ASCAP, BMI creating joint music database

Set to go live by end of 2018

ASCAP and BMI, the nation’s two leading performing rights organizations, have joined forces to create a single, comprehensive database of musical works from their combined repertories that will deliver an authoritative view of ownership shares in the vast majority of music licensed in the United States.

As you know, virtually all other countries get by with one P.R.O.  The USA has three: ASCAP, BMI and SESAC. Actually, there are four, if you include Global Music Rights (GMR) an invitation-only organization formed by Irving Azoff in 2013. Although all the P.R.O.s have a good working relationship, there have been limited instances of any of them truly working together. Until now.

We now have what appears to be good news for songwriters, publishers and those wishing to more easily identify information to, say, acquire sync licenses. The announcement came a few days after news that Rep Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis) had introduced the Transparency in Music Licensing and Ownership Act that was not viewed favorably by the P.R.O.s representing songwriters and publishers.

Predictably, the lawmakers who sponsored the bill reacted negatively to the announcement from the P.R.O.s. Also expressing a negative opinion was the Music Innovation Consumer (MIC) Coalition. MIC is an organization that lobbies on behalf of the radio and tech sectors, such as the Digital Media Association and the National Association of Broadcasters.

ASCAP, BMI issue joint statement

The remainder of this post mostly contains the text of a joint release issued by ASCAP and BMI on June 26, 2017.  You can read the original release at ASCAP’s website here and at BMI’s website here.

Elizabeth Matthews, ASCAP CEO

Expected to launch in the fourth quarter of 2018, the first-of-its-kind database will feature aggregated song ownership data from ASCAP and BMI and offer greater transparency to music users and the industry.  The announcement was made today by Elizabeth Matthews, CEO, ASCAP and Mike O’Neill, President and CEO, BMI.

Michael O’Neill, BMI CEO

A cross functional team of copyright, technical and data experts from BMI and ASCAP began working on the project over one year ago in anticipation of the demand from licensees and the industry for more clarity around ownership shares.  The database, which will be publicly available initially via ASCAP’s and BMI’s websites, will feature aggregated information from BMI’s and ASCAP’s repertories and will indicate where other performing rights organizations may have an interest in a musical work. The joint database will serve as a foundation that can evolve to include a broader range of music information across the entire industry.

Matthews commented, “ASCAP and BMI are proactively and voluntarily moving the entire industry a step forward to more accurate, reliable and user-friendly data. We believe in a free market with more industry cooperation and alignment on data issues.  Together, ASCAP and BMI have the most expertise in building and managing complex copyright ownership databases. With our combined experience, we are best positioned to make faster headway in creating a robust, cost effective market solution to meet the needs of the licensing marketplace.” Continue reading “ASCAP, BMI creating joint music database”

It’s NAMM Show time again!

Music Industry Day will be open to the public

The 2017 NAMM Show is heading back to Nashville’s Music City Center, July 13-15, and is set to welcome a variety of music legends including Charley Pride.  As always, it will be a ‘must’ event for members of Nashville’s music community.

The National Association of Music Merchants Inc (NAMM) will be showcasing a complete product landscape while celebrating the local community music store and honoring the industry’s Top 100 Dealers. The annual summer gathering of the music product, pro audio and entertainment tech community brings together top brands, professional development sessions and an opportunity to network with peers, with Music City as the backdrop.

Charley Pride set for July 7

Charley Pride. Photo: Ben DeRienzo

This year’s show will feature a special performance from country music pioneer and multi-Grammy® award winner, Charley Pride, who will release his new album, “Music in My Heart” on July 7. Pride continues to perform concerts worldwide and will perform on Saturday, July 15 at 1:00 p.m. on the NAMM Reverb Stage on the Terrace as part of the show’s Music Industry Day.

Attendance at NAMM trade shows is restricted to owners, suppliers, employees, endorsed artists and guests of NAMM member companies. However, on the final day, July 15, NAMM is open to the public and welcomes and invites musicians, songwriters, sound and recording professionals, music educators and students to experience Music Industry Day. There will be a chance to attend workshops, check out the new gear and enjoy artist performances.

Music Industry Day offered a once-a-year opportunity to demo new music instruments and products, attend workshops, enjoy live performances, and network with industry leaders at Summer NAMM, an exclusive, trade-only event.  You may pick up your Summer NAMM Music Industry Day passes at Badge Will Call beginning at 9 am on Saturday, July 15. Passes are $10 in advance; $20 on the day of the event. All sales are final.  To purchase tickets and to read details about NAMM’s Music Industry Day, click here.

Music Career Workshops at NAMM Show

In addition to musical instrument and product demos from more than 1,600 music product brands, Music Industry Day features workshops designed to bolster careers in music. Learn more here … But wait, there’s more! The 34th Annual American Eagle Awards, presented by the National Music Council, brought major star power to NAMM’s Music Industry Day. The awards honor individuals and institutions that have made comprehensive contributions to musical life in America. More about the National Music Council here.

Music Biz 2017 hits Nashville in May

Hope to see you there!

If you have any connection to the music industry – or if you want to increase your knowledge of how it works – you have a great opportunity coming up in the next couple of weeks.  I already have my ticket to Music Biz 2017 and I’m excited at the prospect of keeping current with whats happening.  Even after 27+ years in various aspects of the Nashville music scene, I know there’s still plenty to learn.  If you feel that way too, please read on.

FOUR DAYS OF MEETINGS, EDUCATION AND NETWORKING

Since moving the annual Music Biz convention to Nashville two years ago, attendance has grown by 50% … to 1,500. It’s the only music business event in North America that brings together the influential decision-makers from the commerce, content and creative communities under one roof for four productive days of meetings, education and networking.

You can find a complete schedule of events for Music Biz 2017 here. Just take a quick glance and you can see that this could be a great investment of your time and money if you have any involvement in music. Continue reading “Music Biz 2017 hits Nashville in May”

Your music IS your business

Don’t leave your career in the hands of others

“With an artist, everything is hunky-dory until he wakes up and can’t pay his rent. Everything is hunky-dory until he wakes up and realizes he got ripped off.   I mean, you always get these artists who say, ‘I dunno man, I just play the music. I don’t know anything about the business.’ But if you ask a guy who owns a restaurant and he says, ‘Oh, I just cook the food, I don’t know anything about the business’ – that restaurant is gonna fail, y’know?”

Joe Bonamassa, blues guitarist and songwriter, interviewed by Henry Yates in The Blues Magazine.

Blues guitarist and songwriter, Joe Bonamassa

Everyone starting out on a career in music should pay attention to those words of wisdom from Joe Bonamasso, who began playing the guitar at the age of four and opened for blues icon B.B. King when he was twelve years old. It would have been easy for him to concentrate solely on his guitar playing and leave the business side of his career in the hands of others.

But, from an early age, he saw what happened to artists who knew little or nothing about the business side of their own careers. When other people are controlling your management, your bookings, your publishing, your copyrights and your royalties, there’s a good chance that they are more focused on their own interests rather than on yours.

Your music is your business

Of course, as your career expands, you won’t be able to personally handle absolutely everything entirely by yourself: you will need to utilize the expertise of others who are professionals in their field. But it is still essential that you have at least a working knowledge of the major aspects of the music business.

With that knowledge, you can protect yourself from being taken advantage of; you can review documents before you sign, ask questions that demonstrate your familiarity with the subject. In short, treat your music career as your business – because that’s what it is – and you greatly reduce the risk of getting ripped off.