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-   -   An open letter: Are you killing the value of your own music? (https://www.gearslutz.com/board/music-for-picture/1239827-open-letter-you-killing-value-your-own-music.html)

Etch-A-Sketch 5th December 2018 07:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ukiah Bass (Post 13670996)
I agree with this premise. What about old music -- where the writer(s) is dead? Not so old as to fit into "Traditional" category. But new enough that a publisher is still collecting tolls?

https://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ15a.pdf

"Works Created on or after January 1, 1978
The law automatically protects a work that is created and fixed in a tangible medium of expression on or after January 1, 1978, from the moment of its creation and gives it a term lasting for the author’s life plus an additional 70 years. For a “joint work prepared by two or more authors who did not work for hire,” the term lasts for 70 years after the last surviving author’s death. For works made for hire and anonymous and pseudonymous works, the dura- tion of copyright is 95 years from first publication or 120 years from creation, whichever is shorter (unless the author’s identity is later revealed in Copyright Office records, in which case the term becomes the author’s life plus 70 years)."

in that document it also explains the length of copyright for works created before 1978 as well.

After copyright runs out, the piece of music becomes public domain.

collecting tolls? using the term tolls makes me think you might reside outside the US? If so, copyright law is different from country to country. So you will need to look up the terms for copyright in your country.


Quote:

As for "modern requirements," the old processes fit a world of sit-down meetings with lawyers, drafting agreements, negotiating fees etc.
what are you talking about? Today everything is done through email. No old world sitting down with lawyers at a table.

If you want to get a license for a track, you email the publishing company. It's as simple as that. Most publishers have a form you fill out to request a license right on their website...

for example...

Universal Music Publishing Group | US

Quote:

The modern world consists of more automated systems enabling minimum friction and maximum alacrity in implementing ideas and ultra rapid distribution. Numbers for the song writers could be (and possibly are) just as big in the new world. But why should this exclude "small time" operators who could pay what they're worth, which would be a pittance by comparison, but if implemented by electronic systems, could easily scale to fit everyone's needs -- and put in a commensurate amount of compensation. I don't see this as a zero sum game for song writers. If anything, it would be additive, bringing in revenue that would be uncapturable with old, manual processes.

Just trying to be open minded here. There are a lot of creative professions trying to figure out a way forward. Professionally, I am also a creator and have experienced the hammer of forces brought on by the internet. It's not going away. We just have to figure out what will work. What will NOT work is sticking our heads in the sand and insisting the old way is the best way.
you mean like this?

FyrFly-SongFreedom - Real Music. Licensed.

Quote:

SongFreedom (now FyrFly-SongFreedom) began as the bridge connecting visual and musical artists. This bridge now supports over 800 creatives and includes electrifying Top 10 artists such as Lady Gaga and singer songwriters like The Royal Foundry.
I think this is what you are asking for, is it not?

Chuck.dallas 4th June 2019 05:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lewis_foster (Post 13654676)
Danny - I'm baffled. I'm unsure why you've jumped to the conclusion that my company is offering blanket licenses, has anything to do with earnings from streaming or is undermining the value of the music we represent in any way.

I'd urge you to learn more about our model at Music Vine before you criticise so hastily and damningly. If I didn't care about our industry, I wouldn't have taken such time and care in writing the letter.

The letter I've published today has been supported by a large number of composers and producers already. The sites I'm referring to (Artlist and Soundstripe) have gained an enormous amount of traction in the last two years. If you're not aware of them, that does not mean they have not had a major impact.

I noticed that Soundstripe recently acquired $4M in financing from venture capitalists which "...will allow Soundstripe to continue expanding its presence in the production music space..."

Nashville-Based Soundstripe Picks Up $4 Million Series A Financing to Disrupt Music Licensing for Video
https://www.businesswire.com/news/ho...0513005537/en/

That reminded me of this thread, specifically Lewis Foster's reference to Soundstripe (above) as a player who's contributing to the devaluation of music in production music.

Any thoughts or concerns about this development?

Desire Inspires 4th June 2019 06:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chuck.dallas (Post 14018912)
I noticed that Soundstripe recently acquired $4M in financing from venture capitalists which "...will allow Soundstripe to continue expanding its presence in the production music space..."

Nashville-Based Soundstripe Picks Up $4 Million Series A Financing to Disrupt Music Licensing for Video
https://www.businesswire.com/news/ho...0513005537/en/

That reminded me of this thread, specifically Lewis Foster's reference to Soundstripe (above) as a player who's contributing to the devaluation of music in production music.

Any thoughts or concerns about this development?

From a musician’s standpoint, it stinks.

From a business standpoint, it is awesome.

brockorama 4th June 2019 06:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Desire Inspires (Post 14018981)
From a musician’s standpoint, it stinks.

From a business standpoint, it is awesome.

Which one are you?

Desire Inspires 4th June 2019 07:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by brockorama (Post 14019074)
Which one are you?

Business for sure.

brockorama 5th June 2019 12:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Desire Inspires (Post 14019150)
Business for sure.

All this time I assumed you were a musician. bumpkin

Desire Inspires 5th June 2019 01:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by brockorama (Post 14019677)
All this time I assumed you were a musician. bumpkin

I was until I realized that solely focusing on being a musician does not lead to a sustainable income. Well, at least for me. Nothing for me to be angry or sad about.

Music isn't the enemy. Business isn't either. But if I had to pick one, I would go with business first.

Jeff Hayat 5th June 2019 02:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Desire Inspires (Post 14019801)
I was until I realized that solely focusing on being a musician does not lead to a sustainable income. Well, at least for me.

And for most. You really need to be good at both - musician/songwriter, and business.

Desire Inspires 5th June 2019 04:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jeff Hayat (Post 14019904)
And for most. You really need to be good at both - musician/songwriter, and business.

Be better at business. Then you can hire musicians for the specifics.

drBill 5th June 2019 04:56 AM

I'd rather be better at music. Business will follow if you have incredible music.

ehrenebbage 5th June 2019 06:00 PM

Another option is to assess our own strengths and find opportunities to exploit them, while also assessing our own weaknesses and finding ways to improve or remove them from the equation. This applies to both creative and business skills.

ionian 5th June 2019 07:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sharp11 (Post 13657175)
Also, students in colleges and universities majoring in music have access to all kinds of cool music I've never heard - it keeps you young!


Quote:

Originally Posted by Brent Hahn (Post 13657186)
What access do they have that we don't?


Quote:

Originally Posted by Sharp11 (Post 13657205)
Certain pier group, social circle access ... ;)

They must be listening to Handel's Water music.

implant 5th June 2019 08:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Desire Inspires (Post 14020026)
Be better at business.

You still haven't analysed those ASCAP sheets we discussed on my Sonoton topic, bro? C'mon, do it and share the results with me or in public, let's take the first step towards being a businessman...and you also made a promise. Let's see what publishers rise at the top for you and we can cross-reference the data.

Desire Inspires 5th June 2019 08:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by implant (Post 14021400)
You still haven't analysed those ASCAP sheets we discussed on my Sonoton topic, bro? C'mon, do it and share the results with me or in public, let's take the first step towards being a businessman...and you also made a promise. Let's see what publishers rise at the top for you and we can cross-reference the data.

Analyze what? I got music in 289 TV series based on my Member Services account in ASCAP. And I don’t have any music with Sonoton. So what exactly are you looking for?

implant 5th June 2019 08:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Desire Inspires (Post 14021416)
Analyze what? I got music in 289 TV series based on my Member Services account in ASCAP. And I don’t have any music with Sonoton. So what exactly are you looking for?

That's nice, congrats! It doesn't have anything to do with Sonoton; what I did was looking at my ASCAP sheets, not all of them, of course, there are too many. I looked at last 10-15 and tried to see which publishers gets most uses, as you can see them in sheets. It doesn't have to be exact...but if you come up with 5-6 names repeating and after cross-reference with my data we come with a name or two working for both of us, my guess is that those guys are doing good. Of course, if it's too much trouble you can just tell me to f*** off...

Desire Inspires 5th June 2019 09:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by implant (Post 14021448)
That's nice, congrats! It doesn't have anything to do with Sonoton; what I did was looking at my ASCAP sheets, not all of them, of course, there are too many. I looked at last 10-15 and tried to see which publishers gets most uses, as you can see them in sheets. It doesn't have to be exact...but if you come up with 5-6 names repeating and after cross-reference with my data we come with a name or two working for both of us, my guess is that those guys are doing good. Of course, if it's too much trouble you can just tell me to f*** off...


We can talk over the phone. Let me send you a PM.

Palabrajot 10th August 2019 05:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Etch-A-Sketch (Post 13655101)
That is no longer a "license". That is a complete buyout. You are not licensing, you are selling your track at that point.



Again, that is no longer a "license" but a complete buyout. A license implies that the original copyright owner still maintains control of the intellectual property. When that control is completely handed over in perpetuity, and the client can do whatever they want with the track after the transaction is complete, then it is a buyout, not a license and not a blanket license.

Anyway... I don't have a problem with these types of companies. The reason being is they make what I do MORE valuable. If you are trying to directly compete against them, their own sales "tactic" is to simply slash the price. That is it. But instead of allowing them to make price the only selling point... I change the subject and the direction of the client to things like production quality, composers' status accomplishments, etc.

If the licensing staff doesn't know anything about the music they are licensing, then all they can do is cut the price because they have no way to show the value. I've found that clients CAN perceive the difference when listening but they can't "quantify" those difference. For example... if I did a blind taste test between Starbucks Coffee and Cup 'O Joe or cheap diner coffee... do you think you can taste the difference? If yes do you think you could objectively quantify that difference? Is the starbucks coffee better? If so by how much? 10%, 20%, 300%?

The general untrained public can still be good at discerning a difference but they lack the knowledge and experience to quantify that difference. That is where savvy sales comes in. It's how Starbucks can charge $4 for a $0.50 cup of coffee. It's how VW can sell a Porsche for $90,000 even though the same car with minor changes and a VW logo on it sells for $60,000.

the general public is good at discerning differences, they suck at quantifying them. Marketing is what tells them that product X is 10 times better than product Y. How many people spend THOUSANDS of dollars on digital to audio converters (Prism, Apogee, RME, Meitner, etc) thinking their converters are 10's or 100's of times better than cheaper brands like Focusrite or Behringer... and pay 100 of times more money for their better converters, when in reality, there is only maybe a 5 or 10% difference between them... Once the manufacturer can identify the difference the consumer hears, THEN they can put a price tag on it.

And that is ultimately how music publishing works too. One man's trash is another man's treasure. A Nirvana track may only be worth $1 to one client but might be worth $300,000 to another. Same goes for Production Music. The marketing efforts of the library is what controls the narrative about their own product and their relative position against competing products.

like if you said to me you are looking for orchestral music... I could just say yeah, whatever and give you a bunch of different orchestral tracks with some being better than others... but then what if I showed you this video...



And then told you the composer was the orchestrator and additional writer for Danny Elfman, James Newton Howard, John Debney, Bruce Broughton, Christopher Young, etc...

If you were to just hear these tracks mixed in with a playlist of midi orchestra, you might think, "wow, that one sounds pretty good" and then just move on to the next... but by separating it out, and changing the topic from just "how much" to where it was recorded, what went into making it, and who is behind making it... I've now just quantified the differences you heard... so now it justifies a much higher price tag to you and you will feel more comfortable spending the extra money because you know you are getting something a cut above the rest.

So... I say "bring it on" to all these super cheap bottom feeder libraries... they make what I do worth ten's, if not hundred's of times more than it would have been had there not been so much cheap and mediocre music available in the market. The creme always rises to the top... and when there is a race to the bottom, the ones who win are the ones who turn around and sprint to the top.

I couldn't agree with this more. One man's treasure is another man's trash. So the trick is (and it's not an easy one) is to find the people that care and will value your music.

I made a record a few years back that cost me a dedicated year of work and $15K paying out top notch musicians, studio time, and I made some accompanying films. Thankfully I got a composition grant that allowed me to pull it off. After I finished the project I began to look into licensing since part of the purpose of the record was to try and get some film scoring work. I had no idea what I was doing and submitted it to Getty/Pump Audio where it sat for a year doing nothing. If I did get a placement it would have been for $30 or something. I also sent it to a more local library that asked me to write something a bit more dumbed down and eventually passed on the record. They valued it at nothing. Then I sent it to Downbeat Magazine and they gave me a great 4 star review, right next to Nels Cline. My record is not really jazz, so this was a welcome surprise. Then out of nowhere a director who has an Academy Award for co-writing song of the year, asked to use one of my pieces in an upcoming show on Amazon with a sync fee of $6500, plus I have all writer and publishers share.

Moral of the story is that our music can be worthless or valuable to different sets of ears.

The race to the bottom libraries don't really value music, it's a commodity to sell like anything else. They could be selling used cars, dish soap, whatever it's just a business model to them. So I think dealing with the blanket license folks is suicide to composers. I'm new to all of this and figuring a path to make a career out of it, but it seems that if you don't value your music in the first place, no one else will.

ohwell 28th August 2019 07:45 PM

This didn't age too well, seeing as Music Vine is now going to be moving to a subscription model themselves...

Desire Inspires 28th August 2019 07:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ohwell (Post 14172676)
This didn't age too well, seeing as Music Vine is now going to be moving to a subscription model themselves...

Where did you find this out?

ohwell 28th August 2019 10:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Desire Inspires (Post 14172706)
Where did you find this out?

From other composers and on MLR

Desire Inspires 29th August 2019 12:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ohwell (Post 14172913)
From other composers and on MLR

Oh wow. There is no mention of this on the Music Vine site.

https://musicvine.com/pricing

the site states that "Music Vine is a pay-per-license platform."

if they have switched to a subscription model, they are not being truthful on their own website.

ohwell 29th August 2019 01:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Desire Inspires (Post 14173047)
Oh wow. There is no mention of this on the Music Vine site.

https://musicvine.com/pricing

the site states that "Music Vine is a pay-per-license platform."

if they have switched to a subscription model, they are not being truthful on their own website.

Incorrect, stop jumping to conclusions.

Apparently they are planning to bring it in soon, it didn't say it's already changed over.

Desire Inspires 29th August 2019 02:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ohwell (Post 14173141)
Incorrect, stop jumping to conclusions.

Apparently they are planning to bring it in soon, it didn't say it's already changed over.

You are making up stuff then. Stop with the lies, bro.

gtrwll 29th August 2019 06:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ohwell (Post 14172913)
From other composers and on MLR

I also saw the post on MLR before it was taken down.

I guess opinions and ideals change when there's bills to pay.

Desire Inspires 29th August 2019 07:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gtrwll (Post 14174173)
I also saw the post on MLR before it was taken down.

I guess opinions and ideals change when there's bills to pay.

As they should.

ohwell 28th September 2019 01:15 AM

Confirmation that Music Vine is introducing subscriptions: https://musicvine.com/subscription-c...0Coming%20Soon

Looks like it'll be $36 bucks a month for unlimited music for advertising.

Anyone have music with them? This looks real bad for writers.

drBill 28th September 2019 01:30 AM

No music with them here, but if I DID have music with them, I'd be immediately pulling it. Subscriptions are almost always very bad for the writers...

Etch-A-Sketch 1st October 2019 12:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by drBill (Post 14234483)
No music with them here, but if I DID have music with them, I'd be immediately pulling it. Subscriptions are almost always very bad for the writers...

The only way subscriptions can even remotely work well for creators of for any sort of entertainment media is if you limit the content available.

people forget that subscription based services like HBO and Netflix put new content up and more importantly, TAKE OLD CONTENT DOWN. Music catalogs have a tough time wrapping their heads around that concept and just want to make everything accessible at all times to everyone. THAT, is what can make it a losing business model.

UnderTow 1st October 2019 10:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Etch-A-Sketch (Post 14239350)
The only way subscriptions can even remotely work well for creators of for any sort of entertainment media is if you limit the content available.

people forget that subscription based services like HBO and Netflix put new content up and more importantly, TAKE OLD CONTENT DOWN. Music catalogs have a tough time wrapping their heads around that concept and just want to make everything accessible at all times to everyone. THAT, is what can make it a losing business model.

Netflix pay license fees to the content owners (assuming it isn't original Netflix content). When the license expires, Netflix decide whether to renew the license or not based on popularity of the show, ability to renew the license and, of course, the price for the license renewal.

Unless music libraries pay a license fee to the content creators for the music to sit on their servers whether it is used or not, I don't see how these are similar business models.

So do these libraries license the music from the composers (regardless of it being used or not)? If not, I don't see how these things compare.

(I know very little about the music library business. I am genuinely interested in understanding your comment, hence my questions).

Alistair

Desire Inspires 1st October 2019 11:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by UnderTow (Post 14241191)
Netflix pay license fees to the content owners (assuming it isn't original Netflix content). When the license expires, Netflix decide whether to renew the license or not based on popularity of the show, ability to renew the license and, of course, the price for the license renewal.

Unless music libraries pay a license fee to the content creators for the music to sit on their servers whether it is used or not, I don't see how these are similar business models.

So do these libraries license the music from the composers (regardless of it being used or not)? If not, I don't see how these things compare.

(I know very little about the music library business. I am genuinely interested in understanding your comment, hence my questions).

Alistair

That would be awesome if music libraries paid composers a license fee to host their music for a specified period of time.