Adventures in Music Licensing March 2019 Vol. 7, No. 3
Adventures in Music Licensing
March 2019 Vol. 7, No. 3
* Happy St. Patricks Day! I hope everyone is doing well, and you are making great, successful tracks!
* UPDATE: My score for "As the Earth Turns", the 1938 unreleased silent film, is now in 61 film festivals (and counting), won 66 awards/nominations including 18 for best score! I will have some very exciting announcements soon about NW premieres of the film.
* Welcome new readers!Please email any questions about licensing. I am always happy to respond (and it will go into the next newsletter) Look deep into this newsletter. There are some real gems of info here.
* I continue to meet individually with folks that have taken my licensing class, along with newbies.The info is continually changing (as you can tell from this newsletter!) You are welcome to schedule a time to meet. I prefer to meet in Edmonds, in my studio. We can take a listen and analyze at your music for licensing potential. I have time most days, including weekends. Phone and Skype are available for those people not in the Pacific NW.
* The next licensing class is this Sat, May 11, 2019.Please share this with any musicians, bands, songwriters or composers you know in the Pacific Northwest. If you live outside of the Pacific NW, I am going to take my class on the road. Please email me, if you have any connections with music schools in your area. I can offer a combination morning Licensing Workshop, and afternoon Percussion Clinic!
* I would very much appreciate any testimonials you have about the class.This feedback helps with promoting future classes. Please email me (see below).
Recent adventures in licensing:
I got a nice check from the NW library, Audiosocket. It included a web placement for an older track, “Game Show Theme”. Previously, that track was used, infamously, in “Katie Morgan’s, Sex Tips” on HBO. All I can say, is it involved Stephen Colbert!
* I was just contacted by a pitching portal to be part of a composer’s feature. They want samples, pics, etc. Could be interesting. More info as I know it!
* Speaking of portals, Musicgateway is becoming a bit of a music library, similar to Songtradr. Both companies have spent a few years gathering tracks from composers and songwriters, so it makes sense that they aggregate the tracks. Their portals are already excellent metadata filled databases. Whether they can get the gigs, who knows. I do wonder what existing libraries think about it? TAXI has always avoided this, but simply being a connection between artist and client, with no percentages, commissions, etc. We shall see which model survives in the future!
* I just set up a release on CD Baby for another album, "Moving Images II, Cinematic Jazz". The first Moving Images one was solo piano. I'm making a point to get my tracks out for sale, even if they are film/TV style. You never know where they will lead! More next month. (I may compare Songtradr with CDBaby for album distribution). Some money (nothing big) is coming in via CDBaby for previous releases.
* I just spent the last hour putting together a very quick brass and percussion version of “Anchors Aweigh”for a custom library request. It’s for a network series. We’ll see if it gets the gig!
Tales from the Tech-Side:
* What kind of headphone do YOU use? Personally, I’ve been using Ultrasone headphones (PRO750). A few years ago, when I was running my drum shop, I connected with the company and got a few pairs for myself and friends. They really are incredible. A good set of cans can make or break your mixes. I prefer closed back, for mixing. Open doesn’t give me enough bass, generally. I tend to mix about 1/2 through speakers (YAMAHA HS80M) and 1/2 through phones. https://ultrasone.com
Questions from the Audience:(please email!)
Should I get a business license for my publishing company? J.D.
Assuming you have created one (yes, you should create one), my opinion is, yes. It will cost some money (about $100 one time in WA State). You will need to check out your trade name against both the state and the federal trademarks and patents office. It’s better to make sure your name is clear. ASCAP and BMI also will check the name against their other publishers. Contact your PRO for the best way to do this. It may be a bit of a chicken/egg thing. business license will let you open business account, have checks made out to it, make your accountant happy, etc. If you are doing other business in the state/city, you may have to report some taxes. Most B&O taxes (Business and Occupation) are very low, so you probably won’t meet the minimums for a long time. Technically, any gigging and teaching would be added in. You are a professional, right? Maybe it’s time to make your business professional. If you work with clients directly, having a business can really help your overall presentation, too.
Should I put my tracks in exclusive or non-exclusive music libraries?
I prefer non, so I can shop my tracks elsewhere. Exclusive can work for me, especially if it's by request. What I do not like is sending exclusive tracks to a library without a live pitch going on. I also prefer to take the track back, if the pitch doesn't work. Some libraries let you do that ("spec"). Retitles (non-exclusive, that keeps publishing with a different track name) does work well for me. I don't worry about whether my tracks will compete from different libraries. Eventually, it may become more difficult with digital tracking. The other thing I do look for is what kind of music and pitches are going on. Is the library selling their entire library for a low price, or even free? That can really bring the pricing down on tracks. If they are doing that, is there a back-end? If not, then you make no money upfront or in royalties. That can really be dead end. Check the website of the library. Look at it from the clients side. See what they are paying. Low cost royalty-free libraries sell tracks very cheaply. It can make money, but it may decrease the value of your tracks, especially if they are in different libraries.
Keep the questions & comments coming, and I will answer as best as possible. (I may use them in my newsletters, anonymously)
Hey-I gotta make money, too! If you have learned anything from these newsletters please check out my SWAG! Get Free Shipping! Use Code “FREESHIP319465c52” Order minimum $45 US/$80 INTL. Ends Mar 31 '19 11:59PM CDT. Excludes INTL Wall Art and Shoes. https://edhartmanmusic.threadless.com/
I am always available for one-on-one consultation, in person or via phone or Skype (call or email to set up)
One hour: $70.00
Two hours: $120.00
Groups: contact for price
I will be happy to critique your music, make recommendations for marketing, suggest libraries to put you music in, help figure out studio configurations (although I am not a heavy tech person. I can recommend people, though), and give you general career advice. If you are interested, please call or email.
Joke/Quote of the week:
It's taken me all my life to learn what not to play. Dizzy Gillespie