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 1 month, 1 week ago.

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  • #25889 Reply

    sugarbuzz
    Member

    What fascinating read ! I was able to read all of LAwriters posts prior to this thread being deleted and I thought he made some excellent points, maybe slightly off topic to some degree, but excellent points all the same. Well done LA writer.

    #25890 Reply

    Art Munson
    Keymaster

    I was able to read all of LAwriters posts prior to this thread being deleted

    Moved to here https://musiclibraryreport.com/forums/topic/pma-and-the-state-of-the-production-music-business/.

    #25912 Reply

    videohelper
    Participant

    Hi all,

    I’m PMA library owner / board member as well as an active composer, and at the risk of getting a beatdown am voicing my own opinion here…

    First of all, a huge thanks to Art and TAE Music for putting this out there as well as shepherding the passionate discussion.

    I understand where lots of you are coming from on the issues raised in this and other threads. The industry is moving fast and there is certainly more than one “right” way for our community to move forward.

    I’m not really sure where to start, other than the PMA is simply doing what it can to promote and protect the value of production music everywhere.

    Our community faces a variety of structural headwinds, from the commodification of production music, to the PROs trying to navigate a digital landscape while being handcuffed by the DOJ + an outdated consent decree, to a market that increasingly reduces our creativity and effort to a simple #of-tracks-for-how-many-$ calculation.

    The PMA is reaching out to writers since we are all in this together.

    As the industry evolved we noticed how many composers were also starting libraries, doing sync deals on their own etc. and it just makes sense for everyone in our community to share what’s working, what isn’t and how best to move forward. We’re not out to “business-model-shame” any composers, just hopefully get a discussion going and sort through some facts and ideas together.

    It is difficult enough to convey the value of what we do to broadcasters, digital platforms, agencies, PROs, etc., etc., etc., as a group without splintering into self-defeating factions.

    An example:

    Recently, a major network decided it was going to take a share of performance royalties for any library music it aired simply because it could. The PMA took a behind-the-scenes stand and that network did not move forward with that plan. That benefitted everyone in our community, whether PMA member or not (and many affected weren’t…).

    There are other examples, including working with the PROs to implement fingerprinting detection for commercials and promos, a solution which actually led to many non-PMA libraries getting royalties in part at the expense of PMA libraries!

    1/2

    #25913 Reply

    videohelper
    Participant

    2/2

    I hear where many of you are coming from.

    The PMA does have a whiff of “traditional” about it. It did start as a publisher organization. We did and do actively discourage some business models like performance-free libraries (as distinct from RF) because we truly believe they are shrinking the pie at the industry level, though not necessarily for any one or ten, or twenty composers in particular.

    I would kindly ask everyone here to distinguish any personal experience with any specific PMA library from what the organization is trying to accomplish. I KNOW THIS IS HARD SOMETIMES! The PMA is a non-profit organization and the board & committee members work very hard for very free to try and keep our industry sustainably healthy.

    OK, moving on to some specific points raised…

    The PMA does offer discounted health insurance, as well as discounted E&O insurance.

    Standardizing rates on both the buy and sync side could get the organization into anti-trust trouble. Collective marketing and licensing could also be problematic for the same reason.

    The mentoring point is a great one, and we believe we are taking a step in that direction with our conference this year in LA by having a large number of composer-focussed sessions. If any of you have specific suggestions for the future, please let Art know!

    Check out the schedule here: http://pmc.pmamusic.com/

    It includes –

    Recording, Mixing and Mastering for production music;
    How to write a successful library track
    A Demo Derby
    An SCL panel talking about ALL the different business models
    How To Handle Covers and Remixes

    And bunch of others….

    We created the PMC as the world’s first annual conference dedicated to production music and it provides an opportunity for all of us – friends & competitors, writers & publishers, PMA & not 🙂 – to get together and hopefully educate or challenge or inspire each other.

    As a publisher, I want to keep values healthy. As a writer, I want to create interesting music and contribute meaningfully to all kinds of projects to the best my abilities. And I want to keep doing that! In the future!

    Whew, that’s it for now, and thanks to those who made it this far.

    #25914 Reply

    MichaelL
    Participant

    @videohelper, the last PMA meeting that I went to was in NYC. I’m on the East Coast and it’s just easier for me to get there.
    More meetings in NYC would be helpful.

    I’m also really glad that you distinguished Royalty Free from Performance Free.

    There’s a tendency to lump libraries into very broad groups like Royalty Free and Exclusive without a clear understanding of the nuances and differences within those categories.

    #25915 Reply

    Chuck Mott

    I’m with Michael on that. I am in New York and really enjoyed attending the Ad Cues seminar this year. I would love to see more of those up this way – and the attendance there was pretty good I thought. All but one of the libraries I work with have a presence there. Would like to see more of the PMA on this coast, thanks.

    #25916 Reply

    Art Munson
    Keymaster

    Thanks for weighing in videohelper!

    #25926 Reply

    videohelper
    Participant

    NYC – so noted! I’m a Brooklynite myself…

    #25934 Reply

    TAE Music

    Thank you, Videohelper!

    #25944 Reply

    music123

    Hi Videohelper, thanks for joining in. When you state:

    Standardizing rates on both the buy and sync side could get the organization into anti-trust trouble. Collective marketing and licensing could also be problematic for the same reason.

    I agree that this can be perceived as price fixing, but at the same same time, why couldn’t the PMA develop a price range for certain sync licenses? Example

    $40 to $100 for Web Youtube licenses – for small companies
    $100 to $500 for YOUTUBE licenses large corporations
    $150 to $300 for local/ regional radio
    $250 to $500 for local/ regional TV spots
    $1000 to $2000 for National TV spots
    $2000 to “call for quote” for Worldwide TV spots
    etc….etc….

    Didn’t our friends at Omnicom do this?

    In other words, do not set fixed prices, but offer a guideline/ reference point for composers and publishers.

    Why does SAG get to set VO and on camera ACTING prices?

    It is promising to see that you are more welcoming to other business models.

    My final suggestion is that we also strive to eliminate the term “royalty free”…it is beyond misunderstood and is flat out wrong. Why? In these so called “RF Markets” the fact of the matter is that every time a customer buys a license, the composer earns a royalty for that sale. The royalty does not come from the P.R.O. but it comes from the company that sold the SYNC license. We also can and do display our writer/ pub info in many of these markets for cue sheet purposes (If theyt even come up in that scenario, but I am hearing more and more that they are!)

    I know it’s a long shot, but we should move toward calling everything “Stock Music” Licensing markets, regardless of the business model.

    #25945 Reply

    videohelper
    Participant

    I agree that this can be perceived as price fixing, but at the same same time, why couldn’t the PMA develop a price range for certain sync licenses?

    Price-fixing is competitors working together to unduly influence the pricing of a market. Even a guideline could be construed this way. And even if there was such a thing, many libraries would deliberately undercut or price above as a competitive distinction. There are a few libraries who make their pricing public…

    Didn’t our friends at Omnicom do this?

    Omnicom is a single end-user and doesn’t require libraries to meet any price. Libraries are free to price as they like or be placed into one of several different pricing tiers.

    SAG is a union whose members are individual people, not corporations. Totally different legally.

    My final suggestion is that we also strive to eliminate the term “royalty free”…it is beyond misunderstood and is flat out wrong.

    Yes! Talk to the people who are using it to describe their music!!

    #25959 Reply

    Art Munson
    Keymaster

    My final suggestion is that we also strive to eliminate the term “royalty free”…it is beyond misunderstood and is flat out wrong.

    Mark had to jump in here and drive this off topic. Go here to continue that conversation.

    Royalty Free Music versus Stock Music

    #28811 Reply

    Paolo

    hey Art,

    As you know, the PMA had a conference in CA last month. Have you been made aware of/have you heard any developments regarding some of the suggestions from this thread?

    Thanks.

    #28819 Reply

    Mc_GTR
    Participant

    Thanks for this thread, Im a european music producer and over here we appreciate branch organizations very much because of the knowledge they can disseminate, the networks they can facilitate and the overall influence they can have on creating a sustainable platform for professional work.

    The Op started with a batch of questions, I’d like to use for structure:

    Would it be helpful to have a point of contact at the PMA you could use as a resource?
    – Yes, looking at the US library market from abroad, it’s a jungle with all sorts of people publishing information in forums, in context with their own business propositions ect. It would be nice to have an entry point website, with some basic reference information on types of libraries, types of contracts in the business, affiliate branch organizations in the US and world wide, how to find a good match for my music, and other types of resources.

    What questions do you have about libraries?
    Researching libraries is easy enough, but understanding how they do business is less so. So, I wonder how they are working to find clients, and what other type of work is actually going on in the libraries. Some reports on that would help me connect more with their efforts.

    Also more insight into the clients, who actually use production music. Maybe some portraits. Who are they? What work are they doing, and what are they trying to accomplish? How does music help them? What are they looking for? When does the music work for them? What is “good music” for library clients?

    What doors do you wish were open?
    To be honest, I wish more doors were closed, so unskilled teenagers using torrent software can’t get one finger compositions licensed into major network productions and take work from talented musicians who have spent 20 years to get where they are, and built competitive studios with their spare change. So, Im a bit in the gatekeeping camp. We need serious people to open and close doors by putting up criteria for quality in the writing, production and performances.

    What guidance do you feel is missing?
    Especially more guidence about the who, when, where, why, how and what library clients are looking for. I also feel the PMA could work to educate library clients about music, because that may contribute to improve their own media productions.

    For the record, I took a look at the PMC 2017 programme and thought the sessions looked awesome! I will definitely find my way to the event in London, UK the coming years!

    What thoughts do you have about the art and the business of production music?
    Crafting good production music is a different artform than writing hit songs for the Billboard charts, and again different than activist artistry. Doing production music can be a really great way for artists/ writers/ producers to hone their craft and skills, to have fun making music with the freedom to stay local, and to consolidate later in the career when combining music production with teaching gigs and other paths.

    The order of business does seem to be in a bad shape, as many of the other posts in this thread has emphazised so well. The internal working and quality control in the PMA is therefore important for me as a writer as well, as I find it hard to support an organization with low credibility. So for me to be interested in the PMA as a writer requires that the brand is intact and that the standards are set high in all regards, but especially in the way the business is conducted. Work towards transparent criteria, accountability, fair compensation, quality contracts ect. is all things that is important to create a sustainable business platform for library composers, libraries themselves as well as their clients.

    If you write for libraries already, what do you know that should be more broadly shared?
    Making good report, build solid connections, take your time to do proper research (MLR is GREAT for that!), join a common interest in library clients needs and not just the deal at hand (thus my suggestions above about getting to know more about the clients), Im not in a PMA library as I write – but working together is important, good communication. Library music is all about useful music, and less about music that stands out on its own, so collaboration and good communication with libraries can really bring out more useful productions.

    If you don’t write for them already, what would you need to know before you jumped in?
    Basicly more transparency, more information. I would like to know the incentive to why I would sign, the ROI (tying work up exclusively is a BIG deal), what contacts do they have, what productions are they in, what are they looking for, who are they, what backgrounds do they have, what affiliations do they have, where are they present (events, conferences, US only, EU, World). More web, more video, more prescence – like other businesses in competition. Just get more of a feeling for them, I guess.

    Well, it’s my take on this. Maybe not so interesting in itself, but maybe as part of a wider data set. Thanks for your prescence at MLR, I really appreciate your perspective in the forums as well.

    #28821 Reply

    Art Munson
    Keymaster

    Hi Paolo, don’t really keep track of what’s going on with the PMA.

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