BMI

When asked if he would remove the Arts from the budget to pay for the war effort, Winston Churchill replied:

“Then what the hell are we fighting for?”

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BMI, ASCAP and SESAC must change the business model of venue licensing.

To interview Michael Johnathon on this idea contact LANCE COWAN MEDIA lcmedia@comcast.net

 

We love the PRO’s (BMI, ASCAP and SESAC), they have helped so many artists for decades. But as the world of music entered the digital age, ALL the business models have adjusted EXCEPT venue licensing. Why does this matter? There are no more CD music chains left in America, computers and cars no longer have CD slots. It has become almost impossible for most songwriters and performers to make a living, and digital streams pay virtually (no pun intended) nothing.

Hanging on to the current model of venue licensing is the same as the phone industry clinging to the rotary phone. It doesn’t work, and the PROs have no idea what songs are being performed and the songwriters are not getting paid.

Change must happen.

JULY 2020 EDIT:

CONCERT & MUSIC OVERVIEW

I’ve seen several recent posts from theaters, managers, agents even some artists proposing what 30, 40 or 50% venue capacity might look like. The reality is none of that will work, the financial metrics, the business model will make it impossible to pay then you rentals, insurance, artists riders, musician fees, advertising and everything else that goes with producing a concert.
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Sad, but honest and true.
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Here is what is actually going to happen:
Once things start to open up and venues begin booking performances again … Every single major artist desperate to get on the road is going to consume every available venue opportunity. Out of necessity, they will have to cut their performance prices down to make the business metrics work.
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What that means is the newer, less popular, struggling artist … In other words, the majority of performing artists in America, are going to be squeezed out of the declining opportunity avails.
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Now is the time to fix this. Now is the time for smart lovers of music to take the bull by the horns and CHANGE the business model.
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Work on it now so when the music market finally reopens, all artists will have a fair shot to make a living. Eliminate venue licensing. Convert to artist licensing. Why? This will create an explosion of new venues in stages that the majority of artist will be able to take advantage of… And get paid. It will guarantee the song writers will be paid for artist performing their songs.
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An artist license is simple:
it’s like a drivers license. Have a valid license, enter your song list and the songwriters onto a website exchange monitored by BMI, ASCAP and SESAC, show your license and you can perform anywhere in America you want to. The venue is off the hook, all they have to do is provide the stage, the audience and pay the artist.
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It will take an act of Congress to change this, but I’m telling you all right now: This is the time to make that change. Available venues to support smaller artists will evaporate at an accelerated rate. It is happening now so we must act now.
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Don’t agree? READ THIS:
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Once things open up the smaller artists on the musical ladder are going to be crushed by the onslaught of more established artists desperate for performing opportunities.
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We are fighting the Wrong Fight

Currently, all the legal attention is focused on securing financial rights to an outdated business model.  Demqanding more money for artists right now is like demanding more money from rotary phone copyrights. It’s useless and means nothing. When a town is eviscerated by a tsunami that is not the time to demand rental property payment increases. The music world has been digitally destroyed by big-tech and by the pandemic. I offer my solution to the truth of the problem at the link below HOWEVER with an added point:

The digital platforms (YouTube, Facebook, Spotifyetc) should pay into a PRO-s system that artists apply for that pay for their licensing for FREE. Guaranteeing songwriters are paid, opening up thousands of paying staged and venues, putting musicians in front of the audiences that will buy their CDs and TShirts.

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My argument comes in two parts:

ARTICLE ONE (click here): we must reduce the size of the overhead of the smaller music levels. This includes making it possible for smaller venues to open up paying stages for musicians and songwriters to meet their audience.

ARTICLE TWO (click here): changing from venue licensing to ARTIST licensing solves the problem. With an artist license, anyone can play anywhere they want, it’s like a drivers license … schools, farmers markets, coffee houses, festivals and theaters … and the songwriters are GUARANTEED to be paid for what is performed.

To be clear:

BMI and the PROS are doing exactly as they are supposed to do according to the law. They are good organizations with a wonderful history helping many. My argument is that the law needs to be changed to benefit the world of the musical arts. And I am NOT singling out BMI, I just happen to be part f the BMI family.

 

READ THE PROPOSAL ONE-SHEET CLICK HERE

 

Both articles come from the book WoodSongs 4.

HEAR the song LEGACY click here

SONGFARMERS and how to redirect your music click here