Tools and Tactics for Today’s Musician
MuseWire COLUMN: Getting information about songwriting and music publishing is easier than ever because of the Internet but the problem is that the Internet presents more information than anyone can assimilate. Compounding the problem, some of the information is just plain wrong.
That’s one reason it is so helpful for songwriters to affiliate with one of the three performance rights organizations (PROs) here in the United States: ASCAP, BMI and SESAC. You know, quite apart from the fact that they are your way to collect performance income from your songs.
In addition to posting a lot of information on their sites, each of these organizations stage conferences involving lectures, workshops and presentations covering a wide variety of topics relating to the business of music.
The most recent event was by SESAC and it was notable for being free for attendees. Held at the Skirball Center and under the leadership of SESAC’s James Leach, this was a day-long affair with speeches, panels, commentary, insight and presentations from experts in the business. Maddy Madsen (5 Alarm Music and Rescue Records) was interviewed by SESAC’s Ashley Miller about the ins and outs of licensing music for film and TV. The tracking of licensed songs was expertly covered by SESAC’s Hunter Williams and Greg Riggle. Music in games was handled by Woody Jackson (co-composer of Red Dead Redemption), Kim Nieva (Wave Group), J.P. Shub (X-Play), and Jody Whitesides (songwriter/composer).
Other subjects dealt with at the conference included music publishing (Michael Eames of Pen Publishing), lyric writing (Pamela Oland), vocal training (Jan Linder-Koda) songwriting (Greg Curtis and Trevor Gale), and management (Berko Pearce from Rm64, and Judy Stakee).
Fitting in nicely with the keynote address from music technology evangelist Ted Cohen of TAG Strategic was a seminar on technology tools available to today’s songwriters and performers presented by Josh Feingold, SESAC Associate Director of Writer-Publisher Relations. In addition to the usual suspects (Facebook, YouTube, MySpace and Twitter), Feingold and Cohen had quite a few recommendations:
* Big Fish
Yes, that is quite a list. But wait, there’s more:
* Roku – Cohen says this service “gives you Netflix, Pandora, Facebook on your TV” which will be great for now but watch out because”TV sets will have built-in apps soon.”
* Sonos – Cohen notes that advances “got music off your computer desktop and into your home and Sonos is a wireless way to access your music via Rhapsody, Pandora, Sirius, Slacker, Clear Channel – it literally is the world of music at your fingertips.”
* ThePublicRecord – Feingold likes “the interactive opportunities” as you collaborate on remixing tracks from current artists.
* Mobile – Cohen feels this is going to be major as we enter the era of “the connected automobile, with 3G and 4G stereo systems in your dashboard so you won’t even need a hard drive in your car.”
* Magnet(dot)tv – Cohen recommends trying this to “sell your music on your own web page.”
* DamnTheRadio – Feingold suggests this as something “that compliments your use of Facebook.”
* Video – Cohen is a big fan of “Flip cameras and camera phones because now you can easily create and share music videos almost instantly.”
* Klout – Feingold recommends trying this “to go along with your use of Twitter because it helps identify who you are reaching.”
* Hello Music – It’s hard to resist Cohen’s description that “It’s like the Beverly Center of music services.”
To which any independent artist, songwriter or music publisher can say “Terrific! Great! Neat! Nifty! Wonderful! And thanks for the superb list!
One teeny tiny question: if we delve into all these services, when do we have time left to create new music?
Article is Copr. © 2010 by John Scott G.
Sep 13, 2010 @ 6:53 AM PDT
I published 9 tracks on Hello Music in August. Now maybe I’m a little impatient, but I thought I’d hear something back by now if not a complete critique of all the tracks. At least something more than just an automated “welcome to Hello Music” email…
Has anybody else ever heard back from these guys? I can’t find a single forum post anywhere. The only thing I find are the press releases disguised as posts… any help out there? 🙂