Watch course author and instructor Scott Sellwood discuss Music Licensing.
Licensing powers virtually every use of music, from digital download stores, to live performance, to music across mixed media. Through creative licensing, artists have made $10K on Twitter in one night, transformed albums into mobile applications, reached over 100 million listeners every day, and worked to collect every dime owed to them. Music Licensing sheds light on the nuts-and-bolts behind music monetization and how licensing is the touch point to generating revenue for artists, songwriters, labels, and music publishers. This course is designed for people who own or manage music copyrightsmaster recordings or underlying compositionsand who wish to exploit those copyrights for financial gain. You will obtain a conceptual understanding of basic licensing terms, opportunities, and strategies and apply that knowledge to monetizing your own creative intellectual property (IP). You will also learn important background details about rights licensing history, in addition to how to navigate complex industry statutes and apply practical business techniques.
The course will include a mix of several real-life examples and hypothetical situations, in-depth explanations, and review of agreements, alongside a wide array of exclusive video interviews with music supervisors, licensing society speakers, and experts in the publishing world. Successfully completing the course will enable you to monetize your creative IP across various licensing uses, whether you are a songwriter, artist, record label, or publisher. You will know how to register your works with relevant performing rights organizations, understand the differences between master/publishing revenue streams, identify opportunities to create new avenues for placement, and use online resources to introduce your music to potential placement agents. You will also be able to create a summary licensing plan capable of acting as a business plan for your licensing efforts.
By the end of the course, you will be able to:
- identify current opportunities and how to create new avenues for placement of your own music
- register your works with relevant performing rights organizations to ensure income streams
- understand the differences between master and publishing revenue streams related to performance, mechanical rights, synchronization, and alternative revenue streams
- understand the complexities between U.S. and international rights clearance and what barriers they place for songwriters and artists in collecting on distributed works.
- design a distribution strategy (domestic and international) to distribute music via multiple channels (including iTunes, online radio stations, etc.)
- use online resources to introduce your music to music supervisors, ad creatives, and video game producers
- identify royalties to be collected and how you can collect them directly or via third parties
- prepare a summary licensing plan
Lesson 1: Licensing Basics
- No Such Thing as a Sell Out? Moby's Play
- A Tale of Two Copyrights
- Know Your Rights
- Basic License Language
- Assignment 1: Licenses
Lesson 2: Mechanical Rights
- What Is Mechanical Licensing?
- Statutory Royalty Rage
- Day-to-Day Mechanical Licensing Operations
- Paying Royalties and Accounting
- The Future: Music in the Cloud and Mechanical Licensing
- A Cover Song: The Market Potential
- Assignment 2: Mechanical License Scenarios
Lesson 3: Performance Rights and How They Generate Revenue
- The Importance of Performance
- How It Started in the United States
- How Does Performance Licensing Work?
- How Are Performance Royalties Calculated and Distributed?
- Royalty Maximization Strategies
- Addressing the Playing Field and Your Catalogue
- Direct Licensing: Wave of the Future?
- Assignment 3: Register Your Work
Lesson 4: Synchronization Licensing ("Sync, Part 1")
- What Is Synchronization Licensing?
- The Key Players in Sync
- The Process
- Mixed Media: Differences between TV, Film, and Advertising Uses
- Sync Licenses and Key Terms
- Methods of Representation in Placing Your Music
- Library Music
- Assignment 4: Profile a Key Player in Sync Licensing
Lesson 5: Alternative Revenue Streams via Placement ("Sync, Part 2")
- Opportunities Available "Off the Grid"
- Indirect (Delayed) Revenue vs. Direct (Immediate) Revenue
- You Tube = Radio + MTV
- Video and Channel Monetization/Partnerships
- ContentID Monetization
- Assignment 5: Alternative Revenue Streams
Lesson 6: Creating Opportunities ("Sync, Part 3")
- Basic Ways of Creating Opportunities
- Placement Industry Trade Secrets
- Going DIY
- Maximizing Financial Return
- Assignment 6: Choose an Advertisement
Lesson 7: Distribution 2.0
- Brief Overview of Distribution 1.0
- What Are the New Distribution Outlets?
- What Are the Royalty Rates?
- What Developments in Distribution 1.0?
- What Do Record Labels Do to Justify Their Share?
- Assignment 7: Evaluate Performance of Current Distribution Channels
Lesson 8: Sampling and Mash-Ups
- What Is Sampling?
- Compare/Contrast the "Sampling" Spectrum
- Overview of a Sample Clearance
- The Flip-Side of the Coin
- Assignment 8: Research Appropriate Rights Holders
Lesson 9: Licensing Internationally, Part 1
- Outside of U.S. Licensing
- U.S. Society
- E.U. Societies
- U.S., Canada, and Mexico
- Review a Global Map Outlining Societies
- Assignment 9: Identify a Plan for Getting Rights
Lesson 10: Licensing Internationally, Part 2
- Issues from Territory-by-Territory Licensing
- Industry Issues
- Direct and Worldwide Licensing
- Are You Collecting All of Your Royalties?
- Assignment 10: Create Royalty Collection Strategy
Lesson 11: The Challenges of Music Licensing
- Platforms and Brands
- Licensing in the Real World
- When Should Rights Owners Be Flexible?
- Publishers vs. Labels
- Identifying New Licensing Opportunities
- Assignment 11: Pick an Area of Licensing
Lesson 12: Complete Your Licensing Plan
- Know Your Rights
- Performance Royalties
- Sync Opportunities
- Appropriate Distribution Partner/Platform
* Identify Potential Partners
- Assignment 12: Prepare a License Plan
Scott Sellwood was the senior vice president and senior counsel at RightsFlow, a leading licensing and royalty service provider, recently acquired by Google. He oversaw RightsFlow's business and legal affairs with a focus on developing clients' licensing strategies related to the exploitation of music content. He's worked with clients at every level, including online music services such as YouTube and Rhapsody, digital distributor partners CD Baby, INgrooves, and The Orchard, and record labels such as X5 Music Group and Next Plateau Entertainment for their streaming, karaoke, background music, digital jukebox, synchronization, UGC, and new media needs. Sellwood is a frequent speaker at conferences and universities on topics ranging from publishing and rights management to copyright monetization. He currently works as the strategic partner development manager at YouTube, and formerly served as co-chair of the American Association of Independent Music Licensing and Publishing Committee. Sellwood is not only a proven music business executive, attorney, and strategist, but also an accomplished artist and member of the bands Drunken Barn Dance and critically acclaimed Saturday Looks Good to Me.
Andrea "Ani" Johnson, Associate Professor of Music Business at Berklee College of Music is also an international lecturer and consultant in Music Licensing, Record Company Operations, Marketing and Strategic Management. She recently spoke at MIDEM in Cannes, France on Entrepreneurship and published an article on Music Supervision entitled, "What's Up with MXSup's" in the MEIEA Journal. Previously, Ani worked with Chris Blackwell at Island Records and Palm Pictures/Rykodisc and licensed over 30 albums for artists like Elton John, Parliament-Funkadelic, and Fleetwood Mac. Her work with Gloria Estefan included restructuring their financial systems and managing royalties and licenses for their Sony Music venture. Currently, she owns MonoMyth Media, a Music Supervision company in the Boston (Hollywood East) market and assists artists in placing their music in locally produced films.
Casey Rae is the Chief Executive Officer of the Future of Music Coalition, a national nonprofit organization for musicians and composers. He is also a musician, recording engineer, educator and author. Casey regularly speaks on issues such as emerging business models, creators' rights, technology policy and intellectual property at major conferences, universities and in the media. He has testified before Congress on artist rights and is committed to building bridges across sectors in order to identify possible solutions to common challenges. Casey has written dozens of articles on the impact of technology on the creative community in scholarly journals and other publications, and is a regular commentator on the impact of technology on creators in media outlets such as NPR, Washington Post, New York Times, Politico, Billboard, L.A. Times, Gizmodo, The Hill, Ars Technica, Sirius XM Radio and more. Casey is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University, and is the President of the Board of the National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture. He is the principal of Heru.us, a media, technology and policy consultancy. In his "spare time," he runs the DC-based label Lux Eterna Records and publishes The Contrarian Media.
You should have a basic understanding of music copyright. It is recommended, but not required, that you successfully complete the Copyright Law and Music Publishing 101 courses.
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- Mac Web Browser: Firefox (Recommended), Chrome, Safari
- Flash Player: current version
- QuickTime: current version
- Adobe Reader: current version
- Windows Vista SP2 or higher
- Intel Pentium or higher
- 1 GB RAM
- 500 MB hard drive space recommended
- Sound card
- Speakers or headphones for your computer
- Mac OS X 10.7 or higher
- Intel Mac
- 2 GB RAM
- 500 MB of free HD space
- Speakers or headphones for your computer