Should a publishing administrator handle my royalties?

Publishing administrator companiesIn a post last year explaining music publishing, I weighed the pros and cons of having a publishing administrator collect your mechanical and performance royalties. Music distributors like CD Baby and TuneCore offer this feature, but there are also dedicated publishing administrators such as SongTrust. I decided I would conduct a limited experiment to determine if it was worth it. Now I have the results of that experiment. Continue reading →

Licensing music for my new song–should I do it?

Microphone / Licensing TracksA couple of young performers I know—a singer and and a rapper—recently exposed me to the concept of licensing music tracks from a producer. I’m not talking about royalty-free music or beats, for which you pay a flat fee. No, these fully-realized tracks are governed by narrow limitations where the producer has complete control and the artist almost none. I want to talk about how these are usually a terrible idea for recording artists. Continue reading →

Susan Rogers talks about Prince and music

Susan Rogers at Loop 2017Susan Rogers is a remarkable person. After a successful career as a music engineer and producer, she retired from the industry, using royalties from producing the Barenaked Ladies to become a scientist. She earned a doctorate in psychology from McGill University, studying music cognition and psychoacoustics, and currently teaches at Berklee College of Music. Prince fans know her through her work during the period that produced a series of amazing, famous albums. The opportunity came about by chance when Prince hired her as his audio technician during the making of Purple Rain. She rapidly transitioned to become his engineer, effectively taking part in the creation of music by one of the most significant musicians in our lifetime. In an engaging interview at Loop 2017, she addresses wide-ranging topics about music. Continue reading →

What happened to our music habits?

Music habits by revenueIf you’re interested in what’s happened to our music habits over the past four to five decades, look at this graph from the the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). It tells an interesting and sobering story about how technology has changed our habits. The graph represents music revenues in inflation-adjusted dollars between 1973 and 2018. This is the income that songwriters and recording artists receive from sales of their music. Record labels take the biggest chunk of this income, of course, but you can see how overall revenue has dwindled after its peak at the millennium. Continue reading →