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Jury Awards Quincy Jones $9.42 Million in Royalties Dispute With Michael Jackson Estate

A LOS ANGELES jury awarded  music producer QUINCY JONES $9.42 million in damages, for being underpaid in royalties for music used in the “This Is It” documentary and two CIRQUE DU SOLEIL shows, VARIETY reports. JONES initially sued the MICHAEL JACKSON estate in 2013, asserting that he was owed $30 million from posthumous deals by JACKSON’s estate that featured his music in the 2009 film and the CIRQUE shows.

At issue was the interpretation of two contracts for the albums “Off the Wall,” “Thriller” and “Bad.” JONES’ lawyers contended that his contracts entitle him to significant proceeds from “This Is It,” the backstage concert film released after JACKSON’s death, as well as those from two CIRQUE DU SOLEIL shows.

Following the verdict, JONES released the following statement:

“As an artist, maintaining the vision and integrity of one’s creation is of paramount importance. I, along with the team I assembled with MICHAEL, took great care and purpose in creating these albums, and it has always given me a great sense of pride and comfort that three decades after they were originally recorded, these songs are still being played in every corner of the world. This lawsuit was never about MICHAEL, it was about protecting the integrity of the work we all did in the recording studio and the legacy of what we created. Although this judgment is not the full amount that I was seeking, I am very grateful that the jury decided in our favor in this matter. I view it not only as a victory for myself personally, but for artists’ rights overall.”

https://www.allaccess.com/net-news/archive/story/168028/jury-awards-quincy-jones-9-42-million-in-royalties

Latin Music Youth Idol Maluma Joins ASCAP

ASCAP, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, the world leader in performing rights and advocacy for music creators, announced today that Latin music youth idol Maluma has joined the Society for representation of public performances of his music catalog.

The twenty-three-year-old is one of the music industry’s most important new voices. Born Juan Luis Londoño in Colombia, he formulated his artistic moniker Maluma from the first two letters of the names of his mother, father and sister.

Maluma’s latest single, “Felices Los 4,” just reached #1 on the Billboard Latin Rhythm Airplay chart and only days after the introduction of a salsa version of the smash hit featuring music icon Marc Anthony, the tune occupies the #1 position in E.U. Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Peru and Paraguay. He released his latest album Pretty Boy Dirty Boy in 2015 under the Sony Music US Latin label which debuted at #1. In his first year and a half in the U.S. market, Maluma garnered five #1 songs on Billboard’s Latin Airplay chart. He is the youngest artist to simultaneously hold both the #1 and #2 spots Billboard’s Latin Airplay chart (with “Sin Contrato” and “Chantaje”) and only the sixth act to ever achieve the feat. Maluma is one of social media’s most popular artists with over 23 million Facebook fans, 4.2 million Twitter followers, and a whopping 26.8 million Instagram followers (making him the leading Latin male artist on Instagram). His official YouTube/VEVO channel has garnered over 5 billion views and has more than 10 million subscribers. With his Maluma World Tour he has achieved unparalleled success as an urban artist including selling out three consecutive nights at Argentina’s Luna Park and three sold out concerts at Mexico City’s Auditorio National. He is the only urban artist to sell out the Arena de Mexico.

“Maluma has a powerful and deep connection with his audience,” said Gabriela González, ASCAP Vice President, Membership, US Latin and Latin America. “He has had an incredible start to his career, and we are excited to support him as he continues to grow as a songwriter and an artist.”

“The team at ASCAP is a genuine family and I am proud to be part of an organization that is home to so many legendary songwriters and composers,” said Maluma.

 

About ASCAP
The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) is a professional membership organization of songwriters, composers and music publishers of every kind of music. ASCAP’s mission is to license and promote the music of its members and foreign affiliates, obtain fair compensation for the public performance of their works and to distribute the royalties that it collects based upon those performances. ASCAP members write the world’s best-loved music and ASCAP has pioneered the efficient licensing of that music to hundreds of thousands of enterprises who use it to add value to their business – from bars, restaurants and retail, to radio, TV and cable, to Internet, mobile services and more. The ASCAP license offers an efficient solution for businesses to legally perform ASCAP music while respecting the right of songwriters and composers to be paid fairly. With more than 625,000 members representing more than 10 million copyrighted works, ASCAP is the worldwide leader in performance royalties, service and advocacy for songwriters and composers, and the only American performing rights organization (PRO) owned and governed by its writer and publisher members. Learn more and stay in touch at www.ascap.com, on Twitter and Instagram @ASCAP and on Facebook.

https://www.ascap.com/press/2017/07-24-maluma-joins-ascap

12 Gifted Composers Selected For Exclusive ASCAP Film Scoring Workshop

LOS ANGELES, June 29, 2017 — ASCAP, the world leader in performing rights and advocacy for music creators, today announced the 12 composer participants selected for its prestigious annual ASCAP Film Scoring Workshop, now in its 29th yearLed by Emmy Award-winning composer Richard Bellis, the comprehensive 4-week program takes place in Los Angeles.  It culminates when each aspiring composer has the opportunity to record their original score for a major motion picture scene using the same tools as a world-class composer:a 64-piece orchestra at the historic Newman Scoring Stage at FOX Studios.

The Workshop, supported by The ASCAP Foundation, is known in Hollywood circles for grooming some of the world’s top composers, connecting them with agents, music supervisors, attorneys and A-list Hollywood studio executives. Among the program’s alumni since its 1988 launch are Jim Dooley (TNT’s Last Ship, Emmy winner for ABC’s Pushing Daisies,); Rob Duncan (NBC’s Timeless; multi-Emmy nominee for the ABC hit Castle, and Starz’s Missing); Matthew Margeson (2017 film Rings, 2016 films Eddie the Eagle and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, International Film Music Critics Award winner for 2015 hit The Kingsmen: Secret Service); Mateo Messina (Oscar-winning 2007 film Juno, NBC’s Superstore and Hulu’s Casual); Layla Minoui (Bravo’s Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce), Julia Newmann (additional music for hit FOX TV series Bones); and Joe Trapanese (ABC’s Quantico; 2016 film Allegiant, 2015 hit film Straight Outta Compton).

“I’m so proud of the ASCAP Film Scoring Workshop and the opportunity we have been able to offer these young composers who have worked so hard to earn their place in this exclusive group,” said Shawn LeMone, ASCAP SVP Membership. “ASCAP supports its members in all stages of their careers and it is gratifying to get see them go on to make their marks in the film and television industry.”

The Workshop is produced by ASCAP Film and TV membership executives Michael Todd and Jennifer Harmon. Participants are chosen from more than 300 applicants by a team of 20 professional composers. This year’s participants are:

?  Bronson Buskett (Los Angeles, CA)

?  Tyler Durham (Nixa, MO)

?  Bernhard Eder (Vienna, Austria)

?  Riley Hughes (Los Angeles, CA)

?  Ana Kasrashvili (Rustavi, Georgia)

?  Jonathan Keith (Los Angeles, CA)

?  Levente Kovacs (Vienna, Austria)

?  Alexander Lecluyse (Paris, France)

?  Antoni Mairata March (Madrid, Spain)

?  Nolan Markey (Los Angeles, CA)

?  Drew Mikuska (Los Angeles, CA)

?  Megumi Sasano (Los Angeles/Japan)

Among the scoring legends and top-tier composers that have lectured at the Workshop are: Henry Mancini, Elmer Bernstein, Randy Newman, Hans Zimmer, James Newton Howard, John Powell, Geoff Zanelli, Garry Schyman, Michael Levine, David Vanacore, Ron Jones, Jeff Cardoni, Michael Giacchino, Marco Beltrami, Buck Sanders, Walter Murphy, Mark Isham, Alf Clausen, Ramin Djawadi, Bruce Broughton, Steve Porcaro, Jay Gruska, David Lawrence, Brian Tyler, Sean Callery, Mark Snow and John Debney.

About ASCAP

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) is a professional membership organization of songwriters, composers and music publishers of every kind of music. ASCAP’s mission is to license and promote the music of its members and foreign affiliates, obtain fair compensation for the public performance of their works and to distribute the royalties that it collects based upon those performances. ASCAP members write the world’s best-loved music and ASCAP has pioneered the efficient licensing of that music to hundreds of thousands of enterprises who use it to add value to their business – from bars, restaurants and retail, to radio, TV and cable, to Internet, mobile services and more. The ASCAP license offers an efficient solution for businesses to legally perform ASCAP music while respecting the right of songwriters and composers to be paid fairly. With over 625,000 members representing more than 10.5 million copyrighted works, ASCAP is the worldwide leader in performance royalties, service and advocacy for songwriters and composers, and the only American performing rights organization (PRO) owned and governed by its writer and publisher members. Learn more and stay in touch at www.ascap.com, on Twitter and Instagram @ASCAP and on Facebook.

About The ASCAP Foundation

Founded in 1975, The ASCAP Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to supporting American music creators and encouraging their development through music education and talent development programs. Included in these are songwriting workshops, grants, scholarships, awards, recognition and community outreach programs, and public service projects for senior composers and lyricists. The ASCAP Foundation is supported by contributions from ASCAP members and from music lovers throughout the United States. www.ascapfoundation.org

https://www.ascap.com/press/2017/06-29-film-scoring-workshop-participants

2017 ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Awards

On June 22, ASCAP celebrated our unparalleled roster of urban music giants, past and present, at the ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Awards, presented by REVOLT. Our 30th annual Awards brought out a-list talent, including 2 Chainz, Boi-1da, Anthony Brown, French Montana, Remy Ma, Mike Will Made-It, PartyNextDoor, Yo Gotti and Young Greatness, to pick up awards for writing and publishing the biggest R&B, hip-hop and gospel songs of last year. Paul “Nineteen85” Jefferies and Allen Ritter tied for Songwriter of the Year, and Sony/ATV earned our Publisher of the Year Award. As a heat wave brought record-breaking temperatures to LA, four phenomenal performers turned it up even further: Jeremih (“Oui”), Tasha Cobbs Leonard (“Greater God”), Kyle (“iSpy” & “Nothing to Lose”) and H.E.R. (in her debut live performance).

As we honored today’s music greats, we also paid homage to three ASCAP legends who have inspired us for decades. Super-producers Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, fresh from their induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, accepted the ASCAP Voice of Music Award from the “Godfather of Black Music” Clarence Avant and Warner/Chappell Chairman & CEO and ASCAP Board member, Jon Platt. And in the most moving segment of the night, the family of the late, great Christopher “Notorious B.I.G.” Wallace received the ASCAP Founders Award from the family of his longtime collaborator and champion, Sean “Diddy” Combs. The entire room was on its feet while Biggie’s original DJs, DJ Clark Kent and DJ Enuff, battled it out with classic songs from his untouchable catalog; it was clear that his legacy lives on, even 20 years after his passing.

https://www.ascap.com/news-events/awards/2017/rs-awards

Robin Thicke Claims Dad’s Wife Threatened Bad Press

America’s dearly departed favorite dad Alan Thicke is at the center of what is shaping up to be a dramatic family fight, as his sons are taking his wife to court over his estate.

Brennan and Robin Thicke are co-trustees of the Thicke’s living trust. They say they’ve been left with no choice but to file a petition in order to “honor the memory of their father, protect his legacy, and prevent his testamentary intentions from being undermined by avarice and overreaching of his third wife, Tanya Callau.”

Thicke died suddenly in December, after his aorta ruptured while playing hockey with his son Carter.

The sons claim their father acquired the vast majority of his wealth long before meeting Callau, who signed a prenuptial agreement ahead of their 2005 marriage.

In the trust, Thicke left each of his three children equal shares of a Carpinteria ranch, 75 percent of his personal effects and 60 percent of his remaining estate, according to the petition. He left Callau, the ranch’s furnishings, 25 percent of his personal effects, a $500,000 life insurance policy, all of his death benefits from pensions and union memberships and 40 percent of his remaining estate. He also provided that she could live at the ranch, as long as she paid for its expenses and maintained the property.

Now, Thicke’s sons claim Callau is insisting that the prenup she signed is invalid.

According to the petition filed Tuesday in L.A. County Superior Court, Thicke updated his trust from time to time and the most recent iteration was signed in February 2016. It designated his brother Todd as the trustee, and left the estate in the hands of his children if Todd declined the role — which he did. Brennan and Robin say Callau made no complaints about the prenuptial agreement or the estate plan at that time.

“Now that Alan is dead, Tanya claims there are numerous problems with the Trust and the Prenuptial Agreement,” writes attorney Alex Weingarten in the petition. “Tanya asserts that there is no chance the ‘Prenup’ could withstand legal challenge and that she has very significant community rights in the Trust’s assets and rights of reimbursement with respect to improvements to the Ranch. Tanya also claims ‘Marvin rights’ asserting that she had to forego opportunities to pursue and advance her own career in order to support Alan and be his companion and partner, including raising Carter.”

Weingarten also claims Thicke’s wife has “threatened to make her claims fodder for ‘tabloid publicity’ unless the Co-Trustees agreed to participate in a mediation and succumb to her demands.”

The Thickes are asking the court for instructions concerning the extent to which the Trust’s property is the actor’s separate property and whether Callau’s challenge to the prenup is barred because she waived her community property rights when signing it.

“My clients made every effort to resolve this without the need for going to court,” Weingarten tells The Hollywood Reporter. “The only thing they care about is protecting the legacy of their father and honoring his intentions. That is exactly what we are going to do.”

http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/7800046/robin-thicke-alan-thicke-wife-estate-fight

Desiigner Addresses Tweet and Future Comparisons

For the first time ever, Desiigner stopped by Power 105.1’s The Breakfast Club on Monday (May 15) to address a slew of topics from his collaborations with Kanye West, the Future comparisons that have eclipsed his career since his mega-hit “Panda” and his now-deleted tweet calling out New York radio stations.

Desiigner was the subject of backlash back in April when he called out New York radio stations in a tweet. Since the success of “Panda,” Desiigner revealed to The Breakfast Club hosts that his hometown stations weren’t showing his follow-up singles the same love they did for his debut hit. “I want more play,” he told Charlamagne, adding that stations showed more favor to artists who aren’t “bringing the diamond back to the city” even though he’s representing New York when he travels across the world.

Elsewhere in the interview, when asked whether or not his sound is influenced by Future, the New York rhymer had nothing but compliments to offer: “I heard his music, he makes beautiful music,” before noting that he’s actually an “ultra-fan” of Travis Scott.

Before “Panda” propelled to the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100, it was sampled on Kanye West’s “Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 2″ from The Life of Pablo. Desiigner revealed that he was in an “11-label bidding war” before West officially signed him to G.O.O.D Music. The two artists continued to collaborate thereafter producing a remix to Desiigner’s second hit “Timmy Turner.”

http://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/hip-hop/7800041/desiigner-breakfast-club-interview-video-power-105

ASCAP Launches New Member Benefit with LANDR

ASCAP, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, the world leader in performing rights and advocacy for music creators, and LANDR, the world’s #1 automated mastering platform, announced today that it will provide ASCAP members with access to unlimited automated mastering.

This marks the beginning of ASCAP’s larger initiative to offer its 600,000 members an integrated member benefits experience with preeminent organizations, such as LANDR, that deliver services to music professionals. ASCAP will provide easy access to these services as it adds new exclusive benefits that align with member needs.

“Songwriters and composers are the heart and soul of music and ASCAP’s mission is to support them creatively and professionally at every stage of their careers,” said Elizabeth Matthews, ASCAP Chief Executive Officer. “Together with LANDR, we are offering them a valuable tool that they can use to bring their music to the world. In the future, ASCAP members can look forward to more best-in-class benefits that meet their needs and create more opportunities for them to succeed.”

All ASCAP members will be given exclusive access to LANDR’s Basic Subscription plus one HD WAV per month at no charge, including unlimited mastering of demos, live sets, DJ mixes, or even rough studio jam sessions. Unlimited free mastering means songwriters and composers can greatly improve the sound quality of anything they produce— even projects without a budget for mastering.

This benefit also includes access to LANDR’s latest smart sharing features. These enable songwriters and composers to privately and securely share their work with collaborators.

“LANDR’s mission has always been to support all musicians throughout their careers, which is of course perfectly aligned with ASCAP’s vision to represent, support, and compensate songwriters and composers. We believe firmly in fair compensation for music creators, and by partnering with ASCAP we’re in an excellent position to support that. By using our mastering service, all ASCAP members will be able to take their sound even further. Anything that helps bring more music into the world is always a beautiful thing,” said Pascal Pilon, CEO of LANDR.

LANDR was recently named by CNBC as one of the Top 25 brightest, most intriguing, young startups promising to become the great companies of tomorrow.

https://www.ascap.com/press/2017/03-10-landr-new-member-benefit

ASCAP Delivers Record-High 2016 Financial Results

ASCAP, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, the only member-owned performing rights organization in the U.S., representing over 600,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers, today announced record-breaking revenues and distributions for 2016, Year Two of its six-year strategic transformation plan to secure the future for music creators and publishers in the rapidly changing music world.

ASCAP collected record-high revenues of $1.059 billion in 2016 and distributed more than $918 million to its songwriter, composer and music publisher members. Distributions were up 5.6% over the prior year.

Revenues from ASCAP’s licensing efforts in the U.S. alone grew nearly 6% in 2016 to $759 million, up $42.2 million over 2015, fueled primarily by a 41% increase in revenues from audio streaming services as well as higher revenues from satellite radio and General Licensees, such as bars, clubs, restaurants, hotels, live concerts and more.

Foreign revenues totaled $300 million, up $1.5 million year over year in U.S. dollars. ASCAP’s international revenues would have exceeded last year’s performance by $12.9 million had it not been for the strengthening U.S. dollar which resulted in lower foreign exchange rates.

Domestic distributions of $631 million from ASCAP-licensed and administered performances in the U.S. grew nearly 10%, up $55.5 million over 2015.

ASCAP operates on a not-for-profit basis and delivers about 88 cents of every dollar collected back to members for performances of their music. With a 2016 operating expense ratio of about 12%, ASCAP remains among the most efficient Performance Rights Organizations in the world, while transforming to stay ahead of massive changes in the music industry.

ASCAP CEO Elizabeth Matthews commented: “ASCAP’s record high revenues and distributions in 2016 are a testament to the amazing repertory of music we are privileged to represent, and to our investment in innovations that enable us to continue to grow revenues, leverage our scale and increase efficiencies in our operations. ASCAP is committed to transforming and innovating to secure a healthy future for music creators and publishers. In 2016 alone, we processed over one trillion performances, welcomed 40,000 new members, and secured a steady stream of future royalties for our members by closing multi-year deals across all major platforms, including satellite and terrestrial radio.”

ASCAP President and Chairman Paul Williams added: “ASCAP’s strong financial results matter for each and every songwriter, composer and music publisher who makes a living from our creative work, from those just starting out to those whose music is beloved around the world. I am also incredibly proud that ASCAP continues to lead the fight for much-needed changes to U.S. music licensing regulations that are grossly unfair to songwriters and copyright owners.”

REVENUE GROWTH IN GENERAL LICENSING
ASCAP’s strategic investments to grow General Licensing revenues continue to pay off for members with a 7.2% annual growth rate over the past four years. ASCAP licensed over 18,000 new businesses in 2016 and also instituted a number of innovations in General Licensing, such as greater automation in reporting to drive compliance and create efficiencies that reduced our cost of new license acquisitions over the last three years by 50%.

STRENGTHENING OPERATIONS
ASCAP continues to strengthen and modernize its core operations. ASCAP entered into a new strategic and long-term data agreement with Nielsen to provide greater depth, transparency and reporting and tracking accuracy to ASCAP members.

ASCAP also modernized its employee benefits with a move away from an outdated pension plan towards smarter 401K and retirement savings plans that give employees more control while reducing ASCAP’s future cost base. This change will save the organization between $24 and $32 million in future years.

DIGITAL INNOVATIONS FOR MEMBERS AND LICENSEES
In 2016, ASCAP delivered several innovations to provide best-in-class digital experiences and new support services to members and licensees. These innovations make it easier for members and licensing partners to manage their catalogs and do business with ASCAP.

ASCAP’s website at ASCAP.com was completely redesigned and relaunched, including its dedicated “Member Access” portal, resulting in a 200% increase in member engagement while also lowering costs through better self-service and automation. ASCAP’S public ACE repertory database of over 10.5 million works was redesigned to include ASCAP shares of licensed-works, making it more transparent, easy-to-search and a valuable tool for licensees, music supervisors and members.

MEMBER SUCCESS AND GROWTH
The value of the ASCAP license continued to climb in 2016 thanks to the incredible success of the music of ASCAP songwriters who wrote or co-wrote nine of the top 10 songs on the Billboard Hot 100 year-end chart, and wrote 14 of Billboard’s year-end chart-topping songs. Chart-topping members included Justin Bieber, Noah “40” Shebib, Justin Timberlake, Max Martin, Shellback, Ashley Gorley, Drew Taggart, William Larsen, Enrique Iglesias, Mhmd Rahman, Silverio Lozada, Matt Crocker, Joel Houston, Salomon Ligthelm and Matthew West.

In 2016, ASCAP renewed agreements with many of the biggest names in music, including Kelly Clarkson, Max Martin, Paul McCartney, Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, Skrillex, Timbaland, Hans Zimmer and the estate of Johnny Marks, writer of Christmas classics like “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “A Holly Jolly Christmas.” ASCAP also welcomed The Beach Boys legend Mike Love, Latin superstars Carlos Vives and Fonseca, Adnan “Menace” Khan (producer/co-writer of Desiigner’s #1 song “Panda”), Nashville star Clare Bowen and Karey Kirkpatrick (co-creator of the Broadway smash Something Rotten!).

In 2016, ASCAP demonstrated commitment to nurturing its members’ success. ASCAP convened high-level song camps aimed at crafting future hits, and brought promising young talent together for networking events and intensive workshops dedicated to film scoring, pop songwriting, musical theatre and more. ASCAP showcases remained popular draws at the Sundance Film Festival and SXSW, and the 11th annual ASCAP “I Create Music” EXPO was the most successful ever, drawing well over 2,600 attendees to meet face-to-face with their musical heroes for three days of networking, education and inspiration.

https://www.ascap.com/press/2017/04-04-2016-financial

A Conversation With Ross Golan

As a songwriter, Ross Golan is well accustomed to telling stories, as proven by his discography – which includes No. 1 Pop Songs “Same Old Love” from Selena Gomez and “My House” by Flo Rida. Following his days at University of Southern California, where he started a label, formed a band and started landing deals as a solo artist, the Illinois-native explored a number of different musical ventures. But songwriting was really where he found his groove. Justin Bieber, Keith Urban, Jason Derulo and many of the biggest names in music have benefited from his touch. Now, the in-demand Golan is making a name for himself with a different type of storytelling. His new podcast, And the Writer Is…., features Golan interviewing fellow songwriters and capturing inspiring and insightful stories about their lives and careers. BMI caught up with him in between jobs.

How did you get your start in songwriting and what does it mean to you?

I think most songwriters start when they’re broke and, probably, in high school, and  they’re trying to figure out what to do with it, or their time and it’s not necessarily a business. So, I think the idea of being able to make a living at it is, obviously, a blessing. Because it’s hard to making a living at anything, let alone something that was initially your outlet, you know? So, it means a lot. That’s why we’re doing the podcast. I think it’s important to tell that story. No matter how many times we tell the story, every single person we’ve interviewed has gone through a struggle to get there. And songwriting is the thing that kept them going.

I know you went to USC, but what happened after graduation – how did you get to where you are today?

I went to USC because every other school was like, ‘You should do music.’ I was like ‘Alright.’ I went and applied, and got into the USC program. I was in a fraternity, and the house band were most of the members of E6, who ended up selling millions of records. And my average-to-below-average college band got to open for them. Because of that, we were able to open for the next band, which ended up being The Strokes. And every time you open for any of these bands, you add it to your resume. So, I got a record deal right after college, because instead of doing an internship my senior year, I asked if I could start a record label. I did that as my internship, and EMI ended up buying a portion of the record label.

So, I ran a record label for a few years… But my second band was doing really well, and we had an agent named Evan Bogart who was also a BMI writer who had written “S.O.S.” for Rihanna, and he had two bands – he had Glacier Hiking, which was my band and he had One Republic was Ryan Tedder’s band. Evan and Ryan were just saying to me that I should try to get into songwriting, and when I saw the difference between handing out CDs at the Roxy versus these guys who have songs that are worldwide smashes, it was, like What was I doing trying to hand out CDs?’ So, I just went through the circuit and kept writing. Casey Robison, who was at BMI at the time, helped a lot of us out – Ricky Reed, Jason Evigan – and he put me with Ricky, and we were able to get a CeeLo single, and you know once you get a name like that, it allows you to keep pushing open doors, which I’m still doing now. So, the struggle is real.

Can you talk about your creative process? How do you go about crafting a song?

It really depends. But most of the songs that I have out originally started from driving around town, or walking my dog and literally recording ideas into my phone, then trying  to hand out CDs?’ So, I just went through the circuit and kept writing. Casey Robison, who was at BMI at the time, helped a lot of us out – Ricky Reed, Jason Evigan – and he put me with Ricky, and we were able to get a CeeLo single, and you know once you get a name like that, it allows you to keep pushing open doors, which I’m still doing now. So, the struggle is real.

Can you talk about your creative process? How do you go about crafting a song?

It really depends. But most of the songs that I have out originally started from driving around town, or walking my dog and literally recording ideas into my phone, then trying to figure out how to make sense of what seemed to be a pretty good melody or concept or lyric. And then I bring it in to people, and I try to collaborate, because I think the collaboration process is what makes something great. But each song is so different. They all have different DNA, and they have different contributors, so the songs are going to have different processes. If you’re a good co-writer, you facilitate your co-writer’s best songs, so it’s not really about you, once you start writing with other people.

What would you tell songwriters who feel boxed into one genre?

They have to consume it. If I’m going to go write in Nashville, I better understand that Nashville math is different than pop math. And if I go and I write in urban music, I have to understand that that’s a different vernacular than the vernacular I’m using when I’m writing Hot AC music. Just being aware of your surroundings and who you’re with is so important. I think sometimes people just write a song and they think the song itself is the destination. And I think knowing a little bit of who you’re writing for, and with, is important.

What’s the best advice for aspiring songwriters that’s come out of the podcast?

I interviewed a guest yesterday, and he said he noticed that most of the writers we’ve interviewed so far, whether we’ve released them or not, are sober, and went through drinking and drugs. And they all became successful once they stopped. I think that the idea of a writing session being a party is really a waste of time and I think people have to view it as a job. These people show up, they show up on time, and they show up prepared. They study the artist, they study the co-writer. This is a job, and they should treat it like that. And when they do, they’ll see that their songs will sound intentional, and they’ll have a better shot, because nobody writes a hit song by accident.

https://www.bmi.com/news/entry/nobody-writes-a-hit-song-by-accident-a-conversation-with-ross-golan

Secondary Ticketing: The Bane of Live Music

Music Business Worldwide (MBW), a fellow publication, estimates that Mumford & Sons, the acclaimed British alternative-rock band, lost a minimum of three million dollars to the hands of scalpers and secondary ticketing sites in 2016. The figure could be half of that and still give pause for thought. As MBW suggests, moreover, it may well be that other prominent artists including Adele, Chance the Rapper, Radiohead, Iron Maiden, and The Pixies, are suffering a similar fate.

Mumford & Sons are a casualty of the pre-purchase of concerts tickets for price gouging. But fans and music intermediaries are hurt too. As Adam Tudhope, founder the group’s management company, says: “ [this] ‘value gap’ [is] extracted from our fans [against our will], and we get nothing.” Tudhope might as well be speaking for all managers, booking agents, and many concert promoters and venue owners (as will be shown later, venue owner Live Nation, the live music entertainment giant, plays in the secondary ticketing market and is less affected). In the first sale of tickets, of course, money paid goes towards the artist and the promoter, and includes only a reasonable ticketing fee.

One might add that record labels and music publishers are also victims of secondary ticketing. If recording contracts include ancillary royalties from merchandise sales, for instance, the opportunity cost of the $3 million could be high both for Mumford & Sons and its label. Moreover, had fans spent that money on physical or digital music sales, or tickets for other shows, the value of performance collections from other concert venues, as well as the mechanicals paid to publishers, could help songwriters. In fact, the short-term exploitation of fans in the secondary ticketing market adversely affects the bulk of the music industry.

Ticket multipliers

Growth in the secondary ticket market is fuelled by quick changes in technology that allow bots to raid online sales in an instant. The size of the market is of the first order. Conservative estimates put it at $2.3 billion globally for 2015 and growing, roughly the same size of paid subscriptions as reported by the IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry). Many, like MBW, suggest the number may be much higher.

Market size has to do with ticket multipliers. Secondary sites often resell tickets at up to forty times their original value. Demand outstrips supply for marquis events, and fans still spend on such markups: there is an asymmetry of information that plays into the reselling business, for the true market value of a ticket cannot be known for sure by a fan after the first sale.

Market size has to do with ticket multipliers. Secondary sites often resell tickets at up to forty times their original value. Demand outstrips supply for marquis events, and fans still spend on such markups: there is an asymmetry of information that plays into the reselling business, for the true market value of a ticket cannot be known for sure by a fan after the first sale.

The result is that big and small money rushes in to take advantage of this arbitrage. The main players today, for example, are eBay and Live Nation/Ticketmaster (the latter two companies merged in 2010). eBay owns StubHub, the biggest ticket reseller. Ticketmaster is second, with Seatwave and GetMeln. Both companies are in stiff competition with each other, and neck and neck over live music. Coming behind them is a host of smaller scalping platforms that seem to be growing by the minute.

Profit

The bulk profit of secondary ticket sales go to the corporate and rogue resellers and the platforms through which they trade. The platforms that purchase and resell tickets usually charge a commission of 30-35%. Indeed, Mumford & Sons claimed that about a third of the $3 million allegedly lost went directly to such platforms. Ticket resellers themselves pocketed the remainder. These were not music fans but professionals trying to extort the highest rent on the back of a hit music act. Only one out of every ten resellers is reportedly a fan, so ticket resells generate much money outside the trade. They ultimately feed an alternative echo system that is greedy for profit and which does not crossover into music.

Ironically, the hope for change lies in the big players, for they can engage new paperless ticketing technology that would make secondary ticketing irrelevant. Take the case of Live Nation/Ticketmaster. Though it benefits from the secondary ticketing market, being a player there creates short-term friction with the talent it needs to fill its arenas. Moreover, secondary ticketing tends to push concert prices up, for artists are afraid to settle for a lower ticket sale value when high prices are obviously paid in the secondary market. And because Ticketmaster deals directly with ticket sales, consumer backlash over expensive tickets is bad for business long term. Therefore, Ticketmaster supports the move to paperless ticketing even when this would mean banishing the secondary ticketing market where it is a key and profitable player. Indeed, the company has called to eradicate ‘legalized scalping platforms’ (including those where it has an interest) through paperless ticketing.

Skeptics might argue that Live Nation/Ticketmaster is too heavily invested already to engage change earnestly and fight for paperless ticketing. The official company line has been that it will both seek to actively integrate its secondary and primary ticketing functions for the benefit of fans and that it will add more dynamic pricing to first sales to help artists (by issuing more VIP, Platinum, and P1 tickets). But the conflict of interest is a matter of record, so critics can say that it is still legitimizing the market’s secondary inflated prices. Indeed, according to the latest Live Nation report, the company makes about $1 billion from secondary sales, from total revenue of $19 billion in 2016. Live Nation’s music revenue, a part of the $19 billion total, is more like $3bn to $4bn, and if so this suggest secondary ticketing music sales of about $200 million in the US: nearly one out of every five dollars is coming from its parallel resale market. And every one of those secondary ticketing dollars is projected to grow over and above any dollar in the primary sale market. Ticketmaster puts the figure at 33% annually, more than double the 14% sales’ growth of its first sale business.

Paperless Ticketing

If a paperless ticketing system were to go through it would enable ticketing companies to link each ticket to a specific person, which would make the tickets non-transferable. This would hinder scalpers from buying large quantities of tickets in order to resell them at a mark-up, but it also denies legitimate fans the chance to sell or transfer their ticket in case they are unable to attend the show. Secondary markets in finance, say for stocks and bonds, reduce the risk of a purchase not having the requisite liquidity in the event of a desired sell-off. Where there is an active secondary market, investors will be more active for they can sleep well at night knowing that they can liquidate their holdings at short notice. The same happens with live music tickets. If a fan knows that a resale is possible, the risk of purchasing that ticket and losing the money in the event of a change of heart or personal emergency is diminished. With a secondary market, the primary sale business is generally stronger. Largely because paperless ticketing could lead to the strangulation of the secondary business (except for face value reselling at Ticketmaster’s own site), paperless ticketing has had a checkered history.

Miley Cyrus’s 2009 World Tour, in conjunction with Ticketmaster, was the first ever to implement an exclusively paperless ticket strategy for a major artist. In the event, the tour did not sell as well as expected. The absence of paper tickets and secondary market vendors, it seems, was one of the reasons that fans stopped short of making a purchase commitment, for without the secondary market they risked losing the face value of the ticket if they were unable to attend the concert.

Ticketmaster kept on pushing for a paperless ticketing strategy anyway, later making it possible to resell paperless tickets within their authorized website, then verifying that the resold tickets were not overpriced. But Ticketmaster could not corner the market on its own, and if the parallel secondary market was going to survive anyway, a two-pronged strategy was inevitable. So Ticketmaster worked for paperless ticketing while keeping its options in the secondary market alive.

And even if one were to discard the idea of a vendor playing a two sided game, double dipping in the competitive parallel market and, therefore, enabling it (in this paperless ticketing is quite different from airline ticket sales to which it is often compared), there is some friction in the process that does not sit well with artists and concerts promoters. The paperless process, with ID check and credit card confirmation, takes much more time at the doors. Extra staffing is needed at the venue and ticket holders spend more time getting into the venue – while they could be instead spending on merchandise, food, and drinks.

Artists Unite

Nevertheless, secondary ticketing detractors are becoming more vocal. Mumford & Sons, as well as Adele and the other artists listed at the top the article, are drawing public attention, reaching out to their fans in the hope of educating them and making them advocates for more comprehensive legislative change.

Mumford & Sons, for example, has partnered up with platforms, Music Glue and Twickets, both of whom are trying to reinstate the fan-to-fan market approach rather the tout-to-fan sell. The two companies intend transparency in ticket transactions to deter scalpers. The band also promotes the Fan Fair Alliance that lobbies for legislative change and the enlightenment of consumers in the UK. Their efforts to suppress secondary players seems to work, as only Stubhub is currently listing tickets for the band.

Adele is on board too. Her website has displayed the message “The resale of tickets [for the current tour] will not be tolerated.” Adele has focused on controlling the first wave of ticket sales. She has implemented a pre-sale registration process, kept the pre-sale date vague, and approached fan clubs privately with ticket offers before any public announcement. The practice has yielded remarkable results. According to Jonathan Dickins, her manager, “approximately 1.9% of the ‘first wave’ of Adele tickets ended up on secondary ticketing sites – with some today being sold for prices in excess of $1800; 1.9% is a much lower percentage than the touts would have liked to achieve, with experts telling us the average arena gig sees closer to 20%.”

Chance the Rapper recently joined the fight, if somewhat unconventionally — by buying over two thousand tickets from secondary vendors and scalpers, and selling them to his fans at face value. Such a heroic solution is unlikely to be adopted by other artists, but in a world where artist-fan relations are more closely mediated than ever, Chance the Rapper sent an unequivocal message that he stands behind his fans even at a cost.

Conclusion

It has been argued that secondary ticketing is syphoning an important amount of revenue away from artists and others in the music supply chain. The point has been made too that secondary ticketing has a place. In particular, the knowledge that a buyer can exchange a ticket in the secondary market if something changes between the time of the ticket purchase and the day of the concert drives more primary sales at live music venues. Cash is tendered with the expectation that it can be recovered, and the alternative to no secondary ticketing is a primary market with no guarantee of ticket refunds. This would hurt the live music business.

But it is about time to ask if things have gone too far in aiding and abetting secondary sales. Technology has produced bots that can raid the market and manipulate it to their advantage. The result is bad for up and coming new artists who tend to target younger age groups that cannot afford the steep ticket prices of the secondary sale. Well known acts also wish to engage younger audiences to energize their fan base, and the high value of resold tickets puts them out of range for them too.

Engaging everyone in the music supply chain against overpriced tickets, including artist managers, booking agents, and not least Live Nation/Ticketmaster and eBay, is better for the business. Live Nation/Ticketmaster is aware of this and, as mentioned, is looking for a compromise. So there is much political capital that can be made by a joint industry approach against the excesses of the market. Overall, if the music marketplace is denying access to live music events to many people and benefiting above all, a special class of outside players, there should be consequences.

http://www.thembj.org/2016/12/secondary-ticketing-the-bane-of-live-music/