Web directories Web Analytics Learning Guitar-Making Your Own Music Learning Guitar-Making Your Own Music: 04/01/2012 - 05/01/2012Learning Guitar-Making Your Own Music

Monday, April 30, 2012

Secondary Publishing Income

Printed Music

Here is a look at some other sources of income when making your own music. The majority of printed music revenues comes from sheet music. When making your own music, single songs in print is a nice way to earn income as a writer/musician. Collections of songs by a number of different artists and writers are called mixed folios. Another type is a matching folio, which has all songs of a particular album. Matching folios are usually printed with the album artwork on the cover and various posed candid shots of the artist inside.


The royalties paid to a publisher for single song sheet music are 20% of the marked retail price. If the sheet music has a $3.95 retail price, so the publisher gets about 80 cents. Royalties on folios are 10% to 12.5% of the marked retail price. Most retail selling price is around $24.95. A personality folio is one that has the picture of the performing artist plastered all over it. For personal folios an additional royalty is 5% of the marked retail selling price. This royalty goes to the artist.


Licenses for print music are for limited periods of time, usually three to five years. Because of this, you have to spell out what a printer can do with the stuff at the end of the term. Certainly they can't manufacture any more inventory, but can they continue to sell what they have?
     Normally these licenses give the printer a right to sell their existing inventory for a period of six to twelve months after the term expires. These rights are non-exclusive (meaning someone else can sell the same materials at the same time). At the end of the six to twelve months, they have to trash anything left over. For folios, the printers try not to have any time limit on their sell off rights.

Home Recording Software

If you want a great home recording software, I recommend this software to record right from home without a fancy studio. Check it out here. Recording software.

*Author, Arian Collin is a independent manager for bands and solo artists in the music industry.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Motion Picture Performance Monies

Motion Picture Performance Monies

Due to some fancy footwork by the film industry a number of years ago ASCAP and BMI are not permitted to collect public performance monies when making your own music and your songs are in motion pictures. There seems to be no logical reason for this. It is just political and historically not done. However, foreign territories have never bought into this nonsense, and motion picture performance monies are very significant. The fees are collected by local societies, then paid over to ASCAP and BMI.

     Foreign film performance monies are percentage of the box office receipts, which means they generate a good amount of green. How much? Well, the composer of a major smash film score can earn hundreds of thousands of dollars in foreign performance monies alone.

Which Society Is Best

This is hard to tell. The best gauge is to look at cross-registered songs, which means a song that is registered with both ASCAP and BMI. This happens when a song is owned by an ASCAP and BMI publisher. If a song is owned 50% with BMI and 50% with ASCAP, each publisher must match that of the writer. With cross-registered songs, ASCAP collects half of the song and remits to the ASCAP writer/publisher on the same song, each independent of the other so we get to see who pays more.

    In the comparisons I've seen, ASCAP seems to do a bit better in general, but for some compositions, BMI beats them. Also, BMI changes its payment schedule periodically. Thus there are no hard and fast rules. 

Home Recording Software

     Here is the best value to record music at home effective and with a high quality of sound. Home recording software can be expensive, This one is under 40 bucks! Have a look here. Dub Turbo.

*Author Arian Collin is a independent manager for bands and solo artist. Mr. Collin is highly knowledgeable in music law.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Allocation of License

     So here are the societies sitting with those millions of dollars of license fees when making your own music. how do you know how much to pay each publisher and writer? First, the monies are used to pay the operating expenses of the society. Then, everything left over is divided among the participants (ASCAP and BMI are non-profit, so everything not used for expenses gets paid out; SESAC is privately owned and operated for profit, so they don't distribute all the money). The division is based only on radio airplay, television airplay and touring if you are an artist who performs his or her own compositions in live concerts, but you're not on the radio or TV, you can sometimes make special arrangements with BMI (but not ASCAP) to get paid. So, you ask, how do they know how much a song is played on the radio or on tv?

1. Radio
BMI requires its licensee radio stations to keep logs of all the musical compositions they play. This is done on a rotating basis, from station to station, and each station has to log for three days each year. BMI then projects from these logs to the whole country. As a check against the logs, BMI uses a services that digitally listens to certain stations. The digital magician matches the songs to a database and reports what it hears. ASCAP doesn't have stations keep logs. They use a digital monitoring service to scour hundreds of thousands of hours, then extrapolate for the rest of the country.

2. Television
TV stations are required to keep cue sheets, which are lists of every musical composition used, how long it was played, and how it was used (theme song, background, performed visually, etc.). The cue sheets are then filed with the societies and there are specific dollar amounts paid for each type of use. The amount also varies with the size of the broadcast area (local pays a lot less than network).

3. Touring
The societies now pay based on domestic live performances, but it's only for the top tow hundred grossing tours as reported in a magazine called Pollstar. They pay based on set lists-lists of the songs played by the band involved-which they get from either the venues or artist's management.

4. Muzak
Muzak, your source of fine music in elevators, grocery stores, and waiting rooms is also logged separately.

BMI pays bonuses for musical compositions that are performed heavily. and this can result in substantially increases in the amount of performance monies paid. ASCAP has no such concept, but its fees tend to be comparable anyway. Both societies pay quarterly and both societies pay about nine months to a year after the quarter in which monies are received.

When making your own music, it is crucial to join BMI or ASCAP!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Making Your Own Music-Performing Rights

Performing Rights Society
When making your own music, there are major performing rights societies in the United States. ASCAP standing for American Society of Composers, for authors and publishers. BMI standing for Broadcast Music Incorporated and SESAC. Of the three ASCAP and BMI are by far the largest, as SESAC has only about 1% of all performing rights. Virtually every foreign country has the equivalent for its own territory, most of which are government affiliated, such as SACEM for France, BUMA for Holland, PRS for the UK. The societies go to each publisher and say "Give us the right to license performing rights in all your songs." We'll then go to the people who want to use them like radio stations, nightclubs, etc. For each license we'll collect fees, divide them up, and send you your share of the cut. And this is exactly what happens. Publishers sign up with ASCAP, BMI, or SESAC, who then issues license to the users, collects the monies, and pays publishers. This is a vital component you need to know as an artist. Here is a great home recording software for it's value.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Making Your Own Music-Videos

Making Your Own Music-Videos

The first draft of almost every controlled composition clause requires you to license your songs for free in videos when making your own music. Here are two parts to video creating:

1. Promotional usage.
I don't think it's unreasonable to give the company a free promotional video license. When it's using the video to promote your records, it's not making any money.

2. Commercial usage.
When it comes to commercial usages, you should argue for some compensation. At present, the only meaningful commercial usage is home video distribution. For this, independent publishers usually get in the range of 8 cents to 15 cents per song. Also, there is almost always a 10,000 to 15,000 unit guarantee, meaning, for example if you got 12 cents per unit and a 10,000 unit guarantee, you would get a $1,200 advance. (12 cents times 10,000 units). In addition, they often get something called a fixing fee, which is non-recoupable payment for fixing songs in the video. These normally range from $250 to $500 per song.
     It's very difficult to get compensation for home video if you're not the artist, for the simple reason that companies don't like to do it. Remember, your video royalty as an artist includes publishing money, so in one sense you'd be taking it from yourself. However, publishing royalties are paid prior to recoupment, while video royalties aren't. So if you can get something here, it's worth the fight. However, it is tough to get.

     There are a number of websites that stream video on demand. MSN, Yahoo, AOL and others. The record companies take the position that your artist royalty includes any publishing monies like home video sales, so you don't get anything extra. Try to resist, but it's not easy. U.S. Congress added digital downloads to the compulsory mechanical license. This is called DPD(digital phonorecord delivery).
This provisions says that any contract made after June 22, 1995 can't reduce the mechanical rate you get on DPD's. In other words, even if your controlled composition clause requires you to give the company a 3/4 rate for songs on your CDs. you get a full rate on downloads. This is great for you.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Making Your Own Music-Multiple Albums

Making Your Own Music-Multiple Albums
Home Recording Software

     When making your own music most controlled composition clauses don't distinguish between normal albums and multiple albums. If you don't raise the issue, you'll have a ten-song mechanical limit on multiple albums that can have twenty or more songs. If you ask, you may get more that a "ten times" limit, but it won't be "twenty times": The companies will only increase the mechanical royalties in the same proportion that the wholesale price increases over that of a single-disc album. For example, if a single disc is $10, and a double album is $11, you would get 11/10, or 110% the ratio that $11 for the double album bears to $10 for the single of the mechanical royalties payable for a single album. This formula is very similar to the one used for your artist royalties on the multiple albums. If there is no price increase, you won't get any more mechanicals in your contract, but you can often work it out when you start to record the multiple album. This can be serious business if you have a lot of outside songs, because the outsiders will insist on getting paid and it comes out of you. For example, if there are sixteen songs and six are outsiders, all six are excess of the allowed ten and would be deducted from mechanicals leaving only four songs worth of mechanicals for your ten songs. If you pay the outsiders full statutory, while your limit is ten times 75% of statutory, you're even further in the hole! So, if you have an attack of multiple-albums-itis, negotiate the mechanicals with your record company, and ideally with the outsiders as well, before you start. Box-set mechanicals are specifically negotiated when the package is put together.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Making Your Own Music-Maximun Rate Per Album

Making Your Own Music-Maximum Rate Per Album
Home Recording Software

     Standard clause. All controlled composition clauses impose a limit on the total mechanicals for each album when making your own music. This is what is called a cap. It's usually ten times 75% of the statutory rate (or ten times the full rate if your per-song rate isn't reduced). This is known as a ten times rate, meaning you get ten times the single song rate. Note that this is in addition to, an independent of, the per-song limit. In other words, you must deliver each song at the specified single song rate, no matter what the total album limit, but you can't exceed the total album limit no matter delivering, for example, fourteen songs at 75% rate, which totals more than the company is willing to pay, even though you haven't exceeded your per-song limit. All of these limits are based on a multiple on the minimum statutory rate (the rate for songs five minutes and under). Nowadays, it's common for CDs to have anywhere from eleven to fourteen songs. So you should always try for more then a ten-times limit. New artists, get use to ten times. With clout, you can edge up to eleven or twelve times, and occasionally a little more. Wherever you end up, you can see that it's pretty easy to slide right over the limit. Let me show you what happens when you do. This is not a good sight. Just for consistency in the examples, I'm going to assume that you have a maximum album rate of ten times 75% of statutory, or 68.2 cents. The same principles apply even if it's a different limit eleven times 75%, or ten times full statutory, but let's use the ten times 75%.

No Limit on Non-Controlled Songs. As your bargaining power goes up, you may be able to get a clause with no limit on outside compositions (other that statutory rate), even if you have a 75% statutory limit on controlled compositions. The catch is that you can't exceed the overall limit for the album (which in our example is ten times 75% of the statutory rate). This sounds a bit odd at first, but it's much better for you than a flat 75% of statutory limit on each composition. The advantage is that you can now pay the outside publishers full statutory without reducing your royalties, because you're not limited on outside songs as long as you stay under the album limit. Here are some numbers:

     4 outside songs at statutory (4 times 9.1 cents)     36.40 cents
     4 controlled compositions (4 times 75% of 9.1 cents)     27.28

     total mechanicals payable     63.68cents
     maximum allowed (10 times 75% of 9.1 cents)     68.25 cents

Note the amount payable (63.68 cents) is less than the maximum allowed for the album (68.25 cents), which is ten times 75% of 9.1 cents. So you get the full 27.28 cents for your songs, which is 75% of statutory. This contrasts with the result under the clause where you got less at (18.16 cents) for the exact same album. And by the way, the extra 9.1 cents can add up to a hefty sum if you sell millions of albums. On the other hand, if the mechanical royalties total more than the ten times 75% of statutory under this clause, the excess comes out of your royalties. So if you pay outsiders at the statutory rate, you either have to put fewer than ten songs on your album. or else take a reduced rate on your songs. For example, if there were five outside songs and five controlled compositions, you would get less than 75% of the statutory for the controlled songs under the same clause. This is because the maximum per-album rate applies to all of the compositions under the restriction, even when there is none under maximum-rate-per-song provisions. Here are the numbers:

     5 outside songs at statutory (5 times 9.1 cents)     43.50 cents
     5 controlled compositions (5 times 75% of 9.1 )     34.12 cents

     total     79.62 cents

     maximum allowed (10 times 75% of 9.1 cents)     68.25 cents
     less: amounts due outside songs (5 times 9.1 cents)     45.50 cents

     total     22.75 cents

So, for each of your songs, you don't get 75% statutory (6.82 cents), but rather only 4.55 cents (22.75 cents divided among five songs).

No Penalty for a Limited Number of Outside Songs. The next step up is to say that you can pay statutory rate for the outside songs, and that you're allowed to exceed the overall album limit on order to pay this to the outsiders. If you can get this, it's usually limited to one or two songs per album. This concept is easier to understand. Assume your overall album limit is ten times 75% of statutory  (68.25 cents). If you have ten songs on your album, and two are outside songs licensed at statutory, you exceed the maximum by the difference between the 75% limit and the full statutory amount (100%) that has to be paid for each of the two outside songs. (the difference is the 100% paid less the 75% maximum, or 25% of statutory, for each of the two songs).

     8 controlled compositions (8 times 75% of 9.1 cents)     54. 60 cents
     2 outside songs at statutory (2 times 9.1 cents)     18.20 cents

     total     72.80 cents
maximum allowed (10 times 75% of 9.1 cents)     68.20 cents

excess     4.60 cents

No Penalty for Any Outside Songs. With still more clout, you can get a clause that allows you an overall album limit of ten times the full statutory rate, even though controlled songs are limited to 75%. This  means you're not penalized at all for outside songs (unless you exceed ten songs on the album, or unless you have outside songs over five minutes in long). Here is an example:

     5 outside songs at statutory (5 times 9.1 cents)     45.50 cents
     5 controlled compositions (5 times 75% of 9.1 cents)     34.12 cents

     total mechanicals payable     79.62 cents
     maximum allowed (10 times 9.1 cents)     91 cents

Since the maximum allowed (91 cents) is now more than the amounts payable for both outside and controlled songs, you get the full 34, 12 cents (five times 75% of statutory) for your songs. To wrap this all up, the only limit is ten, eleven or twelve if you get it. However, you still have to live with the minimum statutory rate. Next, I will discuss multiple albums.