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Dirty Business of Songwriting
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#1174325 - 02/27/21 10:43 AM Re: Difference between Liking and Appreciating [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Once again, you have a pretty good handle on it. There are sort of two types of business going on. There is the "MAINSTREAM" which are all the usual avenues, record companies, mainstream television, movie companies, etc. Then there is the "underground culture" which are the YOU TUBE, FACEBOOK, INTERNET WORLD, and now of course, STREAMING SERVICES. Something like NETFLIX have come in and revolutionized the Indie world and has made it the most viable thing out there. I see this non ending stream of "stars" from yesterday, Michael Douglas, Jane Fonda, etc. having second careers (or third, fourth, etc) with mega hits on Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, etc. That has been the biggest beneficiaries of the pandemic. Millions of people sitting home watching TV.

Songwriting also has gone viral. But you are correct that there are so many people on it doing the same thing. And if you were to "go viral" there is a point you "cross over" into more of a mainstream thing. The Internet influencers now are as much in control as anything. The Net stars are viewed differently, but that line gets more and more blurred all the time.

The comments on "songwriters needing a hit tio recoup losses" is pretty much something that had been around for a long time. Most writers who enter that world, publishing and record deals, running in the circles, etc. would run up a lot of money owed long before they achieved any tangible success. It was quite average to have one, two or three deals in the three, six, ten years nessasary to rise to the top of the food chain and get those major singles that paid the money. That money all had to be paid back first, so you would have writers having top ten or number one songs, and they clear very little. It costs a lot of money out there to launch a project
That was the central reason for the REALITY contest shows. AMERICAN IDOL, THE VOICE, AMERICA'S GOT TALENT, became huge showcases for artists and songs. They generated billions in revenue and for labels were a great way to get exposure for their artists. Of course , they were also contests, so once they were over, they were over, and they were on to another years contest.

So there is no real rhyme or reason. You do what you can You sort of have to approach it all. My advice to artists and writers, like the one I worked with this week is come to Nashville, write with others, meet people, perform and network as much as you can, build your reputation, then GO HOME and work on your local and regional fan base. Work your social media. Build your "outside reputation." Then come back, do it again. If it is done correctly, they end up with better songs, and their skills are more honed. This gives them better product to put on social media, which helps their fan base. Inside the town, they write with better and better people, many who might be well connected. This spreads their reputation inside the town, they get better and better shows, more invitations to parties and special events.

From there it just builds, hopefully, but if nothing else, they still have their own fan base, their own venues, their own approach. Working toward Brian's "5000 fans" scenario.

You do what you can and hope for the best. That's how I see it.
MAB

#1174330 - 02/27/21 12:40 PM Re: Difference between Liking and Appreciating [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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or worse, there was a guy on one of the other sites, who accrued all the expenses himself. Doing it willingly, and using his own money. NEVER got the hit btw..

At one time demos cost alot of money. But chances are if your heading to Nashville, means youve changed jobs, had to pay your own expenses to move there, and you may have to demo 1000 songs before one makes it. Not to mention, your paying to keep upgrading your equiptment, buying strings, picks, straps,

a hit song doesnt pay as much as many people think. A songwriter might get $100,000 for a big hit. Might get $5,00 or $10,000 for a smaller hit. If getting paid at all.

But the expenses from the moment you start, to the moment you succeed can be more than what the hit pays! And many people have done this, i just know of one personally.

Well, Justin Bieber was discovered on youtube, He is one artist who(I dont care for), but managed to make people forget he was once a youtuber. Nobody thinks of him as that now, he's a huge pop star

Post Malone was discovered on soundcloud, Buckethead,,,a Van Halen type of guitar master also. Artic Monkeys were the first band ever to be discovered on myspace.

Those are the exceptions to the rule. I think many who find success on youtube, will be youtubers forever.

American Idol is strange, most of the singers dont do much, but at the same time, what were they doing before the show? Singing at Holiday Inns and clubs hoping to make it. Even the least famous of all, probably still have some pull power when it comes to getting gigs.

"Come see so and so from American Idol perform tonight" You know its a draw.

So we tend to think they just disappear, but they are all still working their little claim to fame to dig out careers. And are better for it after Idol than before.

But some artist, I forget who it was now, but he said that the audience respects people who came up the hard way, paid dues, and that the instant stardom doesn't last long, cause it wasn't earned. Valid point

One thing for sure, its always better to be lucky than good.

Last edited by Fdemetrio; 02/27/21 12:45 PM.
#1174413 - 03/01/21 04:33 PM Re: Difference between Liking and Appreciating [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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Brian Austin Whitney Offline
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Originally Posted by Fdemetrio
If all of that happens, i'd say that illegal music downloading will then start up again. Kids are already stealing original netflix shows online.

Remember Napster? I guess it was mid 90's early 2000's, kids were spending 24/7 dowloading music illegally. I guess they gave up cause they realized they couldnt prosecute every kid who downloaded music. But that was really the start of it. They are so used to getting music free, they will just go back to that. They were never able to stop it, and probably wont be able to again.

When I was a kid I had a paper route, and could only buy my absolute favorites. 12 bucks for an album or cd, was rediculous, especially compared to now where kids have multiple pcs filled with songs.

Its good in a way, cause there is no way anybody could afford even 100 albums...as a kid, let alone thousands and thousands. So it gives artists a chance to be heard. How they make money is another story, but its great for the listener!


Kids stealing music hurts no one. Kids can't buy music so there is no loss incurred. If a company does it they care, but not kids. When everything makes it to digital that means there is nearly zero cost of goods going forward. So it's almost a 100% profit business. Sure there's a tiny cost upfront to create but with digital/computer recording, that cost is nearly zero. They hire kids to make their music (already have for 70 years) so they cost little as well. It's all money for them and no one else.


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#1174427 - 03/02/21 10:06 AM Re: Difference between Liking and Appreciating [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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One of the most ironic things about NAPSTER is that it was invented mostly by a college student in the 90's named Shawn Fanning. He is one of the main ones who worked on writing the de-cryption technology that enabled people to illegally download music. Fast forward about 20 years and there was a big Internet article about what Shawn Fanning is doing now. He writes computer software. And the article was talking about his big complaint that everytime he writes these software programs and get them out there that people steal his software programs and he makes no money on them.
Funny how Irony is a bitch ain't it?

MAB

#1174429 - 03/02/21 11:04 AM Re: Difference between Liking and Appreciating [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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lol yup. Mel Brooks said the difference between comedy and tragedy is this." Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die.

I say Comedy is when you fall on a patch of ice and start complaining how much it hurts. Tragedy is when I fall trying to help you up

Or a wild animal thinks its kinda cool to track another animal down, rip it to shreds, and eat it, but their world stops if some other animal kicks them out of their sleeping area.

Its all perspective aint it? Thats songwriting too....

#1174434 - 03/02/21 01:12 PM Re: Difference between Liking and Appreciating [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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Fdemetrio Online content
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Speaking of copyrighting, why is it that companies like Microsoft dont get ripped off.

Or music software companies like Toontrack. Toontrack goes to great lengths to make sure they dont get stolen from. When you buy, you have to register the product. Once you do, you get a code that unlocks it, then it will only allow you to download the product onto 3 different computers, Im not sure what happens after your third computer breaks down, .must be some way.

But they take into account, your data, birth date, address, computer in use, as well as having serial number. Its virtually impossible to steal their stuff.

It be nice if they could prevent anybody from downloading a song they dont own. I guess its too many to keep track of

#1174461 - 03/03/21 08:55 AM Re: Difference between Liking and Appreciating [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Because those companies have enormous teams of lawyers and divisions that spend their entire lives doing nothing but suing and issuing "cease and desist orders." And those tech companies do write software that is much much harder to encypt and decode. There are companies that are devoted to all of that, yet China still steals intellectual property.

Generally, for lawsuits, something has to represent actual MONEY to be sued for. That is why the only copyright lawsuits you find are when one major writer sues another major writer, People are actually hearing and seeing those songs. Where as most will never be heard by anyone outside of close friends and family. So there is no money to speak of. But sometimes even the biggest artists have their material taken.

A few years ago, a rapper named "Frank Ocean" sampeled the music tracks of HOTEL CALIFORNIA, and inserted his rap lyrics over that and offered it as his own. Not the general chords, not a small section of the song, but the ENTIRE MUSIC TRACKS of the intro to HOTEL CALIFORNIA. He just took it all. When someone pointed it to Henly and Frey, and they wrote a very polite letter informing him that while they appreciated new artists, and the desire to create their own works, it was quite illegal to do what he had done.
The rapper basically told them to shove it. This was followed by several months of not so nice letters from their manager Irv Azoff, attorneys, etc. All while Ocean continued to make his reputation and sell hundreds of thousands of copies and downloads on his "song." Finally, it was stopped, but he had moved on to become a star in the rap world.

So yes, there are too many songs. But basically if it is "out there", it is difficult if not impossible to do a whole lot about it.

MAB

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