During The Coronavirus Pandemic, Dae Bogan Has Helped DIY Musicians Unlock Tens of Thousands Of Dollars In Unclaimed Music Royalties – Here’s How
For over twelve years I have helped thousands of DIY musicians administer and monetize their copyrights to be properly accounted to and paid for the use of their musical works and sound recordings in the United States and abroad. To date, I’ve helped self-published songwriters and self-released artists collect millions of dollars in royalties that would have otherwise gone unclaimed and eventually forfeited and/or redistributed due to a confusing web of regulations and company policies surrounding the fragmented music licensing ecosystem.
I’ve also helped background vocalists, session musicians, and music producers understand how their contributions, while often detached from copyright ownership, generates entitlements that yield royalties that often go unclaimed for many years. I am passionate about the issue of remuneration for music creators and have published research, built technology platforms, and have spoken at the Library of Congress on the topic.
A few years ago I wrote the free ebook “The DIY Musician’s Starter Guide To Being Your Own Label And Publisher” for the non-profit creator advocacy group CreativeFuture as a checklist for DIY musicians who own their publishing and/or masters. The ebook has helped many DIY musicians to get setup with US music rights organizations to collect their royalties. I’ve also written dozens of articles on specific issues surrounding royalty collection that have been published on my blog DaeBoganMusic.com and other websites.
All of this to say that for over a decade I have been championing, educating, advocating for, and empowering DIY musicians and yet I still feel that so many of them are underserved and missing out on their own earnings.
Right now tens of thousands of artists, songwriters, composers, lyricists, session musicians, background vocalists, and music producers have been hit hard by the closure of live music venues and slow down of music production during the coronavirus pandemic. Many have struggled to get financial assistance due to the gig economy nature of much of the work in the music industry. But the sad part is many DIY musicians may have money due to them from their music and contributions over the last 5 to 7 years!
Since the pandemic began, I’ve helped several DIY musicians uncover royalties that have been sitting in unclaimed royalties databases or so-called “black boxes” (Tip: Search “black box” in my search field above to find articles I’ve written on the topic) to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars (Note: I did this work prior to joining The MLC in May 2020 and I am not currently accepting clients due to the fact that I am 100% committed to my work at The MLC, but please continue reading to learn how to do this yourself).
Searching for unclaimed royalties is part of the royalty forensics process. Understanding what entitlements a musician has based on their contribution(s) to any given work, what royalties are due based on type of use and territory, and where the royalties flow to be accounted to and paid out can be a challenge. I did this work for my clients, but I also have a workshop on the topic (Tweet me @daeboganmusic to request FREE access to the workshop).
For example, my cousin, independent singer-songwriter Durand Bernarr had around $8k in unclaimed royalties for his contribution as a background vocalist on the song “Girl” by The Internet sitting unclaimed at just one organization in the United States. Although these royalties were due to him in 2018, the AFM & SAG-AFTRA Intellectual Property Rights Distribution Fund did not know who Durand Bernarr was or how to reach him. I helped Durand uncover these royalties during the coronavirus pandemic and the payment couldn’t have come at a more needed time.
Unclaimed royalties is a common problem for new and up-and-coming music creators (but it also affects emerging and established music creators) and it stems from poor metadata and production credits creation and distribution (this is why I founded TuneRegistry and RoyaltyClaim (I no longer own these companies)). It also stems from DIY musicians not being properly setup and registered everywhere (I cover this in my free ebook).
I now work at The Mechanical Licensing Collective (The MLC) as its Head of Third-Party Partnerships where I am building relationships between The MLC and a variety of organizations and companies to help self-administered songwriters and music publishers interface with us to unlock and collect digital audio mechanical royalties from the use to their songs in the United States by digital service providers such as Spotify, Apple, Amazon, Google, Pandora, Deezer, Tidal, SoundCloud and more.
Now is the time for DIY musicians to take the time to hunt down unclaimed royalties that may go back as far as 7 years. Check out my free ebook as a starting point!
Pro Tip: If you find unclaimed royalties in one place, there may be more and other places. Check with the organization where you find your royalties if those royalties are for the US only or the world. If for the US only, you may have counterpart unclaimed royalties for the same set of rights and types of usage in other countries!
9 Questions – 90 Minutes – $90
The 9 questions this workshop will answer:
- What are your rights, entitlements, and income participations as a music creator and/or rights-holder?
- What are the most common royalty streams generated from a variety of music usage types and where do those royalties flow?
- How are music royalties allocated and distributed by music rights organizations?
- What are niche funds and sub-funds that often generate unmatched so-called “black box” royalties and how do you check for your records?
- How to track music usage to leverage usage and detection reports to reconcile or audit royalty statements?
- What are some tools and resources to help you search for, identify, and claim unclaimed royalties and music licenses?
- What are the requirements to properly setup to be accounted to and paid royalties from previously unaffiliated sources going forward?
- What are some tips for managing your music rights affiliations?
- What are some tips for preparing your music rights and royalties for beneficiaries?
If you can’t make either dates, register anyway to receive the full replay video.
Most independent artists do not know that 5% of their digital radio master royalties earned in the United States from the likes of Pandora, SiriusXM, Music Choice, iHeartRadio, Slacker, TuneIn, Last.fm, etc. are automatically allocated to a pool that is to be paid out to background vocalists and session musicians.
This money is allocated, *even if there are no background vocalists and sessions musicians on the record,* and are paid out in the United States by AFM & SAG-AFTRA Intellectual Property Rights Distribution Fund (aka “The Fund”).
Knowing this now, what should you do?
- Invite musician friends to perform background vocals or an instrument on your record.
- Invite the producer of the record to add background vocals or live instrumentation to their production (then, the producer would be able to qualify for these royalties; which is separate from his/her other producer royalties).
It is important to know that if you have background vocalists or session musicians on your record you MUST PUBLISH THE TRACK CREDITS! The Fund does track credit research to identify the individuals entitled to these royalties. THERE IS NO REGISTRATION PROCESS. They look for credits at places like AllMusic.com, Discogs, MusicBrainz, etc.
Don’t let your royalties go undistributed.
Get 👏 it 👏 done.
TuneRegistry, we deliver track credits to TiVo, which supplies data to AllMusic.com. We also deliver metadata and audio fingerprints to Gracenote, Audible Magic, Medianet, ACRCloud, Quantone, Exactuals – RAI, and Crunch Digital. These services power search and discovery features in hundreds of music apps, websites, audio devices, and smart speakers around the world.
In an era of ever-changing revenue streams, how can musicians make sure they receive the royalties they are entitled to? One of the most commonly litigated issues in lawsuits filed on behalf of musicians concerns artists not being compensated for their work. Join us for a lively discussion featuring advice for musicians (and those representing them) from top legal minds Bill Colitre and Eric Bjorgum, and cautionary tales from songwriter/recording artist Tommy Victor, of the rock bands Prong and Danzig.
A. Eric Bjorgum, Karish & Bjorgum, PC
William B. Colitre, Esq., Music Reports
Tommy Victor, Prong and Danzig
Dae Bogan, TuneRegistry and Royalty Claim
Meghan Moroney, Meghan M. Moroney, Esq.
Registration: 11:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Program: 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.
1 Hour of General CLE Credit
Parking is complimentary.
CLE+ Cardholders with Meal Free ELIP Section Members $55.00 LACBA Members $70.00 All Others $105.00 Law Students $35.00
*CLE+ Members can purchase the meal below for an additional $45.00.
REGISTRATION CODE – 102417ELI
There’s been a lot of talk lately about music royalties; those pesky micro-pennies that add up to something worth fighting over after millions and billions of streams.
With the music industry seeing revenue growth powered by streaming, coupled with shrinking per-stream royalty rates caused by a combination of horrible statutory royalties, unsustainable subscription models, and more content than ever before splitting up the pie, music royalties have never been more scrutinized in modern music history, IMO.
In the United States alone, there are several legislative measures being proposed that directly address music royalties — Fair Play Fair Pay Act (artist royalties), Songwriter Equity Act (songwriter royalties), AMP Act (music producer royalties), CLASSICS Act (legacy artist royalties) — with powerful proponents (music rights organizations, music creators’ rights advocacy groups, and music industry trade associations) and even more power opponents (digital media and Internet company coalitions, broadcaster lobbying organizations, and in some cases, DSPs themselves) on both sides.
Nevertheless, this is an interesting time for music royalties.
Technologists and music licensing experts have come together to create a variety of offerings to music creators and rightsholders to help them exploit their music royalties. Whether you want to find unpaid royalties, get a loan against future royalties, sell your royalties or allow music fans to invest in your music royalties, there’s a platform for that.
Here’s a (not quite) definitive guide of music royalties tools and services (A-Z):
FIND & CLAIM UNPAID MUSIC ROYALTIES
- Paperchain (Revenue Share) – Enriching the music supply chain. Paperchain solves the problem of unpaid royalties in the music industry. Paperchain empowers music copyright owners with products and services to solve the problem of unpaid royalties.
- Royalty Claim (Free/Subscription) – Search, Find, and Claim Millions of Unclaimed Royalties and Music Licenses. The Royalty Claim Platform is powered by data made available through the ongoing research of the Royalty Claim Initiative, its researchers and data scientists, and valued music industry partners.
GET ADVANCES & LOANS AGAINST FUTURE MUSIC ROYALTIES
- Sound Royalties (Flexible Repayments Terms) – Next-generation royalty financing. Retain your music rights. Keep your royalties.
- Lyric Financial (Flexible Repayment Terms) – Advances, Loans, and Financial Solutions for the Music Industry
- Royalty Advance Funding (Interest Loan) – Royalty Advance Funding has funded hundreds of established music royalty earners including songwriters, composers, publishers, producers, and their successors.
SELL, BUY OR INVEST IN MUSIC ROYALTIES
- Royalty Exchange (Ownership & Dividends) – Your online marketplace for buying and selling royalties.
- SongVest (Dividends) – The Stock Market of Music. For the first time ever, both investors and fans can own and get paid by the music that they love.
- Perdiem (Dividends) – Investment platform for creatives. Start your own record label and build your brand in music.
Watch As Royalty Claim Uncovers Unclaimed Royalties & Music Licenses For Beyoncé, Carl Cox, Afrojack, and Ellie Goulding
The Music Business Association (Music Biz) published an infographic, “Music Royalties USA Quick Start Guide,” which gives songwriters and performing musicians a simple way to understand the complex framework they must navigate to receive proper payment for their work.
The document illustrates how royalties are handled for songwriters, publishers, and performers in various media, such as Physical Products and Download Sales, Radio & TV, Satellite & Cable Radio, Non-Interactive Streaming Radio, On-Demand Streaming Music Services, and Synchronization – Movies, TV, Games, Etc. The infographic also explains some of the more misunderstood jargon related to royalties and tells songwriters, publishers, and performers exactly which entities they need to register with.
“Because the rules governing music royalties are so complex and differ so greatly from one medium to another, many artists are leaving a significant amount of money on the table without even knowing it,” said Bill Wilson, Vice President of Digital Strategy and Business Development at Music Biz. “This infographic arms songwriters, publishers, and performers with the knowledge they need to ensure they get everything they are owed, allowing them to get back to what they do best: making music. We’d also like to thank our Affiliate Partners ASCAP, BMI, The Harry Fox Agency (HFA), The Recording Academy, SESAC, and SoundExchange, who all helped review the infographic to ensure it fully captured the process.”
The “Music Royalties USA Quick Start Guide” is the latest in a series of informational infographics that affirm Music Biz’s commitment to the artist community by providing vital information needed to understand how the music industry works and tips to get the most out of the services available to them. Previous entries include the “Global Music Licensing Quick Start Guide,” “SEO for Music Websites,” the “Artist Website Toolkit,” and more.
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