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Music Publishing and Licensing 2.0: Beatstars, DYI, Spotify...

Updated: Nov 14, 2022

Music Publishing and Licensing 2.0: Beatstars, DYI, Spotify...

As you've been told, being able to connect with a famous artist in a clique is not that easy or possible for a lot of people out there. This is a privilege that is not usually given to indie artists and songwriters. Even published songwriters and signed artists are usually knowledgeable in their own networks and genre.

This is the historic nature of music publishing and song pitching: to be a confidential and discrete business.

Lately, things have changed and can be resumed as follows: Beatstar, DIY, Spotify, etc.

Let’s dig a bit here:

BEATSTARS: It is a music library connecting performing artists to beatmakers and songwriters’ material. Every track is available through non-exclusive or exclusive licenses, providing stems to remix when needed. First, this tool was servicing the sync business, and then it was progressively used by the urban beatmakers community, eventually expanding to all music and genres. This model is now open to everyone, and both indies and professionals are now picking material from the same resources. And this is a game changer because talent scouting is now online, automatic, with no human interaction and no decision-maker besides the user. The role of the publisher has changed; his roster and position as a decision-maker are no longer critical unless he is actually carrying a production project. Except for major publishers in charge of famous names, anything new out there is now available to all from now on. Still, the publisher remains important once it comes the time to sign and manage an effective deal, but we are talking about accounting here, and less about talent scouting.

DIY: Here is the shortlist justifying how far we went from the classic music business process to the actual situation => Prolific home studio productions, online training for beatmakers and digital marketing, amazing smartphone/Go Pro videos in 4K, cheap but pro video and audio apps, Fiverr professional postproduction services, worldwide online distribution, and publishing services available for indie artists. Music marketing tools and social media advertisements match any budget in real-time. Professional music libraries connect artists to producers and material.

Music business professionals are challenged in their roles and responsibilities. Indies and major record labels are now sharing common ground to develop. Technology is not replacing the experience, though, nor the budget size, nor the teamwork, nor the music business network to promote properly, but we are coming to it...

SPOTIFY: Spotify basically allows anyone to propose anything worldwide from one place. Here again, both indie artists and majors are using the same tool. What about publishing?

So what? Songwriting, production, sales, distribution, and marketing have changed but not publishing? Of course, the publisher's role and responsibilities have changed. For a pop/rap/urban songwriter, producer, or beatmaker who is not a performer, there is no critical need anymore to sign a deal with a publisher unless this is a major one and unless he is promising to be very active. Think about it: the music libraries are now allowing you to get full revenue from many non-exclusive users automatically online, without actually spending time on it. Why use a middleman to do it? Unless you have significant opportunities from an active publisher and/or revenues involving an accountant, you may want to keep control by being the only decision-maker here.

On the other hand, for any other genre, or if you are a performing songwriter, it is different. You will still need a good publisher to work smarter.

Of course, nothing will replace a good and active publisher who opens the door for you to major artists and productions, but if you are not in this case, then you have plenty to do to level up as a valuable outsider.


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Author : Fran Pelissou

Pic credit: Fotolia/shutterstock/istockphoto

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