The Blog That Justifies What I Do… 31/10/2008
Usually I just link to the story that is the inspiration for the blog but this week I’m going to include a cheeky paragraph so you all know what I’m harping on about. Take it away aunty Beeb:
UK songwriters’ income from CD sales is expected to fall by 15% this year, and will be beaten by concert performances, industry estimates suggest.
The sum generated by physical albums will be about £131m, down from £152m, the MCPS-PRS Alliance has predicted.
But royalties from concerts and music aired in public is expected to be £143m – the first time it has beaten CDs since discs became widely available.
Now this is rather big news that will no doubt go unnoticed by a whole host of musicians who all have an inherent interest in what it means whether they know it or not. Your performance royalty income streams are now worth more than your CD sales (and in the majority of unsigned/independent artists cases; your digital sales as well which is what I’ll focus on in this blog).
Ignorance towards performance royalties, what they are, how much they’re worth and how artists can get their hands on them is borderline ludicrous. It’s even more absurd when you now consider the sheer worth of the money being generated and available for artists to get their hands on.
As a rule of thumb; performance royalties are generated every time music is played in public. Income streams include; radio airplay, TV exposure, live performances (of any size), karaoke bars, clubs, cafes, shops, restaurants, gyms, youtube, jukeboxes, pubs, online streaming and many more. So if your music has ever fallen into any of the above categories then you are entitled to performance royalties. Cold hard cash. Simple.
And we’re talking about decent sums of money here if you’re an artist who gigs regularly or receives the odd Radio 1 airplay here and there.
Some choice figures here:
BBC Radio 1 – up to £18 per minute
BBC Radio 2 – up to £18 per minute
BBC 6 Music – up to £3 per minute
XFM London – up to £15 per minute
Channel 4 – Sentric artists have previously received upwards of £250 per play
BBC 1 – Sentric artists have previously received upwards of £145 per play
Small Venues – anything up to £4 -£6 per gig (that can be backdated up to twelve months in the past)
Barfly – Sentric artists have previously received upwards of £19 per gig
Carling Academies - Sentric artists have previously received upwards of £32 per gig
Shepherds Bush Empire (as an example of a mid-scale venue) – Sentric artists have previously received upwards of £392 per gig
Compare those to the fact that an artist receives 41p per download sold in iTunes (after iTunes and an aggregators cut) then you begin to see the real value in performance royalties. For a 3 minute song on 6Music you could be looking at £9 which is the equivalent of around 22 downloads of your single.
Chris Brown was at number 40 in the charts this week (week ending 43) thanks to shifting 4,658 downloads of his instantly forgettable ‘Superhuman’ song. If he’d have distributed that though an aggregator who only took a 15% cut of digital sales income (like Sentric Music for example) then he’d have pocketed £1909.78 (but as he’s on Sony BMG a good few people will have got a cut of that before he gets his hands on any cash).
If that song is 3 minutes long then he’ll pocket £54 per BBC Radio 1 play and therefore only needs 36 plays to earn more than he made from over four and a half thousand sales. Considering the fact that if you’re a regular on BBC Radio 1 then you can pretty much guarantee that you’ll also be a regular on every other pop station in the country and again you being to realise the potential cash that is out there.
Here at Sentric we’ve had artists owed over a thousand pounds from BBC Radio 1 airplay alone, artists owed over a grand for one performance on a second stage at a Liverpudlian festival (the Knowsley Hall festival) and artists owed over five hundred quid for a year’s worth of gigs in small venues.
We even had one band who although primarily played classic rock covers, performed one song that was original material and for that one song we collect them £270 for a year’s worth of gigs. For one song!
Now regular readers of the blog will know that I do not use this as a marketing tool. The primary purpose of this blog is to educate and entertain unsigned and independent artists in the music business to help them gain a competitive advantage and in this case I believe I’m sticking to that ethos when I say you should seriously consider signing up to Sentric Music.
You can join the PRS/MCPS directly at the cost of £100 per writer member whereas if you go through Sentric Music you don’t have to pay a thing. Rather than charging you a sign up fee we take a 20% administrative cut of the royalties you generate. You could argue that it’s not worth the 20% fee that we take but there are plenty of added bonuses you get on top including us doing all the administration involved (which can be seen as rather laborious, just read this Case Study from goFASTER>> as an example), the chance to get your music on TV (we’ve earned our artists thousands of pounds from Hollyoaks placements alone), the chance to get your music on nationwide advertisements (like this one we placed for Carlis Star featured on our home page) and digital distribution to iTunes.
Also, with Sentric Music you can claim for live performances from up to twelve months in the past whereas if you join yourself you can only claim from the date you join.
In fact we have a good few Sentric users who are PRS/MCPS members as well but they still use our service as with our expertise in claiming royalties they still receive more money after our 20% cut than they would have done previously.
But if you choose to join the PRS/MCPS directly then that’s more than fine and I’ll still talk to you. They’re bloody lovely people doing a cracking job and they’re well and truly high up on my Christmas card list.
So if you’re even half thinking about signing up to Sentric then just stop pondering and start doing. And if you know of any artists then forward this blog to them and earn them some cash!
Ok, done. Apologies for the advertisement.
What I’m Reading This Week: Stephen Fry in America