Licensing and YouTube – A Music Users Guide

This week, Sonic Scoop takes on the “Ins and Outs” of licensing cover songs for YouTube. The piece gives a simple overview of the steps that one needs to take, be it a casual uploader or more professional producer, for licensing music for both syncs and covers in videos posted to YouTube. Sonic Scoop sites an uptick in lawsuits and legislation in recent years as a reason to correctly license one’s music in the first place, rather than dealing with the repercussions after the fact.

Since there are currently no exact legal standards for what video creators must pay for these types of uses, the advice is fairly simple. For use of original song recordings or videos of covers (synchronization uses) contact the music publishers of the song you would like to use. The correct publishers can general be found through BMI, ASCAP and SESAC.

Although the article is fairly basic, it’s a great start for new content providers getting in step with the ever changing industry standards for music uses in new technology.

Royalties 101 Infographic

The Music Business Association (formerly National Association of Record Merchandisers) just published a new installment in their series of infographics for the music business. Called “Music Royalties Quickstart Guide” (available here), this is a guide to the complex world of royalties and licensing for musicians. It provides a dictionary of terms commonly used as well as explanation for many types of revenue streams, royalty rates, and collection mechanisms for each. These collection mechanisms include physical products & download sales, radio & TV performance, satellite & cable radio, non-interactive streaming radio & on-demand streaming, and synchronization (music played with visuals.)

Billboard Weighs in on MIDIA Research: Music Rev Still Dropping

Glenn Peoples for Billboard reports (here) on new research coming from MIDIA: “Global Music Forecasts 2014 to 2019: The Shift to the Consumption Era”.

Unfortunately the revenue of the music business will continue to sink into 2019 throughout the world market. The revenues from digital sources (downloads, streaming, ad-supported models, etc) will continue to increase its share but the overall revenue pie will shrink. This is primarily due to the lower profitability of the newer digital products. The report predicts a further shift in the music business as distributors, labels and artists retool to adapt.

From a royalty processing standpoint, this research shows that the accounting for these complex, low-revenue, high-transaction volume products will continue to be a challenge to content companies. New markets will open as well, further forcing the globalization of content management.

“As the report notes, streaming services have achieved the highest penetration in countries that had little success with downloads. Take Sweden, a country frequently hailed for its adoption of subscription services. Downloads never accounted for more than 8% of Swedish recorded music revenues. In contrast, the download peaked at 43% of U.S. revenues. Other factors will play a part in how markets evolve: piracy, per-capita music spend and GDP, and the adoption of mobile devices and other technologies.”