The PMA is asking for your input!

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This topic contains 60 replies, has 14 voices, and was last updated by  Paolo 2 weeks, 4 days ago.

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  • #25777 Reply

    TAE_Music
    Participant

    We are getting some great information here but the topic has gone astray. Perhaps we have asked the right question but in the wrong way.

    Here’s the gist:

    The PMA is a publisher organization that also offers an inclusive, composer membership. There are, what I would call, basic benefits to membership already in place. As the Composer Advisory Committee (CAC) to the PMA we are requesting your input as to what benefits to membership would better help you, the composer, navigate the existing geography in the form of a composer membership.

    Would educational resources be useful (things that could help you advance within the PM world, etc?)

    Would “tip sheets”, as Paolo suggested, be helpful?

    Would a general point of contact be useful?

    These are the kinds of things (but not limited to just those things) we want to hear about from the composer community.

    Thanks everybody!

    P.S. As Art pointed out, we are not the PMA, but an appointed, composer committee selected by the PMA Board.

    #25778 Reply

    Art Munson
    Keymaster

    music123, let’s keep this thread on topic. For those of you who remember, music123 is AKA “More Advice” and has a propensity to go on rants and drive topics off course.

    So, as TA_Music said we are trying to gather information on what you would like to see the PMA offer that would make a composer membership useful/helpful.

    #25782 Reply

    Art Munson
    Keymaster

    Hey folks,

    Okay, I just deleted another long rant.

    I get the frustration with exclusive, non-exclusive, RF, shrinking PRO incomes etc. and I share most of your views. This topic is about trying to make some changes and the PMA seems to be reaching out so I will reiterate.

    What you would like to see the PMA offer that would make a composer membership useful/helpful?

    #25785 Reply

    Paolo

    the PMA seems to be reaching out …

    This was my interpretation of the initial post — I saw this as a positive development.

    Like a lot of folks here, I’ve have mixed results with PMA libraries but if the PMA libraries felt everything was perfect as-is, they wouldn’t be reaching out to composers.

    Art, are you in a position to share what composer member benefits your committee has come up with so far? I’m curious what the potential list looks like.

    #25786 Reply

    Paolo

    I apologize for all that bold and can’t stand looking at it another second.

    the PMA seems to be reaching out…

    That was my interpretation of the initial post — I saw it as a positive development.

    Like a lot of folks here, I’ve have mixed results with PMA libraries but if the PMA libraries felt everything was perfect as-is, they wouldn’t be reaching out to composers.

    Art, are you in a position to share what composer member benefits your committee has come up with so far? I’m curious what the potential list looks like

    #25787 Reply

    Art Munson
    Keymaster

    Hi Paolo,

    There is nothing concrete yet. The committee was started a couple of years ago when Hunter Williams joined the PMA and got a little traction. Hunter left to join Source Audio and the committee has lain dormant. There is a new person involved so we will see how far this goes.

    I think the only thing that the PMA currently offers for a composer membership are discounts to PMA events. To my way of thinking that is not much of an incentive.

    #25788 Reply

    LAwriter
    Participant

    Well….

    It seems that was my “rant” that got deleted Art. Honestly a bit surprised, and a little disappointed. IMO there was good stuff in there for the PMA and writers to think about. But I suppose maybe those are the things they don’t want to hear?

    Just so I know where you are headed this time : is the intent of the original question looking for :

    A – ways for the PMA to be more relevant, better equipped to meet market demands, ways to equip libraries to be more successful in a changing market, ways to better equip to advocate for composers?

    or,

    B – are they looking for what benefits would entice composers to join the organization?

    Two very different questions, and I suppose I focused on the former rather than the later. I’ve got lots of thoughts on both, but they require an open mind, which personally I find critical to longevity in this business.

    Regards,

    LAWriter

    #25789 Reply

    Paolo

    that is not much of an incentive

    You and I feel the same way about the composer member discounts to the PMA events. This is one of the reasons I haven’t joined (yet).

    And thank you for the background information about the committee. That helps round-out the picture.

    I have to ask: why do PMA libraries want composers to join? Knowing this would be helpful (at least for me) in coming-up with more ideas.

    #25790 Reply

    Mark Lewis
    Participant

    Yeah, I was fortunate enough to read your post before it got deleted LA-writer. There was some great stuff in there and I’m confused as to why it was deemed unworthy.
    IMHO your posts are always insightful, concise and intelligently written.
    – Mark Lewis
    Musicloops.com

    #25791 Reply

    Art Munson
    Keymaster

    IMO there was good stuff in there for the PMA and writers to think about.

    But the PMA may not see this topic (though they should). It’s more about collecting information about what they could offer to have more participation from composers in the organization.

    A – ways for the PMA to be more relevant, better equipped to meet market demands, ways to equip libraries to be more successful in a changing market, ways to better equip to advocate for composers?

    or,

    B – are they looking for what benefits would entice composers to join the organization?

    Two very different questions,

    The answer is B but I think A can be part of the conversation, just not all of it. These are baby steps. With nearly 700 libraries in the PMA herding cats would be easier!

    The PMA has to offer solid benefits to entice composers to join and I would imagine a good deal of those PMA publishers would have to be on board for any of them to get implemented.

    So, LAWriter. What would entice you to join the PMA?

    #25792 Reply

    Art Munson
    Keymaster

    I have to ask: why do PMA libraries want composers to join?

    I would hope to maintain, or increase, the value of music. If successful, it would impact everyone’s bottom line.

    #25796 Reply

    Art Munson
    Keymaster
    #25798 Reply

    LAwriter
    Participant

    Art – thanks on all points. Appreciated.

    Traditionally I was told that the PMA was for publishers only, and therefore, even though I have writing relationships with many large PMA libraries, I passed on joining – because I couldn’t. I’m not a publisher.
    Evidently this seems to have changed. I will no doubt join, but I would not join to “get” something like seminars, education, access, etc., but rather to stand in solidarity with fellow writers. If this is a “publishers inviting writers in for second class status” then I’m not really interested. I have all the connections I need.

    So….. what would entice me to join? (Sorry, I know this will inevitably drift into the A category somewhat)

    1. The number one thing would be a shift from publisher perspective to a writer / publisher perspective. To be fair – there needs to be an equality between the two if they are opening it up. Writers vs. Publishers equally balanced in terms of leadership and direction – not a publisher direction with writers support. Not word only, but in deeds. Although we kind of play on the same team, there has traditionally been a business vs. creative bias, with the business side being in control. As is evidenced with US politics, to be effective for all, there needs to be balance. How about a non-publisher, writer leadership every other leadership cycle. I know this cannot happen overnight, but if I saw evidence of change, I’d be ALL over it.

    2. A zero tolerance policy (at least on the books) for bias against anyone who writes “outside” the specs of what the PMA deems “acceptable”. No more behind doors blackballing. In other words, no back room politics against those who choose to also write for non-exclusive libraries. There was (is?) long standing leadership (past tense perhaps) bias against anyone who wrote non-exclusive titles. I definitely get the sense this is still the general party line.

    3. Coming to grips with reality in 2016. i.e.: Non Exclusive and royalty free libraries aren’t going away. How can the PMA stay relevant and create better opportunities for me as a PMA writer? Among other things, perhaps by :

    4. Inclusion of legitimate Non-Exclusive libraries that are working to help writers and grow their businesses legitimately. From a WRITERS perspective, the shift is moving away from “BMI/ASCAP” back end to smaller front end sync’s. Why? Because there are so many uses for music now that BMI and ASCAP do not seem to be able to monetize. (At least not efficiently) I for one do not want to leave money on the table.

    5. No more preaching AGAINST other business paradigms that are outside the PMA’s party line. If they work hard to make the PMA paradigm superior, and no slamming of others is necessary. If they accept all writers independent of who they have written for in the past, this will strengthen the organization. Strength is created by forward thinking outside the box thinkers, not by shrinking into the past and locking doors.

    6. Sorry, I know I’m overlapping a bit….A more forward thinking view of the industry, and less of a protectionist holding on to the past attitude. There IS a balance somewhere. A good example for them to look at would be the Musicians Union in the early 80’s. Look at what happened to them. They went from being a strong union that supported ALL of it’s members to a (fairly) impotent organization that is biased towards a few hundred individuals who are at the very top of the industry who can still operate in 1960’s / 70’s paradigms. The rest of musicians – including long standing members – have moved on. The film industry went offshore. The membership languished. The total income, work dues, etc. became a small percentage of what it was in the past. That’s a fail IMO. I don’t want to see the PMA follow suit. Honestly I don’t.

    7. If they want to embrace and protect the Exclusive music paradigm, I’m AOK with that, but they need to also take a writers perspective if they want BOTH sides of the team to support it. A little fairness goes a long way if you want a membership equity… A reversion policy is long overdue with libraries in general. A fair and equitable buyout fee is woefully lacking. A split of sync fees is becoming standard, but I don’t generally see this implemented in PMA libraries. I could go on and on…. but…. In other words, if they want WRITERS to join, then need to represent writers interests too. I don’t know, maybe this is impractical. I mean, if the DNC asked republicans to join and vote their direction, do you think they would actually represent the views of conservative republicans. Or vice versa – repub vs. dem. No difference between the two – but I think you get my point. If I’m joining an organization, I don’t want to feel like I’m fighting against them, and traditionally, this is exactly what has been going on. Pub vs. Writer. It’s a long standing battle.

    8. I know these thoughts would require a huge restructuring of the organization….so….. Practical easy things? Um….how about a list of every associated library with detailed description, contact info, link to their website, what they are currently looking for, etc. You know, a good resource for WRITERS.

    Best of luck with the integration of writers into a publisher focused organization. I hope it works out fabulously. Time will tell.

    -LAWriter-

    #25800 Reply

    TAE_Music
    Participant

    This topic is simply this. What would motivate you in the form of member benefits to join the PMA as a composer member?

    It is NOT about changing their business models.
    It is NOT about PROs.
    It is NOT about RF libraries.
    It is NOT about exclusives vs. non-exclusive.

    Think of it this way… what if the SCL asked the same question about membership? That’s all it is. If you are paying to be a member of the PMA or the SCL what would you like to see as benefits that could help you? The PMA has composer members. It is asking for input for ways to improve membership from the composer perspective.

    I want to see composers thrive (I am one) and I believe we have an opportunity to give ourselves another career advantage here. We need them whether it is library related or not. Would it be better if the PMA were not reaching out?

    #25801 Reply

    LAwriter
    Participant

    Oy! It seems I have struck a raw nerve – again.

    Sorry TAE. Art asked me what it would take to entice me to join the PMA. I honestly thought the PMA was for publishers only – as it used to be. So…I tried to answer that as truthfully and as on point as I could. The items you say it’s “NOT” about is exactly what it IS about for me. I have not just randomly found this thread and decided to post – this is something that has been on my mind for years. There should be room for all perspectives.

    If I have offended you, please accept my humble and sincere apologies.

    Best,

    -LAWriter-

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