State of the Music 2017 Letter
Updated: Dec 14, 2019
This year has seen a lot of ups and downs in the songwriting and music business world.
We have seen a lot of those changes here at the year’s end, many of which seem to spell good news for creative workers.
Recent headlines tout:
A 41% increase in Sirius XM payout in artist royalties
Ongoing investment in royalty generating catalogs
Music Modernization Act announcement
With average songwriter streaming mechanical royalty rates around $0.000885 per spin for a
100% writer/publisher (calculated from the author’s 2017 royalty statements), there is obviously still a lot of work to be done to yield a sustainable income for non-performing songwriters.
I’m no mathematician, but according to that calculation, when my Garth Brooks co-write “She’s Tired of Boys” sold 1,000,000 units on his Man Against Machine album, I as a writer/publisher made a nice and predictable physical / download mechanical royalty of (10.5 cents per unit / 2 writers = 5.25 cents per unit X 1,000,000 units) = $52,500 less 10% for my administrator =
By using that same amount of consumption of 1,000,000 units – if that many people had only streamed the song instead of buying the album, I would have earned around $0.0004425 x 1,000,000 or $443 (less 10%).
Can you believe the difference a format can make to a non-performing songwriter?
It's hard to fathom the difference that $47,000 versus $440 can do to support a family.
And so while the overall trend is toward raising songwriters' rates, let us not forget that beyond the money, our copyrights represent something more.
As creators we do have moral rights to our creations that extend beyond national borders and protect our songs internationally.
As songwriters and artists we are doing important work of a creative kind not just for ourselves, but also as a cultural service to our fellowman.
We need to remember that as we head into the New Year and explore what it means for us to, like legendary Motown writer Lamont Dozier, learn to think of our songwriting as a service to humanity.
What service does your 2018 hold?
The Songpreneurs community will be undertaking 2 big projects this year:
Writing a book and
Creating a Christmas CD / playlist
This in addition to our weekly online training and monthly assignments.
Also the Songwriter Voices initiative will be holding regular training and action meetups that are free and open to everyone.
It is our mission at Songpreneurs to foster sustainable careers in the new music business.
We do that by providing support, encouragement and resources to songwriters and by empowering them to think like entrepreneurs solving problems with their music and creative works as a form of service to others.
Are you ready to start taking real steps toward your songwriting goals in 2018?
We are here to help.
Love and Light,
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