A Brief Look at Four Areas of the Sound and Music Industry

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Sound and Music Industry

Features of four areas of the music industry and their functions:

Music Publishers:

In the music industry a music publisher or company is an entity that develops, protects and values music. Music publishers are responsible for the development of new music as well as taking care of the business side allowing songwriters and composers to concentrate on their creative work. The artist and the publisher share a symbiosis relationship because most artist or starting up composers do not comprehend how copyright laws and royalties work so music publishers act on behalf of artist to collect royalties and administer any copyrights the artist might own when their compositions are used commercially.

Royalties: When an artist’s song or composition is played on the radio or used in any other means of broadcasting communication the artist is entitled to royalties.

The publisher does this by obtaining ownership and administrative rights to some or all of the artists’ copyrights through deals and contracts (publishing contract). The artist’s strength generally lie in the creative domain (composing and song writing), and the publisher’s specializes is administrating the artist’s catalogue, not only collecting royalty monies (except performing royalties) but also plugging and promoting their songs or compositions (TV, Movies or other forms of broadcasting) and making copyright deals and paying the artist royalties from all sources of income.

Publishers will spend a great deal of time trying to exploit and sell the artists’ work. They will approach advertisement companies and television producers to try and include their songs. Usually movies and TV shows will try and find songs that sound similar to very popular hits. The publisher will then look through its catalogue and find a song that is suitable either resembling a hit or appropriate for the mood of the movie or TV show.

Music publishers will vary depending on the size of the company and resources. For example a small individual publisher will mainly take care of royalty monies and copyrights but will do no more. A bigger music publisher that might be affiliated to a record company such as Sony or Warner Chappel will have enough resources to support the new talent while they develop their skills, this can either come as a form of financial support for living expenses. This includes paying the artists accommodation, utilities and meals. They can also polish the new talent by providing them with facilities and equipment to produce their music.

An independent music publisher will analyse the genre of music the new talent offers and will orient the artist’s writing through guidance and advice towards a specific market be it bubble gum pop or melodic death metal. Independent publishers such as Wipe Out Music work a lot closer with artists and will usually have more song writers and producers in their ranks than other publishers. Upcoming artist may sometimes prefer big household publishers because of the financial support they might receive but I think in independent publishers are better as they have a wider creative scope with out forgetting the business essentials.

Once the artist signs a deal with the music publisher, the publisher will then register the song (lyrics, composition) in all the appropriate collecting societies such as the PRS (Performing Rights Society), PPL (Phonographic Performance Limited) or the MCPS (Mechanical-Copyright Protection Society).

The PRS will not only collect royalties for the artist but also ensure that the music is treated properly and not used in inappropriate material such as background music in a pornographic low budget film.

The MCPS refers to mechanical royalties which the artist is entitled if his song is included in a commercially released album e.g. a dance compilation album.

In order to receive royalties for mechanical rights the song must be licensed. The licensing process is also...
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