PMA And The State Of The Production Music Business

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This topic contains 41 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  LAwriter 8 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #25854 Reply


    Hi Music 1 2 3

    Thank for sharing these points.

    People buy a license, drop our tracks on media project for YOUTUBE, and we get paid a royalty!

    I thought PROs didn’t pay YouTube royalties (they haven’t for my music which is also on Youtube).

    How have you gone about receiving YouTube royalty payments from RF licenses?

    #25855 Reply


    I will privately e-mail you some data Art. Keep an eye out.

    #25856 Reply



    No my thoughts are this: YOUTUBE is pretty much so a broadcaster. The Network is called “YOUTUBE”…We also have ABC, NBC, CBS, etc here in the USA. There is SKY, RAI, BBC overseas…They pay PRO’s lots of money to broadcast (perform) music.

    Why don’t PROs treat YOUTUBE the same way and say “Hi YOUTUBE, You play our music, you need to buy a license from us so we can collect a percentage of your billions in advertising profits and pay songwriters and composers some money when their music is “performed” on YOUTUBE”.

    It’s just a thought…maybe there is an explanation as to why YOUTUBE is not treated like a TV network….

    Yes, I have seen some pennies for YOUTUBE on a statement these last 2 or 3….Nothing to get excited about maybe a few pennies! I hope others can chime in on the YT issue as that is still a real foggy and confusing area from my perspective.

    #25857 Reply


    why I would stop putting my tracks in exclusive libraries to focus on royalty free.

    I believe that the “exclsuive” libraries that you are referring to are libraries like JP that used to be retitling libraries, not PMA libraries that have been against retitling from the beginning.

    #25858 Reply


    Chuck, I am not advocating for a total revolution pull out of everything now and get into RF now. That is unwise. It’s been stated many times here that diversification is the key. “NON EXCLUSIVITY” is the key IMHO. But, for PMA publishers to look at guys contributing to RF and doing well as “enemies to what we stand for” is officially ridiculous! I was on the fence 2 to 3 years ago. I honestly did not know the answers. But statements and data and experience has clarified things where we can now talk about “PMA And The State Of The Production Music Business” right here and now in 2016. The guys making the big RF bucks are quite talented, have large portfolios, sell in heavy volume, have been established since inception, and probably have had some good old fashioned luck along the way. I personally still do better with PRO, but RF income is really catching up, and there is no chance I would ever get off this train to satisfy PMA principles or secret codes of conduct. Instead, maybe its time they take a look at what’s really going on and listen to LA writers thoughts. Chuck, my RF income build up has been slow and steady…as has PRO income.

    #25859 Reply

    Art Munson

    Ok, maybe some clarification is needed here. Because I’m at the point this year where my music in exclusive libraries is now killiing the music I have in royalty free libraries in earnings

    I have always done better with PRO income, about 3 to 1. Mainly non-exclusive and some exclusive. I guess what I write does not appeal to most RF buyers, with the exception of P5.

    #25860 Reply

    Art Munson

    Data from an RF composer. I’m not even close to these numbers!

    Follow this link:

    Just multiply the number of licenses sold by $12 per license and you
    can see the data. on AJ, there are at least 30 writers a month selling
    200 or more licenses a month.

    I am often doing 3K a month in RF.

    #25861 Reply


    I have put my very, very best music into the top PMA exclusive libraries over the last 20 years. Those titles are around 40% of my total library. The balance – 60% of my total library are basically in two non-exclusive libraries. In the backend performance world, the exclusives net 10-15% of my BMI royalties. The non-exclusives net me 85-90% of my BMI royalties.

    I would be much better off financially if I had put the 40% exclusives into the non-exclusive paradigm, and been 100% non-exclusive. That’s just numbers, not philosophy.

    THEN, there’s one time exclusive front end payouts vs. monthly non-exclusive sync license payouts for those 40%. Long term (5 to maybe 10 years), I believe the monthly sync licenses would far exceed what the PMA libraries paid me up front – which was fairly substantial.

    On the front end syncs vs. BMI backend – which is an abstract comparison, but one I think is worth looking at, because unless BMI and ASCAP can start monitoring streaming, we very may not have a BMI/ASCAP payout much longer….. My front end sync licenses are coming from only ONE NE library and are gaining on BMI. They are currently around 25-33 % of my BMI backend every quarter. That’s substantial.

    With those numbers, I can’t really see the PMA’s “protect the production music paradigm” perspective any longer. As music123 notes, the numbers just don’t add up to the hype any longer.

    I’m desperately trying to wrap my head around jettisoning everything I’ve tried to accomplish the last 20 years, but the numbers keep slapping me in the face.


    #25862 Reply


    Yes, I have seen some pennies for YOUTUBE on a statement these last 2 or 3….Nothing to get excited about

    thanks Music 123. That helps knowing I’m not leaving $$$ on the YouTube table.

    #25863 Reply


    No I wouldn’t advocate pulling out of royalty free libraries. Nor would I join a library that told me I couldn’t contribute to RF libraries, because I have been working very hard to build my catalog in those. I just wouldn’t do one at the exclusion of the other. But again this is based on Pro income from just this past year.

    #25864 Reply


    Regarding RF vs PMA type libraries, my observation is that RF is very much so a “hit track” arena. For whatever reason, 1 or 2 tracks just go on and sell very well and I have to say that different tracks sell better on different sites. For some guys with large catalogs maybe 5 or 10 tracks bring home 50% of the pie.

    TV cue feeding libraries can really place just about anything we write it seems. They are two different markets with 2 different needs, servicing 2 different types of buyers and the PMA needs to wake up to this non threat real fast.

    Secondly, like anything else in life, It takes hard work. Writers succeeding in RF are not only talented, but they worked very hard, had a strategy, and executed their strategy.

    If you want to make money…write hits…Good luck all!

    #25865 Reply


    Chuck asks :

    Why royalty free instead of good exclusives?

    Chuck, that’s an excellent question, and one I wrestle with myself – daily. I don’t have a definitive answer, but the main reason – IMO – is that network and cable TV are fading out, and streaming is becoming the “norm”. At this point, ASCAP and BMI have yet to figure out how to monetize streaming revenues effectively. On my BMI statements, Internet Streaming sources have grown to over 1/2 of my reported income – both domestic and foreign, and although huge in the amount of performances, it amounts to only a couple hundred dollars at best in terms of dollars while broadcast (although shrinking) is 50-80X’s as much. Not good.

    What can we draw from this? Over the next few years – quite possibly – traditional Cable and Network payouts are going to shrink dramatically as technology shifts us over to streaming – because BMI/ASCAP’s current income model is based on Cable and Networks BROADCAST (not streaming) earnings. So…

    When this happens, PRO back end royalties could (and most likely will) be affected dramatically – in a negative way. Front end sync royalties for Non-Ex libs will not be affected.

    So your current observation of exclusive libraries out performing Non Ex libraries in back end returns could flip over quickly as the “composer royalty income paradigm” shifts towards front end sync’s exceeding back end performances.

    If/when front end Sync’s exceed back end performance royalties…..your 4:1 observations will no longer be viable.

    Make sense?


    #25866 Reply


    music123 wrote :

    Regarding RF vs PMA type libraries

    Good points music123! I need a like button as well. 😀 Is there a way to PM on this site? I’d like to touch base with you and ask you some questions “off-line” if you’re interested. Cheers,


    #25867 Reply


    At this point, ASCAP and BMI have yet to figure out how to monetize streaming revenues effectively.

    ASCAP and BMI have little to do with what streaming pays in comparison to broadcast rates.

    Royalty rates are set by the Coyright Tribunal. ASCAP and BMI only collect as much as the law allows them to collect and/or streaming entities only pay as much as the law requires.

    Here’s a glimpse at how the Tribunal, not ASCAP or BMI, determines rates:

    The royalty floors paid by streaming services are just pennies per customer, per month.

    The theory is that when we start to see 10 million streams of shows with our music in them, instead of just 10 streams here and there, royalties will rise accordingly.

    #25872 Reply


    from a newbie point of view, this is a fascinating and valuable conversation.


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