Netflix and our collective futures..aka…are you depending on BackEnd?

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This topic contains 36 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by  LAwriter 1 month, 4 weeks ago.

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  • #28200 Reply

    Music1234
    Participant

    Everyone, (especially our publishers who are supposed to protect our copyrights and make every effort possible to see to it that writers and themselves get paid) need to be beating the drum and sounding the alarm to our PRO’s about performance royalties for streaming services (on demand) content.

    If you do write for a Netflix series, you better ask for a healthy fee up front because the back end is not there.

    I ignore all briefs that say “We need music for a new Netflix series” as should everyone at this point. If they pay up front, then fine. The back end is pennies.

    It also disgusts me how Google is not on the hook for massive contributions to the performance royalty pool at all PRO’s. Google (AKA YOUTUBE) is basically the largest TV network in the world at this point in time. Their contributions to the royalty pools at BMI, ASCAP, and SESAC should be larger than ABC, NBC, and CBS combined as the world consumes entertainment by watching YOUTUBE.

    A deal has been made between ASCAP and Google, but it would be nice if we knew what was inside this deal below?

    http://www.tubefilter.com/2017/06/13/youtube-ascap-data-sharing-deal/

    ASCAP and BMI collected over a billion in 2016, I think they each need to collect another 500 million from Google in 2018 so writers and publishers get paid for YT performances (Streams). What do you think?

    https://www.ascap.com/press/2017/04-04-2016-financial

    https://www.bmi.com/pdfs/publications/2016/BMI_Annual_Review_2016.pdf

    Read here: Google is also doing everything it can to NOT identify copyright owners.

    https://www.royaltyclaim.com/blog/royalty-claim-investigation-is-google-refusing-to-use-its-own-assets-to-identify-copyright-owners

    Google earned 20 Billion in Net Income in 2016 and is worth 650 Billion as of today.

    http://www.marketwatch.com/investing/stock/goog/financials

    #28201 Reply

    Mc_GTR
    Participant

    Thanks for sharing your honest thoughts and experiences in these times, where so many seem to carry their head under their arm.

    It’s so important to be mindful, especially when storms rage, and this is exactly why MLR is so valuable!

    #28202 Reply

    Music1234
    Participant

    Take the time to really study what google is doing with these NOI filings.

    For 7 million songs they are saying “Author unknown, copyright owner unknown”

    https://www.royaltyclaim.com/blog/royalty-claim-investigation-is-google-refusing-to-use-its-own-assets-to-identify-copyright-owners

    Publishers, I know you are reading this. How are you fighting back? How are you protecting copyrights when google is trying to file spreadsheets that claim “Author unknown, copyright owner unknown” ?

    This is not old news, this is breaking news. Google and Spotify are trying to strike first because once those NOI’s are filed, copyright owners have to jump through hoops to eliminate the status of “author unknown, copyright owner unknown.”

    It’s quite sickening what they are doing and clearly their intent is to reduce as much as possible the amount of royalties they’d have to pay to rights holders (writers and publishers)

    “After the NOI has been filed, it is then the copyright owner’s responsibility to become aware of and locate the NOI, and then take action in order to receive mechanical royalties.”

    Read this too:

    https://www.royaltyclaim.com/blog/royalty-claims-full-presentation-at-the-music-industry-research-association-conference

    and this link to copyright.gov takes you to all the “copyright owner unknown, author unknown” filings by google, spotify, amazon, microsoft, a few others…They are filing these like crazy! Why? Because they don’t want to pay rights holders I’d imagine. A huge cost savings for them.

    I am not an attorney but it seems like they are saying “NOTICE OF INTENTION” to the copyright office…”WE DO NOT KNOW WHO OWNS THESE SONGS SO WE CAN NOT PAY THESE FOLKS ROYALTIES”…

    @Michael L…your thoughts?

    https://www.copyright.gov/licensing/115/noi-submissions.html

    #28205 Reply

    Michael Nickolas
    Participant

    Thanks for sharing your honest thoughts and experiences in these times

    I think this was meant for the Irma topic, but I agree. Hope the cleanup won’t be too much of a hassle for you guys!

    A deal has been made between ASCAP and Google, but it would be nice if we knew what was inside this deal below?

    http://www.tubefilter.com/2017/06/13/youtube-ascap-data-sharing-deal/

    Glancing at this one, it seems any increase in payment is tied to the Content ID system, which many of us here don’t utilize in order to work with RF libraries hassle free.

    #28206 Reply

    PeteJ
    Participant

    If the author is unknown why aren’t the PROs collecting the royalties for ‘unknown author’ and distributing it pro rata to known authors? What right does the network have to keep the money? The whole idea is back-to-front. It incentivises poor reporting.

    #28208 Reply

    Music1234
    Participant

    @petej, I certainly do not have all of the answers, but they are filing Notice Of Intentions to claim not just “Author Unknown” but also “Copyright Owner Unknown” according to the article and the man who conducted the investigation. I’d look at the articles and links again very closely.

    In regards to CONTENT ID, that is google’s own internal form of royalty payment that has been around for a few years now. We need to understand the deal between youtube and ASCAP. It seems to me that YOUTUBE will be sending ASCAP some money to pay writers and publishers for “performances”. Otherwise, why are they making a deal?
    What is in this deal?

    This all loops back to how important LA Writers statement is:

    Ownership = Flexibility = Longevity

    If you do not own and control your cues 100%, you can not pivot and shift to the changes upon us.

    Glancing at this one, it seems any increase in payment is tied to the Content ID system, which many of us here don’t utilize in order to work with RF libraries hassle free.

    Or ultimately sending everything into Content ID may be the new way of reporting and collecting for streaming “on demand” consumption of TV shows “airing” on YOUTUBE. We just don’t know. We need details.

    #28299 Reply

    LAwriter
    Participant

    Verifiable numbers coming in for VOD. Long standing shows (films actually) that have been running on the Mouses cable channel for over a decade. Consistent, good money. For over 40 quarters. CONSISTENT.

    Sometime last year, they pulled those films and put them into VOD placements.

    The result :

    Somewhere between an 85-99% drop in royalties. That’s right – it’s not a typo.

    So the question remains :

    In your business scheme — “Are you depending on BACKEND?” to make a living. If you answered “yes”, you are in for a seriously rude awakening when the placements you have move over to streaming. Start lining up a new career now.

    Take the blinders off. Look to the future, not the past. Things are changing. How many of you have complained to your PRO? How many have gotten a satisfactory (non-BS) answer?

    If things do not change radically within the next 1-2 years, that 20k a quarter statement just might end up around $3-400. Your $2k a quarter statement might drop down to $30-40. Of course, that’s presupposing that everything swapped over in the same quarter. We know that won’t happen for what? Another 5 years?

    The time for the PRO’s to wake up was about 5 years ago. What are they doing NOW? I can answer that…..nothing. Other than fancy websites, putting on conferences, wooing new writers with advances, etc..

    Ride the horse until she dies…..

    #28302 Reply

    Musicmatters
    Participant

    @lawriter, You are talking about a show that was on cable for 10 years and earned a lot of people good royalties. The old business model that seems to be over. Today, the dynamics have changed. If a show stays on cable for even five years before switching to streaming it gives us a reasonable chance to collect royalties, which could be considered a reasonable compromise. It is the shows made for streaming such as Netflix shows etc that offer nothing. What are the publishers seeing in these shows, perhaps a good license fee of which we are getting none. I have always believed that ultimately composers are in control. Mostly, as a group, we are not business savvy. We do not see the way the corporate world manipulates us till it is too late. I, for myself, stay far away from calls for Netflix etc and control a good chunk of my catalog. My question is, what can composers do to avoid this kind of situation from happening. No one but us can take care of our interests. Also, do you see this as an American phenomenon or is it worldwide ? thanks.

    #28303 Reply

    MichaelL
    Participant

    Also, do you see this as an American phenomenon or is it worldwide ? thanks.

    In the U.S. royalty rates are set by the Copyright Royalty Board. The rates paid may differ in other countires.

    Additionally, who must pay royalties and who can collect royalties is governed by International Treaty, for example, the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT).

    In some cases, not all countries ratified all provisions of the Treaty. For example, the U.S. made an exception to Sec 15 of the WPPT and draws a distinction between interactive and non-interactive streams. As a result, in the U.S., SoundExchange collects royalties for non-interactive digital streams, while ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC collect for interactive transmissions.

    #28304 Reply

    Music1234
    Participant

    @LA Wrtiter and Art, perhaps it is time that we write to Paul Williams and simply ask what the future holds with Netflix, Hulu, Streaming in general. (Including YOUTUBE/ GOOGLE)I will reach out to another board member at ASCAP and see what they say.

    I am not that pessimistic. I just don’t see a case where suddenly our statements are going to decline 80% because all TV shows will migrate to Netflix/ streaming on demand services. It seem like your theorizing the end of network television which would mean no more live sports, no more live news, no “traditional television” just “streaming on demand” what we want to watch, when we want to watch it. I do not see that future racing here fast and killing our performance royalties. Let’s inquire.Curious minds need to know….

    #28305 Reply

    Music1234
    Participant

    Some interesting links:

    https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-do-artists-get-paid-from-music-netflix-steve-berman

    https://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/atr/legacy/2014/08/20/307908.pdf

    https://www.ascap.com/help/royalties-and-payment/payment/whocollect

    This is good breaking news on “record revenue” collected from BMI:

    BMI Claims Record Revenue of $1.13 Billion

    “Buoyed by new deals with Netflix and Hulu, BMI’s third consecutive year of revenue increase sees $1.023 billion distributed and administered to its affiliates – songwriters, composers and publishers – a 10% increase over the prior year’s payouts for the fiscal year ending June 30.”

    #28306 Reply

    Art Munson
    Keymaster

    @LA Wrtiter and Art, perhaps it is time that we write to Paul Williams

    I think Paul is out of there as president. Haven’t talked to him in a couple of years though.

    #28307 Reply

    LAwriter
    Participant

    Some interesting links:

    This is good breaking news on “record revenue” collected from BMI:

    BMI Claims Record Revenue of $1.13 Billion

    “Buoyed by new deals with Netflix and Hulu, BMI’s third consecutive year of revenue increase sees $1.023 billion distributed and administered to its affiliates – songwriters, composers and publishers – a 10% increase over the prior year’s payouts for the fiscal year ending June 30.”

    10% increase?!?!?! hahahaha!!! I’ve been adding shows at breakneck pace with killer placements, and at best BMI is even or slightly down. I cannot get a straight answer to any of it.

    At BMI, the “trickle down” from the streamers is not getting to writers. Can’t speak to ASCAP, but I suspect that since it’s a new revenue stream for them, they have no real verifiable history of how this money gets distributed, and since many at the PRO’s have a disdain for “library music” and the composers who write it, this new windfall of $$$$$$$$ is getting re-routed to their favorite places.

    I welcome anyone from any PRO who will show any amount of transparency in regards to streaming royalties, how much they are collecting, where it’s going, and how they calculate who gets what and how much they get. I’m not going to hold my breath though.

    #28310 Reply

    Music1234
    Participant

    From Variety regarding BMI revenue: “Digital revenue saw its highest performance to date, up 7% to $163 million, helped in part by new long term agreements with Netflix and Hulu, among others.”

    $163 Million equates 16% of BMI’s overall revenue pool so our “Internet” earnings should make up 16% of our statements’ earnings…right? Is that logical reasoning? I will listen if anyone disagrees.

    “Internet Audiovisual” royalties earned equaled 3% of my entire BMI statement. If my math and logic is correct it should be close to 16% because BMI’s internet/ streaming revenue pool is 16% of all revenue collected.

    Everyone needs to start asking questions to all 3 PRO’s. Everyone needs to write to their PRO reps and board members. Talk about this at conferences, apply relentless pressure to get answers. I wrote to ASCAP Board members yesterday. Have any of you written to your PRO’s? Or are you worried about rocking the boat? Did you know that the writers who rattle the chains most often are the one’s who get paid and get paid the most? When you make noise to your PROs and publishers, checks start showing up. That has been my experience in my 25 year career.

    Start asking questions about Netflix, Hulu, and streaming. Where is our raise? 1 cent is simply not enough. It’s border line insulting. I saw too many royalties (line items of cues on shows on NETFLIX) that paid 1 cent. What are they doing with that fresh 163 Million over at BMI?

    “internet” royalties” were 3% of my entire statement. If my math is correct it should be 16% as it is for BMI. If anyone disagrees with my logic please chime in. I would like to hear others’ theories on this.

    #28311 Reply

    Art Munson
    Keymaster

    Start asking questions about Netflix, Hulu, and streaming.

    Let’s not forget Amazon VOD. Row after row of 1 cent payments!

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