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New Music Production: ‘Plaything’ by Laura Harley

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

Over the last few years, I’ve been extremely busy with many productions in various genres with different artists. Most of them haven’t been released and are just starting to get out this year, so you’ll see a lot more postings about them here!

I’m excited to share with you my latest production. it’s a song I started many years ago with the talented Laura Harley and it’s just now been completed.

We started with the music bed tracks which I composed and then Laura added vocals and guitar to.
Vocals were recorded in Vancouver, where I also produced and engineered it, except for some mixing I did in China.

To describe the feel of this song, imagine yourself in the year 2020 deep in the heart of India where on a path of spiritual awareness you find yourself in a struggle with the insistence self, trying to escape the grasp of your own ego.

Laura talks about the meaning behind the words on her website…

I think it really turned out well and it’s a very unique from all my other productions including previous songs I’ve worked on with Laura.

You can download it free on Laura’s website now!

Let me know what you think.

Download my old original Christmas music

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

Everyone likes Christmas music during the holidays, so here’s a link to my post from last year with some of the few original Christmas tunes I’ve done over the years:
Some Old Christmas Songs

The difference is, this year, as a Christmas gift, you can download & do whatever you like with them:
www.jarome.com/downloads/

For a limited time only!

We’ve had a lot of snow in Vancouver, and across Canada lately, I posted about ‘The sweet serenity of snow’ last year as well.

New royalty for music played online

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

On September 23, 2008, songwriters, publishers, record labels and digital music services announced they had finally reached an agreement on mechanical royalties for songs played on online music services. It only took about 8 years for them to figure it out…

Called a “breakthrough that will facilitate new ways to offer music to consumers online,” the voluntary agreement crafted by the Digital Media Association (DiMA), the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA), the RIAA, the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) and the Songwriters Guild of America (SGA) ended the longstanding dispute about mechanical royalties for interactive streaming and limited downloads.

The agreement must be still be approved by the Copyright Royalty Board to take effect, and states that limited download and interactive streaming services will pay a mechanical royalty of 10.5 percent of revenue, less any amounts owed for performance royalties. In certain instances, royalty-free promotional streaming is allowed.
The agreement tries to solve the dispute about what invokes a mechanical royalty in the digital environment, and permits certain kinds of promotional streams without payment, and agrees that webcasters will not owe mechanical royalties for non-interactive, audio-only streams.

The statutory mechanical royalty rate is currently 9.1¢ per song, unless you negotiate with the publisher directly and come up with a different rate.
With physical product, calculating the mechanical royalty using the statutory rate calculated by: # of songs on CD x # CDs manufactured x 9.1¢. But calculating mechanical royalties in the digital environment is more complicated because of considerations like what type of use (download, live stream, etc.) and how each is determined online.
The agreement states that all parties agreed to a “percentage of revenue” calculation so interactive audio-only webcasters and subscription services will pay 10.5 percent of their revenue to songwriters and publishers, minus any performance royalties already being paid to labels.
If a songwriter has a publishing deal with a publisher who’s a member of Harry Fox, the royalties should go from the music service to the publisher through HFA, then be passed along to the songwriter/composer as per their deal. For self-published musicians the royalties should go from the music service to a digital aggregator, which then would pass them on to either the musicians’ indie label, or directly to the musician.
The agreement primarily affects Rhapsody and Napster, for both their on-demand streaming services and their “to-go” services that allow subscribers to put music on portable players. But it will also affect other major services like MySpace, imeem, iLike and others for their interactive streaming options they want to provide.

However, this agreement is not the answer to the ongoing digital performance royalty fight between SoundExchange and webcasters like Pandora and soma.fm. That’s another issue, related to a different copyright. As i’ve mentioned many times, the music industry is unequaled when it comes to beauracracy… According to the press release, the parties agreed that non-interactive, audio-only streaming services like Pandora and soma.fm do not require a mechanical license. This means webcasters no longer have to worry about paying the publishers both for a performance and again for the cache and buffer copies made to enable that performance.
However, this agreement does not solve the debate between webcasters and sound recording rightsholders, which has to do with the non-interactive public performance of a recording on a digital platform. To keep it simple, I’ll just say that the disagreement about this digital performance royalty rate is ongoing. Hopefully a settlement will be reached soon, before it kills internet radio and brilliant musical innovations like Pandora.com

There are many parts of this agreement, like the acceptance of a percentage of revenue calculation that make a lot of sense. Hopefully it will influence and allow new business models to continue and flourish and allow musicians to benefit from increased access, exposure and revenue, and let music fans discover more music.

Data proves that free or shared music files are not lost sales

Saturday, August 2nd, 2008

For some time now I, along with many others in the music industry, have been going on about free music not representing a lost sale, but a gained listener.

Frequently, many music industry professionals suggest that an increase in legitimate sales must necessarily coincide with a commensurate reduction in ‘piracy’, as if this were a fact, yet, the research company BigChampagne has made no such consistent observation in nearly a decade of analyzing online data about music. Rather, it finds that piracy rates follow awareness and interest… The biggest selling albums and songs are nearly always the most widely pirated, regardless of all the ‘anti-piracy’ tactics employed by music companies.

Wired magazine talked about the factual data supporting mega rock band Radiohead‘s decision to allow users to pay what they wanted for their latest album.
All of the torrenting/free downloading of Radiohead’s of In Rainbows album contributed to the album making such a big impression on a listening public that’s bombarded with an ever increasing amount of information. Without it having been so widely traded, BigChampage’s data report says that Radiohead’s album wouldn’t necessarily have shot to the top of the charts and their worldwide tour wouldn’t have been such a smashing success, and I have to agree.

Applying economic principles to digital music, BigChamagne found that “the challenge of achieving popularity (or attention) when the old rules of scarcity (of product) and excludability don’t apply (to information goods) the way they used to, changes the monetization game completely.”

BigChamagne came to the undeniable conclusion that the music industry needs to stop thinking of shared files as lost sales, and start treating them as an aspect of reality upon which they can build part of their businesses.

You can download a detailed paper on this topic here. I haven’t studied it in detail yet so I would love to hear your insights.

Coldplay Conundrum

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

So I’m thoroughly embarrassed to admit it, especially publicly, but I like a few of the new Coldplay tracks on their new album. Their sound isn’t really my thing, but they have some more edgy, upbeat and interesting production on songs like Viva La Vida (my current fave song) and Violet Hill from the new album.

But when I went to their website, there was no music! Oh, except for a free song that was so poor, it was a slap in my face. NO MUSIC ON A BAND WEBSITE?? How does this kind of thing happen? Maybe it was there and I just didn’t see it? That is just as bad.

Note to major labels, if your going to jump on the ‘free song’ bandwagon, if you offer a lousy track, it is like the 30 second preview, it’s just a slap in the music fans face!

But eliminating the entire music section from an artist website? That is beyond belief.

You know the only place online you can hear more than one full length song from the new Coldplay album? ‘Illegal download’ torrent sites.

But since they offer non DRM tracks on iTunes, perhaps I will get a few songs from there… Maybe.