Music Publishing 101: Q&A with Sentric Music CEO Chris Meehan

We recently chatted with Chris Meehan, CEO of Sentric Music, about all things music publishing. Read on to get the 411 on our partnership with Sentric, CONNECT Songs, and more.

How does Sentric work with ReverbNation?

Sentric Music is an award-winning publishing administration company. ReverbNation’s CONNECT Songs program and Sentric have a strategic business relationship, which enables Sentric to administer copyrights on behalf of CONNECT Songs. This means that as a CONNECT artist, your song is published by CONNECT Songs and administered by Sentric Music worldwide.

How does CONNECT Songs work?

CONNECT Songs provides you with access to direct collection networks to ensure your songs are registered worldwide with performance rights organizations (PROs) for the collection of royalty income. CONNECT Songs also works to place your music in movies, TV shows, commercials, and video games on a daily basis. The service is run on a quick and easy to use web-based platform simplifying the music publishing process. The agreement is extremely artist friendly with an 80/20 royalty (in favour of the artist, of course) and 45 day rolling termination clause.

What type of royalties do CONNECT Songs collect? (not just from sync)

The main royalty types are:

Performance Income

Performance royalties are generated when your music has done just that; been performed. This can be either live or a recorded version of your music. The money is collected by PROs such as SESAC, BMI (in the US) and PRS (in the UK) who CONNECT Songs liaise with in order to collect and administer your publishing income. The three main sources of performance income are from live performances (the gigs/shows you play), radio airplay and TV broadcasts.

Mechanical Income

Mechanical royalties are generated from various sources when your music is basically ‘put on’ something; be it a CD, TV programme, DVD etc. If a record label wants to release your music on CD, they have to pay a license fee to a mechanical collection society in order to have them pressed – so in essence they’re paying for the song to be duplicated. Digital mechanical royalties are also generated when your songs are downloaded or streamed from licensed services online.

Synchronisation

Synchronisation is the act of placing an artist’s music over a visual; be it an advert, a TV programme, a film, a video game etc. As well as generating back end performance and/or mechanical royalties, commercial synchronisation placements often generate an upfront fee which the CONNECT Songs team will contact you about to discuss when applicable.

What happens once I add a song to my CONNECT Songs account?

The CONNECT Songs team will check the information you have submitted and then register your songs with collections societies globally. If there are any issues then a member of the team will get in touch.  Once your registrations are in place at societies royalties will be payable. The CONNECT Songs team will search for any outstanding royalties and make any initial claims for gigs or shows you’ve added to your profile. When royalties are generated for your song, collection societies will pay your writer share to you (assuming you are a collection society member) and the publisher share to CONNECT Songs. We’ll then retain our share (20% of the gross royalty) and pay the remaining publisher share on to you.

If you are not a member of a collection society then, in some cases, your writer share of income will be held by PROs and so we always recommend that you join a PRO as a writer member (more on that below).

Why should artists choose CONNECT Songs? How is the program different from other publishers/my own publishing entity?

CONNECT Songs enables you to maximise the income from your songs through direct relationships with collection societies in most major territories worldwide. This collection structure ensures that more of the royalties generated from the use of your songs are returned to you than if you administered your songs through your own entity or other traditional publishers who would normally use local sub-publishers or where international income is passed between PROs before it is returned to you (i.e. more people in the chain are getting a cut of your royalties compared with CONNECT Songs’ direct collection model).

Furthermore, the CONNECT Songs platform utilises efficient technology to identify and claim outstanding or unpaid royalties proactively and easily – reducing the time and effort required to self-administer your publishing rights. The platform also presents opportunities to generate further income such as TV, movie and advertising sync placements or licensing opportunities with music services such as jukeboxes.

What are the most important things CONNECT artists can do once signed up to the service?

Add Songs

The most important thing to do is to add songs to your account – we can’t do anything at all without them. Songs should be added as soon as they are written and, ideally, ahead of any usage. It’s also extremely important to provide accurate writer information including any collection society membership details and real names (not nicknames or band names). Accurate and timely information will help ensure that songs registrations can be made immediately and no royalty income is missed or delayed.

Add Gig Details

The next things to consider is live gigs or shows. If you have performed your songs live in the past 12 months then you should add all of these dates to the Gig Details section. The CONNECT Songs team will then review them and claim royalty income for you where possible.

In most cases, you are owed a royalty every time you perform your songs live but these aren’t always paid automatically. The gig claims system offered by CONNECT Songs ensures you don’t miss out.

Add MP3 Recordings

Once song and gig information has been added, the final initial action for artists is to get MP3 recordings uploaded for synchronization opportunities. As well as the full recording, instrumental versions should also be uploaded if you have them as a lot of clients look to use instrumentals only.

Once your recordings are uploaded, the CONNECT Songs sync team will review them for placement in our sync catalogues and you’ll also be able to submit them for individual sync briefs posted to your profile.

A lot of US-based artists have their own publishing entities – can they still use CONNECT Songs?

Yes, absolutely – in order to take full advantage of the service offering, CONNECT Songs would replace your own publishing company as the worldwide original publisher of your catalogue. This structure enables CONNECT Songs to utilise our direct relationships with both collection societies and service providers to maximise the efficiency of global collections on your songs. You still retain 100% of your rights as the copyright holder, CONNECT Songs are simply administering your royalty collection and taking a percentage of what we collect on your behalf.

Do you need to be a member of a PRO to use CONNECT Songs?

No. It is not essential to be a member of a PRO as CONNECT Songs can still assist you in collecting the publisher share of your royalty income. However, we do always recommend you join your local PRO since, in some cases, societies will not pay out the writer’s share of royalties unless your are a PRO member. CONNECT Songs works closely with US PRO SESAC and can arrange for you to be considered to join SESAC as a songwriter member if you are not currently a PRO member. A member of the CONNECT team will be in touch to facilitate an invite once you’ve signed up and have added songs to your account. If you are a member of a PRO you can still use CONNECT Songs to take advantage of our administrative systems so we do all the leg work, ensuring you receive everything available around the world.

Do you have questions about music publishing? Leave them in a comment below!

CaseyMusic Publishing 101: Q&A with Sentric Music CEO Chris Meehan
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ReverbNation Discover: Find Great New Music On Any Device

ReverbNation Discover brings you exciting new music from emerging artists. The app makes the music easy to access whether you are at work, on your computer, or listening on the go.

The Problem with Music Discovery

There is more music in the world today than there has ever been before, but music discovery can be daunting. The Internet is a great resource, but it amplifies what is already popular, making it challenging for fans to find new music. And for artists—especially emerging artists— it’s harder than ever to get heard.  

The launch of ReverbNation Discover will bring emerging artists and music fans together. Combining the songs fans discover themselves on ReverbNation with hours of new music curated by our team of industry tastemakers, ReverbNation Discover is an entirely new way to uncover great music.

Mobile & Web, Unified

The ReverbNation Discover mobile app (iOS or Android) lets you take any song you find on ReverbNation with you. When you save music to “My Library” in your Dashboard, those songs will also be available in the Songs menu of your ReverbNation Discover app. The same thing applies to any Playlists you’ve created or saved.

DiscoverCollections

 

Powered by Curation-at-Scale

Music lovers are always on the hunt for find great undiscovered music. ReverbNation has assembled an acclaimed team of curators to help fans with that search. ReverbNation’s Curation Team are a group of passionate music industry tastemakers with expertise in their respective genres. The Curation Team has listened to millions of songs to find the best new ReverbNation artists to share with fans.

The Curation team has assembled Collections that highlight buzz artists, trending tracks, and videos. We’re also working with a few artists and music publications to help them curate their own Collections. Next,  we’ll begin spotlighting fan-curated Collections. Here are a few examples of Collections in action:

The Watch List: Thaddeus Anna Greene
DiscoverBlogTWL

Artist Collection: Ogden Payne
DiscoverBlogOP

Opportunity Promoter Collection: Relix Magazine
DiscoverBlogRM

Kurt MerriweatherReverbNation Discover: Find Great New Music On Any Device
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New Song Player Announced — Embeddable & Shareable

We haven’t talked about this much yet, but you may have noticed that we’ve given our song player a much-needed facelift, and we’re pretty excited with how it looks.

You can compile a great looking playlist or share a song all by itself — both options will put your album artwork front and center. You can even customize the “waveform” of each song to match that artwork, or choose a sleek looking “dark” or “light” finish.

So whether you’re pitching your latest single to Stereogum or embedding your newest album on your website, your music is going to look as good as it sounds.

Horizontal Player

Artwork Player

To get your own player, visit the Tools > Widgets section of your Dashboard!

SamNew Song Player Announced — Embeddable & Shareable
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Introducing the New Band Profile App for Facebook

As Facebook continues to limit your musician/band page’s “organic reach,” (i.e. how many people see your posts without having to spend money to “boost” your posts), we wanted to be sure that anyone who visited your Facebook page would be able to get all the information they needed in one place. So if you hop over to your Facebook musician/band page, you’ll notice that your Band Profile app now sports a simple, sleek look designed to focus all of your fan’s attention on your music.

SamIntroducing the New Band Profile App for Facebook
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Digital Distribution Checklist: Getting Your Release Ready for iTunes, Spotify, and More

Getting your music onto services like iTunes and Spotify is essential to an independent Artist’s complete web presence. We’re proud to offer our Artists a quick and affordable method of digital distribution, and we want to help make sure that your release won’t get rejected by the retailers’ strict guidelines.

With that in mind, we put together a final checklist to make sure that your release meets those requirements and doesn’t end up delayed. Watch the following video, or check out the highlights below.

SamDigital Distribution Checklist: Getting Your Release Ready for iTunes, Spotify, and More
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Email Marketing for Musicians: It Starts With Knowing Your Audience

In our post The Biggest Misconception Musicians Have About Email Marketing, we offered tips on how Artists can start an email marketing strategy. We continued the conversation with Ferol Vernon, SVP of Artist Services at ReverbNation, to learn more about how musicians can get the most value out of emailing fans.

Experiment to Find Out What Works for You

For musicians, the prospect of creating an email campaign may seem intimidating. However, Ferol says it’s likely that most Artists will already have all the information they need to get started. Knowing how to market to your audience, means that first, you need to know your audience.

“You can read all the websites and papers out there on good marketing tactics, but at the end of the day, what works for your fanbase works for your fanbase,” says Ferol.

Watch to learn more about how you can take what you know about your fans and refine your email campaigns through continued experimentation:

SamEmail Marketing for Musicians: It Starts With Knowing Your Audience
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The Biggest Misconception Musicians Have About Email

A few months ago, ReverbNation surveyed artists and asked what digital tactics they use to promote their music.

Surprisingly, we found that Artists don’t think it’s important to use email marketing to communicate with fans. Why?

“I’m not a senior citizen, that’s why I don’t do email marketing.”

“Email is for old people.”

“Nobody cares about email anymore. They care more about social media.”

Ferol Vernon, SVP of Artist Services at ReverbNation (and our resident digital marketing expert) analyzed the survey results firsthand. I sat down with Ferol to learn where this perception of email came from and why he thinks it’s a dangerous view for artists to have.

SamThe Biggest Misconception Musicians Have About Email
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NEW FEATURE: Optimize Your Online Press Kit

You know the old saying, “you never get a second chance to make a good first impression?” It’s especially true for musicians trying to get heard. It’s why we’re always encouraging you to use great photos and album artwork and constantly perfect your craft. And it’s why we’ve added the Song for Consideration feature to the opportunity submission process.

We’ve just made it easier to select the perfect song to submit to each new ReverbNation opportunity. Increase your odds of being chosen for tours, festivals, radio play, and more by selecting the best song for each opportunity submission. The “Song for Consideration” will be the first one promoters hear, so you can make it count.

SamNEW FEATURE: Optimize Your Online Press Kit
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