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CMU:DIY and Urban Development put the spotlight on songs

By | Published on Monday 18 April 2016


CMU:DIY teams up with Urban Development again this week for another Industry Takeover Seminar at the Red Bull Studios, offering new talent insights into another strand of the music industry. This month songwriting and music publishing is under the spotlight.

In his customary pre-seminar blog post, CMU Business Editor Chris Cooke contrasts the two sides of the music rights business, writing that: “It used to be that the record industry and the publishing sector were quite different. Record companies primarily pressed the recordings they controlled onto plastic disks and sold them on the high street”.

“Publishers did once publish sheet music of the songs they owned – which is why we call them publishers – but for a long time music publishing has been more about ‘licensing’. Which is to say, giving permission to other people who want to make use of your songs – so press them to CD, or sync them to video, or broadcast them on the radio, or perform them in public – in return for money”.

“Though, as everything has shifted to digital” he continues, “record companies are increasingly in the licensing game too, giving permission to download stores and streaming platforms to allow their recordings to be downloaded and streamed. Just like the music publishers. Which is why some people reckon that labels and publishers should work more closely together (many are actually in common ownership), and that singer-songwriters should work with one music rights company on all their copyrights”.

“But there is still plenty that is different between publishers and labels”, he concludes. “Songs versus recordings – and how the different music rights operate. And if you are a songwriter you definitely need to understand how this side of the industry works and, most importantly, how to get every penny you are due as a creator of song copyrights”.

Which is where this week’s CMU:DIY x Urban Development session comes in, taking place on Wednesday evening at London’s Red Bull Studios. Cooke will present a speedy overview of song rights, before an expert panel offers their knowledge and advice, with producer Hannah V, music supervisor Toby Williams and Sentric Music’s Ally McRae amongst those on hand to offer insights.

You can read the full pre-event blog here and book tickets to the event here. Or become a UD Creative, which gets you into all the monthly seminars for free plus a whole load more benefits – there is more information on all that here.