Please enter something
Music Business
Music Business

Music Business

Available Only on StudyHippo
  • Pages: 10 (4916 words)
  • Published: October 20, 2018
  • Type: Case Study
Text preview

The music publishing industry at a glance would seem to be those who print sheet music, method books, lead sheets, and all of the texts or notated music that musicians (and those aspiring to be musicians) use. Years ago, this was what most music publishers did, but as the industry has evolved the process that become much more complex. Music is not just ink and paper, intellectual material and property to the individual who writes it. Therefore the song does not become a song when it is written down. This is not an easy concept to grasp because the song by itself has no physical makeup. A song could exist once it is played for the first time, and songs can even exist inside the mind of a songwriter. This concept is why the publishing business can be so complex; we are dealing with intellectual property.

The heart of the music publishing business lies in the rights to the original music. After the music is successful enough to financially support itself the music is printed in mass quantities in a variety of ways. This could be everything from guitar tabs to choral arrangements for a junior high choir. The publishers main source of income is through record royalties, performance royalties received from companies like the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), Broadcast Music Incorporated (BMI), and the Society of European Stage Authors and Composers (SESAC) for performances of music copyrighted by the publisher. These royalties could be from many different types of performances but most are though radio and songs on television. The success of a songw

...

riter lies in the greatly in the hands of his/her publisher. Normally we hear of a bands success when they are signed with a record deal, but most record companies not only produce and promote an album, they also act as the publisher who, when contracted, owns the rights to the music.When a publisher own the song it is put in to their catalog. Merchandise retailers have catalogs of their goods just like publishers have a catalog of songs that they own rights to. Publishing firms such as Warner/Chappell, BMG Music, MCA Music, and Sony music have catalogs of many styles of music. These companies are referred to as full-line companies. A broad repertoire allows them to market their music to many audiences. Most of these full-line companys roots can be traced back to the music of Hollywood and the show music of Broadway. Publishers today may have thousands of songwriters in its catalog including all styles of music from around the globe. Representative Warner/Chappell owns, administers, or sub-publishes more that a million copyrights here and abroad.

Todays full-line publishers have many different divisions to their company. Large publishers handle virtually every aspect of a writers music, its recordings, distribution, sales, promotion, advertising, touring, and legal affairs. This figure lays out all the divisions a full-line publisher may have.

The administration division is the division that handles the operations of the firm. All business affairs go through administration. When money is received from or paid to customers the firm the accounting divisions keeps all the

View entire sample
Join StudyHippo to see entire essay
View entire sample
Join StudyHippo to see entire essay

financial records of these kinds of operations. The accounting division also would handle loans given to artist that are signed to the firm under the publishers record label. When a band records an album under a label they become a liability to the label because money has to be spent to record, produce and promote a artists music. Full-line publishers front this money and all profits from the artist come back and are split 50-50 with the publisher and the writer. If the artist maintains the rights to their songs the record contract will include a controlled composition clause that calls for a reduced mechanical royalty paid to the artist by the record label. This clause may reduce the royalty split to 75-25, the larger portion going to the record label. This clause would not be insisted to artists who place the full rights to works in the hands of the record companys publisher. The artist remains a liability to the publisher as long as the artist has not made as much money as was invested into them by the publisher. An accountant usually handles the royalty department, which is money received from performances of the copyrighted music. This financial person will also handle normal operations such as payroll, accounts payable/receivable, insurance, purchasing and other financial operations.

The copyright department may have one or more people in this division. This department is responsible for a number of tasks. Some of these important tasks are to:

1.Conduct a title search. The copyright department first determines who owns the work. Just because an artist claims to have written a song does not give him rights to it. This may be a complicated process, which is why many publishers stay away from music that is sent blindly to them for review. Legal disputes between the publisher and the writer could result and end up in court, which can be a long and costly process. Other issues that add to the complication are co-authors to the music, previous publishers, revision to music or lyrics, and many more. When the copyright department has performed this research, a copyright attorney can answer remaining questions. Depending on the demand of this type of attorney to the firm, the firm may hire one full time for these affairs.

2.Registering claims of copyright. This is done to make the copyright official, which may cost about twenty dollars for a song.

3.Handle the mechanical, and synchronization licenses of the music. Mechanical licenses are issued to artists for the recording of a copyrighted work. Synchronization licenses are issued for the use of copyrighted works in firms. This may be done through the Harry Fox agency, or may be handled through the copyright department.

4.Keeping current records of all copyrights owned by the publisher. This includes the renewal, extensions, sales, or abandonment of existing copyrights. Copyrights do have a time limit, so the need to watch where they stand in time is important to the life of the work.

There may be a specific department for business affairs that deal with the legal operations of the firm. The publisher may have staffed lawyers and attorneys in

View entire sample
Join StudyHippo to see entire essay