I know, I know, as business books go, this certainly is a niche one. As an artist however, this book is compulsory reading.
One of the biggest confusion that plagued me when I first decided to embrace my inner artist and let my music live is the matter of royalties. Whilst there’re loads of information on the internet, I struggled to find information written for an absolute beginner artist, someone who is taking their very first step in the music industry. Many resources are written assuming the reader already understood the lingo. When I did chance upon articles for beginners, they were poorly written and only led to more confusion. There is also the pickle that most of these resources are US-based so the information does not fully apply to me, an Aussie.
Thankfully there’re awesome people like Ari Herstand, one of my mentors who I’ve been studying with to learn all about sync licenses, has written a most excellent book all about, as the title suggests, making it in the new music business. In this second edition, he details everything an artist needs to know such as the various royalties for songwriters and performers, who collects them, who are the Performance Rights Organisations (PROs) you should be registered with and many more tips about #artistlife.
Thanks to this book, I now finally understand that because I am an independent artist who write and perform my own music, I own the royalties to both sides, both the publishing and master! I have since registered with all the PROs I should. This did required some more homework on my part to figure out what the equivalent PROs are in Australia, but it was most certainly a worthy exercise. I’ve put forth my suggestion to Ari about an International chapter in the 3rd edition of this book which I know he is working on so hopefully it will be a more straight forward process for future artists.
Now that I have put in the effort to understanding the many different royalties- how it all came to be historically since the very first record (so everyone got their cut), how it all had to evolve over the years (so everyone keeps getting their cut), I can see why it is all so unnecessarily complicated and seems to only be getting more complicated. No wonder so many artists simply chuck this into the too-hard-fuck-it basket! I remember asking a few professional musicians about royalties and PROs back when I was first trying to figure this out and NO ONE could tell me straight how it is!
It’s also no wonder that change (if any) is so very slow to come in the music industry! Why would big labels and publishers want to change a system that keeps artists ignorant, uninterested, and their pockets full?
Artists have long been exploited and that is abhorrent, especially in this digital streaming age when artists are no longer at the mercy of big labels and can be in full control of their careers.
I am super grateful to have this wonderful resource to guide me as I embark on my musical adventure. I feel great to have the biz side of my music sorted so I can focus on creating music.
If you too are aspired to getting your music synced and want in on the sync course I mentioned, you can use this affiliate link here and get 10% off the course with my code: SELINAT at check out.
As Ari and my other mentor Vo Williams always say, we win together so let’s win!
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With Love and Positivity,
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