Music Business Music Business Exam Number One Question 1. The music publishing industry at a glance would seem to be those who print sheet music, method books, lead sheets, and all of the texts or notated music that musicians (and those aspiring to be musicians) use. Years ago, this was what most music publishers did, but as the industry has evolved the process that become much more complex. Music is not just ink and paper, intellectual material and property to the individual who writes it. Therefore the song does not become “a song” when it is written down.This is not an easy concept to grasp because the song by itself has no physical makeup.
A song could exist once it is played for the first time, and songs can even exist inside the mind of a songwriter. This concept is why the publishing business can be so complex; we are dealing with intellectual property. The heart of the music publishing business lies in the rights to the original music. After the music is successful enough to financially support itself the music is printed in mass quantities in a variety of ways. This could be everything from guitar tabs to choral arrangements for a junior high choir.The publisher’s main source of income is through record royalties, performance royalties received from companies like the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), Broadcast Music Incorporated (BMI), and the Society of European Stage Authors and Composers (SESAC) for performances of music copyrighted by the publisher. These royalties could be from many different types of performances but most are though radio and songs on television.
The success of a songwriter lies in the greatly in the hands of his/her publisher. Normally we hear of a band’s success when they are “signed” with a record deal, but most record companies not only produce and promote an album, they also act as the publisher who, when contracted, owns the rights to the music. When a publisher own the song it is put in to their catalog.Merchandise retailers have catalogs of their goods just like publishers have a catalog of songs that they own rights to. Publishing firms such as Warner/Chappell, BMG Music, MCA Music, and Sony music have catalogs of many styles of music. These companies are referred to as “full-line companies.
” A broad repertoire allows them to market their music to many audiences. Most of these full-line company’s roots can be traced back to the music of Hollywood and the show music of Broadway. Publishers today may have thousands of songwriters in its catalog including all styles of music from around the globe.
Representative Warner/Chappell owns, administers, or sub-publishes more that a million copyrights here and abroad.Today’s full-line publishers have many different divisions to their company. Large publishers handle virtually every aspect of a writer’s music, it’s recordings, distribution, sales, promotion, advertising, touring, and legal affairs. This figure lays out all the divisions a full-line publisher may have. The administration division is the division that handles the operations of the firm. All business affairs go through administration. When money is received from or paid to customers the firm the accounting divisions keeps all the financial records of these kinds of operations.
The accounting division also would handle loans given to artist that are signed to the firm under the publisher’s record label. When a band records an album under a label they become a liability to the label because money has to be spent to record, produce and promote a artists music. Full-line publisher’s front this money and all profits from the artist come back and are split 50-50 with the publisher and the writer. If the artist maintains the rights to their songs the record contract will include a controlled composition clause that calls for a reduced mechanical royalty paid to the artist by the record label. This clause may reduce the royalty split to 75-25, the larger portion going to the record label.
This clause would not be insisted to artists who place the full rights to works in the hands of the record company’s publisher. The artist remains a liability to the publisher as long as the artist has not made as much money as was invested into them by the publisher. An accountant usually handles the royalty department, which is money received from performances of the copyrighted music. This financial person will also handle normal operations such as payroll, accounts payable/receivable, insurance, purchasing and other financial operations. The copyright department may have one or more people in this division.This department is responsible for a number of tasks.
Some of these important tasks are to: 1. Conduct a title search. The copyright department first determines who owns the work. Just because an artist claims to have written a song does not give him rights to it. This may be a complicated process, which is why many publishers stay away from music that is sent blindly to them for review.
Legal disputes between the publisher and the writer could result and end up in court, which can be a long and costly process. Other issues that add to the complication are co-authors to the music, previous publishers, revision to music or lyrics, and many more. When the copyright department has performed this research, a copyright attorney can answer remaining questions. Depending on the demand of this type of attorney to the firm, the firm may hire one full time for these affairs. 2. Registering claims of copyright. This is done to make the copyright official, which may cost about twenty dollars for a song.3.
Handle the mechanical, and synchronization licenses of the music. Mechanical licenses are issued to artists for the recording of a copyrighted work. Synchronization licenses are issued for the use of copyrighted works in firms. This may be done through the Harry Fox agency, or may be handled through the copyright department. 4. Keeping current records of all copyrights owned by the publisher.
This includes the renewal, extensions, sales, or abandonment of existing copyrights.Copyrights do have a time limit, so the need to watch where they stand in time is important to the life of the work. There may be a specific department for business affairs that deal with the legal operations of the firm. The publisher may have staffed lawyers and attorneys in this department that study the copyright laws and take legal action for the breaking of copyright laws, or the negotiating of new laws. If the publisher does not have the demand for a full time lawyer or attorney, they may be hired from outside firms.
The acquisitions division is responsible for contracting writers and purchasing other catalogs.A representative from the publisher may travel the country to find artists that would bring more business to the firm. Like “scouts” this person is in charge of artists and repertoire (A & R). The A & R representative may attend a major event by an artist to see them perform and evaluate whether they would be profitable for the firm. Remember that the publisher splits all profits 50-50; millions of dollars may be at stake at the success of one artist. The acquisitions department is responsible for the purchasing of catalogs of smaller firms. This makes the music publishing industry and oligopoly; an industry controlled by a few large firms.The print publishing division is responsible for task such as editing, engraving, artwork, copying, and the printing of its catalogs music.
The signed artists may meet with the editors, and arrangers in this department to prepare the music for printing in a number of different ways. The music would simply be transcribed to a lead sheet, or an entire album could be published in a book with all the chords and guitar tabs for aspiring musicians to purchase. After the music is printed it is then distributed. The promotion division is often the largest of all the divisions in a full-line publishing company.The success of a work is held in the hand of the promotion of the artist and their music. Even artists that do not have outstanding talent or abilities, but have excellent promotion will have more fame than the talented unadvertised artist.
The people incharge of these artists success are the producers, managers, and musical directors for not only the records they produce but also the performances they give. Producers in the recording studio deal with the quality of the music and how it sounds the its audience. The musical director may also be present to make decisions about the arranging of music during the recording project.The artist’s manager is responsible for the personal well being of the artist. The other departments involved in promotion are responsible for print ads, store displays for the album, direct mail to retailers and fans, and any other special events. After all the acquisions, administration, print production, and promotion divisions have performed their responsibilities, the distribution division takes control and begins to put this intellectual, funded, copyrighted, recorded, printed, promoted music into the hands of consumers. The distribution and sales division distributes the CD’s, tapes, sheet music, T-shirts, and other merchandise to wholesalers and retailers of the products.
These vendors buy in large quantities at wholesale prices.Another distributor of sheet music known as a rack jobber deals with small quantities of music usually less that one hundred at a time. Other distribution may be done through direct mail, catalog and online sales.
The final division of the full-line publisher is the subpublishers and licenses. Most publishers will contact different tasks to other publishers who may specialize in print or other services necessary to the artist but not provided by the primary publisher. The most common service performed by subpublishers is printing.Companies like Hal Leonard, Inc.
and Warner/Chappell are two of the largest print publishers. In these kind of contracts the printer acts as the licensee and bare the full cost of printing and distributing while the licensee pays the licensor a royalty on sales of up to twenty percent of the wholesale cost. In this situation the licensee acts as selling agent. The administration, acquisitions, print production, promotion, distribution and sales, and subpublishing all make up these full-line publishing firms industry.Some companies may specialize in a certain areas, but all are necessary to make money in the end. When we see a piece of printed music, or a CD by a famous artist, we can now see that getting that into our hands did not happen overnight, but through the hundreds of man hours put into making that artist successful we are able to share in the intellectual property thousands of songwriters all over the world.
Question 2. In the following paragraphs I will discuss the types of music uses in reference to the appropriate music license. The commercial broadcast of non-dramatic music would include the use of music for radio stations, most television station, as well as broadcasting networks.The type of license required for the use of this kind of music is a performance license.
The performance rights associations ASCAP, BMI and SESAC are responsible for the collection of these royalties. Radio and television stations pay royalties calculated by a per-song basis or a percentage of gross income. Other broadcasting of music that requires a performance license may include restaurants, clubs, and background music services. These types of licenses could be a one-year blanket license that is a one-time fee. The rate of the license is dependent on a few things such as: 1. The seating capacity of a venue.2.
Whether it charges admission. 3. The number of hours of entertainment provided.
4.The gross income of the facility. The owner of the rights to the song issues the license. ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC all have different songs that they are responsible for collecting royalties for. Most places obtaining licenses for commercial broadcast of non-dramatic music pay royalties to all three organizations. Nonbroadcast performance of non-dramatic music also requires a performance license.This type of music would be anything that is not broadcasted outside of the actual performance.
An example of this would be a bar or club with live music. The music is provided to entertain customers so that they will stay and continue to buy food or drinks provided by the venue. The live music makes the venue money, so a license is required to allow the writer and publisher of the music it make money for the song that they own the rights to.
The band performing the music is not responsible for paying for this performance license; the venue is responsible for this expense because they are the ones benefiting from the live music.The only case that a band would require a license is if they are producing the show and making the money by performing another artists music. Colleges usually pay a blanket license allowing them to have bands perform on their campus without purchasing a license each time. However, if the act is a national act a special license is required. Like commercial broadcast music, ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC are responsible for collecting these royalties and the owner of the rights to the music would issue the right.
Phonorecords, audiocassettes, compact discs, videocassettes, and videodiscs sold for private use require a compulsory or “negotiated” mechanical license.A compulsory license is issued in a situation where the rights owner does not initially grant the permission for the song to be recorded. This license is more expensive than a negotiated mechanical license. The negotiated license is discussed between the rights owners and the person wanting to record the song for their own private use.
This may be a very inexpensive license, or simply granted permission. There would be no royalties involved due to the private use of the work.Music video production used for broadcast for cable television requires a synchronization license and a performance license. The synchronization license is issued for the right to use music that is timed to synchronization with, or relate to, the action on the screen. Video production requires this license. Because the music is broadcasted a performance license is required. ASCAP, BMI and SESAC also have contracts with MTV, HBO, and USA that collect royalties from these stations for the use of music on their television stations.
The issuer of these license are the owners of the rights to the works.Generally, the owner of the rights to the music in a film is the film producer, not the composer. Movie, music video, other video software sold or rented to individuals for home use requires a synchronization license that includes license to mechanically reproduce copies for sale. The issuer of this license is the producer or owner of the rights to the work. Again, generally the film, video, or software producer owns the rights, if the composer withholds those rights, the composer must issue the license. ASAP, BMI, and SESAC handle the payment of these royalties.
Motion picture for theatri …