Do you give up writers share to those who demand it?

Home Forums Commentary Do you give up writers share to those who demand it?

This topic contains 31 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  BEATSLINGER 6 days, 8 hours ago.

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  • #28495 Reply

    Music1234
    Participant

    Networks need to stop shaking down writers. Fresh off the press:

    Networks Need to Stop Shaking Down Music Composers (Guest Column)

    I personally have never given up 1% point of any of my compositions in terms of “writers share”. How can anyone look at themselves in the mirror and feel good about getting paid royalties for a composition and sound recording they did not contribute to? Seriously…How can you live with yourself? Isn’t publishers share good enough?

    Only once was I asked to give up 25% of writers share and I simply said “no!” Have you done the same?

    #28502 Reply

    Daniel
    Participant

    Music,

    I was once asked by a company to split 50/50 on the writers and 50/50 on the publishers. I kindly declined.

    #28503 Reply

    Art Munson
    Keymaster

    A number of years ago I accepted one of those offers. It did turn into quite a few placements but I would never do it again. Then again if it was a Beyoncé or whatever big artist of the moment was, I probably would. Happens all the time with recording artists.

    #28505 Reply

    Dannyc
    Participant

    there are libraries that actually ask for a cut of your writers share? thats immoral, how are this places still in business.

    #28506 Reply

    LAwriter
    Participant

    I was once asked by a company to split 50/50 on the writers and 50/50 on the publishers. I kindly declined.

    50% writers and 50% publishers? Isn’t that essentially the same as giving up publishers and getting 100% writers? I mean dollar wise that is? I’m not sure where the problem is with that. The dollar figure would be the same. But its a weird split that’s for sure – a deal like that would make me feel that the publisher didn’t really know what they were doing. I’d probably decline too, but not because of the split – because of the ignorance of the deal.

    re: writers splits with entities that didn’t write a note –

    First, I have to admit I haven’t read the article yet, but on one hand, I have turned down offers like this and on the other hand, I know people who have become very successful doing offers like this, so I’ll give my thoughts first….

    Who likes giving away money? No one of course. But in any business, it TAKES money invested to make money on the bottom line. Spending hard earned cash on promotion, advertising or having expensive cars built for the business by WCC is the backbone of promotion and business in the USA – and successful businesses have learned how to successfully balance “money spent frivolously” with their bottom line profits. This is really no different from my perspective.

    The reason for the recent trend of splitting of writers with publishers that I have seen is not due to writers being ignorant, or publishers being greedy – it’s because of production companies now wanting part – or now the trend is all – of publishing in order to do a blanket deal and use the music production companies music exclusively. This results in the music production company ending up with NOTHING – which of course is not a good business model. 🙂 So – they want part of the writers share. And that is ONE of the cutting edge issues that face us as writers.

    Of course, that exclusive use of one music publishers catalog by said production company is fantastic. And also of course, the production company requiring the publishing share is disturbing. But it’s becoming inevitable in the current market from what I’ve seen. When one or two successful production companies pull this off, the others will follow – or at least try to follow, and in the current market of extreme competition, they will almost certainly get a PIECE of the pie. It ends with the business model CHANGING. And those who can change and be smart survive. Those who can’t change get led into the ice age.

    So…if we find ourselves in the middle of this cauldron, the question becomes, are you willing to give up a little to gain a lot? Or….are you willing to give up a lot to gain a lot? And perhaps most importantly – WAY more important than feeling the insult of someone taking your hard earned income — can you quantify what the little and lot is and can you quantify whether or not it will benefit you financially in both the long and short time?

    The above scenarios can be a horrible, or awesome deal. It really just depends on the situation. Some of the highest paid library writers I know who are making way over 6 figures have been doing deals like this for over 10 years. Probably closer to 20 years with music production companies that are well connected. It has worked out fantastic for them.

    Way better than for those who have been trying to get their music into the top tier A level exclusive libraries that are working the old school traditional music library business models.

    Would it work out fantastic to do the same type of deal with a startup on-line music library company? Very doubtful.

    I think you have to judge the situation. If the publisher has a captive production company that is putting out multiple popular shows using ONLY their music, and the production company takes part or all of the publishing, but in turn puts the music to use immediately, often, and with great placements…..then I’d consider it. I’ve seen precisely that deal pay off houses, send kids to college and buy really nice cars for writers I know.

    Personally, I’d never do it exclusively even though some of the guys I know have. If offered, I’d only with a re-title where I keep the ownership of the master and original title.

    But what said, a wise man who has built and sold MANY music libraries, made a lot of money once told me : you can’t spend or eat percentages. You CAN spend cash from placements.

    Thoughts…. We had better be thinking 10 years down the line instead of ten years ago. That will give longevity and success.

    Now…I’ve got to go read that article.

    #28507 Reply

    LAwriter
    Participant

    Haha! I should have known. The article is slanted, biased and really, IMO, off mark enough to show the bias and surprise – put out by the PMA as a promotional piece as is evidenced by the first sentence of the promo piece.

    Although I would not put it past them, I have not run across any “networks” requiring part of a writers split. Only production companies, which are not “networks”. And ultimately, it’s not even the production companies that are causing the “writers split” issue – it’s the music libraries who are being cut out of the pie by the production companies. Surely the PMA can differentiate between the two, no?

    Standard PMA contracts will generally not allow them to compete in these waters. OR, if they do compete, it will cut down their bottom line.

    It does not surprise me that with the big annual PMA meeting this week, an article like this would “appear”. I wrote the above BEFORE I read the article, but it highlights what is wrong with the PMA.

    Stuck in the past, ignorant of future trends that they cannot control. Throwing tantrums and pointing fingers instead of coming up with creative solutions.

    Hope all attending the PMA conference had a wonderful time!

    #28508 Reply

    Daniel
    Participant

    I’d probably decline too, but not because of the split – because of the ignorance of the deal.

    LA Writer, exactly. I thought it was quite unusual and didn”t know why they would split something that way.

    Just the sole fact that they wanted my writers share, caused a red flag.

    #28511 Reply

    BEATSLINGER
    Participant

    Wow!! I remember when I thought a 3/4 rate in my favor was bad..

    #28513 Reply

    LAwriter
    Participant

    Theoretical question :

    Do you want 3/4 of $100, or 1/4 of $1750?

    Hint : The percentage is a mirage. A pacifier to make one feel good. It is not where the crux of the matter lies. The real truth, the heart of the matter is where the bottom line lives. A percentage is only a vague indicator.

    Toyota can sell 1,000,000 cars and make a profit of $350 per car, while Porsche can sell 1000 cars and make a profit of $50,000 per car.

    Who is the smarter businessman / company? The one making a huge profit per sale, or the one selling tons of cars?

    #28514 Reply

    BEATSLINGER
    Participant

    Do you want 3/4 of $100, or 1/4 of $1750?

    Back in late 90’s-to about-2002 It was not uncommon to get 30,000 to 60,000 a track on the music; side with a 3/4 rate on the publishing..

    #28515 Reply

    LAwriter
    Participant

    Back in late 90’s-to about-2002 It was not uncommon to get 30,000 to 60,000 a track on the music; side with a 3/4 rate on the publishing..

    #1 – it’s not the late 90’s anymore.

    #2 – I’m not Led Zeppelin, the Eagles or Pete Townsend.

    🙂 🙂

    #28519 Reply

    Frequencee
    Participant

    This sounds similar to a deal a library I submit to pitched to me not too long ago. (They are mentioned on this board quite often btw). Basically Viacom is starting their own library and have selected this library to be one of their vendors.

    Viacom is taking 100% of the publishing. The library is splitting the writer’s share with composers 50/50. For every track accepted there is a $125 consideration fee. The tracks will be exclusive, in perpetuity. I wouldn’t be surprised if other libraries we deal with will also become a vendor for this new Viacom library offering a similar deal.

    #28520 Reply

    LAwriter
    Participant

    Exclusive, Perpetuity, $125. That breaks 3 of the big 3 rules for me.

    #28521 Reply

    Art Munson
    Keymaster

    Basically Viacom is starting their own library and have selected this library to be one of their vendors.

    Reminds me that a few years ago another library, mentioned here often, offered a similar in perpetuity deal with Viacom (but no “consideration” fee). From what I heard that turned into the famous nothing burger.

    #28522 Reply

    BEATSLINGER
    Participant

    Reminds me that a few years ago another library, mentioned here often, offered a similar in perpetuity deal with Viacom (but no “consideration” fee). From what I heard that turned into the famous nothing burger.

    Yes, and it was one of the deciding factors with “going Exclusive”.
    I have seen “ZERO Benefit” from it, and I feel like “It was misrepresented”.

    I am prolific, so I will not feel must from it. Just feel like I wasted time, and great efforts.

    I am fortunate that I am not new to this business/industry, because had I been a new composer; it would have been disheartening to see my creations go to a “Graveyard” and this might have been a devastating blow.

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