Sunday, January 25, 2015

Music Business/Law Tips - Chart Changes

From 2015 onward, Billboard has changed their tally system as to the types of data that will be included in deciphering what records deserve to be on the Top 200 Album Chart. At least for the last 15 years or so, the Album Chart just included actual sales that could be verified by Sound Scan (i.e., bar code reads). Now, streaming (e.g., Spotify) and other digital metric data will also be included in the calculations. In particular, 1500 song streams will now equate to one album sale, and 10 digital single track tales will now equate to one album sale. It is anticipated that this modern system may skew the Chart toward new and younger acts like Ariana Grande who have a very active online audience. Ben McLane Esq

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Music Business/Law Tips - "Nightclub Performance Royalties"

For years when an artist or DJ performed his/her original songs in a nightclub/bar it was probably never logged as a “play” by the performance rights organizations such as BMI, ASCAP or SESAC (“PRO”), and thus no credit or royalties were earned since there was no accurate tracking system covering that space (like there is for radio and TV). That has now changed. There is a new product called “KUVO” (by Pioneer) that tracks each song played in a club via cloud-based/streaming technology. The data that KUCO collects can then be shared with the respective PRO. Since last year alone it is estimated that over $160 million was lost due to poor tracking methods in clubs, so this new technology is a ray of hope for songwriters to always get paid for their work. Of course, writers have to make their PRO aware of all their songs so that they are in the database to be matched/credited. Ben McLane Esq

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Music Business/Law Tips - "Music Libraries"

Having your songs in a music library can lead to placements in film, TV, advertisement and other media. Music libraries normally contain tons of music, either full songs (vocal and/or instrumental) and shorter “cues”. The library will need the ability to license both the master and the publishing for the titles it works. The library will license a piece of music to a user for a fee (which varies based on the license type). These days library music is organized digitally online by themes/streaming to make it easy for searching by a potential client (e.g., a music supervisor for a TV show or film) that wants to quickly listen to a piece to see if it fits the purpose. Cues are tagged with meta-data to narrow down searches. Common meta-data tags are: mood, sounds like, beats per minute, genre, instrumental, etc. The issues to consider when placing music into a library are: non-exclusive vs. exclusive, term, how many songs, income split, etc.). Ben McLane Esq.