Showing posts with label rates. Show all posts
Showing posts with label rates. Show all posts

Monday, July 19, 2021

Cedar Boschan on Rising Pressure to Improve Creators' Royalties

Rolling Stone and Billboard recently interviewed me regarding Sony's "Legacy Artist Royalty Plan."  You can read about it here.

On the heels of Sony's announcement, the United Kingdom's Members of Parliament have found cause for a "'complete reset of streaming' that 'enshrines in law rights to a fair share of the earnings,'" which you can read about here.

Given concerns of inflation in the US, and the rising social pressure to fairly compensate creators, do you think the CRB will be more apt to consider our comments on the proposed mechanical rate freeze?

Are you going to comment on such settlement for the CRB to consider? (Click here for instructions on how to register to comment, although the mobile interface was a bit different for me.)

Saturday, January 2, 2016

2015 Year-In-Review: Pandora

In 2015, Pandora struck direct deals with many music rights holders including ASCAP, BMI, BMG, Warner/Chappell & SONY/ATV.

AIMP members can click here to hear for free the National Music Publishing Association's David Israelite:

  1. Report some news about Pandora turning a new leaf in its publisher relations
  2. Share analysis of Pandora's paid vs. free subscribers and plans for the future
  3. Explain why he thinks Pandora's "rising tide" of direct deals with the majors will will "raise all boats" in music publishing:

David Israelite, Esq. of the National Music Publisher's Association Speaking in November 2015 at the Association of Independent Music Publishers

Pandora share prices closed 2015 at $13.41, down nearly 40% from their peak of over $22 per share in October, perhaps due to factors such as:

  • US Government Raises Master Webcasting Rates, which Pandora pays to SoundExchange
  • Pandora settled for $90 Million a lawsuit brought by major labels over pre-1972 recordings 
  • Recent acquisition costs:
Look for Pandora to expand into more on-demand services in 2016.

For more on Pandora, check out the links below, with which our readers engaged during 2015:

  • Pandora's share price tumbles 50% in a year - Music Business Worldwide
  • Sub Pop artist creates music-streaming site to mock Pandora, Spotify
  • More Teens Listen to Spotify and Pandora Than FM Radio ¦
  • NYT: @Pandora Readies for Another #Royalties Battle, This Time With @BMI - by @Sisario
  • Pandora's Shares are Losing Value, Sales Decline
  • Pandora Has No Comment About Payola In Direct Deal With Naxos Records - hypebot
  • Next Out Of Pandora's Box: Letting The Artists Speak To You, Literally | Fast Company | Business + Innovation
  • Pandora Making Bid to Unruffle Music World -
  • Pandora to release day pass for ad-free listening
  • Guest Post: Is Pandora's Licensing Deal With Classical Label Naxos Unfair to Professional Artists? | Billboard
  • Still just 1 woman on the @pandora board: Pandora Adds Former CEOs of AEG and EMI to Board of Directors | Billboard
  • .@DavidIsraelite @NMPA Responds to Roger Faxon, Saying '@Pandora Exploits Songwriters' | @Billboard
  • Because 1 token female on the board is enough? @Pandora pays members of music's old boys club to join its board /
  • Pandora loses 2m listeners and $48m in three months - Music Business Worldwide
  • Pandora earnings return to the same old song - CNET
  • Pandora didn't pay 50 employees for two years (P)
  • Pandora is paying out $0.0001 more per stream than it was last year - Music Business Worldwide
  • Billboard: @Pandora_Radio Wins in @ASCAP's Appeal of Payment #Rate by @EdChristman
  • @Pandora_Radio set to claw back $1.5m from songwriters with FM buy - Music Business Worldwide
  • Billboard: @Pandora_Radio Wins in @ASCAP's Appeal of Payment #Rate by @EdChristman
  • Pandora loses to BMI in #hearing over #royalty #rates, vows to #appeal
  • Pandora loses to BMI in #hearing over #royalty #rates, vows to #appeal
  • Court Rules that Pandora Has to Give BMI More Money... - Digital Music News
  • Court Rules that Pandora Has to Give BMI More Money... - Digital Music News
  • BMI hones in on some key points in its Pandora ruling | Complete Music Update
  • Judge Explains Why Pandora Must Pay 2.5 Percent of Revenue to BMI | Billboard
  • BMI hones in on some key points in its Pandora ruling | Complete Music Update
  • Judge Explains Why Pandora Must Pay 2.5 Percent of Revenue to BMI | Billboard
  • People are saying Pandora just dodged a huge bullet in the Apple Music launch (P)
  • Why Pandora Is Running a Small Town Radio Station - Bloomberg Business
  • Pandora CFO: Music streaming royalties 'going to get worse' - Nashville Business Journal
  • NPR Leaves Pandora and Google’s Music Lobbying Group
  • Pandora CEO not worried about Apple Music
  • Pandora launches Sponsored Listening for advertisers out of beta
  • Stock analysis: Pandora Has Potential After a Pullback - Barron's
  • Judge Denies Pandora Bid To Lower #Royalties After Buying FM Station - hypebot
  • Spotify And Pandora Help Streaming Music Ad Revenue Pass $1 Billion By 2017, Report Says
  • "Pandora has lost almost $200 million since its inception."
  • Pandora's stock price has "fallen more than 40% over the past year"
  • Pandora's Summer Surge Starts Melting on Wall Street
  • Pandora's new ad-free Internet radio pass costs $1 for 24 hours, launches September 10
  • Pandora financials
  • Pandora Media Jumps After Preliminary Decision on #Royalties to Use Merlin Agreement as Benchmark #crb
  • Pandora and SoundExchange Each Get Small Wins in Rate Proceeding
  • Pandora Reaches $1.5 Billion in Royalties Paid by @billboardglenn
  • Pandora buys Ticketfly for $450 million
  • I think it is a smart move: Pandora's Acquisition of Ticketfly Is Expensive, Groundbreaking and Full of Opportunity
  • Pandora's $123 million #royalties bill for #broadcasting the golden oldies
  • Pandora reportedly close to major label deal over pre-1972 recordings | Complete Music Update
  • Pandora Agrees to $90 Million Deal to End Pre-72 Lawsuit By Major Labels - by @EriqGardner Hollywood Reporter
  • Pandora listeners can hear only so much - CNET
  • Pandora Revenue Growth Overshadowed by Questions About Apple Music's Impact
  • Pandora Reports Q3 2015 Financial Results | Business Wire
  • Pandora Shares Plummet as Competition Grows
  • Manatt: Pandora ordered to pay ASCAP and BMI disparate rates in parallel rate case decisions - Lexology
  • Pandora, Apple Music and a #Music #Streaming Market in Flux by @billboardglenn
  • Sony/ATV music publishing and Pandora ink direct publishing deal
  • Martin Bandier promises songwriters 'significant increase' in Pandora cash - Music Business Worldwide
  • Bandier: 'Sony/ATV's Pandora deal will significantly increase songwriter royalties'
  • Rdio is filing for bankruptcy, Pandora will buy ‘key assets’ for $75M
  • Per @DavidIsraelite @NMPAorg @AIMPorg: The deal Pandora made with @Sony, @Pandora is offering to all #publishers.
  • Pandora's aggressive plot to defeat Spotify: 5 things you need to know - Music Business Worldwide
  • Pandora financials reveal $1bn+ investment since 2009
  • 5 Things Pandora Media, Inc.'s CEO Wants You to Know --  The Motley Fool
  • Pandora CEO: Free on-demand music streaming is bad
  • Pandora is laying off more than half of Rdio employees following acquisition
  • Pandora is gearing up for an all-out music streaming war
  • Pandora CEO: Free on-demand music streaming habit is killing the music industry
  • Songs Music Publishing signs direct licensing deal with Pandora
  • Why Pandora needs a streaming ruling that doesn't irk music industry
  • NYT: For Pandora, Ruling on Streaming Royalty Rates Is Crucial by @Sisario
  • Pandora CFO wants to pay lower royalties, claims iTunes "eviscerated" the music industry by @sambarsanti
  • Pandora's profits depend on #CRB - interview with @sisario
  • Copyright Royalty Board raises rate of royalties for streaming music services like Pandora
  • Warner/Chappell Music and Pandora Sign Licensing Agreement | Business Wire
  • Pandora and Warner/Chappell Sign Direct Licensing Deal by @EdChristman | Billboard
  • In case you missed it: ASCAP and BMI Sign Licensing Agreements with Pandora
  • Pandora, Music Rights Holders Settle Royalty Rate Dispute

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Controlled Composition Clauses: Myths Dispelled

Entertainment lawyer Wallace Collins wrote an article for Music Think Tank entitled "Beware of the Controlled Compositions Clause."

While I wholeheartedly agree with the premise of Mr. Collins' post (i.e., watch out for controlled composition clauses) and I appreciate that he couldn't cover all of the details extensively in a single post, the piece does not appear to have been fact checked and when I tried to comment on the Music Think Tank site, I received error messages and the site would not allow my comments to be posted.

In any case, as a royalty auditor who audits compliance with statutory mechanical royalty rates as well as controlled composition provisions, I feel compelled to point out the following regarding Mr. Collins' and Music Think Tank's post. Thus, I am posting my comments here on The Auditrix blog:

Example of language similar to that found in typical controlled composition clauses

First of all, in practice, statutory royalty rates are effectively *maximum* rates, not minimum rates, as Mr. Wallace and Music Think Tank state. (The term "minimum statutory rate" as used in controlled composition provisions references the fact that there is a minimum rate that applies to uses that are five minutes or less; higher rates apply for uses that exceed five minutes.) As much as I wish that my music publishing and composer clients were entitled to minimum rates that would be equivalent to a minimum wage, they are not.  The statutory rates are simply the reportable rates for compulsory licenses and since negotiated licenses virtually never exceed statutory rates, statutory rates are effectively a cap and not minimum rates at all.

Secondly, while I understand that it used to be a common practice of record companies to cross-collateralize mechanical and artist royalties, which is an issue that Mr. Wallace and Music Think Tank warn readers to beware of, I believe many labels were sued over this practice decades ago and I haven't seen it in my 14 years of royalty audits. In fact, modern artist agreements specifically prohibit this. (However, many contracts do allow for recoupment from artist royalties of "excess mechanicals" which are mechanical payments to publishers that exceed the cap set forth in applicable controlled composition provisions. Despite this, such provisions do not prevent the publisher from collecting royalties and, in practice, we do not see many excess mechanical charges against artist royalties in any case.)

Finally, the Digital Performance Right in Sound Recordings Act of 1995 prohibits record companies from applying controlled composition provisions for digital phonorecord exploitations (i.e., permanent downloads) in most but not all cases, which is a glaring omission from the piece, since it drastically reduces the the impact of most controlled composition clauses.  Due to this law (and the fact that streaming services are responsible for paying US publishing royalties for streaming exploitations) the exploitations that are potentially subject to controlled composition provisions are mainly US sales of physical CDs and vinyl, which are less than half of overall US sales. (Not to mention that US sales are equal to or less than foreign sales for most of my clients, and the controlled composition provisions are largely inapplicable outside the US.)

Also, to Mr. Collins' point that there is a question as to whether one writing partner can bind another is the fact that the Department of Justice is considering requiring publishers (or their agents) to engage in what is called 100% licensing, in which any rightsholder can issue a license for 100% of a song. Sony/ATV's Martin Bandier recently wrote a letter to songwriters about this issue (which relates to much more than controlled compositions) and The Association of Independent Music Publishers (AIMP) (of which I am the national treasurer) recently presented a program on the topic, a video of which members can view at (viewing this discussion is well worth the cost of membership, if you aren't already a member).

Of course, there are many more crucial details to understand about controlled composition provisions, especially as they relate to audiovisual content and premium uses, which is why many attorneys consult with us during the contract negotiation process. No one can be expected to know everything about the arcane world of royalties, so such negotiations are usually a team effort.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Why You Need a Better YouTube Strategy

I was recently honored to speak with an elite group of L.A.'s best business managers about how YouTube drives a recording artist's recoupment of video accounts and earnings.

According to a recent Viacom study, 91% of 13-40 year olds "listen to the song/watch the video on YouTube prior to purchasing."

Yet, YouTube cannibalizes record sales and it and Vevo - through which UMG and SONY take an extra cut - pay controversially low royalty rates.

Thus, whether independent or major, your clients are best served by a very thoughtful YouTube business strategy.

Here are four points I consider when helping business managers develop a YouTube financial plan for music clients:

Are you a business manager, attorney, personal manager or advisor?

Call me today at 
424.248.8866 to influence these and other key factors of your clients' financial success.