Music is everywhere… and more and more so — sometimes even without you really noticing it — in carparks, lifts, shopping centers, restaurants (where it can be really irritating, just as you are about to expound some deep philosophical thought on the new ways of sharing music experiences with fans, the local group of Bouzouki musicians thinks you need a serenade…), and so on.
As the “Soundtrack to our Lives” diversifies itself into a myriad of listening experiences — from live concerts via radio programs to self-programmed streaming playlists and old-time homemade “Pirate” cassettes (yes, I know home-taping was killing music… so sorry [wink]) — so have the ways and means of monetizing these listening experiences grown ever more complicated and sophisticated.
The collection of “Neighbouring Rights” for example — another term for “Public Performance and Broadcasting Royalties” — used to be restricted essentially to mass-media usages in main territories of musical consumption, i.e. Western Europe and the USA. This is now changing however, and one of the ways in which we help our labels exercise all their rights is to engage on their behalf — if so mandated — to recover these monies that are being collected in their name but need to be claimed according to certain rules and regulations.
It goes without saying that these rules differ from one country to another — and even more within certain countries where there is more than one authorized collecting society. In some places, there is a levy on revenue generated by sales of material permitting the copy of sound recordings, in others radio or television airplay is still considered the main form of public performance while millions of streams are not taken into consideration… yet.
As part of The Orchard’s additional services that labels can opt into — either when they sign or as an addendum that can be implemented at any moment — we have adapted ourselves to be able to actively collect from over 30 different territories from Australia to Slovenia, South Africa to Mexico and the USA (of course) to France, where the SCPP is the latest addition to the roster of sources of revenues for Master Collections and one in which I have been actively involved.
As an example of the need to be painstakingly thorough in ensuring that only eligible titles are claimed for — without going into all the details we need to provide for each track on the 54-column Excel file (and then again for its use in each and every other album, compilation, etc.) — we need to verify that the original rights-holder originates from a country having adhered to the Rome Convention and that the date of each recording is specifically exact. For instance, if an album was recorded over a week, we need the date of each track’s actual recording, and that if there are two different lengths of recordings (i.e. a radio-edit) then we must have two separate lines for each. …You can get a feel for the job in hand.
That said, all this is worthwhile! The financial results are already very positive. Without making anyone a millionaire overnight, it is a newly opened revenue flow that is consistent and that will continue to bring additional rewards to the work our labels do with our help in making their music as widely audible as possible.
So the next time a romantic moment is spoilt by a would-be DJ at least it’s good to know that somehow, someone who has taken the risk of producing music is getting some benefit from it.