A step-by-step guide on how to make the most out of Sentric Music
So you’ve signed up with Sentric Music? Welcome! How do! Alreet! Etc! In this post I’m going to talk you through what you now need to do in order to make the most of our service. As you may already know we’re home to thousands of artists here, we’ve distributed hundreds of thousands of pounds in royalties and have had landed hundreds of synchronisation placements for our users, follow this guide and you’ll be well on your way to all these benefits and potentially more.
(if you need to brush up your knowledge about music publishing then be sure to read this handy WTF is Publishing? blog here)
- Signing Up….
Nice and straightforward; give us the information we ask for please! You’d be surprised how often an artist will sign up to the site and not let us know what their website is. Be sure to include your preferred social network (if we’re honest, we prefer Facebook over MySpace, MySpace is proper rubbish) and put a nice interesting biography in there as well (if you don’t have one of these at hand then you can come back to it and add it at a later date). For the walkthrough I’ve created a hypothetical band -I worked on the name for ages…
Also be sure to add additional email addresses as well to make sure you don’t miss out on any emails we send to you, preferably one for each member of the band and also your manager if you have one. There have been times in the past where we’ve emailed an artist with their royalty statement for quite substantial amounts of cash and it’s taken them over a year to get back to us with their bank details because “Harry the drummer is usually the one who checks the Gmail address and he forgot the password. Then he forgot his mother’s maiden name. Then we kicked him out of the band”.
- Track Details
Before we can do anything for you we need to know about the songs you’ve written. Remember – here we need information of every song you’ve ever played live, regardless whether or not if you have it recorded. Collection of publishing royalties is for the intellectual property behind the song, not for the recording of it.
Firstly input the title and duration of the song and then add the writers of the track, if any of the writers are direct members of the PRS then please be sure to add their CAE number so we can administer accordingly.
Once all the writers have been added then input the splits that have been agreed. In this example ‘Simon Pursehouse’ is receiving 40% compared to the rest of the bands 20% because he is the only genuinely talented one and without him no one would be interested in the band whatsoever.
If the same writers and the same splits are agreed on more than one track, then use the ‘Would you like to submit more songs based on the above details?’ option to input your other track information.
Now it’s time for you to give us a copy of whatever songs you have recorded. Before you even think to upload your tracks to our site it’s of the upmost importance you’ve got the metadata sorted out on your MP3’s. Seriously this is up there with remembering your mum’s birthday. Every time I get sent an MP3 file with bad metadata I use full fat milk in my coffee rather than semi skimmed to ease the disappointment; might not sound much, but the cholesterol slowly filling up my veins could be stopped by you good people by simply reading this blog and taking heed it’s advice – 7 Steps To Metadata Utopia. Here is an example of good metadata:
When you’ve done that, head over to the Track Details section on your Sentric profile, select the blue arrow and a pop up will pop up (that’s why they’re called pop up’s apparently). Select the file you wish to upload and let the site work its magic.
If you have an instrumental available for that track then it’s time to upload that as well this time by selecting the little blue arrow in the ‘Inst’ column.
(A quick note on instrumentals – they’re really rather important! 9 out of 10 syncs we land here at Sentric use the instrumental version of the track in question as quite often it’s being used on something which has dialogue and therefore needs the vocals stripped off the track so it doesn’t clash).
- Gig Claims
Now it’s time for you to give us the information which could really start earning you money. Over 70% of the royalties we distribute here at Sentric are for live performances and pretty much every single gig you do is worth something (usually a minimum of a fiver). Firstly you have to create a setlist, so I won’t insult your intelligence by telling you to click on the ‘Add Setlist’ button. Oh:
In the pop up select the tracks you usually play during your average gig.
Now click on create. This is when it’s start getting clever.
Here at Sentric we’ve spent a helluva lot of time and effort on our software to make things as easy as possible for you guys to make the most out of your music publishing. One of the snazzier things on the site is our venue database which basically allows you to type in just the venue name and, chances are, it’ll already be in our database so therefore will pop up and all you have to do is click on it and it’ll fill in the rest of the details for you. For example, my hypothetical band The Pursehouses recently did a UK tour of O2 venues starting off in Liverpool, so after typing ‘O2’ a cheeky little list should pop up:
Then all you have to do is select the right venue and put in the date of the performance and el voila – you’re flying:
Within no time at all you’ll have told us about all the gigs you’ve done.
Depending on when you signed up to Sentric Music changes how far back we can claim for the gigs you’ve completed in the past. To ensure the maximum amount of royalties possible are claimed we recommend you input every gig you’ve done in the past year (as in 12 months to the date of signing up, therefore if you sign up on the 1st December 2011 then keep going back to 1st December 2010).
- TV Opportunities
Fancy hearing your music on TV? Course you do. Head over to the TV Opportunities on your Sentric profile and have a read of all the exciting things we’re up to here to get your music in front of TV Folk around the world (further reading: An Idiot’s Guide To Landing A Sync Deal In 9 Steps).
To submit your tracks simply click on the little green ‘+’ symbol on the ‘Add/Remove’ column and once it has appeared on the ‘Your Submissions’ list select ‘Submit’.
Once submitted each track will be given a ‘status’; ‘Submitted’ means the track is in line to be listened to by one of our team here where it will either be ‘Approved’ and put on the platform which is used by our TV/Production Company clients or ‘Declined’ due to the track not being suitable for use.
The most common reason for tracks being declined is due to poor production quality. If the recording isn’t to a high enough standard then it simply cannot be used on TV.
- Showing off
We like to know what our artists are up to. Not because we’re voyeuristic or nosey, far from it, because the more we know the more we can do with your music. Take something like Skins for example; Skins is a TV show which prides itself on using the newest, best emerging music the UK has to offer and due to its reputation of breaking acts the whole music industry will line up to take a shot of getting their music onto the Bristolian shenanigans. Here at Sentric we’ve had music on both Skins UK and Skins USA and when we pitch music to the respective supervisors we don’t just send a playlist for them to listen to, we also have to effectively ‘sell’ your music and why they should use that over the thousands of other tracks they’ve been sent for that scene.
To help ‘sell’ your music we need to know anything exciting that might be happening in your career; a festival appearance, a headline tour, a tour support slot for a high profile act, high profile radio airplay etc. By keeping us in the loop with what’s happening with your musical career you can really help us to help you.
Read ‘My Perfect Demo Submission’ and do what it says. We’re always eager to hear from you.
So there you go! If you follow those steps you should be laughing. Metaphorically laughing that is, unless you’re a jovial person who just giggles often then for all that I know you could be laughing right now. And good for you if you are.
What I’m reading this week: The Slap by Christos Tsioklas