Music Publishing 101: What’s a Performance Rights Organization (PRO)?

Are you playing your original songs/music live or are they getting played on the radio? Was your song placed in a TV show, film or commercial that is being played on TV? Did you know that songwriters get paid for these types of public performances? PROs (Performing Rights Organizations) are an integral part of the music industry and in getting these types of public performances licensed, tracked and then royalties paid to songwriters. The administration and business side of your song catalog is as important as you creating it - read on to learn the ins and outs of how this works from SESAC Creative Services Manager, Diana Akin Scarfo.

What is a Performing Rights Organization (PRO)?
If you’re a songwriter, you have the right to be paid royalties any time your song is performed publicly. A PRO, also known as a Performing Rights Organization, tracks and licenses a songwriter’s music and pays the songwriter and music publisher public performance royalties (it is very common for the songwriter to act as the music publisher until a publishing deal/agreement is entered into).  Public performance royalties are when your song is performed on radio (terrestrial, satellite, and internet), TV (TV Shows, films played TV, commercials), live performances (i.e. bars, music venues, festivals, etc.), and digital streaming services (i.e. Spotify, Google Play, Apple Music, Pandora, Rdio, Rhapsody, etc.).

CaseyMusic Publishing 101: What’s a Performance Rights Organization (PRO)?
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Behind the Opportunity: Treehouse Festival

We’re so excited to share that we’re the official submission platform for the inaugural Treehouse Festival in L.A.! What started as a monthly event held at pop-up locations in L.A. where performers present their talents, has evolved into an all-day festival at The Ambassador Auditorium to expose upcoming artists to the crowd they deserve. We chatted with the inspiring team behind Treehouse to learn about the festival, exclusive ReverbNation opportunity, Kickstarter campaign, and more.

Hey Alex, Diana, and Charlsey! Thanks for chatting with us! Can you tell us a little about yourself.
Alex Wisner: Musician at AKW/Founder of Treehouse
Diana Mantis: Photographer
Charlsey Kellen: Founder of Dog-Eared Records

We are beyond excited to be the official submission platform for the First Annual Treehouse Festival! Can you tell us a little about Treehouse?
Alex: I’m so happy to be working with you guys. I know that this site has such a plethora of artists waiting to be found and that’s truly what we’re all about. Treehouse Festival is a one-day festival taking place in Los Angeles on October 15th. This festival is the result of a monthly event that I’ve been holding every month for the last year and a half. These monthly events started in my living room and quickly grew too large and became pop-up events all around Los Angeles. We showcase musicians, writers, actors and filmmakers. Each person has a 8-10 minute slot and we’ve ranged from 8 artists to sometimes 20 artists in one night. People submit via our website and we curate a night in a random location adorned with Christmas tree lights, an attentive audience and very memorable, touching performances.

CaseyBehind the Opportunity: Treehouse Festival
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Artist You Should Know: Matt Kivel

Singer/songwriter Matt Kivel just premiered his video for “Permanence,” announced an upcoming double LP due out in October, and consistently gets praised by the likes of Pitchfork, SPIN, and more. We caught up with the LA-based artist to chat about the collaborative recording process of 'Fires on the Plain,’ his evolution as an artist, and more.

Hey Matt, we’re stoked to have you be part of our series! Let’s start off with a quick introduction. Who is Matt Kivel?
Hi! Thanks for having me. I am 30 years old, married to a very intelligent woman named Emily, and I have been writing songs and making records for a long while now. I live in Los Angeles and have lived here, more or less, for the past 27 years. I enjoy reading, playing music, watching movies, and boxing … I feel like I’m on an old timey dating show right now.  

CaseyArtist You Should Know: Matt Kivel
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Artist You Should Know: Adam Jensen

With an addicting new single out, and the ability to beautifully pair alt, pop, and electronic sounds with emotionally raw lyrics, Adam Jensen will be one of your new favorite artists in no time. We chatted with the Boston-based artist/producer about his major influences, production style, and more.

Hey Adam! What’s your story?
Hello there! That’s a tough one. My story is equally everything I am, and everything I am not. In short, I’m just a ruffian from Boston who was lost until I found music as a means of staying out of trouble.

CaseyArtist You Should Know: Adam Jensen
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Gear Talk: Ellie Herring

Kentucky-based electronic artist Ellie Herring has been praised by the likes of Paper Magazine, Pigeons and Planes, and Gorilla vs. Bear for her hard-hitting beats and airy vocals. With a highly-anticipated EP due out this fall we caught up with Ellie to learn about her versatile style, go-to gear, music production advice, and more.

Hey Ellie! Introduce yourself.
Hey guys!  I’m Ellie Herring, & currently I’m sitting in my backyard in Kentucky on my second cup of coffee… & also have a browser tab open to a page with directions on “how to make the best iced coffee at home.”  I didn’t get a lot of sleep last night, not because I’m an insomniac, but because I’ve recently discovered The Rockford Files & can’t stop watching.  Have you ever read James Garner’s life story? It’s amazing.

CaseyGear Talk: Ellie Herring
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On Tour: Air Traffic Controller

Boston-based indie pop band Air Traffic Controller is hitting the road with Bronze Radio Return. They've recently been featured in Culture Collide, Gary V's Daily Vee, and included in the NHL 17 Spotify playlist. Check out their upcoming tour dates below and find a stop near you.

Air Traffic Controller 2016 Tour Stops:
September 28 – Grand Rapids, MI, Pyramid Scheme
September 29 – Chicago, IL, Lincoln Hall
October 1 – Columbus, OH, Rumba
October 2 – Ferndale, MI, Magic Bag
October 4 – Milwaukee, WI, Shank Hall
October 5 – Minneapolis, MN, Turf Club
October 6 – Davenport, IA, Redstone Room
October 8 – Dekalb, IL, House Cafe
October 9 – Saint Louis, MO, Delmar Hall
October 10 – Cincinnati, OH, Southgate House
October 11 – Nashville, TN, The Mercy Lounge
October 12 – Durham, NC, Motorco Music Hall
October 13 – Atlanta, GA, Vinyl
October 16 – Pittsburgh, PA, Diesel Club Lounge


CaseyOn Tour: Air Traffic Controller
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An Inside Look at The Bergamot’s Unity Tour

Have you seen a Volvo covered in inspiring messages in your city? The Bergamot have been driving across the U.S. on their Unity Tour, stopping in each state to perform and have people write messages of hope and unity on their Unity Car. We caught up with the husband and wife duo to talk about their amazing journey, their final show in NYC this weekend, and more.

In 10 words or less describe the Unity Tour.
Life changing – the greatest stories in life are real stories.

CaseyAn Inside Look at The Bergamot’s Unity Tour
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