Should I become a Harry Fox Publishing Affiliate?

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This topic contains 24 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  boinkeee2000 2 weeks, 6 days ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 25 total)
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  • #29723 Reply

    mfaith2
    Participant

    Hello, I’m a semi-newbie, sporadic composer of music for placement in TV, commercials, film etc. I have some songs online on Soundcloud and some old live tracks on Soundclick. I just signed up with BMI, after reading mixed reviews here re: ASCAP, and am finally ready to start submitting to some Libraries.
    Recently I got a Spotify NOI and am trying to figure out which song it was for and if all the meta data is correct, or how I can enter it. The only way to do that seems to be by becoming a Harry Fox affiliate publisher. I filled in the required info and they let me know I qualified, but is it something I should do? Will it make things more difficult for a Music Library to work with my songs if I have registered them with Harry Fox? Thanks for any info…

    #29742 Reply

    ENW1
    Participant

    Interesting question.

    #29747 Reply

    Music1234
    Participant

    Hello all, I am affiliated with Harry Fox Agency as a publisher. I have 13 “albums” streaming on all digital platforms – Spotify, Pandora, Google Play, Apple Music, etc. I do collect royalties from streaming. Harry Fox Agency pays “mechanical streaming royalties” each quarter. It cost around $125 to $150 to affiliate. Uploading albums, track titles, label, publisher, IRSC codes and so on, was extremely tedious and difficult. It took several attempts. Their site is very sensitive to fonts, spreadsheet formats and so on. The site development at HFA needs a lot of improvement. The story regarding the amount of royalties I will earn from HFA is still unfolding. There was a major glitch for several of the albums where I had to straighten out IRSC codes for every song on the spreadsheet and supposedly I will get paid “Mechanical Streaming Royalties” for those tracks retroactively.

    This is complicated stuff and I am still educating myself on the entire matter. The only way to get educated is to release music to the streaming services, affiliate with HFA AS PUBLISHER, and get the spreadsheets uploaded properly. It’s not easy, time consuming, and not fun, but if you don’t do the work, you don’t collect the money.

    MECHANICAL ROYALTIES
    Royalties paid to songwriters and artists when music is sold (think CD or vinyl) but also when music is streamed (streaming mechanicals) “on-demand” (like Spotify). Songwriting mechanical royalties are set by government through what’s called a compulsory license, which right now is set to about 9 cents of every dollar earned via sale.

    Current copyright regulation wasn’t created at a time when services like Spotify or Beats existed, (which are kind of a hybrid of ‘performance’ and a ‘sale’) so they pay both performance royalties and mechanical royalties to songwriters and artists.
    Spotify pays about 10% of its revenue to songwriters (split between mechanical and performance royalties) and about 60% to the artists. Services like Spotify don’t have to negotiate with songwriters, because the government sets the rates – through the consent decree for PROs and a compulsory license for mechanical licenses.
    Mechanical royalties for songwriting are usually paid by labels or artists to a third party, (traditionally for the major publisher it’s been HFA (the Harry Fox Agency), who pay the publishers

    #29748 Reply

    Music1234
    Participant

    And to answer your question no it will not make a difference for a Library to try and sync your tunes into media projects ,TV shows, films, etc. by affiliating with HFA unless of course they decide they will release production music as albums. As it turns out, Many exc pubs are doing exactly that! I have no idea why? But they are.

    I tend to think that there is some hidden agenda or angle they know about so they release production music albums on streaming services like spotify and apple music. Perhaps they intend on collecting as publisher from HFA. This is why I trumpet ownership ownership ownership. You want full control of your assets ideally so you can decide where your music goes.

    Exclusive publishers that do not pay an advance fee for a cue or entire album are just the arm pit leeches of the music business.

    #29749 Reply

    Art Munson
    Keymaster

    Thanks Music1234, great info! You really cleared up the whole “mechanical/streaming” definition for me.

    I’ve been with HFA for about 30 years but never paid it much attention. Tried uploading a spreadsheet a couple of months ago and quite a mess. Trying to edit a song, after an upload, is not doable, only if you upload one at a time. There is a work around though, somewhere in my notes. 🙂 I will be paying more attention, as well as with Soundexchange.

    We are in a brave new world and happily keeping my tracks non-exclusive!

    BTW looks like that Consent Decree may be going away. The DOJ allowed the Feds “deadline to appeal”, to expire.

    #29750 Reply

    Music1234
    Participant

    Art, the real money in streaming is simply collecting royalties from the streaming services themselves. The HFA income stream seems to be a small side show bonus (eat dinner out) money. I probably have to wait a few more quarters to really know the potential of the streaming market.

    There is some money to be made here, but it does not compare to the income streams we are used to from TV, advertising, film and general stock music licensing. Based on the data I have seen over the last year, I can conclude that you have to have a lot of music released and you need to get streams. You need a listening audience and fans of your music. Most people release an album and get 500 to 2000 streams in a 3 to 5 year period. I can tell you it is not worth any energy unless you start getting millions of streams.

    Mark should be able to chime in on his experience, he has a significant amount of streams on Spotify for his film and trailer music.

    #29751 Reply

    Art Munson
    Keymaster

    The HFA income stream seems to be a small side show bonus (eat dinner out) money.

    I mentioned earlier that I hadn’t paid much attention to HFA since signing with them a few decades ago but…

    Ironically I just received an e-mail from HFA saying my quarter statement was ready. I was very surprised to see that we have 4 checks coming totaling just shy of $1,000.00! The statement itself is very vague and seems to be for some aerobic music we created for a company back in the 90s. Then again maybe it’s for streaming. Who knows? I will definitely be getting more of our music registered at HFA!

    #29752 Reply

    Music1234
    Participant

    Well then with your news Art, I will be taking this very seriously. For me it’s still a work in progress and it also sounds like they may be unloading royalties that have been bottled up for years (Aerobics music from the 90s). I am specifically waiting to see what they will send for some fall 2016 releases to streaming services. I had a glitch in my data that disallowed distribution (bad IRSC codes) IRSC codes for each track title seem to be “God” for HFA. Whereas with PRO’s …it’s all about the registered title and IPI number.

    I also remembered when TV royalties were just dinner money and then that changed quickly. Today I received $2.11 from HFA…seems to be an “Adjustment” to what they paid last time. Who knows? Art, you can download a CVS file and get very clear data about what was being paid. I suggest doing that.

    I really think Mark can chime in and offer more because he’s been releasing albums for a few years now.

    The key seems to be really having all our spreadsheets in very good order within their database.

    #29753 Reply

    Art Munson
    Keymaster

    Art, you can download a CVS file and get very clear data about what was being paid.

    Yeah, I did that first thing but not very clear.

    #29754 Reply

    mfaith2
    Participant

    Thanks for the replies! Very helpful and informative. I guess it won’t hurt to become an HF affiliate for the mechanical royalties but this now raises new questions of how to collect the performance royalties? Do I register every song with SoundExchange? Is all royalty payment dependent on the meta data linked to the file? …and how do we make sure the correct metadata stays with copies of the song? … Should this be a new post?

    #29755 Reply

    MichaelL
    Participant

    How are you all handling HFA’s “third party” requirement?

    #29756 Reply

    Music1234
    Participant

    I applied as publisher and they accepted me in. Additionally my “label” told me to affiliate as publisher. Still learning these waters. If Mark P can chime in, we may get more info.

    https://www.harryfox.com/publishers/become_affiliate_publisher.html

    If I knew then what I know now I suppose I’d do this: create your own “record label” so you can “commercially release” your albums to all streaming sites. Then affiliate as publisher with HFA.

    HFA is doing a big money grab some how, some way. They seem to pocket 11.5% of all they collect, but if folks are not doing the paperwork properly, there probably is a truckload of unclaimed royalties sitting in their coffers. I am convinced that it’s probably time to attend some conferences that they participate in so one can get face time with someone working for HFA who can explain literally, what they do. How they collect? From whom exactly? when they collect? and when they distribute? and how many streams are required for it to make sense. The physical product scenario is all but history I’d think so the 9 cents a unit sold seems to be a thing of the past.

    I’d also love to know what “rumblefish is, does, and how they fit in. Clearly with SESAC, HFA, and Rumblefish being married as one company with 3 divisions, some executive has figured out a sweet money grabbing scheme. It just seems like these 3 entities combined creates some kind of conflict of interests somewhere in the royalty collection and distribution food chain. Just my opinion.

    Rumblefish does quite a bit when you read about their services, but it is quite overwhelming.

    #29757 Reply

    Art Munson
    Keymaster

    How are you all handling HFA’s “third party” requirement?

    Don’t know what that means. I have two publishing companies registered with them but I did this many years ago so the rules may have changed.

    If I knew then what I know now I suppose I’d do this: create your own “record label” so you can “commercially release” your albums to all streaming sites.

    That’s what I, inadvertently, have done. So I will be “releasing” more albums going forward. 🙂

    #29758 Reply

    MichaelL
    Participant

    Don’t know what that means. I have two publishing companies registered with them but I did this many years ago so the rules may have changed.

    From the HFA website:

    “Self-released recordings aren’t considered commercially released by a U.S. based third party (a record label) and don’t qualify a publishing company for affiliation with HFA.”

    (Their typo, not mine)

    #29759 Reply

    Art Munson
    Keymaster

    Thanks MichaelL. I don’t seem to be having an issue with it. It may be that I registered my two publishing companies with them years ago. My account is also under my LLC so that may make the difference.

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