Thursday, May 29, 2014

Music Business/Law Tips - "Royalty Streams"

If an artist is fortunate enough to write, produce, record and release a song that connects with the public he/she can earn income from many different sources. The primary income streams are as follows: 1. Mechanical (i.e., songwriter) income from sales of CDs and downloads 2. Radio airplay (i.e., performance) income [BMI or ASCAP] 3. Performer income from sales of CDs and downloads 4. Streaming income from listens 5. SoundExchange income from digital radio (i.e., Sirius/XM) 6. Producer royalties from sales of CDs and downloads 7. Synch income (i.e., use in TV/film/ads) Now go get that mailbox money! Ben McLane Esq

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Music Business/Law Tips - "Foreign Entertainer/Artist Visa"

A foreign entertainer/artist must obtain an O1B Visa in order to legally stay and work in the US for an extended period of time. The entertainer/artist must file an O1B application with the US Immigration Office to begin the process. An O1B Visa is only granted to someone who can prove they have “extraordinary ability in the arts”, have “national or international acclaim” and a “record of prominence in his/her field.” Bottom line the Immigration Office is very strict about who they issue a Visa to (especially after 9/11), so the applicant has to be very careful with the paperwork submitted. There are lot of people trying to get these Visas who don’t really deserve them, so the applicant has to find a way to set him/herself apart from the pack so it’s clear he/she is worthy. The main thing the application needs to show is real evidence of working and making some kind of artistic/valuable contribution in the US. Normally an experienced immigration attorney who has dealt with entertainers/artists is recommended to assist with the process. Since the process can take some time, its best to apply early to make sure future plans are not screwed up by a rejection. Ben McLane Esq

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Music Business/Law Tips - Streaming Income

With the decline of CD sales and slow down of digital downloads, it seems that “streaming’ of music is becoming a dominant business model/way to make money off music (and there are no returns or packaging deductions). Industry reports that billions of dollars could be made off the streaming of music (combined), and perhaps this might even get bigger. The problem is that major labels received monetary “advances” from large streaming companies like Spotify to license them the right to stream their catalogs – but the terms of those deals were secret and none of that income has trickled down to the artists (yet). Where does the money go and how/when will it be split in the future? This is a big deal and a question no one has yet really been able to firmly answer. Certainly, transparency of the labels’ books would help, and it would also be great if artists could do their own direct deals with Spotify or get paid their share direct (like how SoundExchange or BMI does it). Hopefully a few big name artists will make some noise soon to help push through some changes/industry standards in this area so artists can continue to make a living. Ben McLane Esq