Music Publishing Podcast

Nuts and bolts discussions on the business and practical aspects of being a composer in the 21st century, with host Dennis Tobenski.
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Music Publishing Podcast


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Now displaying: August, 2016
Aug 30, 2016

Garrett Hope is a composer, entrepreneur, and business coach, as well as the podcaster behind The Portfolio Composer (originally titled Composer on Fire). Like me, he loves helping other composers to navigate their careers, and he’s currently putting together an online course, which will launch in September, to teach composers how to market their works more effectively.

During our wide-ranging conversation, we talked about:

  • The Portfolio Composer (née Composer on Fire)
  • “Done is better than perfect”
  • Believing in yourself and having the courage to go out and pursue your dreams
  • “What does it mean to market and sell yourself?”
  • Thinking like a small business owner
  • Some basic marketing principles and advice
  • How your art becomes a product after you’ve finished creating it
  • No matter what kind of music you write, there is a market for it
  • Garrett’s Marketing for Composers course
  • How marketing doesn’t have to lead to financial benefit – it can just help to secure more performances
  • Legacy
  • “Know your why”
  • Surrounding yourself with talent
  • A bit about podcasting
  • Non-musical marketing
  • Be yourself & be genuine
  • The benefits of sharing your process with your audience
  • Development diaries: how they help you grow as an artist, and how they can help or inspire your audience
  • “DVD Extras”
  • “Like, Know, and Trust”
Aug 23, 2016

Three months after his first appearance on the show, entertainment/copyright lawyer and MPP Superfriend Marc Ostrow is back to talk some more about Fair Use, with me supplying a few hypothetical situations. But more importantly, Marc lays out the Department of Justice’s recent and unexpected ruling that PROs must abandon 70+ years of established industry practice and adopt a 100% Licensing regime, and what that means for you.

During the conversation, we covered:

  • A history of ASCAP, BMI, and their consent decrees
  • Rate courts and “reasonable rates”
  • How consent decrees allow new streaming services to operate without paying for a license
  • The differences between the ASCAP & BMI consent decrees
  • How the PROs want their consent decrees to be relaxed to allow for sync and mechanical licensing
  • How the Department of Justice ruled on 100% Licensing rather than addressing long-standing industry concerns
  • An explanation of 100% Licensing vs. Fractional Licensing
  • Who owns what in a collaborative effort
  • “Absent a written agreement”
  • How 100% Licensing impacts working musicians, the heirs of musicians who have passed, and musicians working outside the US
  • How the DoJ’s ruling vitiates existing contracts
  • The Copyright Office’s reaction to the DoJ’s ruling
  • How the DoJ’s ruling might prevent many artists from collaborating with each other
  • Who benefits from 100% Licensing (hint: it’s not you)
  • The PRO’s challenges to the ruling, and potential outcomes
  • A recap of Fair Use principles
  • Some Fair Use hypothetical situations for composers, performers, and educators

Marc Ostrow: 100% Licensing summary and reaction
Marc Ostrow: Letter to DoJ
U.S. Copyright Office’s reaction to 100% Licensing ruling
MusicTechPolicy Podcast explaining 100% Licensing
Marc Ostrow: “Do You Have The Chutzpah To Take A Gamble On Fair Use?”

Aug 16, 2016

Megan Ihnen is a Des Moines, IA-based mezzo-soprano and “tireless promoter of contemporary classical music for the voice.” For this week’s episode, we sat down to talk about building community, being generous, and writing for the voice.

Throughout the conversation we covered:

  • Getting inspiration from other fields
  • Building a career outside of NYC
  • Building local music communities
  • Megan’s mission statement of building relationships in concentric circles
  • Entrepreneurship & generosity
  • Being a part of the larger community
  • Starting new music ensembles with close colleagues
  • Fostering the works of living composers as a lynchpin to your career
  • How singers work with text (and subtext)
  • Close collaboration between composers and performers
  • Getting to know your collaborator’s particular strengths
  • Some pointers on writing for the voice
  • Sending music to vocalists
  • How Megan finds music to perform
  • Finding and fostering your tribe

Megan Ihnen
Megan on Twitter
Megan on Istagram
The Sybaritic Singer
29 Days to Diva
Avaloch Farm Music Institute
Seen/Heard Trio

Aug 9, 2016

Thomas Deneuville is another musician whose friendship I owe to Twitter, which is only fitting considering his affinity to and facility with social media. Thomas is the founder of the online new music magazine I Care If You Listen, which he created in December 2010, and has since grown to, a fully-fledged media platform dedicated to user-generated new music videos. A testament to his ingenuity and love of the world of new music, Thomas and I Care If You Listen won the 45th Annual ASCAP Foundation Deems Taylor Media Award in 2013.

Outside of ICIYL, Thomas teaches, consults, and speaks about web design, email marketing, social media, and analyzing online metrics, as they pertain to musicians and other artists. He is also the digital content manager for Cornell University.

During the course of this week’s episode, we talked about:

  • I Care If You Listen
  • The quarterly ICIYL Mix Tape
  • Curating a collection of other people’s recordings
  • Creating an online community
  • Having an effective social media presence without wasting your time
  • Setting clearly defined goals for social media
  • Knowing your audience on social media, and learning more about them
  • Balancing your social media content (the 4:1:1 ratio)
  • Curating your social media content
  • Social media reach vs. number of followers
  • Facebook pages vs. personal profile
  • Cross-posting to multiple platforms
  • Choosing the right social network for yourself
  • Mirroring Facebook content
  • The importance of having an email list
  • The conversational nature of email cs. The public nature of social media
  • Email conversion rates
  • Digital sharecropping
  • Autoresponders
  • Enticing people onto your list (permission marketing)
  • Apologizing for sending emails to your list
  • Email best practices
  • Open rates vs. click rates
  • Click budgets and prioritized calls to action

Thomas Deneuville
I Care If You Listen
I Care If You
Astrid Baumgardner: SMART Goals for SMART Music Entrepreneurs
Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, and Buffer

Aug 2, 2016

In November 2015, Dale Trumbore recommended that Kurt Knecht and I talk about me joining MusicSpoke, an online retailer of self-published scores run by Kurt and his wife Jennifer Rosenblatt. I've been a MusicSpoke composer ever since, and have a number of my scores available for sale there.

Because Kurt & Jennifer run MusicSpoke with such dedication, zeal, and transparency, I wanted to highlight their business, which does so much for the composers involved, and for the community in general, and to talk about digital distribution in general.

In the course of our conversation, we covered:
<li>The wall that traditional publishers represent between composers and score purchasers</li>
<li>The monetary difference between traditional publishing and distribution deals</li>
<li>Reading sessions at conferences</li>
<li>Curating lists of works</li>
<li>Making use of connections in your own state</li>
<li>Using physical scores to make digital sales</li>
<li>The rarely-considered middlemen in scores sales</li>
<li>Piracy, digital rights management, and copy licensing agreements</li>
<li>How people who have no intention of paying aren’t going to pay - either through piracy or not buying at all</li>
<li>How music schools inadvertently foster a culture of piracy</li>
<li>The future of score sales and digital distribution</li>
<li>The hyper-scrupulous honesty of many score purchasers</li>
<li>Fostering community among composers</li>

<a href="" target="_blank">MusicSpoke</a>
<a href="" target="_blank">MusicSpoke on Facebook</a>
<a href="" target="_blank">MusicSpoke on Twitter</a>
<a href="" target="_blank">Kurt Knecht</a>