Composers and artists themselves destroy the business.

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This topic contains 52 replies, has 17 voices, and was last updated by  musicvine 2 weeks, 4 days ago.

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  • #29824 Reply

    Music1234
    Participant

    There is truth in this statement someone made to me today. Yes, composers, artists, and bands are the one’s who give away assets to subscription companies and determine their works as worthless.

    Can I have your tracks for free too? I’ll gladly take them all, develop a site, and sell subscriptions for $135 a year/ unlimited downloads.

    #29826 Reply

    Paolo

    @music1234

    The glass is still half full. The good news is, it’s no different from supply/demand in other industries. It’s totally predictable. It’s not- if it’s going to happen it’s when is it going to happen. How many other occupations and services became over-saturated and then continued to under-cut each other?

    It just means it’s time to make a shift. And there’s lots of ways to do that!

    #29827 Reply

    Music1234
    Participant

    I literally had a conversation with a company based in Nashville yesterday, not about joining as an artist/ contributor, but inquiring about being a buyer account holder.

    For $135 annual fee I had the rights to do the following:

    1. Download the entire catalog and anything added throughout the year.
    2. Use the tracks for local, regional, national, worldwide TV advertising campaigns…did not matter, no extra fees applied.
    3. Ditto for TV shows and Films, of course internet media.
    4. Never, ever be concerned with filling in cue sheets…all usages were 100% royalty free regardless of how the track was used.

    Now if this is not nuclear destruction and total insanity what is?

    How are they pulling this off? Well appearently most of the tracks are being produced in house by salaried writers and “close friends”. I get that but let’s run some numbers;

    If you find 1000 subscribing customers (This is HARD to do) you have $135,000 in annual revenue. 2000 customers = $270,000 in revenue…and so on.

    These kinds of numbers are just peanuts if you have to spread the revenue to 10 to 20 people. Let’s not forget about the costs to maintain and develop a site, process credit cards, do marketing and sales, and so on.

    Why would a company come in and drop a nuclear bomb on themselves and everyone else and set the bar so low?

    I asked “Can I use a song on a major brand in a worldwide TV commercial and not be concerned with anything other than my $135 annual fee? and will the writer collect performance royalties from a PRO?” The answer was “Yes you can, and no the composer will not collect performance royalties because our offering is royalty free.”

    I asked “Well how does the artist get paid?” The response was most of our writers are salaried staff.

    So not only is this company setting the bar at essentially nothing, they are completely ignorant when it comes to basic knowledge of PRO’s. And this is coming from folks in “Music City”?

    I just don’t know what to say…really…it’s just sad. Already today I sold 1 license for $125. I can get their entire 3000 track offering for $135 a year. And anything they add to it for the next 52 weeks.

    Oh and, If I don’t hear anything in there that i may need….they will write a few for me at no extra charge. LOL!

    I have to say too…there were some good tunes in there. This was not casio synth crap. Some songs sounded like major label recording artists “Music City” quality. SAD.

    Yes, we have reached a point of total insanity.

    #29828 Reply

    Paolo

    Why would a company come in and drop a nuclear bomb on themselves and everyone else and set the bar so low?

    I misunderstood your post. You were wondering how could this company be profitable.

    How many aspiring directors, editors, videographers, amateur/ indie, cheap-skates, low-budget projects, students, schools, hobbyists, potential customers are out there? I would think tens of thousands. That puts their revenue easily over a million $$$. Hmmm….. gotta go now. I have an idea 🙂

    #29829 Reply

    LAwriter
    Participant

    If this continues (and grows) I will opt out of writing production music. There will be no upside.

    #29830 Reply

    Music1234
    Participant

    Maybe you are right. Everyone and their mother wants to be a film maker and youtube star. If it’s that easy to find 10,000 subscribers for $135 a year creating $1,350,000 a year in revenue, it’s something for us all to consider.

    I still don’t get the concept of “no worries about PRO royalties for worldwide broadcast, we’re ROYALTY FREE”

    That’s just plain ignorance.

    still SAD Paolo.

    LA writer, you and I can always combine forces and undercut everyone with our catlogs. Let’s charge 99 cents a year and shoot for 3 million subscribers! We can split 3 mil a year!

    #29831 Reply

    StevenOBrien
    Participant

    We’re all going to be replaced by AI in a few years anyway.

    #29832 Reply

    LAwriter
    Participant

    LA writer, you and I can always combine forces and undercut everyone with our catlogs. Let’s charge 99 cents a year and shoot for 3 million subscribers! We can split 3 mil a year!

    Ha! You figure out a way to make that happen and I’m in. I can bring 10,000 tracks, and probably wrangle a bunch more to join in. LOL

    #29833 Reply

    Mc_GTR
    Participant

    At least you have to give your music away to these companies, to render it worthless. So why even consider it?

    Musicians have never been entitled to make a 100% living off of passive income, and historically quite few has pulled that off. Times have been better, yes, but markets become saturated in the tail of that when everyone pursue the same.

    Following this study, passive income from compositions, is mostly less than 20% of a full income for a musician (see the cases). Mileage may vary. http://money.futureofmusic.org/about-the-project/

    I guess owning a music library, subscription based or not, could be added to the lists.

    #29834 Reply

    Music1234
    Participant

    “Passive income” only becomes a reality once you quit creating entirely and just ride out the future earnings of your catalog. If you consistently put in full time labor each week, you are doing so knowing that the work you do today is to create “future earnings”. Just because we collect performance royalties or royalties from direct license markets from tracks made 2 to 10 to 20 or even 50 years ago, I do not see that as passive income. It’s just income collected from work done a long time ago. It’s income collected from actively and currently marketing the tracks.

    If we are still “at it” each week, putting in full time effort so we can collect checks and royalties, we are not making passive income. Once we retire and quit entirely, then all future royalty income will become “passive” income. That is my personal philosophy.

    By the way, I personally know many musicians and singers getting sweet pensions from the AFM and SAG unions for work done in the 60s 70s 80s and 90s…Is that considered passive income too?

    Sadly too, I know many very talented live performing musicians who really don’t know what royalties are. they teach and wait for those calls for live show bookings. It’s hard to do both. I could not imagine writing production music all day then running out the door to play a live show 4 to 5 times a week. You’d run yourself into complete exhaustion I’d think.

    #29835 Reply

    LAwriter
    Participant

    A person who flips houses, or who speculates on custom homes puts a lot of time, energy and money upfront – and then eventually reaps the profits at a later time. No one calls their profits “passive earnings”. There’s nothing “passive” about it.

    I don’t see that as any different than what we do. If I put 6 months of my life and large outlay of cash into a project that takes 20 years to fully pay off, I don’t consider that “passive” income. I consider it delayed earnings and a poor business model. LOL

    #29836 Reply

    Music1234
    Participant

    LOL! Let’s not forget about passive losses. You write a few tracks and they never make a dime. LOL!

    #29837 Reply

    Art Munson
    Keymaster

    By the way, I personally know many musicians and singers getting sweet pensions from the AFM and SAG unions for work done in the 60s 70s 80s and 90s…Is that considered passive income too?

    So true. I still get checks from records I played on in the 60s and 70s. Sometimes quite decent. One record went into the film “Ghost” and my check was $1500. That was 25 years after the record date. I passively cashed the check. Ah, the good old days!

    #29838 Reply

    Composer Of Notes
    Participant

    There was a cat in town who would say that no one should ever do a gig for less than $100 and he would admonish those who did take those lower paying gigs.
    I’ll tell you the same thing I told him.
    Get me the gig that pays more and I’ll take it.

    #29839 Reply

    Music1234
    Participant

    I suppose there still is some positive news:

    https://www.ascap.com/newsletters/member-services/2018/04-19-financial?utm_source=ASCAP&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=member-services&utm_content=member-services

    If only writers would just stop giving away their music for nothing, and if only publishers would somehow stop thinking that the music they have is only for them to profit from. No one has ever answered the question as to how contributing writers get paid under a model that suddenly shifts to subscriptions. How do you manage the accounting? Any idea?

    When a publisher licenses a composition to a licensor it is clear as day who is getting paid: the composer will make money and the publisher who sold the license will make money.

    When a publisher sells an annual subscription fee for unlimited access to an entire catalog, it would seem to me that only 1 party will make all the revenue – the publisher. The problem is that these rights have not been granted to the publisher.

    It’s as if publishers are now saying “we own this content, and can do whatever we want with it.” They don’t own the music in most cases from my perspective.

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