisher, you may be missing out on mechanical royalties in the U.S. and overseas). Synchronization (placing music in film & TV) is a license that is negotiated between content producer and publisher (or you as the manager repping a songwriter). The content producer pays an upfront synch fee and then the performance generates performance royalties on the backend once it is  has been distributed/broadcast (unless it’s a movie in U.S. movie theaters or DVDs; in which case you should negotiate a higher upfront synch fee since the U.S. does not have a performance right for music performed in movie theaters). There are more royalties, but that’s a primer.

Also Read: Demystifying The Music Industry: What’s The Difference Between ASCAP/BMI/SESAC and SoundExchange?

4. MASTER: Generally, the artist and record company split income based on the terms of a recording contract. The exception is neighbouring rights, hometapping/private copy, and DART royalties. All of these royalties are collected and paid out by agencies directly to the artist and record company. SoundExchange pays out digital performance royalties for non-interactive Internet services (e.g. Pandora), satellite (e.g. SiriusXM), cable (e,g. Music Choice), and over 2,500 other webcasters (e.g. iHeart Radio and Slacker). SoundExchange is our only version of “neighbouring rights” in the U.S. SoundExchange pays 45% to the artist, 50% to the record company, and 5% to background vocalists and session musicians via AFM & SAG-AFTRA Intellectual Property Rights Distribution Fund. Digital services pay master streaming royalties directly to your distributor/aggregator. There is a fund for hometapping/private copy and DART royalties paid out by Alliance of Artists and Recording Companies to artists (50%) and record companies (50%) because, among other reasons, in some countries (like Japan and Netherlands), music is rented much in the way we rent DVDs. Overseas, masters also earn neighbouring rights royalties (performance of masters on radio, TV, movies, etc.). The only way to capture these royalties is to sign up with a neighboring rights agency like Kobalt Music or Symphonic Distribution.

Also Read: The Uniquely US Challenge That Indie Artists Face When Asked To License Music To Indie Filmmakers, For Free

Now that you have a premier, what you need to make sure to do for EVERY song released is to spell out in the contract the COMPOSITION/SONG SPLITS and the MASTER OWNERSHIP SPLITS.

If you do a split sheet with guest artists on a song, you’re only covering the composition, unless you have some addendum agreement attached that says the splits will also be applied to the master sound recording. Otherwise, you can have two different sets of splits; one set of splits for the composition (the songwriters and publishers) and a second set of splits for the master (the featured performers and the record company/master owner(s)).

SCENARIO 1: EDM DJ/producer produces a track and invites a guest artist to lay down vocals. If producer composed the track and artist wrote the lyrics, then they’ll all have a percentage on the COMPOSITION/SONG split sheet. If producer wrote all of the lyrics, then he/she will own 100% of the COMPOSITION/SONG. Now, the master recording has a different split. The guest artist is effectively the featured performer on the MASTER, so he/she would be allocated the 45% featured artist share of SoundExchange royalties and the 50% artist share of AARC royalties. The copyright owner in the master (label or individual) would receive the 50% copyright owner share of SoundExchange royalties and 50% record company share of AARC royalties. In order for the producer to receive a piece of the SoundExchange royalties, you’d need to include the allocation in your agreement and have the ARTIST sign a Letter of Direction, which you’ll submit to SoundExchange (join the Creative Affiliate Program to expedite this). This LOD will split the “featured performer share” between the Artist and Producer. (Note: These splits have nothing to do with sales and master streaming royalties).

SCENARIO 2: A five member band put out a new song. Only two members wrote the song, but all five members performed on the recording. The two writers would split the COMPOSITION/SONG ownership, and each of the five members will receive a share of the featured artist share of SoundExchange royalties. Master sales/streaming royalties will have a different split.

I can go on and on.

The point is, there are 4 buckets in the music industry when it comes to copyright/publishing:

  • Bucket 1: Writer/Composer/Lyricist
  • Bucket 2: Publisher
  • Bucket 3: Artist
  • Bucket 4: Master Owner/Record Company

Each of these buckets receive their OWN income streams, and most music rights organizations and royalty collection agencies will pay one or two of these buckets DIRECTLY based on the splits that you provide when you register the songs/tracks to the entities.

This is why it is imperative to #1 have these splits spelled out and agreed upon on paper prior to release and #2 register the songs/tracks with ALL entities BEFORE release.

Obviously, TuneRegistry is the only product on the market designed to help you with this at an indie artist price point.

‘Managers need to motivate artists. But we also need artists to motivate us.’ – Music Business Worldwide

Here’s a good lesson on treading the water when your promising artist experiences ups and downs across their career. Being self-motivated as a manager is imperative, especially in the early years when it’s virtually all work and little reward. But having a since of mutual motivation with your artist is also important. You’re here to guide and build their careers, but like the saying goes “help me help you” is definitely a motto that I lived by as a manager. It’s refreshing to hear that notion echoed in this piece.

How Colin Lester stuck by his star artist – even when the music industry turned its back

Source: ‘Managers need to motivate artists. But we also need artists to motivate us.’ – Music Business Worldwide

Global Recorded Market Music Market Shares 2016

The Independent Music Sector Continues To Claim Significant Market Share Over Any One Of The Big 3 – Indie Publishers Capture Over 50% Of The Market

Music Industry Blog

MIDiA and Music Business Worldwide have been tracking record label and publisher financial releases throughout 2016. In addition MIDIA has conducted market sizing work on the publishing sector and research for the Worldwide Independent Network’s (WIN) indie label market share project. Pulling all of these inputs together, along with reports from country trade bodies and PROs, MIDiA has created a recorded music market share model to provide a unique view of where the revenue flows in the global business. To ensure as representative a picture as possible all local currency data has been converted into US dollars at the currency conversion rates for the respective quarters. This removes the distortion effect that occurs when data historical data is retrospectively converted at today’s conversion rates.

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(MIDiA Research subscription clients can access the full 15 page excel spreadsheet with all of the underpinning data right now by clicking here.)

The Recorded Music…

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