MUC 109 LEC4. Business Of Songwriting


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The Business Aspects of Professional Songwriting

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MUC 109 LEC4. Business Of Songwriting

  1. 1. Music Business Essentials The Business of P f f Professional i l Songwriting © 2006
  2. 2. The Song • A Musical Work- aka “Song” is an original composition, generally including lyrics and music • The professional songwriting p p g g process begins g with original compositions/songs that will be performed in public and/or recorded & distributed to the public • When a song is p g purchased, licensed, performed or recorded, it enters the marketplace, and is considered, “published” “ bli h d” © 2006
  3. 3. Professional Songwriting • Songwriting, Copyright, and Music Publishing go hand in hand • Music Publishing is the sector of the music business dedicated to “exploiting” or optimizing the placement and revenue-generating ability of songs • Songwriters, Publishers, Recording g , , g Artists and Record Labels are, generally, in the major music cities: LA, NY, Nashville. © 2006
  4. 4. Professional Songwriting Types of professional songwriters: • Singer/Songwriter performs/records own compositions f / d iti • Non-performing Songwriter gives compositions to Recording/Performing Artists to record and perform • Commercial Composers will write original material f specific for f commercial projects- TV, Film, etc. • Song Doctors will edit and arrange others’ songs © 2006
  5. 5. Who uses Songwriters? • Popular commercial music genres have typical songwriting arrangements • Certain genres use more non-performing songwriters than others… • Rock, Rap artists typically write their own material • Country, Pop performers often seek material from outside songwriters or they collaborate with other songwriters © 2006
  6. 6. Collaboration in Songwriting • Professional songwriting is often done in collaboration… with other songwriters; or with established recording artists • Benefits are networking, discipline, support, increased chances for success • Co-writer agreements (legal contract) should be in place before the writing process begins; keep detailed notes • Co-writers generally share ownership g y p (copyright) of joint finished piece; unless otherwise stated in co-writer agreement © 2006
  7. 7. Songwriting Deals Different business arrangements in professional songwriting: •Publishing Deals •Work for Hire •Staff position with a publisher •Self-Publishing © 2006
  8. 8. Song Revenues Publishing Deals: • Advances and/or Royalties Work For Hire Fees: • When a Songwriter/Composer is hired, for a one-time payment, to create a specific composition Or hired as a full-time employee Staff Salary- writer, editor • Often, Often treated as an advance against future royalties © 2006
  9. 9. Song Revenues How much does a Song make? • A writer gets paid every ti it t id time a song or a sample of a song is: • Sold as Sheet Music • Used in a Recording • Played in Public • Played in Synchronization with timed images y y g © 2006
  10. 10. Song Revenues How much d H h does a Song make? S k ? • For Recordings – • Example 1: Physical and Digital- Gold • Rate= between 7.5 cents & 9.1 cents for each song (500,000 units sold) $45,000 • Split with Publisher & Co-Writers • Example 2: Ringtones p g • Rate= between 10-12 cents or 10% of retail (500,000 units sold) $45,000-$145,000 • Split with Publisher & Co-Writers © 2006
  11. 11. Song Revenues How much does a Song make? • For Synchronization – between 0 cents & several million dollars pe so g su s are ego a ed per song- sums a e negotiated • For Performance Royalties – between 0 cents & several million dollars per year year- sums are calculated via formulas created with logs, cue sheets airplay tracking logs sheets, © 2006
  12. 12. Resources for Songwriters •Songwriters Guild of America Songwriters •American Songwriter Magazine •Performing Rights O P f i Ri ht Organizations (PRO ) i ti (PROs)- ASCAP, BMI, SESAC •Tip sheets/pitch sheets- •Rowfax (M i R R f ( ) • SongQuarters • Songlink International •News on the Charts •My Hit Factory © 2006
  13. 13. Resources for Songwriters Songwriting Conferences —ASCAP, ASCAP BMI ,SESAC Workshops, Durango Songwriters Conference, West Coast Songwriters Conference Songwriting Workshops MCC Songwriting Workshops- Classes, Berklee Music School,, Jeffrey Steele Bootcamp, Songwriting Critiques- Nashville Songwriter’s Association, Nash ille Song riter’s Association Jason Blume, West Coast Songwriters Local Songwriting Organizations — Arizona Songwriters, © 2006
  14. 14. Resources for Songwriters •Music Publishing Companies: –Cherry Lane Cherry –Bug Music –Song Publishing Song P blishing –Warner/Chappell –BMG Music Publishing (E BMG M i P bli hi (Europe) ) –Dreamworks SKG Music Publishing –EMI Music Publishing –Universal Music Publishing Group © 2006
  15. 15. APPENDIX: Tips for Starting A Songwriting Career © 2006
  16. 16. Become a Pro Songwriter • Begin by creating your own original songs - PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE your craft • Determine whether you will work alone or in partnership(s) • B sure to have a signed co-writer contract Be t h i d it t t in place BEFORE you start collaborating • To find co writers join local songwriting co-writers, groups post in classifieds like, take songwriting classes, go to conferences and workshops • Apply for copyright registration at to enforce protection t i ht t f t ti for your work © 2006
  17. 17. Become a Pro Songwriter 4. 4 Consider setting up a separate, separate formal business entity for your songwriting pursuits 5. Determine whether you will perform your own songs or ask another artist to t perform them for you f th f 6. Find performing artists via songwriting workshops, workshops open mics, good demo studios etc. mics etc 7. Create a demo recording to share with industry executives 8. Publish your songs- alone or with a publisher 9. R i t 9 Register your song(s) with a PRO ( ) ith 10. Collect your revenue © 2006
  18. 18. For Educational Use Only DO NOT COPY OR DISTRIBUTE This slide presentation is part of the Music Business Essentials series Contact i f @ i bi l for more information © 2006