Sir Paul McCartney's Life to be Turned Into Documentary 

Sir Paul McCartney's Life to be Turned Into Documentary

I admit it. When it comes to the life, music, and times of Sir Paul McCartney, I am a fanboy! Few have had a global and lasting impact with their music as has the formal Beatle. Now in his 70's, Sir Paul continues to create, perform, and inspire music lovers and musicians around the world. In fact, I just enjoyed listening to his latest album, "Egypt Station" (for about the one-hundredth time) on my flight home to Denver after performing a concert with my wife in Baltimore this weekend. Cheers to you, Sir Paul! May you and your music outlive us all!

Guest post by William Cole For Mailonline

He is one of the most iconic figures in music with a career spanning six decades. 

And Sir Paul McCartney is to have his life turned into a documentary that has been 12 years in the making. 

The Beatles legend, 77, who is still actively touring, will have his headline performance at this year's Glastonbury Festival captured by filmmaker Charlie Lightening as part of the upcoming film. 

'I've worked with Paul McCartney for 12 years and I followed him. I am still working with him, it's not finished. I'll be with him at Glastonbury,' project director Charlie said at the NMEs this week.

The film, which does not yet have a release date, includes interviews with the man himself and will look to cover Paul's decade in the Beatles, his second band Wings, and his subsequent solo career. 

'He's helped me with what I do and I adore him. He's trusted me and to have someone like that to see up close and work with – that's inspiring, it makes you better at what you are, it makes you want to be better.'

Sir Paul is considered one of the most successful songwriters and performers of all time, writing or co-writing 32 songs that reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100.

His song Yesterday is believed to be the most covered track in history, with over 1,600 recordings. 

And since leaving The Beatles - and later Wings - the rock veteran has had an accomplished solo career, performing almost 1,000 shows.

His appearance on Glastonbury's pyramid stage in June, following a headline performance in 2004, is expected to finalize the footage needed for Charlie's project.

Does Your Music Qualify For YouTube’s Content ID System?  

Does Your Music Qualify For YouTube’s Content ID System? 

The YouTube content ID fingerprinting system can enable content owners like artists and labels to identify and track the material that they own on the platform – provided, that is, that their music qualifies. 

Guest post by Randi Zimmerman of the Symphonic Blog 

YouTube’s Content ID is a digital fingerprinting system that content creators (like record labels and artists) can use to easily identify and manage their copyrighted content on YouTube. However, whether or not your music qualifies for YouTube’s ContentID is up to many different factors. Not sure if your music qualifies? Here’s what you need to know. 

Does Your Music Qualify for YouTube’s ContentID? 

Luckily for you, we have an additional post that dives deep into what YouTube’s Content ID is and how it works. If you need to refresh your memory, check out “What is YouTube’s Content ID”. 

How to qualify 

To qualify, copyright owners must have the exclusive rights to the material. Some examples of items that may not be exclusive include: 

mashups, “best of”s, compilations, and remixes of other works 
video gameplay, software visuals, trailers 
unlicensed music and video 
music or video that was licensed, but without exclusivity 
recordings of performances (including concerts, events, speeches, shows) 

—————— 

Learn more: 

Everything You Need to Know About YouTube Premieres 

YouTube Release Checklist 

Top 5 Tips for Boosting YouTube Views 

—————— 

YouTube Content ID through Symphonic 

Signing up for YouTube Content ID through Symphonic has several benefits: 

Percentage in payout is often superior to that of others monetization services 
We have a dedicated staff that will not only monetize your videos, but place fingerprints and look for other videos that YouTube’s fingerprinting program does not pick up 
As a distributed client of ours, we will scan each and every song in your catalogue to ensure that we either monetize or takedown any other videos uploaded by third party individuals 

If you’re not already signed up for YouTube Content ID, check out our FAQs and Sign Up process to get started!

Taylor Swift Signs Global Agreement With Universal Music Publishing Group  

Taylor Swift Signs Global Agreement With Universal Music Publishing Group 

Guest post by Tatiana Cirisano 

TAS Rights Management 

L-R: Troy Tomlinson, Jody Gerson, Taylor Swift and Sir Lucian Grainge. 

Taylor Swift has signed an exclusive global publishing deal with Universal Music Publishing Group, broadening her partnership with the Universal Music Group, where Republic Records currently serves as her U.S. label partner. 

“I’m proud to extend my partnership with Lucian Grainge and the Universal Music family by signing with UMPG, and for the opportunity to work with Jody Gerson, the first woman to run a major music publishing company,” Swift said in a press release. “Jody is an advocate for women’s empowerment and one of the most-respected and accomplished industry leaders.” 

She added that Universal Music Publishing Group Nashville chairman/CEO "Troy Tomlinson has been an amazing part of my team for over half my life and a passionate torchbearer for songwriters. It’s an honor to get to work with such an incredible team, especially when it comes to my favorite thing in the world: songwriting.” 

Added Gerson, UMPG chairman/CEO: “We are honored to welcome Taylor Swift to UMPG. Using her power and voice to create a better world, Taylor’s honest and brave songwriting continues to be an inspiration to countless fans. We look forward to further amplifying Taylor's voice and songs across the globe.” 

While a press release describes the deal simply as a multi-year, multi-album agreement, a source familiar with the matter tells Billboard that UMPG will eventually represent her entire catalog. That includes all of the songs on her seven studio albums, her most recent being last year's Billboard 200 chart-topping Lover, and countless hits including "Shake It Off," "Blank Space," "Look What You Made Me Do" and "You Need To Calm Down."

MAJOR LABELS’ BILLION-DOLLAR PAYDAY UNDER FIRE AS COX COMMUNICATIONS CHALLENGES ‘SHOCKINGLY EXCESSIVE’ DAMAGES VERDICT 

MAJOR LABELS’ BILLION-DOLLAR PAYDAY UNDER FIRE AS COX COMMUNICATIONS CHALLENGES ‘SHOCKINGLY EXCESSIVE’ DAMAGES VERDICT

In December, a jury ruled that US-based internet service provider Cox Communications was liable for the infringement of over 10,000 music copyrights by its users. The company was ordered to pay Universal, Sony and Warner a whopping $1bn in collective damages – equivalent to just over $99,000 for each of the 10,017 works infringed. 

If you wanted to know the extent to which this news delighted the major record companies, you only need read the words of Warner Music Group CEO Steve Cooper from his company’s quarterly earnings call on Friday (January 31). 

Guest post by: Tim Ingham of Music Business Worldwide

Cooper noted Warner’s satisfaction with the ruling, which he pointed out was the fifth largest U.S jury award in the whole of 2019, and which, he said, “clearly demonstrates that juries understand piracy is not okay”. 

Cooper noted that WMG and/or the record industry had also brought similar cases against four other ISPs: Charter, Grande, RCN and Bright House, “all of which should proceed to trial within the next 12 to 18 months”. 

The inference is clear: with Cox being stung for ten-figure damages, a promising precedent has been set ahead of the record industry’s litigation against others working in the ISP space. 

But now there could be a spanner in the works. Cox Communications just lodged a fierce legal motion challenging the $1bn damages verdict – calling it “unprecedented”, and suggesting that the amount of money it’s being told to pay is “grossly excessive”. 

According to a Memorandum filed Friday (January 31) by Cox and obtained by MBW, the company calls for one of two new outcomes – either a remittitur (i.e. a reduction in the amount of damages awarded) or an entirely new trial. 

The Memorandum, filed with the Eastern District of Virginia Court, argues: “The $1 billion award is a miscarriage of justice; it is shockingly excessive and unlawfully punitive, and should be remitted or result in a new trial.” 

Cox adds: “The award of $1 billion appears to be the largest award of statutory copyright damages in history. This is not by a matter of degree. It is the largest such award by a factor of eight. 

“THIS IS BY ANY MEASURE A SHOCKING VERDICT, WHOLLY DIVORCED FROM ANY POSSIBLE INJURY TO PLAINTIFFS, ANY BENEFIT TO COX, OR ANY CONCEIVABLE DETERRENT PURPOSE.” 

“It is the largest such award for secondary copyright infringement by a factor of 40. It is the largest jury verdict in the history of this District by a factor of more than 30. 

“It is by any measure a shocking verdict, wholly divorced from any possible injury to Plaintiffs, any benefit to Cox, or any conceivable deterrent purpose.” 

Cox argues that the $1bn damages verdict “exceeds the aggregate dollar amount of every statutory damages award rendered in the years 2009-2016 by more than four hundred million dollars”. 

The firm cites what it calls the three previous biggest copyright statutory damages awards in the States: (i) Atlantic Recording v. Media Group Inc in 2002 ($136m); (ii) Disney Enters., Inc. v. Vidangel, Inc in 2019 ($62.4m); and (iii) UMG Recordings, Inc. v. MP3.Com, Inc in 2000 ($53.4m). 

Cox posits that all three of these verdicts “were rendered against direct infringers — people who actually misappropriated the copyrighted material for their own use and profit”. In most cases, it says, these infringers “were conducting businesses based upon copyright infringement” making them “adjudicated pirates”. 

“THE $1 BILLION AWARD THUS APPEARS TO BE THE LARGEST EVER AGAINST A [SECONDARY] INFRINGER SITUATED LIKE COX — BY A FACTOR OF 40.” 

As an ISP, Cox argues that such an accusation does not apply to its business, suggesting that rather than being a “direct infringer”, it should instead be classified as a “secondary infringer” in the December ruling. 

Cox then points out that the largest statutory damages ever awarded against a secondary infringer happens to be against itself – $25m in BMG Rights Mgmt. LLC v. Cox Communications, Inc. (2015). 

“The $1 billion award thus appears to be the largest ever against a [secondary] infringer situated like Cox — by a factor of 40,” it says. 

(Cox later appealed that $25m BMG ruling, and the two parties settled via a “substantial” payment to the music company in 2018.) 

Cox’s lawyers continue this line of attack to target the monetary amount awarded. 

“Awards of damages approaching $100,000 per work are all but unheard-of in cases involving more than a handful of works—until this one,” they argue. “In cases involving the infringement of digital music files, no award has exceeded $25,000 per work. 

“The most closely analogous precedent is BMG, in which the jury awarded $17,895 per work, or less than one-fifth of the [$1bn verdict’s] per-work award.” 

The filing adds: “Cox respectfully submits that the evidence in this case did not support the jury’s findings of direct, contributory, or vicarious liability as to any of the works in suit, and that at least 8,000 of the works in suit should not have been considered by the jury.” 

Cox also points out that the record companies “urged the jury to award massive damages based, in large part, on assertions of Cox’s massive profits”. 

As a private subsidiary of Cox Enterprises, Cox Communications does not publicly reveal its financial performance, but it has previously confirmed that in 2016, it turned over some $11bn annually

Cox argues that only the amount of profit it may have directly obtained directly from any user copyright infringement should have formed the base figure from which December’s damages verdict figure was extrapolated – as opposed to its overall company profits in a given period. 

It argues that in the period concerned, Cox provided broadband / internet services to roughly 4.5m subscribers, but that “at the most” there were approximately 31,000 alleged repeat copyright infringers amongst its customer base. 

“The actions of those 31,000 subscribers are so far removed from Cox’s enterprise-level corporate [profits] as to bear no rational relationship at all – never mind one that should form a basis for the jury’s verdict,” it says. 

In its summing up of why Cox believe the “magnitude of the [$1bn award] is shocking”, it writes: “As set forth at length above, the $1 billion award in this case is unprecedented. It is the largest copyright statutory damages award in history by a factor of eight and is 40 times larger than the verdict awarded (and ultimately vacated) in the very similar BMG case. 

“It exceeds by more than $400 million the aggregate dollar value of all copyright statutory damages awards from 2009- 2016. It exceeds by more than $100 million the total profits earned in 2014 by the parent companies of the 53 plaintiffs. 

“[THIS VERDICT] EXCEEDS BY MORE THAN $400 MILLION THE AGGREGATE DOLLAR VALUE OF ALL COPYRIGHT STATUTORY DAMAGES AWARDS FROM 2009- 2016.” 

“Even considered on a per-work basis, the award is extreme: the $99,830.29 per-work award is the largest ever given for infringement of digital music files. 

“Every previous case that we have been able to identify involving similar infringements has ultimately awarded per-work damages of $9,000 to $22,500.” 

You can read Cox’s full Memorandum In Support Of Its Motion For Remittitur (Or, In The Alternative, A New Trial) here. 

Cox is represented by Thomas Buchanan of Winston & Strawn LLP. 

According to Law360, if Cox’s motion is denied, the company can appeal to the Fourth Circuit. 

Speaking after the December $1bn ruling against Cox, NMPA President & CEO David Israelite said: “Today’s victory on behalf of music publishers and record labels who own over 10,000 copyrights is a clear message to ISPs like Cox who refuse to take responsibility for infringers on their networks. 

“The jury found that Cox was liable for its subscribers’ infringement to the tune of $1 billion dollars which serves as a warning to those who willingly turn a blind eye and enable their users to share music illegally. 

“Cox received hundreds of thousands of notices of infringement and did not adequately respond or comply with its obligations to stop its subscribers from infringing on peer to peer networks. 

“Cox had the right and ability to prevent the continued harm to music creators and it chose its own profits over complying with the law.”

BMG RESPONDS TO ARTIST STREAMING REVOLT IN GERMANY: ‘IT IS TIME FOR RECORD COMPANIES TO CHANGE.’ 

  BMG RESPONDS TO ARTIST STREAMING REVOLT IN GERMANY: ‘IT IS TIME FOR RECORD COMPANIES TO CHANGE.’

As the Grammys continues to dominate discussion in the US music industry, an important story regarding artist streaming royalties in Germany is gathering pace.

Guest Post BY TIM INGHAM of Music Business Worldwide 

As MBW reported Friday (January 24), a group of managers and lawyers representing some of Germany’s biggest artists have written a joint letter to the leaders of the four biggest music rights companies in Germany – Universal, Sony, Warner and BMG. 

The agenda of the letter, undersigned by representatives of 14 artists, “becomes clear very quickly”, according to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper (F.A.Z), which published a more detailed story on the matter today (January 26) on the front page of its business section. Translated, F.A.Z says that the artist reps are demanding “more money from the booming business [created by] music streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music”.

What’s also clear from the letter, according to F.A.Z: unlike prior artist protests against streaming, the letter does not direct its ire towards digital platforms, but instead “attacks record companies” and is “of the opinion that [the majors] are taking too much of the streaming millions”. 

It should be pointed out for context that most of the artists represented – including the 15m-plus-selling pop star Helene Fischer (pictured) and rock band Rammstein – have traditionally enjoyed large sales of physical records and downloads. 

According to F.A.Z, the artist reps say there is “an urgent and fundamental need to review and, if necessary, restructure the billing and remuneration model in the area of streaming”. This suggests that they may be seeking a switch to a ‘user-centric’ style of payment from the streaming services, who have to date been reticent to embrace this model. 

Last year, Deezer announced that it planned to launch a pilot of a ‘user-centric’ payment system in 2020, if it could gain the requisite support from the major record companies. 

“WE DO NOT FIND IT JUSTIFIABLE IN A WORLD IN WHICH RECORD COMPANIES NO LONGER HAVE THE COSTS OF PRESSING, HANDLING AND DELIVERING PHYSICAL PRODUCT FOR THEM TO TRY TO HOLD ON TO THE LION’S SHARE OF STREAMING REVENUES.” 

BMG SPOKESPERSON 

The letter contains a segment where the artist reps call into question the “adequacy of the remuneration” their clients are receiving from the record companies. 

The artist reps have asked record companies bosses to meet in mid-February in a Berlin hotel to discuss the letter, which F.A.Z reports has a tone “reminiscent of a court summons”. 

Sony and Universal are yet to publicly respond, says the newspaper. Warner has said it won’t be participating in the Berlin meeting due to antitrust concerns that would be created by powerful music companies plus so many representatives of stars coming together to discuss collective business arrangements. Instead, Warner says that “bilateral talks” are being held. 

The MD of JKP – the management company behind Die Toten Hosen – is Patrick Orth. A signatory of the letter, Orth says that the group of 14 artist reps have “very different motives” for backing the collective action. 

Of the music companies targeted, BMG, led by CEO Hartwig Masuch, has been the most forthcoming with its response to the letter. 

A BMG spokesperson said today: “We strongly welcome this attempt to highlight some of the inequities of the traditional record deal. This letter is signed by some of Germany’s most respected music managers and should be taken seriously. 

“We need a sensible, grown-up debate. We do not find it justifiable in a world in which record companies no longer have the costs of pressing, handling and delivering physical product for them to try to hold on to the lion’s share of streaming revenues. 

“The world has changed. It is time for record companies to change too.” 

The headline of the F.A.Z business story today is ‘Der Aufstand der Stars’, translated: ‘The Revolt Of The Stars’.

But It Bends Towards Justice 

But It Bends Towards Justice

Today marks the 25th anniversary of the day of service that celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr.'s life and legacy - an ordinary man with an extraordinary vision who changed the face of America. Yes, I said "an ordinary man" even though I know some may want to argue this point. The truth is that Dr. King was born a mere mortal just like the rest of us. Yet, over the course of his life, he chose to turn personal and civic nightmares into dreams of hope, possibility, power, and justice. Knowing that he was, like me, just an ordinary man inspires me to, like him, accomplish extraordinary things for the betterment of our world. What about you?

I read a blog post this morning from one of my favorite thinkers, Seth Godin, that reminded me of the extraordinary power within us all. I've shared Seth's post below. God bless you Dr. King and all who follow faithfully in the spirit of your life, work, and dreams.

From Seth's Blog

Superman could bend steel with his bare hands. 

Along the way, we’ve been sold on the idea that difficult tasks ought to be left to heroes, often from somewhere far away or from long ago. That it’s up to them, whoever ‘them’ is. 

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. quoted Theodore Parker: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” 

But it’s not bending itself. And it’s not waiting for someone from away to bend it either. 

It’s on us. Even when it doesn’t work (yet). Even when it’s difficult. Even when it’s inconvenient. 

Our culture is the result of a trillion tiny acts, taken by billions of people, every day. Each of them can seem insignificant, but all of them add up, one way or the other, to the change we each live through. 

Sometimes it takes a hero like Dr. King to wake us up and remind us of how much power we actually have. 

And now it’s our turn. It always has been.

 

10 Careers In Music And How Much Money You Can Make 

10 Careers In Music And How Much Money You Can Make

When it comes to working in the music business, most people’s minds go to those performing on stage, but behind the curtain are a number of fulfilling, and often lucrative, jobs. Here we look at the top ten jobs in the music industry. 

___________________________

Guest post from Berklee Online 

When you think of a career in music, you might start with the performers who are center stage. But when you pull back the curtain, you’ll find people with an array of music business jobs and careers that help make performances possible. You have the people who coordinate and promote the music, the folks in the recording studios and on the soundboard who make the musical act sound topnotch, the writers who compose and arrange the music, and much more. 

There’s more to a career in music than just performance — it can involve one or many disciplines. The more versatile you are, the more opportunities you will have to work in the music business. 

Breaking into the music business is harder than other industries. Competition is high, but if you hone your craft, network with the right people, and put in the hard work, here are some music business careers to consider and what compensation you can expect out of them.* 

* Salary information is from the 2016 Edition of Music Careers Dollars and Cents by the Career Development Center at Berklee College of Music 

1. Music Producer 

 Want to be a jack of all trades? A producer understands both the creative and commercial side of the business and develops relationships with both musicians and the record label. A producer should create an environment that enables artists to create and express themselves. A producer also assists an artist’s recording project with many of the details, including choosing which material to record, interfacing with the recording engineer, adapting arrangements, balancing the recording budget, and influencing mixes. 

What to Learn: If you’re looking to become a music producer, consider learning about foundational audio and music concepts, start studying various types of software, and dive into what makes a good sound. To be a truly great producer, you’ll need to acquire knowledge in engineering and mixing. Look at the credits of your favorite albums: who produced them? Who engineered them? Find out what other albums these people produced, and get even further acquainted with their style. Read interviews with these people about their techniques. There isn’t one path to success here, but you can forge your own way as you develop the necessary skill set.  

What’s the Money Like? 

$25,000 – $1,000,000+  

 

2. Recording Engineer 

 An audio engineer is responsible for capturing sound and manipulating it in the studio. You’ll deal with both analog and digital audio, compressors, microphones, and signal flow—and typically combine both traditional and tech-savvy recording techniques to record music. You could also be responsible for organizing recording sessions and repairing any technical problems when they arise. And sometime you may catch the brunt of the producer or musicians if something goes wrong in recording that magic take! 

What to Learn: Become well-versed in multiple recording technologies and develop file management skills. Some jobs in sound engineering may require additional training in mixing and editing. You’ll also need to know how to solve problems, run recording sessions and take initiative. 

What’s the Money Like? 

$25,000 – $150,000+ 

 

 

 

3. Musician for Hire/Session Musician 

 As a session musician, you back and perform on another musician’s album or perform with various acts onstage. This means you have the freedom to dabble in multiple styles, genres, and sounds. You’ll interact, meet, and form relationships with a heap of other musicians. You may be asked to contribute to a recording session or join a band on tour. If you’re extremely proficient at your instrument, the path to becoming a successful session musician can be rewarding and even lead to a solo career. Before their solo careers, Stevie Ray Vaughan was a session musician for David Bowie, Sheryl Crow was a back-up singer for Michael Jackson, and Jimmy Page played in countless recording sessions. And some recording studios even have their own house bands. (See Standing in the Shadows of Motown, Muscle Shoals, and Twenty Feet From Stardom. Really! See these movies!) 

What to Learn: A successful session musician is a connoisseur of their instrument and has a solid reputation for their craft. You should be able to step into any musical arrangement to offer your skills and also be proficient and experienced at improvisation. Another necessity is to learn how to build a reliable network and solid relationships. You’ll want to have great communication skills and general industry knowledge. 

What’s the Money Like? 

Extremely wide range, $100 – $2,500 per day or up to $100,000+ 

The American Federation of Musicians (AFofM) specifies the minimum rate 

 

4. Artist Manager 

 An artist manager exists to create opportunities, connect, and propel the musical act forward. You have to wholeheartedly believe in your artist and help them build a strong and sustainable career through planning, organization, directing, and negotiating. You may not get all of the credit and adoration that the artist gets, but you’ll have to do as much—if not more—work! See that photo above? You probably recognize at least 80 percent of the people, and know their names. But how about the man in the center? That’s Brian Epstein, the manager of the Beatles during their rise to fame. Without the influence of Brian Epstein, it’s likely you’d never know the names John, Paul, George, and Ringo, much less know any of the music they made. 

What to Learn: Management and leadership skills are key here. Not only will you be streamlining and organizing multiple moving parts between musicians, publishers, and booking agents but you’ll also be making sales calls, negotiating contracts, and giving constructive criticism. 

What’s the Money Like? 

10 -50 percent of artist’s earnings 

$30,000 – $200,000 for a developing artist 

$2,000,000 – $10,000,000 for a mega successful artist 

 

5. Tour Manager 

As a tour manager, you’ll be involved in every aspect of a band’s career on the road. You’re the behind-the-scenes mastermind who has hands in every piece of transportation, accommodation, scheduling, and finances of a tour. You’ll make things run smoothly for everyone involved. You’ll need to have self-motivation and be okay with shouldering the band’s responsibilities—especially the financial ones. 

What to Learn: You’ll need to know the industry like the back of your hand. There are music business management programs you can study but you should also self-study tour logistics, accounting principles, and daily scheduling management. Get experience in different components of the live music industry and learn to anticipate and cater to needs while sticking to the schedule. To get a more thorough sense of what this job entails, read our profile on Berklee Online alum and Wilco tour manager Ashley ‘PK’ Mogayzel. 

What’s the Money Like? 

$2,500 – $10,000 per week for theater/arena-level touringBreaking into the music business is harder than other industries. Competition is high, but if you hone your craft, network with the right people, and put in hard work, here are some careers to consider and what compensation you can expect.… Click To Tweet 

 

6. Music Teacher 

Teaching can take on a variety of forms. You could teach in a school, a small music shop, or teach independently. You could teach theory or a specific instrument. You’ll also have freedom to choose which age range you’d like to teach—each one comes with its own advantages and obstacles. If you like encouraging people, sharing knowledge, and practicing patients, a career teaching music could be right for you. 

What to Learn: Your required education and background depends on which teaching path you’re most interested in. For example, teaching in a school will likely require more certifications than going down a self-employed route. You’ll certainly need to be proficient in the subject you’re teaching and feel confident giving lessons. 

What’s the Money Like? 

$30-$120 per hour for studio teacher/private instructor 

NOTE: Lesson fee should reflect amount of teaching experience and the going rate in a region. Be aware that it may take some time to build up a profitable clientele. Travel to a private student’s home may require an additional fee. 

$30,000-$71,181 for a public school music teacher (K-12) 

NOTE: Requires state certification. Schools are supported largely by property taxes so schools in wealthier communities are typically able to pay more. 

$43,140 -$67,360+ for an assistant professor (full-time on a tenure track) 

NOTE: Salary depends on the size of the institution, budget, and reputation of the teacher. At least a master’s degree is required, more often a PhD. 

 

7. Booking Agent 

 Your job here is to get the band onstage. Booking agents facilitate a lot of the logistics around live performances, including securing concert venues, negotiating deals, arranging technical equipment, and hospitality. You’ll work closely with management (of the artists and the venues) and event promoters and determine what an artist’s touring schedule will look like. 

What to Learn: A degree in music management, marketing, or accounting would help you prepare you for a career as a booking agent.  You’ll want to learn about contract negotiation, copyright law, sales, marketing, and event planning. Begin working in event promotion and administrative roles to understand the foundational elements of booking shows.  

What’s the Money Like? 

$20,000 – $3,000,000 

Commissions range, typically 10-20 percent of the act’s gross income per show. 

$50,000 for a developing artist 

$500,000 – $3,000,000 for a star 

$50,000 – $250,000/Booking Specialty Agent 

 

8. Publicist 

 A music publicist works closely with media outlets, marketers, and venues. Publicists ensure that their musicians’ concerts, releases, and announcements are covered by the media in a way that feeds positively into their public perception while increasing awareness of the artist. The good news is that you’ll see your hard work pay off in a very tangible way—whether that’s a sold-out show or a spot on the radio. It can be tough to break through to journalists in a media landscape that is increasingly cutting staff and eliminating outlets that cover music. This role is more than just PR—it’s about selling a story, building a network, managing a reputation, and staying ahead of the game. 

What to Learn: This is a communications and marketing-based role, so start there. Learn the basics of public relations strategy and develop your people skills. To become a publicist, you’ll have to network, be tenacious in your outreach efforts, and ask the right questions. Arm yourself with on-the-ground experience as well as writing, crisis communications, and publicity campaign development.  

What’s the Money Like? 

$500-$10,000 per month 

 

9. Composer 

 Composers aren’t just tied down to the classical music genre; they can write for film, TV, and video games. They can also write and arrange recorded or live music across genres. Regardless of which avenue you wish to pursue, you must have a masterful understanding of music theory, you must be able to really play one or many instruments, and have the technical capabilities to capture your compositions effectively, whether it be through music notation or recording. 

What to Learn: Formal education and experience are keys to success here. Composers are proficient in one or many instruments and have a deep understanding of music theory and arrangement. Being a great composer means understanding the technicalities and mechanics of music on multiple levels. Start learning composition software and begin practicing. There are event elements of sound engineering that can come in handy, like notation software and recording programs. 

What’s the Money Like? 

Composers are usually paid on a per-project basis. 

Television 

$1,500-$7,500+ for a 30-minute episode 

$2,000-$15,000+ for a 60-minute episode 

$2,000-$55,000+ for a TV movie 

Film Score Composer 

$0-$10,000+ for a student film 

$2,500-$500,000+ for an indie feature  

$35,000-$2mil+ for a studio feature  

Video Game Composer 

$30,000-$75,000+ for Creative Fee deal – interactive game (30 min. of music) 

$30,000-$60,000+ for Package Fee deal – interactive game (30 min. of music) – covers composing and all expenses 

$300-$600 per minute of finished music for casual games (creative fee only) 

 

10. Music Arranger 

A music arranger is responsible for taking a piece of written music and reorganizing it to achieve a new sound or goal. You might have a client ask you to take a pop piece and add a Latin rhythm, shorten or lengthen a piece, or change the key. Arranging is a specialized skill and those who pursue it can work as a freelancer or for a band or music organization. 

What to Learn: Music arrangement can be a single career or an added skill set as a writer and composer. An arranger, like a composer, also requires a deep understanding of music theory, different instrument groups and how they work with one another. Before learning about arranging, learn the fundamentals of music theory, composition, and the technical aspects involved. 

What’s the Money Like? 

$20,000-$43,000+

How Many Spotify Streams Are Necessary To Live Above The Poverty Line?  

How Many Spotify Streams Are Necessary To Live Above The Poverty Line? 

The royalties earned off of Spotify streams are notoriously low but do provide some income to artists. So just how many plays does it take for a musician to live above the poverty line? 

Guest post by James Shotwell of Haulix 

Spotify streaming royalties often upset artists, but how many plays does a musician need to live above the poverty line? We did the math. 

The streaming wars are raging on. Spotify has more than one hundred million monthly subscribers worldwide, which places the platform far ahead of its peers, but Apple Music and Amazon Music are gaining millions of new users with each passing month. Whether or not the global economy can sustain the numerous streaming platforms won’t be decided for some time, but whether or not artists can survive the streaming economy is a hot topic that needs to be addressed. 

Any industry expert will tell you that musicians today have it easy. There are more avenues for exposure than ever, recording music is (or can be) cheap, and an increasing number of artists are finding success outside the traditional label system. It is theoretically possible for anyone with access to a laptop and the ability to convey a melody to become a digital sensation who has fans all over the world without the aid of big label money (though, to be fair, big label money still makes a sizable difference). 

Streaming payouts are a relatively new revenue stream for musicians. No one is suggesting artists survive on streaming royalties alone. Still, with physical media sales bottoming out and competition for tour revenue increasing, the money made from streaming can have a significant impact on an artist’s ability to develop, not to mention sustain themselves. 

Still, every other week someone goes viral online and builds an entire career of the profits made from streaming royalties. The majority of these overnight sensations are young and without families to support, but they still have the cost of living expenses that need to be met. That got us to thinking: How many streams does it take to survive on streaming revenue alone? 

According to the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), the poverty line for single-person households is $11,770. If we ignore how that figure would be hard for anyone to live on in a major city (and most mid-size cities), then we can round up to $12,000 and use streaming revenue calculators to figure out how many Spotify streams someone would need to sustain themselves. 

At an average payout of $0.006 per song stream, a musician living in the United States needs 3,000,000 plays annually to have a gross income of $12,000. 

Of course, if the artist has a label deal the record company would get paid before the artist. Depending on the amount owed to the label, the artist may need millions of addition plays to see the same amount of income themselves. 

But what about people with families? The ASPE puts the poverty line for a family of four (2 adults, 2 children) at $24,250. Using the same average royalty rate, a musician would need 6,062,500 Spotify streams to earn that amount of gross income. 

These numbers get much bigger when the musician is part of a larger group. If a band has four members and all four have families where they were the sole source of income, the group would need to generate 24,250,000 Spotify streams to gross enough so each member’s family would be at or above the poverty line. 

Again, no one is saying an artist should survive on streaming royalties alone. Some will be able to make it work, especially if they have a large following and low overhead, but most will need to create as many revenue streams as possible to survive. The key to a long career in music today is through the development of a community around an artist and their work that promotes purchasing merch, physical media, and concert tickets. That has always been true, and likely won’t change anytime soon.

MLC Chooses As “Digital Services Provider” Company That Sent Fraudulent License Notices To Songwriters  

MLC Chooses As “Digital Services Provider” Company That Sent Fraudulent License Notices To Songwriters 

The new Music Licensing Collective board of directors has chosen the third-party licensing company, the Harry Fox Administration (HFA), to be its digital service provider. That’s the same HFA that musician and artist advocate David Lowery alleges sent songwriters fraudulent license notices. 

Guest post by Dr. David C Lowery from The Trichordist 

The picture shows dozens of backdated “NOIs” for compulsory mechanical licenses sent to me by HFA in 2016.  By purporting to be valid NOIs for licenses when they were not, HFA committed mail fraud. 

Music Row is reporting the music licensing collective board of directors has selected HFA as a digital service provider: 

Technology company ConsenSys and mechanical licensing administrator Harry Fox Agency(HFA) received unanimous approval from the MLC Board to become the primary vendors responsible for managing the matching of digital uses to musical works, distributing mechanical royalties, and onboarding songwriters, composers, lyricists, and music publishers and their catalogs to the database. 

The problem is that HFA was the 3rd party licensing contractor hired by Spotify and other streaming services to obtain licenses from songwriters and publishers.  HFA did not properly do their job leaving streaming services exposed to massive copyright infringement lawsuits (from people like me).  They created the problem that led to the creation of the Music Licensing Collective so now they are rewarded with the contract to run the matching of musical works and paying artists?!?!  Didn’t they just fail spectacularly when asked by Spotify to do this job?  Didn’t the Spotify class action and the four other private lawsuits prove HFA incapable of doing the job? 

Even worse, in order to attempt to cover up the mess, they sent me, many fraudulent “Notices of Intent” or NOIs that purported to execute the federal compulsory mechanical license. They were not valid as they were backdated to make it appear they had sent the notices before the songs were streamed.  I regret now that we didn’t pursue a RICO case against these folks when we were pursuing the copyright infringement cases against the streaming services.  (See the screenshots below.) 

Here’s what the DOJ says about mail fraud. 

940. 18 U.S.C. SECTION 1341—ELEMENTS OF MAIL FRAUD 

“There are two elements in mail fraud: (1) having devised or intending to devise a scheme to defraud (or to perform specified fraudulent acts), and (2) use of the mail for the purpose of executing, or attempting to execute, the scheme (or specified fraudulent acts).” Schmuck v. United States, 489 U.S. 705, 721 n. 10 (1989); see also Pereira v. United States, 347 U.S. 1, 8 (1954) (“The elements of the offense of mail fraud under . . . § 1341 are (1) a scheme to defraud, and (2) the mailing of a letter, etc., for the purpose of executing the scheme.”); Laura A. Eilers & Harvey B. Silikovitz, Mail and Wire Fraud, 31 Am. Crim. L. Rev. 703, 704 (1994) (cases cited). 

Oh and one more thing. HFA was the company that was supposed to pay these streaming royalties back out to the songwriters.  They didn’t do that either.  Where is that money? Shouldn’t the Copyright Office look into this? 

This is a travesty. The members of the MLC  and those that purport to represent songwriters (I’m looking at you NSAI, SONA) have some serious explaining to do to songwriters.  This company was one of the main reasons songwriters didn’t get their mechanicals for 7 going on 8 years. What the fuck were you guys thinking?