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ISRC's/ISRW's, PRO's, delivery formats + Music For Picture questions
Old 13th May 2019
  #1
Deleted 11f77bb
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ISRC's/ISRW's, PRO's, delivery formats + Music For Picture questions

Do any of you use ISRC's or ISWC's with stems or only with the stereo master version -or do you not use them at all and leave it all up to the library company to handle?

I have my ISRC registrant code that I've been using for a few years of singles and albums and I know these are important for tracking sales, uses and royalties, but unsure how this works with libraries. I am registered with Soundexchange and was with BMI, but found them to be seemingly only interested in their A-list roster of big earners so am considering a switch there. Anyway, as a 100% in house songwriter, composer, performer, artist, label, with several different potential publishing revenue streams available (performance, mechanical, neighboring rights...) just wondering how it all works with these libraries, which libraries are worth approaching with my catalog and which PRO's outside of SE that I should be considering.. and what exactly to prepare and register with them to be sure I am covering all areas of royalties.

From what I gather, the difference between music for film and music for album is - the final format (24/48), level (-10db max) and printing stems, a stereo master, as well as the various length versions (and of course the altered individual stems). So if a piece of music is say 3 minutes in length, comprised of 8 stem/groups, plus 60 sec and 30 sec shortened versions, you end up providing:

1. the full stereo mastered version (for pitch/library ad/sales/soundtrack)

**this brings up another question though, because it wont be used for the actual film, but rather only for the initial pitch/library ad/sales/soundtrack, then what format should the master stereo print be delivered in - the original project rate? 24/48? 24-44? 16/44? 24/96? 32/96? 320 kbps? all of the above? )

2. 8 individual stems (for the actual film mixing)

3. same as 1 and 2, but shortened version, with altered in/outs (where necessary).

Using the example piece of music, in total, 3 master stereo versions (or more if providing different rates) + 24 stems (8 stems for each length version).

SO.. am I to understand that I will be (or the library will be) assigning a different ISR/WC to each individual audio file? - like with the above example 27 codes (or 54 if both ISRC and ISWC).


I checked with ISRW International about getting an ISWC registrant code and was told to visit the ASCAP site, which I did, searched and found absolutely nothing about ISWC's! Weird. I sent them an email asking for info but havent heard back yet.

The PRO's I have looked into are Soundexchange, PRS, SOCAN, Soundmouse, SESAC, NRG, GVL, RIDENT, BMI, ASCAP and a few others I forget offhand... some of these are invite only, others charge hefty membership fees, some involve what appears to be a lot of hoop jumping to join. Some cover one area of royalties, while others are territorial only and cover different types of royalties... quite honestly, its a bit of a mind **** trying to figure out the best way forward to cover all the bases. It is very confusing figuring out a streamlined process for taking projects from DAW to library, all ducks in a row and ready for licensing (and upfront/accounting-royalty payment!).

Anyway, I am not expecting any one person to answer all of these questions.. but if one or some of you can take a stab at parts it would be highly appreciated! Thanks
Old 13th May 2019
  #2
Quote:
Originally Posted by 6x3 View Post
Do any of you use ISRC's or ISWC's with stems or only with the stereo master version -or do you not use them at all and leave it all up to the library company to handle?

I have my ISRC registrant code that I've been using for a few years of singles and albums and I know these are important for tracking sales, uses and royalties, but unsure how this works with libraries. I am registered with Soundexchange and was with BMI, but found them to be seemingly only interested in their A-list roster of big earners so am considering a switch there. Anyway, as a 100% in house songwriter, composer, performer, artist, label, with several different potential publishing revenue streams available (performance, mechanical, neighboring rights...) just wondering how it all works with these libraries, which libraries are worth approaching with my catalog and which PRO's outside of SE that I should be considering.. and what exactly to prepare and register with them to be sure I am covering all areas of royalties.

From what I gather, the difference between music for film and music for album is - the final format (24/48), level (-10db max) and printing stems, a stereo master, as well as the various length versions (and of course the altered individual stems). So if a piece of music is say 3 minutes in length, comprised of 8 stem/groups, plus 60 sec and 30 sec shortened versions, you end up providing:

1. the full stereo mastered version (for pitch/library ad/sales/soundtrack)

**this brings up another question though, because it wont be used for the actual film, but rather only for the initial pitch/library ad/sales/soundtrack, then what format should the master stereo print be delivered in - the original project rate? 24/48? 24-44? 16/44? 24/96? 32/96? 320 kbps? all of the above? )

2. 8 individual stems (for the actual film mixing)

3. same as 1 and 2, but shortened version, with altered in/outs (where necessary).

Using the example piece of music, in total, 3 master stereo versions (or more if providing different rates) + 24 stems (8 stems for each length version).

SO.. am I to understand that I will be (or the library will be) assigning a different ISR/WC to each individual audio file? - like with the above example 27 codes (or 54 if both ISRC and ISWC).


I checked with ISRW International about getting an ISWC registrant code and was told to visit the ASCAP site, which I did, searched and found absolutely nothing about ISWC's! Weird. I sent them an email asking for info but havent heard back yet.

The PRO's I have looked into are Soundexchange, PRS, SOCAN, Soundmouse, SESAC, NRG, GVL, RIDENT, BMI, ASCAP and a few others I forget offhand... some of these are invite only, others charge hefty membership fees, some involve what appears to be a lot of hoop jumping to join. Some cover one area of royalties, while others are territorial only and cover different types of royalties... quite honestly, its a bit of a mind **** trying to figure out the best way forward to cover all the bases. It is very confusing figuring out a streamlined process for taking projects from DAW to library, all ducks in a row and ready for licensing (and upfront/accounting-royalty payment!).

Anyway, I am not expecting any one person to answer all of these questions.. but if one or some of you can take a stab at parts it would be highly appreciated! Thanks
ISRCs... yes, ISRCs are a unique identifier for that physical product. Every separate audio file should have it's own ISRC code (so in your example, you will have 27 ISRCs for that one song because of all the different mixes, stems and version.

ISWCs are different... ISWCs are not assigned by a manufacturer, they are assigned by the PRO after you register the music with the PRO.

With ASCAP, all mixes, versions and stems are all registered under ONE TITLE in their system and so all of the files get one ISWC, as far as I have seen. If you do end up registering each version and stem separately with ASCAP or BMI, then I would assume each one would get a separate ISWC. The way my publisher does is it, they register the title, and group all the versions and stems under it, so they all get the same ISWC. But I do know some other people who have all their separate versions registered individually and so then they should/would get a separate ISWC for each... but I've never looked that up to confirm it.
Old 14th May 2019
  #3
Deleted 11f77bb
Guest
@ Etch-A-Sketch Thank you for the detailed explanation!

So with my ISRC registrant code I am good to go there.


However, with ISWC's, and while what youve said makes perfect sense - I checked my BMI account (in fact I am still a member) and indeed most of my catalog of some 200 registered songs has an ISWC listed - some do not have one listed though which is a big huh?) I am still a little confused as I have read on several sites similar to the following:

"Creators and Publishers can ask for ISWC allocation for their works. Local or Regional Agencies are mandated for allocating ISWC Numbers, in accordance with the Business Rules.


-ISWCs can be issued and assigned by music publishers and songwriters for each unique musical work.

Where and how can an ISWC be obtained?

You can obtain an ISWC by visiting the ISWC International Agency. In the U.S., ASCAP is the official ISWC issuance agency, but even if you are not a member of ASCAP you can still get an ISWC. All you need to provide is the following information:

Title of the work
Names of all composers, authors, and arrangers with their role and their CAE/IPI number (assigned by ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC to songwriters and music publishers in the U.S.)
Work classification code (from the CIS standards list)"


So from the above statements they can issue a code on a one by one basis it seems.. but apparently they also issue registrant codes... so should I get an ISWC registrant code, contact ASCAP each time I have a song in need of an code or leave it to BMI to issue one for me (wait and see if and when they ever get around to it)?

BTW still no reply from ASCAP concerning ISWC's or obtaining a registrant code.



Anyway, I'm guessing that, as is today in my case, if BMI has been doing the issuing of ISWC's for me, and I am also with SoundExchange, then I will always need to register a song and all of its versions (X amount of ISRC's) with both of those companies first, get the assigned 1 song ISWC from BMI (which takes how long? I do not know), then provide all of that information upon submission/registration of the song with the music library?

From there I am assuming the music library will be obligated to report usage/licensing to the various PRO's I am a member of - or will that fall on me to manually track and report via uploading this information to each?

Leading me to - I am also now registered with Soundmouse, which I am still learning about.. but seems to play some role in all of this. Are there any others I should be looking at joining to be sure I am covering all of the royalty types world wide? I have been reading up on neighboring rights and it seems I may need to join another..

Honestly, I am disappointed in BMI, which has done little to nothing for me where royalties are concerned.. but as I am still a member, I may as well continue using them for the time being, even if just to get ISWC's (or cancel on time this time and switch to another).



From my current catalog (which is comprised of singles/albums I have released on major labels, indie labels and self-releases) I have already received royalty payments for usage in the USA, parts of S.America, Europe and Asia. Unfortunately, most of these statements did not include what the specific song or usage was, only the territory, date and $ amount.

Now that I will be shopping around a very large catalog of unreleased songs (around 2500 songs I have backlogged) to music libraries (any suggestions on which to apply to/avoid at all costs?), I want to be sure I am doing things right, right from the start.. ideally, come up with a step by step sticky I can follow to simplify the whole process as much as possible so I can fully focus on making music rather than spending my days accounting and bothering you guys with my long ass newbie questions here on gearslutz!
Old 14th May 2019
  #4
Deleted 11f77bb
Guest
Also, thought Id post this from the ISWC.org site:



"ISWC for Creators and Publishers


Creators and Publishers can ask for ISWC allocation for their works. Local or Regional Agencies are mandated for allocating ISWC Numbers, in accordance with the Business Rules.

Works Numbering

A work should be numbered only by an agency with the authority to do so. Where the local numbering agency is a copyright society it may allocate numbers only to works written by the society�s creator members. Where the numbering agency is a regional agency it may allocate numbers only to works written by the creator members of the copyright societies it represents.

How to Number your works

I am affiliated to a Collective Management Society
Contact your Collective Management Society. It will be able either to assign ISWC to your work or to direct you to the relevant agency.

I am not affiliated to a Collective Management Society
Go to the list of ISWC Local and Regional Agencies and contact the official Agency of your territory. If you are not able to find one, please contact directly the International ISWC Agency on the contact page.

Please note that the ISWC International Agency is not entitled to allocate ISWC Number.

Type of Musical Work to be numbered
Protected work
Non-protected work
Dramatico-musical work
Musical arrangement of a work
Adaptation of the lyrics of a work
Translation of the lyrics of a work
Instrumental version of a work with associated lyrics
Cadenza
Recognised excerpt of a work
Medley
Potpourri
Revision of a work
Individual musical work (cue) contained in the soundtrack of an audiovisual work"

Apparently, some of these sites are providing conflicting, if not the wrong information, or at least very unclear information, about obtaining codes and/or obtaining a registrant code to issue your own codes to your own works... that or I am a thick headed donkey
Old 14th May 2019
  #5
Deleted 11f77bb
Guest
Still no word from ASCAP and after another hour or so of digging around nothing more I can find out about ISWCs on their website. This is simply baffling to me that the designated ISWC agency in the USA has zero links and zero internal search result info on ISWC's and doesnt promptly respond to ISWC customer service queries

BMI on the other hand does have a page and info about ISWC's albeit from 2001 here: https://www.bmi.com/news/entry/20011..._code_approved

"The main database is CISAC’s Works Identification Database (WID), currently managed by ASCAP on behalf of CISAC. At the heart of the system, a central ISWC online search engine will enable online queries, allowing users of the system to look up information on the musical works contained in these databases, as well as the immediate allocation of ISWC numbers by agencies."

Since I cant find anything on ASCAPs site, I tried using iswc.net to search a few of my songs that already have ISWC's and I know have sold well and have licensing activity.. and there were zero results. OK. Whatever for now.

Another interesting read from BMI: https://www.bmi.com/news/entry/bmi-a...works-database

Supposedly ASCAP and BMI joined forces in the creation of a new musical works database that launched in Q4 2018. Uhm.. where is that?


I've also now joined Numerator, since an outside search engine return found an article by ASCAP saying I need both Soundmouse and Numerator to properly register works... https://www.ascap.com/help/royalties...ordedsubsample

BMI - check. SoundExchange - check. Soundmouse - check. Numerator - check. Now, where exactly do I "immediately" get my ISWC's again?

This is beginning to be comical.
Old 15th May 2019
  #6
OK, I asked my publishing people how it all works...

they said ASCAP automatically generates ISWCs for the BMI content they register with BMI and then sends them the ISWCs through the publisher's Music Mark account.

BUT.... We looked at a few BMI indie artists that are self published, and on the BMI website they did in fact have ISWCs listed for their songs. So it does happen automatically. My publisher said it does take months and months though for it to happen.

In your initial post it sounded like this music had been registered with BMI years ago... is this new music you just registered with BMI within the last couple months?

From what my publishing people said, if you just wait a while BMI will get the ISWCs and you will see them listed in your BMI account and listed on the BMI website for each title.
Old 15th May 2019
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by 6x3 View Post
This is beginning to be comical.
I know... welcome to the world of music publishing... this is just the beginning! Believe me when I say it gets worse!
Old 15th May 2019
  #8
Deleted 11f77bb
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Etch-A-Sketch View Post
OK, I asked my publishing people how it all works...

they said ASCAP automatically generates ISWCs for the BMI content they register with BMI and then sends them the ISWCs through the publisher's Music Mark account.

BUT.... We looked at a few BMI indie artists that are self published, and on the BMI website they did in fact have ISWCs listed for their songs. So it does happen automatically. My publisher said it does take months and months though for it to happen.

In your initial post it sounded like this music had been registered with BMI years ago... is this new music you just registered with BMI within the last couple months?

From what my publishing people said, if you just wait a while BMI will get the ISWCs and you will see them listed in your BMI account and listed on the BMI website for each title.
Thank you for taking the time to do that man. Much appreciated!

This is what I was afraid of.. having to wait months (and months) for ISWC's to mysteriously "auto-generate" within my BMI account.

I mean come on, how the hell can anyone run a business like that! There has to be a more speedy, efficient manner of obtaining/allocating these codes to works, right?! The main ISWC organization certainly makes it seem so... "immediately" huh???

And for those wondering, no, still no response from ASCAP concerning my ISWC query.

Regarding my BMI catalog - I currently have just over 200 works registered with BMI - all of which was initially registered over about a 4-5 year period of time. Of those, I guess I could move forward with the DIY releases - revisit the projects, do edits and format correctly for film usage. The bulk of my catalog were released on labels though, majors and indies, some of which the contracts have or are near expiration, while others have quite a while left to go. I think I would need to get a lot of permissions to proceed with those songs, if at all possible. A few were buy outs. Something in the neighborhood of 30 different labels if I had to guess. I also have around another 20 or 30 vinyl only releases that arent on there. I occasionally receive accounting and royalties for those, especially when they do reruns. Beyond the initial first couple of thousand sold, it isnt much though. Anyway.

I have not registered any of the "new" music I am planning to use for music library licensing (2500-ish backlogged songs + new songs I am writing and producing everyday). I wasnt planning on doing anything with these until I have all my ducks in a row and at least a basic understanding of how it all works, a good work flow in place etc. - the basics so I am not screwing myself over down the track.

This whole "wait and see" thing is gonna drive me absolutely nuts!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Etch-A-Sketch View Post
I know... welcome to the world of music publishing... this is just the beginning! Believe me when I say it gets worse!
Yeah, its times like these where I wish I still had a management company doing all of this on my behalf. My first band did a couple of records and had all of this taken care of. In this industry climate today I just cant justify the costs involved. So what else can I do really?! Music is all I have ever done my entire life. I studied it as a child, in school and college and its how I have earned a living. Basically, its all I have and all I can do.. its all I want to do! So I must find a solution to make it work.

Lets break this process down:

Step 1: make song and stems
Step 2: create artwork
Step 3: apply meta data / ISRC's
Step 4: register with BMI
Step 5: wait months and months for ISWC allocation
Step 6: register with SoundExchange
Step 7: pitch libraries / close licensing deals
Step 8: register with Soundmouse and Numerator
Step 9: register with other -yet to be determined- agencies for royalties not already covered
Step 10: promotions and more wait and see what happens
Step 11: quarterly/bi-annual royalty statements, accounting, invoicing, banking, chasing up the slackers etc.
Step 12: buy myself a happy meal (if I can afford it).


Is that about right? Missing anything in between?

Maybe I should just skip all of that hoop jumping, make the tunes, pitch and sell them flat out for a grand+ each and be done with it FFS. Let the library deal with all of this nonsense. On to the next choon........
Old 15th May 2019
  #9
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by 6x3 View Post
Lets break this process down:

Step 1: make song and stems
Step 2: create artwork
Step 3: apply meta data / ISRC's
Step 4: register with BMI
Step 5: wait months and months for ISWC allocation
Step 6: register with SoundExchange
Step 7: pitch libraries / close licensing deals
Step 8: register with Soundmouse and Numerator
Step 9: register with other -yet to be determined- agencies for royalties not already covered
Step 10: promotions and more wait and see what happens
Step 11: quarterly/bi-annual royalty statements, accounting, invoicing, banking, chasing up the slackers etc.
Step 12: buy myself a happy meal (if I can afford it).


Is that about right? Missing anything in between?
IMO, you're WAY overthinking this, and getting way out ahead of things that are uncontrollable and don't need fixing.

Personally, I never do all that crap and I have 43,000+ titles on BMI.

I would re-order your list accordingly :


1. Write and Produce songs.
2. Pitch Libraries.
3. Write and Produce songs.
4. Pitch Libraries.
5. Write and Produce songs.
6. Pitch Libraries.
7. Write and Produce songs.
8. Pitch Libraries.
9. Write and Produce songs.
10. Pitch Libraries.

Then a day or two a year, spend some time housekeeping :

11. DO NOT register the material with BMI. Your publisher will want to do that, and if they have to "un-do" what you've done, they will not be happy.
12. If you keep a song "NON" Exclusive, then feel free to register with BMI a couple times a year.
13. Wait for royalties.

Then go back and start at 1 again....
Do this about 200-300Xs a year. Every year. For a decade. Then hopefully, if lucky, you'll be spending more time on lucky #13 .
Old 15th May 2019
  #10
Deleted 11f77bb
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
IMO, you're WAY overthinking this, and getting way out ahead of things that are uncontrollable and don't need fixing.

Personally, I never do all that crap and I have 43,000+ titles on BMI.

I would re-order your list accordingly :


1. Write and Produce songs.
2. Pitch Libraries.
3. Write and Produce songs.
4. Pitch Libraries.
5. Write and Produce songs.
6. Pitch Libraries.
7. Write and Produce songs.
8. Pitch Libraries.
9. Write and Produce songs.
10. Pitch Libraries.

Then a day or two a year, spend some time housekeeping :

11. DO NOT register the material with BMI. Your publisher will want to do that, and if they have to "un-do" what you've done, they will not be happy.
12. If you keep a song "NON" Exclusive, then feel free to register with BMI a couple times a year.
13. Wait for royalties.

Then go back and start at 1 again....
Do this about 200-300Xs a year. Every year. For a decade. Then hopefully, if lucky, you'll be spending more time on lucky #13 .
Thanks for chiming in Doc.

That would be a huge relief and frankly amazing if it goes like this. Youre probably (and hopefully) right about my over thinking things, yes. Focusing on music for film is new to me. It's just the way my brain works I guess. I need to be thorough and spell **** out in great detail when embarking on a new venture, for it to really sink in before I can get on with it. Hey I warned you guys that I am prone to thickheadedness at times

Step 1 is the easy and fun part. Obviously. And I already have a lot of quality tunes, several years worth, covering a wide variety of genres. I am usually sketching out 1 or 2 more songs everyday, possibly 3 on those days where things just seem to effortlessly flow. At least to an 80-90% finished stage, where I can give the ears a rest and revisit the songs later to decide if its worth finishing or not. I say "quality" because not only does my mom and best friend think I am hot **** in the studio, from what I am hearing on all of these library sites, well, I am not all that impressed with the songs or production quality with most of it to be totally honest. I am not a newbie to writing and producing music, far from it. Anyway blah blah...

As for your step 2 - dont the libraries want/need the ISWC's and ISRC's already allocated? As well as the PRO(s) information? And when you say "Your publisher" - dont you mean me as in the self-publisher? Or upon a deal would the library then want to act as the publisher in this case? Is this something standard in the library game then?

I guess once I begin pitching the libraries and receiving offers I will decide on exclusive vs non exclusive licensing. I suppose upfront cash + % back end would be ideal. I am not opposed to buy outs if the money is right and proportional. I guess the trick is trying to get as much cash upfront while retaining as much rights as possible for when the bigger deals/hits come along. That is how I normally do it with my artist single/album/remix releases anyway.

Or am I way off base again.. should I be approaching this with a totally different mindset? As a successful seasoned vet yourself, I genuinely appreciate your advice.
Old 15th May 2019
  #11
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
BTW, FYI, IMO - sketched, demo'd, and 80-90% done doesn't count. That adds up to 0.

Finished and placed into a library is what moves the number from hundreds of "ideas" equalling zero up to 1. Just sayin'.
Old 15th May 2019
  #12
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted 11f77bb View Post
dont the libraries want/need the ISWC's and ISRC's already allocated? As well as the PRO(s) information?
No. They want to know that you own the copyright and the recording free and clear and that you are PRO affiliated. That's all they need.
Old 15th May 2019
  #13
Deleted 11f77bb
Guest
Yep, for sure! Thats just my work flow.. and sometimes, a lot of times actually, that 80-90% sketched ends up being the finished product, as of course you already know.

Look, I am excited to embark on this journey.. like I said, just wanna get things in order, do things the "right" way from the jump, rather than playing a guessing game and find myself backtracking or missing out on royalty streams later on
Old 15th May 2019
  #14
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted 11f77bb View Post
I am usually sketching out 1 or 2 more songs everyday, possibly 3 on those days where things just seem to effortlessly flow. At least to an 80-90% finished stage, where I can give the ears a rest and revisit the songs later to decide if its worth finishing or not. I say "quality" because not only does my mom and best friend think I am hot **** in the studio, from what I am hearing on all of these library sites, well, I am not all that impressed with the songs or production quality with most of it to be totally honest. I am not a newbie to writing and producing music, far from it. Anyway blah blah...
I'm going to comment on this - not to bust your chops, but for a reality check for those who are in the same boat as you who may stumble across this thread in the future....

Without "finishing", there is nothing. I'll explain more in the following....

First, the library field has some of the best, most talented, most prolific and most gifted musical individuals out there on planet earth. It also has the bottom of the barrel. If you're not seeing the creme de la creme, you're either being too myopic, or not looking in the right places. It's out there. So....

What follows is a bit of my philosophy for writing production music, music for TV and overall getting things placed. Take all of it with a HUGE IMO, and read on if you still want to....

I hope this comes across as constructive. It's meant to be, but I'm sure some will take it as negativity hogwash....

- #1 - get past thinking this is "art", that you are an "artist" or any ideas of stardom that you seek. That is a dead end. This is a job - pure and simple. It's a job that requires tons of skill, talent, dedication, and endurance. It's a job that is decidedly different than being an artist, and it is extremely difficult to pull off successfully long term. If you want to be an artist, look elsewhere. This issue of "artistry" is being exacerbated as "artists" want to make money and look into "production music" as their potential salvation since making $$$$$$ being an artist has pretty much dried up. From what I've seen, artists generally (I said GENERALLY ) don't write great production music.

- #2 - none of us are really capable of judging our own music. Nor is your mom, friends or associates. Only the general music licensing public over time is capable of that. If someone is willing to PURCHASE a license, that's a win for your writing. You shouldn't revisit songs to decide if they are worth finishing. FINISHING each and every piece is critical to success and moving forward. I'll say it again, EVERYTHING gets finished. Finish them to the BEST of your current ability, and move on, forgetting about them as you move on to the next piece. Don't give it another thought. It's done. That's the way to make progress. That's the way to hit the numbers you need to hit - and believe me when I say the numbers needed to sustain a long term career in production music are serious. Some of your songs will hit big, some will bomb, neither of which you will be able to predict. The dumbest songs will end up being licensed hundreds of times. Your masterpieces will quite often sit unused. If you don't finish everything you do yourself a huge dis-service.

- #3 - This is something that I've realized over a couple decades of writing seriously. I believe that there is a que of songs in every talented writers mind / soul. They are waiting "in a line" to be birthed and to get out into the world. Without birthing the first song in the que, #2 isn't going to get out. Nor is #3 , 4, 5, 6, etc.. If #1 7 is the one that's going to hit big, not finishing and delivering 1-16 is going to stop #1 7 dead in it's tracks. When I write, I FINISH. At least within 2 days MAX. I print the tracks and finalize the song. I may mix then or later, but I almost always FINISH the song the first time I sit down with it. The one and only exception may be songs with lyrics. But IMO, that's not really production music. That's songwriting - close to being the same, but not quite.

- #4 - Back to the art thing. Get over it. Leave art behind. Become a craftsman and kick out the music. If you have talent, the art will rise up and you don't even have to think about it. It just happens automatically without trying. If you don't, well....<sigh> you don't. We're not all artists or composers. Sorry to be blunt. For those who have "it", get over the feeling that every song has to be "as good as or better" than your last song because of how you feel about art and yourself as an artist. That is the death of writing. Repeat - the death of writing. I've seen it happen to dozens of great writers who stop themselves dead in their tracks because they feel they have to best their best. Nothing will stop you as cold as having to best yourself. You just have to write and forget it, leaving all precious feelings about your music at the door of the studio. You can't judge your music or artistry. Only the licensing public can, and you can watch any singing show on TV and see how fickle and dumb the public is.

I think that's it for my rant right now. Best of luck to you Deleted 11f77bb and others.
Old 15th May 2019
  #15
Deleted 11f77bb
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
No. They want to know that you own the copyright and the recording free and clear and that you are PRO affiliated. That's all they need.
Well if that is the case then done and doner. That is music to my ears Doc!

-Make tune.
-Pitch library.
-Negotiate deal.

*NON-exclusives - Once, and only after, its licensed for use THEN do all of the PRO's registrations, uploads etc etc etc... myself.

*Exclusives - the library will do the PRO's dot connecting and registrations on my/our behalf.

Is that correct?

The one part that is still escaping me is, well parts I should say, the publishing bit and the in between time where a song is being used without an ISWC/ISRC's attached (is that even possible?).

If those codes are applied retroactively and it takes months and months to get them allocated.. say I make a song today, make a deal with a library tomorrow and its licensed/purchased and slapped on a commercial, promo video or whatever the following day.. (or simply steamed via the libraries distribution channel -which I have already seen a few libraries that have streaming channels such as Spotify, Apple etc and welcome potential customers/fans to stream the content) once its live and in rotation will I not then be missing out on those "in between" royalties? I was under the impression the ISWC/ISRC's were mandatory BEFORE a song could be streamed or licensed and used commercially..

If its a non exclusive deal, you said to register with BMI once or twice a year, but shouldnt I be the one applying these codes ASAP for royalty purposes and retaining control/rights over the content?
Old 15th May 2019
  #16
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by 6x3 View Post
Well if that is the case then done and doner. That is music to my ears Doc!

-Make tune.
-Pitch library.
-Negotiate deal.

*NON-exclusives - Once, and only after, its licensed for use THEN do all of the PRO's registrations, uploads etc etc etc... myself.

*Exclusives - the library will do the PRO's dot connecting and registrations on my/our behalf.

Is that correct?

The one part that is still escaping me is, well parts I should say, the publishing bit and the in between time where a song is being used without an ISWC/ISRC's attached (is that even possible?).

If those codes are applied retroactively and it takes months and months to get them allocated.. say I make a song today, make a deal with a library tomorrow and its licensed/purchased and slapped on a commercial, promo video or whatever the following day.. (or simply steamed via the libraries distribution channel -which I have already seen a few libraries that have streaming channels such as Spotify, Apple etc and welcome potential customers/fans to stream the content) once its live and in rotation will I not then be missing out on those "in between" royalties? I was under the impression the ISWC/ISRC's were mandatory BEFORE a song could be streamed or licensed and used commercially..

If its a non exclusive deal, you said to register with BMI once or twice a year, but shouldnt I be the one applying these codes ASAP for royalty purposes and retaining control/rights over the content?
<sigh> these are muddy waters, and that's a lot of questions.

I don't have the time or knowledge to answer everything in perfect detail, but here goes....

- Write tune
- Decide if you want to go exclusive or NON exclusive and follow different paths accordingly.
- If exclusive, do not register or do anything with the song other than preparing it to shop. The library (publisher) will want to do all the rest themselves.
- If non exclusive, then by default you are publishing it yourself, AND/or re-titling so others can also publish. In which case, then again, they will want to handle all the details - you handle the details on your original title.
- It's absolutely possible to have a song out there that's paying you where you have done no ISWC/ISRC coding work. I have never dealt with a ISWC/ISRC in my life. Am I an idiot? Probably. But I make a living. And a good one at that.
- How does BMI, etc. "see" the song in order to pay out? Generally, it's not via any extra coding or work that you do. It's quite simply via cue sheets. Archaic. Antiquated. Prone to mistake. Prone to being lost. Prone to fraud. Yup. All of the above. But that's how they do it. Infuriating in 2019, but you'd best get over it. A huge amount of your payment due will slip thru the cracks, get lost, get stolen, be mis-appropriated by BMI. It's the cost of doing business. Kind of like 20% of the banana's an importer imports go bad before they get to market. It's just the cost of doing business.
- I don't know about streaming. That's artist stuff. I"m a composer / writer of production music. They are different, they get released different, they get written and produced different, they get clocked in different.
- you don't have to register your song with BMI for them to pay you. If it comes in on a cue sheet, and you have not registered it yet, they will still pay you. Registering your song is not necessary for BMI to pay you. It just makes it a little more "correct" and ups the odds of them making sure the money is going the right direction. I mean, you've got to realize, that the PRO's are stuck in the late 50's thru 60's in their monitoring systems. And I'm dead serious in that.

Believe it or not, I let publisher do what they are supposed to -- there were no ISWC/ISRC's handled personally by me on the following:
Attached Thumbnails
ISRC's/ISRW's, PRO's, delivery formats + Music For Picture questions-screen-shot-2019-05-14-9.26.16-pm.png  
Old 15th May 2019
  #17
Deleted 11f77bb
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
I'm going to comment on this - not to bust your chops, but for a reality check for those who are in the same boat as you who may stumble across this thread in the future....

Without "finishing", there is nothing. I'll explain more in the following....

First, the library field has some of the best, most talented, most prolific and most gifted musical individuals out there on planet earth. It also has the bottom of the barrel. If you're not seeing the creme de la creme, you're either being too myopic, or not looking in the right places. It's out there. So....

What follows is a bit of my philosophy for writing production music, music for TV and overall getting things placed. Take all of it with a HUGE IMO, and read on if you still want to....

I hope this comes across as constructive. It's meant to be, but I'm sure some will take it as negativity hogwash....

- #1 - get past thinking this is "art", that you are an "artist" or any ideas of stardom that you seek. That is a dead end. This is a job - pure and simple. It's a job that requires tons of skill, talent, dedication, and endurance. It's a job that is decidedly different than being an artist, and it is extremely difficult to pull off successfully long term. If you want to be an artist, look elsewhere. This issue of "artistry" is being exacerbated as "artists" want to make money and look into "production music" as their potential salvation since making $$$$$$ being an artist has pretty much dried up. From what I've seen, artists generally (I said GENERALLY ) don't write great production music.

- #2 - none of us are really capable of judging our own music. Nor is your mom, friends or associates. Only the general music licensing public over time is capable of that. If someone is willing to PURCHASE a license, that's a win for your writing. You shouldn't revisit songs to decide if they are worth finishing. FINISHING each and every piece is critical to success and moving forward. I'll say it again, EVERYTHING gets finished. Finish them to the BEST of your current ability, and move on, forgetting about them as you move on to the next piece. Don't give it another thought. It's done. That's the way to make progress. That's the way to hit the numbers you need to hit - and believe me when I say the numbers needed to sustain a long term career in production music are serious. Some of your songs will hit big, some will bomb, neither of which you will be able to predict. The dumbest songs will end up being licensed hundreds of times. Your masterpieces will quite often sit unused. If you don't finish everything you do yourself a huge dis-service.

- #3 - This is something that I've realized over a couple decades of writing seriously. I believe that there is a que of songs in every talented writers mind / soul. They are waiting "in a line" to be birthed and to get out into the world. Without birthing the first song in the que, #2 isn't going to get out. Nor is #3 , 4, 5, 6, etc.. If #1 7 is the one that's going to hit big, not finishing and delivering 1-16 is going to stop #1 7 dead in it's tracks. When I write, I FINISH. At least within 2 days MAX. I print the tracks and finalize the song. I may mix then or later, but I almost always FINISH the song the first time I sit down with it. The one and only exception may be songs with lyrics. But IMO, that's not really production music. That's songwriting - close to being the same, but not quite.

- #4 - Back to the art thing. Get over it. Leave art behind. Become a craftsman and kick out the music. If you have talent, the art will rise up and you don't even have to think about it. It just happens automatically without trying. If you don't, well....<sigh> you don't. We're not all artists or composers. Sorry to be blunt. For those who have "it", get over the feeling that every song has to be "as good as or better" than your last song because of how you feel about art and yourself as an artist. That is the death of writing. Repeat - the death of writing. I've seen it happen to dozens of great writers who stop themselves dead in their tracks because they feel they have to best their best. Nothing will stop you as cold as having to best yourself. You just have to write and forget it, leaving all precious feelings about your music at the door of the studio. You can't judge your music or artistry. Only the licensing public can, and you can watch any singing show on TV and see how fickle and dumb the public is.

I think that's it for my rant right now. Best of luck to you 6x3 and others.
Wow. I should have said 90-100% finished That is just the perfectionist in me talking.. IMO FYI FWIW - music is NEVER truly and perfectly finished as it can always be improved upon in some way or another, be it technical, artistic or whatevers. That is just how I feel and hear MY music. Look, when I say 80-90% I really mean its fully tracked, arranged and mixed. A few days break from it gives new clean perspective. If I like it and it NEEDS more work, I finish it. If I like it and it doesnt need more work, off to the mastering engineer it goes or I'll DIY master and play it out in a club that night (or with library music I'll upload it without further adieu). Much of the time, even if I like it, if I am not absolutely taken with it, I just backlog it onto a HD and move on. Youve got the idea. "creme de la creme" is all I will ever release - As an artist. Not a music for film songwriting production guy. I recognize, realize and understand this is an entirely different ball game. Reading further down, I see that we actually have a similar work flow. Huh.

My honest opinion of the music I heard on the various library websites wasnt meant to be a - Hey everybody! Look at me! I am mr **** hot producer man that everybody loves and way way better than you! - type of boastful self absorbed BS comment. Apologies if it came off that way... I was merely trying to convey that I am not a newbie or hobbyist where creating music is concerned. I dunno, its difficult to express things in writing on a forum.. BUT! some of what I heard indeed was great, however, a lot really was crap. Most in fact. And these websites were ones mentioned in this forum as well as from basic web searches. Apparently, big league libraries.

But you know what, I hear "crap" music all the time on TV shows, commercials, videos, in films.. big whoop. I get it. Some of it is meant to be simple "crap" because that is what the job calls for. And yes, the gen pop really is dumb. Whatever. Obviously, it sells and these producer people are making money (or should be). There are also many many amazing songs and productions out there. I am with you on that. Either way, its a job. I get it. Get on with it.

Modestly speaking, and however naive it may sound, I am a somewhat successful artist and want to achieve at least the same status in this field. I have absolutely no delusions about where 'music for film may take me. Its attractive to me - the actual music for film part, that is. Something I've always wanted to do and focus more on. I am striving to be the best I can and hopefully earn a decent living doing what I love to do so I can keep on doing it. I believe in myself, my talent, creativity and adaptability skills enough to confidently say I will succeed. Come to think of it, music for film is the only area of the industry I have not heavily been involved with. Thats all man.

All of that being said, I respect your opinion and thank you for the, what I already know and have experienced to be, truthful and valuable advice.
Old 15th May 2019
  #18
Deleted 11f77bb
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
<sigh> these are muddy waters, and that's a lot of questions.

I don't have the time or knowledge to answer everything in perfect detail, but here goes....

- Write tune
- Decide if you want to go exclusive or NON exclusive and follow different paths accordingly.
- If exclusive, do not register or do anything with the song other than preparing it to shop. The library (publisher) will want to do all the rest themselves.
- If non exclusive, then by default you are publishing it yourself, AND/or re-titling so others can also publish. In which case, then again, they will want to handle all the details - you handle the details on your original title.
- It's absolutely possible to have a song out there that's paying you where you have done no ISWC/ISRC coding work. I have never dealt with a ISWC/ISRC in my life. Am I an idiot? Probably. But I make a living. And a good one at that.
- How does BMI, etc. "see" the song in order to pay out? Generally, it's not via any extra coding or work that you do. It's quite simply via cue sheets. Archaic. Antiquated. Prone to mistake. Prone to being lost. Prone to fraud. Yup. All of the above. But that's how they do it. Infuriating in 2019, but you'd best get over it. A huge amount of your payment due will slip thru the cracks, get lost, get stolen, be mis-appropriated by BMI. It's the cost of doing business. Kind of like 20% of the banana's an importer imports go bad before they get to market. It's just the cost of doing business.
- I don't know about streaming. That's artist stuff. I"m a composer / writer of production music. They are different, they get released different, they get written and produced different, they get clocked in different.
- you don't have to register your song with BMI for them to pay you. If it comes in on a cue sheet, and you have not registered it yet, they will still pay you. Registering your song is not necessary for BMI to pay you. It just makes it a little more "correct" and ups the odds of them making sure the money is going the right direction. I mean, you've got to realize, that the PRO's are stuck in the late 50's thru 60's in their monitoring systems. And I'm dead serious in that.

Believe it or not, I let publisher do what they are supposed to -- there were no ISWC/ISRC's handled personally by me on the following:
Damnit! You keep replying before I post my reply and see your next reply

Thanks again for sharing your way of doing things. I like the simplified method.

However, I do feel as though there could potentially be areas where revenue streams arent being tapped into.. well, I should say, as far as film is concerned this is what I gather from reading what these various PRO's are saying.. with BMI doing one area, SoundExchange another, Soundmouse and Numerator involving cues tracking and whatnot, others covering neighboring rights, apparently, much if not all up to the rights holder to actively pursue. Yeah I am sure a lot of it is useless runaround fluff (as in ASCAP's case concerning ISWC's ). Hey whatever works for you man!

The streaming part I mentioned - I read it on a couple of the library website FAQs - "can I listen to the library's songs on XYZ streaming platform?" - "Yes, and we encourage you to stream our catalog there! yaada yada yada". So your songs are/might be streaming on Spotify as I type this... (lets hope not though, I hate everything about what that place has done and stands for!).
Old 15th May 2019
  #19
Whoa, wait... I thought you were going to be trying to get licenses yourself and be your own publisher/library... that isn’t the case???

If you are just submitting to libraries definitely DO NOT, copyright the music, or register the works with BMI, or get an ISRC, or get an ISWC...

I guess you could do those things for non exclusive libraries but if you are going after exclusive libraries do not do any of those things. They probably won’t touch the tracks if you do... and if they do decide to take them anyway you just created a mountain of headaches and paperwork they need to do to transfer everything over to them.
Old 15th May 2019
  #20
Deleted 11f77bb
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Etch-A-Sketch View Post
Whoa, wait... I thought you were going to be trying to get licenses yourself and be your own publisher/library... that isn’t the case???

If you are just submitting to libraries definitely DO NOT, copyright the music, or register the works with BMI, or get an ISRC, or get an ISWC...

I guess you could do those things for non exclusive libraries but if you are going after exclusive libraries do not do any of those things. They probably won’t touch the tracks if you do... and if they do decide to take them anyway you just created a mountain of headaches and paperwork they need to do to transfer everything over to them.
Well, at this stage I am still exploring my options, taking it all in and weighing the pros and cons.. like I said, right now I am just trying to get organized and get a basic understanding of how things work before moving forward. But in the end I would imagine it will be both. Using my existing contacts to solicit some deals and also pitching reputable libraries. Whether or not they'll be exclusive or non-exclusive depends on the library/licensee deal offered I suppose. Ideally, cash upfront and back end % deals are what I am after. Which of the three is the most lucrative type of deal that will offer this? Not sure, but I would guess either direct to end user or library exclusives.


From what I understand and you guys are saying here, I reckon if I am acting as my own song writer/label/publisher/library, direct licensor to end user licensee deals, then I will be cutting out the middleman and doing all of the above A-Z step by step registration processes myself once a deal is made. Deal dependent, the licensee will be responsible for reporting usage and paying royalties, while the PRO(s) tracking and chasing up payment to later be distributed to me. Unless of course its a buyout, where they would then own the song rights and all of the above would be up to them to handle.

With outside libraries, who will be doing the licensing on my behalf, the exclusive deal appears to be the "easier" route, as far as connecting the PRO dots are concerned, registrations, getting these codes, publishing tasks and whatnot. Whereas with the non-exclusive deals, I will, or rather MAY, need to do some, if not all of the leg work myself due to the fact that multiple libraries and licensees will be involved. In which case, in theory anyway, it seems ideal to register, allocate and retain control of the data myself where possible (at the very least, since I have the registrant code, allocate the ISRC's myself to the "original title" and "original stems" so there is SOME consistent data throughout the multiple libraries and licensees - ISWC allocated whenever BMI gets round to it). Deal dependent, yet to be determined....

Either way, with outside libraries, first comes the pitch and then the deal will decide who is responsible for doing what. No PRO ISWRC registration shenanigans prior to, yeah?

Finally getting somewhere.. I think
Old 16th May 2019
  #21
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted 11f77bb View Post
the licensee will be responsible for reporting usage and paying royalties
Nope. The licensee doesn't pay royalties. The Radio, TV, Cable, Streamer, etc. per contract pays the royalties to your PRO. PRO distributes to writers and publishers how they see fit.
Old 16th May 2019
  #22
Deleted 11f77bb
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
Nope. The licensee doesn't pay royalties. The Radio, TV, Cable, Streamer, etc. per contract pays the royalties to your PRO. PRO distributes to writers and publishers how they see fit.
What I meant was that (with my DIY library example that you quoted) the end user licensee will be paying me an upfront fee for whatever agreed upon usage rights and then preparing the data and cue sheets to provide the broadcasting company, whatever medium it may be, who once it goes public then reports the usage and pays royalties to my PROs accordingly.

Once I have the appropriate data/codes, I can then register and upload sound files etc. with the additional organizations that will monitor activity, track the usage and report that info to my PROs to be sure everything is accurate and I am getting my fair share - or rather, again, the royalty is being paid to the PRO who decides what is my "fair" share earning



Along the same lines as above.. with a library, theyll be paying an upfront fee (ideally) and then an additional % royalty to me for each license they sell to a 3rd party .. 3rd party then creates the data and cues etc etc given to broadcasters who then report and pay royalties to the PROs. Also, if the library is streaming the catalog, royalties will be paid to them via the platform or distributor, of which eventually I should get my royalty cut...
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