Apple Music Launches Global Publishing Business to Attract Songwriters - Rolling Stone


#1

An interesting development:

Marilyn


(Josh Centers) #2

Thanks Marilyn, I think that deserves an ExtraBIT.


(Tommy Weir) #3

Interesting to see it set to overtake Spotify by end of summer.

Apart from the music industry I wonder if the move to include publishing has uses from their television content production, given the compositions required for that.


(Paul Schinder) #4

MMTalker
June 1
An interesting development:

Rolling Stone

Apple Music’s Newest Expansion Plan: Luring Songwriters

Streaming service launches global publishing business in a possible harbinger of streaming music’s future

This is a topic of personal interest to me, since my daughter is a singer/songwriter who just released her first album (Ariana Dove, “Dark Energy”, and the story of where that title came from is fun). She wrote and composed all 15 songs, and they were professionally produced by some very talented people. I don’t know how it’s doing, but there’s been very little promotion yet, mostly through her social media accounts. Her social media followers were kept in the loop during the studio recording phase, and she usually live streamed the process on Instagram. (She’s currently in Minneapolis where she’s about to start the production of the musical “Queendom” she co-wrote with a friend who lives there. Because of social media, she has good friends all over the country.)

My wife and I are both scientists, and so we know very little about the music business except that it’s been throughly disrupted from the days where I bought 45’s (and how many people here will know what that means) from the corner record shop. (And yes, I still have them. They’ve all been digitized and put away.) So the question I had from the beginning is if a label offers to sign her, should she sign? (She’s currently still too young to sign a contract now on her own.) What does a label offer these days, besides being a money leech? In the old days, they produced physical objects and had the recording studios. What do they do now? Personally I think the self-publishing model might be the way to go, just as in publishing, but if labels actually have something to offer, maybe we should try that way. If Apple were to sign her, would they want exclusive copyright? Would they help her promote her own singing, or are they just looking for songs to feed to known artists that can’t write their own?


(Tommy Weir) #5

I think the answer to your question, like so many in creative sector, is the rather unsatisfying “it depends.”

On her music, her approach, the label itself, the proposed point of the contract, the timing, the details of the contract.

Cannot overestimate the impact of having a well connected trusted music publisher promote a career. Successful self-publishers sign up too.

In particular if Apple signed her, you would know she would get attention given the newsworthy nature, there would be deep pockets to back production, and there would be a rapidly growing outlet.


#6

Interesting to see it set to overtake Spotify by end of summer.

I’ll bet that the highly unprofitable Spotify is not at all happy that the royalty money they will have to shell out to Music would be added to the hundreds of billions in Apple’s cash pile. Apple is known for paying comparatively good rates to artists, and they do have a reputation of being more artist friendly than Spotify., and Spotify cut the rates they pay to labels even further a few months ago.

Apart from the music industry I wonder if the move to include publishing has uses from their television content production, given the compositions required for that.

I think it most certainly does. One of the reasons music publishers still thrive is their ability to promote licensing for existing work as well as to promote their songwriters, artists and composers for commissioned music. Publishers are also important for hooking up writers and artists for TV, movies and commercials, as well as for discovering new talent.

I suspect that it won’t be too long before Apple starts its own music label.

Marilyn


#7

This is a topic of personal interest to me, since my daughter is a singer/songwriter who just released her first album (Ariana Dove, “Dark Energy”, and the story of where that title came from is fun). She wrote and composed all 15 songs, and they were professionally produced by some very talented people. I don’t know how it’s doing, but there’s been very little promotion yet, mostly through her social media accounts. Her social media followers were kept in the loop during the studio recording phase, and she usually live streamed the process on Instagram. (She’s currently in Minneapolis where she’s about to start the production of the musical “Queendom” she co-wrote with a friend who lives there. Because of social media, she has good friends all over the country.)

Her success to date is wonderful, and it sounds like her dedication, talent and hard work could result in success. Does she have a website, YouTube, etc. we could check out?

My wife and I are both scientists, and so we know very little about the music business except that it’s been throughly disrupted from the days where I bought 45’s (and how many people here will know what that means) from the corner record shop. (And yes, I still have them. They’ve all been digitized and put away.) So the question I had from the beginning is if a label offers to sign her, should she sign? (She’s currently still too young to sign a contract now on her own.)

I hardly know anything at all about the artist management side of the music business. What I do know for sure is that a good lawyer or group of lawyers who specialize in working with musicians in her genre are critical to negotiating the waters. Although it might be premature to sign on with legal help right now, it might be a good time to research potential attorneys. There are so many labels out there, from the biggest to the smallest indies.

What does a label offer these days, besides being a money leech? In the old days, they produced physical objects and had the recording studios. What do they do now?

I also come from the era of 45s and LPs. Although record stores like Sam Goody and Tower Records are gone, record labels are still big business and dominant in the industry. Music labels and music publishing are two different, though parallel and complimentary, businesses. Some labels handle both. And the labels are responsible for the production, distribution and promotion of their artists, which can include advertising, PR, tour support, outreach to radio stations, etc.

And though CD sales continue to diminish rapidly, CDs are still profitable enough that Target, Walmart, Amazon and other retailers carry them. I recently watched a Netflix documentary about Lady Gaga about the build up to the release of her latest album and her Super Bowl performance and it showed her going to big box stores to check out its display positioning on the day of its release, and she did kind of did loose her cool when it didn’t get prime positioning. IIRC, she did make a point of saying something about taking this matter up with her label.

Personally I think the self-publishing model might be the way to go, just as in publishing, but if labels actually have something to offer, maybe we should try that way. If Apple were to sign her, would they want exclusive copyright?

I don’t know the legal ramifications; you most definitely need a lawyer for this. But as I understand it, publishers are at least equally as important to a songwriter as a label is. The publisher is responsible for the individual songs, including sheet music, The label handles the artist and the production, distribution and marketing of the music.

For Apple, I music publishing is a great move, and probably a foot in the door to starting their own label.

Would they help her promote her own singing, or are they just looking for songs to feed to known artists that can’t write their own?

It could be one or the other, or both. Again, she’ll need a good lawyer when she gets to this point. Hopefully, she’ll also need an agent, manager, tax person, roadies, etc., etc. And stylists and designers for her Grammy, Billboard, MTV, Emmy and Oscar appearances.

And handing songs over to others can be terribly lucrative and artistically rewarding; Carol King and Phil Spector are good examples. Lennon & McCartney gave away songs to friends that they wrote but didn’t want to record - “World Without Love” and “I don’t Want To See You Again” to McCartney’s girlfriend’s brother, “Love Of The Loved” and “It’s For You” to the Cavern’s coat check girl, Cilla Black, and “From A Window” and “Bad To Me” to Brian Epstein’s boyfriend. Mick Jagger gave “As Tears Go By” to Marianne Faithful years before he recorded it because he had the hots for her. Bruce Springsteen’s “Blinded By The Light” was a flop when he first recorded it; it was given to Manfred Mann who turned it in to an international chart topping hit. Just to name a few.

Marilyn


(Paul Schinder) #8

MMTalker
June 2
This is a topic of personal interest to me, since my daughter is a singer/songwriter who just released her first album (Ariana Dove, “Dark Energy”, and the story of where that title came from is fun). She wrote and composed all 15 songs, and they were professionally produced by some very talented people. I don’t know how it’s doing, but there’s been very little promotion yet, mostly through her social media accounts. Her social media followers were kept in the loop during the studio recording phase, and she usually live streamed the process on Instagram. (She’s currently in Minneapolis where she’s about to start the production of the musical “Queendom” she co-wrote with a friend who lives there. Because of social media, she has good friends all over the country.)

Her success to date is wonderful, and it sounds like her dedication, talent and hard work could result in success. Does she have a website, YouTube, etc. we could check out?

We own “arianadove.com” but there’s nothing there yet. Nothing on YouTube yet concerning her album except that it’s on YouTube Music (she has a YouTube site, but for other things). My wife and I are both busy with other things. My wife is setting up a company to market to other universities the online intro astronomy course she’s developed and been running for Penn State for years, and in addition she’s currently in Minneapolis working on the musical. I’ve been busy analyzing and archiving Cassini data now that the mission is over. So this is definitely a soft album launch at the moment. My daughter has a Facebook account but never uses it (she considers Facebook “old people’s Instagram”), and she’s @arianadovemusic on Instagram, but that’s mostly still her personal account and the album is only a small part of it.

My wife and I are both scientists, and so we know very little about the music business except that it’s been throughly disrupted from the days where I bought 45’s (and how many people here will know what that means) from the corner record shop. (And yes, I still have them. They’ve all been digitized and put away.) So the question I had from the beginning is if a label offers to sign her, should she sign? (She’s currently still too young to sign a contract now on her own.)

I hardly know anything at all about the artist management side of the music business. What I do know for sure is that a good lawyer or group of lawyers who specialize in working with musicians in her genre are critical to negotiating the waters. Although it might be premature to sign on with legal help right now, it might be a good time to research potential attorneys. There are so many labels out there, from the biggest to the smallest indies.

Doesn’t help that my wife has an aversion to lawyers these days. But yes, I agree and have said so. The hard part is to find the right lawyer.

What does a label offer these days, besides being a money leech? In the old days, they produced physical objects and had the recording studios. What do they do now?

I also come from the era of 45s and LPs. Although record stores like Sam Goody and Tower Records are gone, record labels are still big business and dominant in the industry. Music labels and music publishing are two different, though parallel and complimentary, businesses. Some labels handle both. And the labels are responsible for the production, distribution and promotion of their artists, which can include advertising, PR, tour support, outreach to radio stations, etc.

(People still listen to radio?) I’ve read (probably in articles you link to among others) that most artists make essentially nothing from recording and make most of their income from touring. (700,000 streams = $150 on Spotify according to one article.) So tour support would be worthwhile, but she’s probably a little young to tour yet.

And though CD sales continue to diminish rapidly, CDs are still profitable enough that Target, Walmart, Amazon and other retailers carry them. I recently watched a Netflix documentary about Lady Gaga about the build up to the release of her latest album and her Super Bowl performance and it showed her going to big box stores to check out its display positioning on the day of its release, and she did kind of did loose her cool when it didn’t get prime positioning. IIRC, she did make a point of saying something about taking this matter up with her label.

Personally I think the self-publishing model might be the way to go, just as in publishing, but if labels actually have something to offer, maybe we should try that way. If Apple were to sign her, would they want exclusive copyright?

I don’t know the legal ramifications; you most definitely need a lawyer for this. But as I understand it, publishers are at least equally as important to a songwriter as a label is. The publisher is responsible for the individual songs, including sheet music, The label handles the artist and the production, distribution and marketing of the music.

For Apple, I music publishing is a great move, and probably a foot in the door to starting their own label.

Would they help her promote her own singing, or are they just looking for songs to feed to known artists that can’t write their own?

It could be one or the other, or both. Again, she’ll need a good lawyer when she gets to this point. Hopefully, she’ll also need an agent, manager, tax person, roadies, etc., etc. And stylists and designers for her Grammy, Billboard, MTV, Emmy and Oscar appearances.

Let’s hope, but I know how difficult it’s going to be for her to get there.

And handing songs over to others can be terribly lucrative and artistically rewarding; Carol King and Phil Spector are good examples. Lennon & McCartney gave away songs to friends that they wrote but didn’t want to record - “World Without Love” and “I don’t Want To See You Again” to McCartney’s girlfriend’s brother, “Love Of The Loved” and “It’s For You” to the Cavern’s coat check girl, Cilla Black, and “From A Window” and “Bad To Me” to Brian Epstein’s boyfriend. Mick Jagger gave “As Tears Go By” to Marianne Faithful years before he recorded it because he had the hots for her. Bruce Springsteen’s “Blinded By The Light” was a flop when he first recorded it; it was given to Manfred Mann who turned it in to an international chart topping hit. Just to name a few.

Yeah, she loves Disney so she’d love to write songs for them, for example. I know other examples, “Red Rubber Ball” (written by Paul Simon, made a hit by The Crykle), “Leaving on a Jet Plane” (John Denver, Peter Paul & Mary), “Fields of Gold” (Sting, Eva Cassidy). She wants to continue to sing, though, so I don’t want to to be in a situation where she’s told “you can’t sing that song you’ve written, we own the copyright”.