By: Andreas Kalogiannides*
The issue of unauthorized music file-sharing in Canada is a “good news bad news” situation:(1) millions of Canadians (perhaps as high as 40%) regularly file-share music without a licence;
however, according to a recent study commissioned by the Songwriters Association of Canada (the “S.A.C.”), as much as 69% of Canadians who do file-share music are willing to pay a monthly fee to do so.(2) In an effort to reconcile this gap, the S.A.C. is advocating for a voluntary collective licence to monetize non-commercial music file-sharing over peer-to-peer (“P2P”) networks (the “S.A.C. Model”).
This article does not present an in-depth discussion of the legal merits of either the S.A.C. Model or of collective licensing generally; rather, it aims to merely introduce the nuts-and-bolts of the proposal and stimulate conversation on this issue.(3)
A Summary of the S.A.C. Model
The S.A.C. Model proposes that private individuals who engage in non-commercial music file- sharing would be licensed to do so through the payment of a monthly licence fee, appearing as a line-item on the individual’s Internet service provider (the “ISP”) bill.(4) The licence would permit individuals to music file-share over P2P networks (including BitTorrent clients) and other platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Notably, however, the generation of commercial revenue from file-sharing activities is ultra vires the S.A.C. Model and would require the appropriate licence(s) from the rightsholder(s) or collective rights organization(s).(5)
Performers, songwriters and rightsholders would receive a pro-rata share of total licensing revenues based on the number of times their works are file-shared. Such distributions would be based on data collected by technology and media measurement companies.(6) Individuals who do not file-share music would be able to opt-out by signing a written declaration to that effect; similarly, rightsholders would also be able to opt-out, in which case they would receive no licensing revenue if their works are file-shared.(7)
Canada’s existing collective licensing framework would serve as the backbone of the S.A.C. Model as regards administration, revenue distribution and rate-setting, meaning that collective rights organizations, including the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (“SOCAN”), Re:Sound and the Canadian Mechanical Rights Reproduction Agency (“CMRRA”), would continue to distribute these royalties to their members just as they do now. The only difference being that a new company, Song-Share.ca, would be formed to help the collectives organize this process.(8)
The Right Solution at the Right Time
The S.A.C. Model does several things right. First, the S.A.C. Model prioritizes legal content over illegal content. For example, under the current ISP subscriber model, consumers acquire Internet access only and not content. By separating network access and content, and given the inherent nature of the Internet as a communication technology (e.g., a broadband connection is all you need to consume all manner of content, legal or illegal), this model inadvertently facilitates music piracy. I have termed this situation the “access-content” disconnect. The unfortunate result is that, solely by virtue of having a broadband connection, consumers have access to both legal and illegal music on an equal scale; legal, digital music must now compete with “free”.
But, the S.A.C. Model helps narrow this “access-content” disconnect because it offers an easy- to-swallow value proposition directly to consumers at their Internet access point: pay a negligible monthly fee and share, swap and consume unlimited music content through your broadband connection. This arrangement is similar to how cable television providers bundle network access with content (e.g., access to the Rogers cable network is only offered through the purchase of channel packages); like the cable provider, the ISP becomes the intermediary through which content is delivered.(9)
Second, the S.A.C. Model is a “business-to-business” approach, meaning that music fans and file-sharers would not have to change their behaviour, install any software or buy new hardware; they just make a small monthly payment. And the evidence suggests that Canadians are willing to pay: a recent study conducted by the S.A.C. and CROP, a Montreal-based research firm, found that 69% of Canadians are willing to pay a reasonably monthly fee in exchange for a (10)
licence to file-share music. More uplifting still is the fact that the study also found that 93% of
Canadians believe that songwriters and performers should stand to benefit from this licence fee.(11)
Third, there is precedence for the S.A.C. Model. From 2008 to 2010 in Denmark, TDC, a Danish ISP, operated TDC Play, a tethered download and streaming service whereby mobile and broadband customers we re given unlimited access to licensed music along with their subscriptions.(12) To date, more than 340 million tracks have been streamed and downloaded through TDC Play, and it has been argued that the service has helped reduce unauthorized music file-sharing and even increased TDC’s customer retention rates.(13) TDC has since entered into negotiations with KODA, the Danish collective rights organization, to set a new royalty rate for the period of 2010 to present; and, it is particularly telling that the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (“IFPI”), which rarely involves itself in private negotiations, has
(14) come out in support of TDC Play.
Where Do We Go From Here?
From the perspective of songwriters and performers, the S.A.C. Model would create a new revenue stream from a popular use of music that, while illegal under the Copyright Act,(15) continues unabated and does not bear any royalties. Moreover, this revenue stream could potentially dwarf current music industry licensing revenues – a conservative estimate is that $405 million could be generated annually from licensing just 25% of total Canadian ISP accounts at $5 per month.(16) Consider that in 2010 SOCAN collected $275 million for the use and performance of music in Canada.(17)
The S.A.C. Model is a sustainable, real-world solution which monetizes a consumer behaviour that is difficult, if not impossible, to change. And, importantly, the model can be implemented using our existing music licensing infrastructure. The S.A.C. Model presents an excellent opportunity for the Canadian music industry and the ISPs to sit down at the negotiating table and start talking because, frankly, not only has the demand for music never been higher, but also because Canadians fundamentally believe in the importance of compensating songwriters and performers for their hard work.
This article originally appeared in the Ontario Bar Association Entertainment, Media and Communications Section Newsletter, Volume 22 No. 2.
*Andreas Kalogiannides is a Toronto intellectual property lawyer specializing in copyright, licensing and music law. He is interested in issues at the intersection of the music business and the law, particularly on novel licensing models and copyright infringement in digital environments. Most recently, Andreas was in-house counsel at a collective rights organization representing the publishing industry; he has also held positions at a major record label, a music industry collective, the Copyright Board of Canada, and the Future of Music Coalition. Andreas can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information regarding the Songwriters Association of Canada’s music file-sharing proposal, please visit
or click for brief and detailed versions of the proposal.
1 See “Monetizing Music File-Sharing: A New B2N Model”. Songwriters Association of Canada. Available online at http://www.omdc.on.ca/AssetFactory.aspx?did=7321. Page 6. [S.A.C. Music File-Sharing]. See also “Songwriters Association of Canada Music Consumption Behaviours Research Preliminary Report, March 2011”, Appendix D: CROP/S.A.C. Survey on Music Consumption Behaviour, at pages 40, 41, and 65. Available online at http://www.omdc.on.ca/AssetFactory.aspx?did=7321. [CROP Survey].
2 Ibid S.A.C. Music File-Sharing at page 6. See also CROP Survey at pages 65, 68, and 70.
3 The author makes the assumption that neither will Canadians stop downloading, distributing or sharing music without payment nor will any legal measures – on their own – stop this behaviour.
4 The licensee fee is not a “levy” or a “tax” on music, as surmised by some; unlike levies or taxes, a consumer may opt-out of the model if they self-declare that they do not file-share.
5 See S.A.C. Music File-Sharing supra note 1 at page 5.
6 Since the early 2000s, technology and media measurement companies, such as Big Champagne Inc., have collected data on ticketing, social media, and P2P internet traffic on behalf of record labels, music publishers and other industry stakeholders. Notably, Big Champagne was recently acquired by Live Nation, Inc.. See Halperin, Shirley. “Big Champagne CEO on Live Nation Deal: ‘We’re Going From Playing a Little Club to the Biggest Stage in the World’”. The Hollywood Reporter. December 15, 2011. Available online at
7 See S.A.C. Music File-Sharing supra note 1 at page 5.
8 Similar to the ownership make-up of SOCAN and Re:Sound, Song-Share.ca would be owned by equal parts songwriters, music publishers, artists and record label executives. See S.A.C. Music File-Sharing supra note 1 at page 8.
9 Opponents may argue that this still does not solve the access-content disconnect because consumers can simply opt-out of the model, not pay the license fee, and then file-share anyway. In response, I argue that these people would still be liable for copyright infringement, and, that when offered the ability to pay a reasonably monthly fee, the majority of consumers would do so to avoid legal consequences.
10 See S.A.C Music-File Sharing supra note 1 at page 6. See also CROP Survey supra note 1 at pages 65, 68 and 70.
11 Ibid S.A.C. Music-File Sharing at page 8. See also CROP Survey supra note 1 at pages 65 and 71.
12 For clarity, TDC Play is a tethered, walled-garden service whereby subscribers have access to free, legal music downloads and streaming for as long as users have a TDC account. This is somewhat different to the S.A.C. Model that is not limited to a particular ISP, and that would licence music file-sharing that originates on any server and on any platform. See “IFPI supports TDC music service in Denmark”. International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. April 7, 2010: Copenhagen, Denmark. Available online at
13 See “TDC Play reaches 340 million streamed, downloaded tracks”. Telecompaper. June 30, 2011. Available online at http://www.telecompaper.com/news/tdc-play-reaches-340-million-streamed-downloaded-tracks– 812744.”
15 R.S.C., 1985, c. C-42.
16 This figure is based on Canada’s estimated 27 million total internet subscriber accounts and calculated according to the following formula: ((27,000,000 * 0.25)*$5) * 12 months. See S.A.C. Music-File Sharing supra note 1 at page 8.
17 See “SOCAN Announces 2010 Financial Results: Music Use Higher Year Over Year.”. Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada. May 4, 2011. Available online at http://www.socan.ca/press- release/socan-announces-2010-financial-results-music-use-higher-year-over-year.
by Heather Hill
“…Through our music we bring order to chaos; we bring solace to suffering; we bring joy to heartbreak; we bring freedom to captivity; we bring hope to despair; we bring soul to the machines and meaning to the lives of millions.” Paul Williams, President ASCAP
A few weeks ago, I went down to LA with my friend Kat Leonard to check out ASCAP Expo (April 18-20). This was both of our first times to this conference. I normally hang out in Canada and partake in Canadian Music Week and Songwriters Association of Canada functions. I went because I just wanted to see what several of my American friends had recommended! The conference was big, a ton of fun, and while the music industry is in a state of flux, the music creators proved to be a passionate, positive and innovative bunch!
Paul Williams, president and director of ASCAP kicked off the conference. He is an amazing hit songwriter and incredibly inspiring. He is passionate about getting musicians (songwriters, recording artists) fair pay for their work. ASCAP is busy doing deals with the big players in order to get settlements from online streamers, congress, etc. “We do the work, pay us for our music. We are not machines…we need to be properly compensated.” He pointed out it all starts with the composer and the songwriter – copyright protection is critical!Katy Perry was a keynote presentation. She is an incredibly hard-working and resourceful woman. Even though she had been dropped twice by her label, she managed to be resigned — the rest is history. It was great to hear her journey from a Christian artist into the secular market. She was 100% committed to her career and to her music. She loves to cowrite and looks hard for artists that inspire her. The panel was full of interesting information and it was entertaining watching her change in persona from a shy, coy girl at the outset to the strong-willed, confident tigress at the end!
Holly Knight. I was fortunate enough to have a one-on-one session with killer hit songwriter Holly Knight (Heart, Pat Benatar, Tina Turner, Meatloaf, etc.). I learned that cowriting with writers is an essential part of your growth. She was a recording artist and then became a prolific songwriter. Being a performing songwriter is critical these days. You need to be able to showcase your songs to other artists you may want to write with. We also talked about rock…Holly mentioned the demise of rock, but that other categories has revealed themselves. I received some great advice for my own musical journey.
Steve Lindsey. In the pop/rock feedback panel, Steve was an incredible source of information for creators. He helped develop Bruno Mars (amongst other incredible things). He told us the importance of knowing at least three hours of cover material. His point was, it is difficult to be a great songwriter without extensively studying great music on a daily basis. He told us that he held Bruno Mars back for five years while they learned an extensive catalog of hit music.
1. Take YouTube Very Seriously. First we heard from several product folks at YouTube. The amount of content on YouTube is enormous and growing exponentially! We need to contentID and tag our music or we won’t get paid. We need a channel and we need to be part of larger Multi Channel Networks. The YouTube 100 may one day replace the Billboard 100. A&R and music seekers are following the success of musicians on YouTube as a primary source for selection.
2. Wait to record until you have fans and great songs. Several artists felt the recording process was too much money – maybe we are wasting our money. Time and time again we heard about waiting to spend until you have written a ton of songs, perform them, build fans and get fans to pay for songs. Novel concept right? It was great to hear this, because we all know that great songs are rarely our first ones.
3. COLLABORATE! Find people to learn from and write with others a lot. You may find an incredible synergy!
4. Focus on Writing and Learning Music – Naturally you hear a lot about working super hard on music and business. Every day you need time to write, practise, and work your business. It is a full time job!
About the Sponsors: the sponsors were also paid panelists promoting their software and services. Their products/services are not necessarily what songwriters and composers want/need to hear about. It was not worth sticking around for these panels. I understand that the expo needs money, but the people paying to be there want unbiased information about what will help them. I like the sessions where music was being reviewed (date with a tape). You really learn a lot from the comments of industry experts.
About the people. The best part of conferences is meeting the people. I met countless artists (thousands of singer/songwriters) and a few industry folks (note that I hardly saw any industry folks). Comparing notes and getting ideas from other musicians is invaluable. You hear the realities of artist development, recording, positioning, etc.
Tools. One great thing ASCAP Expo provides is the ability to:
- pay a low fee to have a one-on-one interview with an expert
- watch videos on all the sessions since you can not possibly go to all of them since they all take place at the same time
- you have the chance to be showcased on the last night. You don’t find out until that day if you are selected.
One suggestion I can offer to ASCAP EXPO is to open the city to the music!! I like that Canada Music Week is full of music. Bars are full of performances giving artists a chance to showcase their music. At ASCAP Expo there was hardly any music going on for a music conference (until the last night).
Throughout our Songwriting & Blogging Challenge 2013 – one of our participants really stood out from the crowd. He was able to turn out well written fully produced recordings week after week as the assignments from Pat Pattison seemed to pile higher and faster. North Easton is not only the winner of this year’s challenge, but also our current Featured Member. We asked him to blog about his experience participating in this year’s challenge. Here’s what he had to say…
In His Words…
My feet ache as I shift my weight from one leg to the other. I patiently stand there in the hot summer sun, staring at the backs of people heads who are staring at the backs of peoples heads. A lineup, a waiting game for the next ride that will send me soaring up and down, left and right, over and over as my heart battles my voicebox for room in my throat. 60 minutes traded for 2. Seems fair! The climb up the clickety clack tracks, the rush in the final seconds before we inch over the top and scream down the other side. My hands clenching the bar at first, mind racing against the thoughts of peril vs pure adrenaline bliss. Stomach tightens as it swirls back and forth against the force of gravity, eyes watering, cheeks pressed back and a smile carved into my face like words in stone…and then in the blur of peripheral vision, my tightly clenched fingers begin to relax…my eyes open wide as I lift my arms to the sky and truly soak in the roller coaster ride before me. I become one with the speeding cart across the rails and the adventure truly is one I own…forever.
According to Albert, the only source of knowledge is experience. So when I took on the great journey into the mind of Mr. Pat Pattison, (the songwriting guru who walked 63,000 songwriters through the 6 week course offered through Coursera)…I was completely captivated. As a father of 6, a music teacher, and the husband of a wife finishing up law school, I was slightly intimidated by not only the course, but the idea of a weekly blog inspired by the Songwriters Association of Canada. But why not…let the roller-coaster ride begin.
Rusty fingers and tongue tied words fought to keep up with the concepts dangled before us all. The simplicity of Box thinking and the new revelations of all the parts of your song intensifying and strengthening the chorus. A bunch of new friends we made, all asking the questions that help bring the point of the song to the surface.
Diving into the unstable waters of week 2, I happily held my breath and tried to stay under as long as possible. Gathering new tricks of the trade before coming up for air. As an avid movie watcher, I often pull emotions, camera angles, intense situations into my songs, and with Pat holding a cheat sheet up at the spelling Bee…it became so much easier to bridge these two mediums together.
Like most songwriters, I thrive on rhyming. The dance of the language and sound that twists and turns as it burns a picture in the listeners mind. The rhymes they link the words, make us think that what we heard is not only important but real, phrases that make us feel resolve as we solve the story line, the state of mind, the point of view or just something new that no one else has said. I fed on week 3, and got caught up in the free thought of perfect vs family, additive, subtractive, assonance, and consonance and will probably never again write a lyric without the chance to hear it in another way.
The windows into the minds of my fellow songwriters in Canada and beyond was my favourite part of the entire adventure. Reading conversations, reviews, ideas on direction…hearing the doubt shared by others, the hopes, the desire and passion as it came out and seemed to inspire everyone I chatted with. I learned more from you guys, than from Pat himself. I throw my thanks into the ring and if you could see my smile upon reflection of these past weeks…you would know!
I am not the songwriter I was at the beginning of this course. I think most of the other writers would agree with me that we have all changed the way we look at writing, and every day that passes by I personally realize how little I know about everything on this planet…and that kind of excites me for the journey ahead. So let go of the “lapbar” put your hands in the sky and scream.
In closing, and to sum things up with a quote from a very famous Doctor.
The S.A.C. is defined by the passionate members that make up our community. One of whom has generously offered to let us publish his articles about Recording At Home. Over the course of the next few months we will sharing his blogs which cover a wide range of important subjects aimed at empowering songwriters to better handle recording tools to support their songwriting. Michael Holland was a participant in the recent blogging challenge, who is also enthusiastic about recording. We’ll let him tell you more about himself in this introduction…
You love songs. You write songs. You want to present your songs in the best possible light with a top-notch recording, but you want to do it at home.
Look no further. This blog series is for you!
I offer a special welcome to my fellow members of the Songwriters Association of Canada. Together, we enjoy camaraderie, mutual inspiration and some really great music. If you are in Canada, and you write songs, I strongly recommend that you join the SAC. It’s a great organization. Thanks to the economic realities of our business, songwriters need to stick together now more than ever.
if you’d like to find out more about the SAC.
I assume that you want great results from your recording set-up, and that you are not made of money. I also assume that you don’t have a handy recording engineer and don’t know anything much about recording. If I talk to you like an idiot, I apologize in advance, but I do want to be sure the least informed readers are not left behind. I am well aware that most songwriters don’t want to be an engineer, but knowing how increases your artistic options and helps you to show your work off – and it can save you a great deal of money over the years!
It may surprise you to realize that there are quite a few really simple (and free or low-cost) things that you can do to bring your work to a new realm of audio quality.
I am talking not only about the technical aspects such as where to put a microphone, or how to make the bass LOUD while not muddying up the mix overall, but also about generating the desired emotional responses in your listeners.
Recording studios certainly have mystique but it’s really not that mysterious once you get a few basics squared away. If you follow my blog for the next two months you will find yourself gaining an understanding of the process from one end to the other, and adding lots of useful tips and tricks to your arsenal, and, I hope, making the best recordings you have ever made at home.
You’re probably wondering about my own background. I have been recording in various studios professionally (and at home) since the late 1970’s and I have specialized in mastering records since the 1990’s. I have worked on consoles of all sizes and shapes, such as SSL, Neve, Sony, Mitsubishi, Soundcraft, and others.
I have written, performed, sung, played, tracked, mixed, mastered and gigged in Canada and the UK and I have had the best and the worst of times in many recording studios, from very large and famous multi-room complexes (places like Abbey Road and Battery Studios and The Strongroom) to very small and smelly studios (places I would rather not name) and they all taught me something valuable.
These days, I am in West Vancouver, BC, Canada, and I work as both a mastering engineer and a performing songwriter, which neatly satisfies my love of music, words and science.
I will be covering a wide range of subjects including pre-production, headphone monitoring, microphone types, tracking various instruments, mixing and mastering. Next week we will be discussing Songwriter Home Recording Workflows.
Several weeks ago over 50 S.A.C. members signed on, not only to complete Berklee Professor Pat Pattison‘s online songwriting course offered by Coursera, but also to blog about their experience in the 2013 S.A.C. Songwriting Course & Blogging Challenge. From the get go, the private Facebook group was a flurry of activity as people shared song snippets, inspiration and things they had learned from Pat.
Fast forward several weeks later, and not everyone made it to the finish line. The course proved more intense than many people anticipated. But everyone benefited from participating. Unbeknownst to participants, a winner was selected to receive a FREE ONE YEAR S.A.C. MEMBERSHIP to be added to their existing membership.
It was difficult to choose because, those who did make it to the end, really put their heart and soul into the process. In the end, North Easton was selected for his display of inventiveness, creativity, and personality.
Over the next few weeks we will be posting highlight blogs from each week, to give you an example of what people were learning along the way.
In the mean time, CONGRATULATIONS to North Easton. And congratulations to all who took part and walked away with a new set of songwriting tools and skills. Here is North Easton’s final song submission:
Special thanks to Debra Alexander for helping us to blog about the course along with facilitating the online discussion. And here are some tracks from other participants that made it to the finish line. ENJOY!
In my family, we call it the “schizophrenia of the Francophone outside of Québec”. We carry multiple personalities. We live and breathe two cultures along with a third that only comes from being bilingual. In the past, I’ve never been fully accepted as a francophone by the Quebec population who barely knew of our existence, and even though I’ve grown up in Edmonton Alberta, an English ear will still detect a hint of a French accent. Growing up in Edmonton made me so bilingual that when I pick up a pen or sit in front of a computer to write a battle ensues over which language to choose to express the images in my mind. My rough drafts often end up with a bit of both.
The good news is that in a country where making a living solely with the arts, being able to work in either of Canada’s official languages has saved my wallet on a regular basis. I gave up waitressing about 4 years ago and have been happily living as an artist ever since. I’ve also been stubbornly striving to build a career in 2 languages at once.
There are as many differences as there are similarities between the French and the English music industries. They are both filled with people trying to figure out who they are, how they fit into the great machine, what they can get from it, and what they can bring to it. At conferences I always spot at least one person looking for somewhere to stand or someone to talk to that will make them feel a little less awkward…lets face it, I’ve often been that person.
The difficulty lies in that the two industries continue to be so segregated. No matter how much headway I make in one, I have to work just as hard to make that headway in the other, and then I have to find the energy to maintain it! The name of the most well known and important artists, booking agents, and placement agents of the French industry are rarely recognised by the English industry’s crowd and vice versa. Not only that, but tackling both industries at once doubles the bills. You can’t use the same radio-tracking agent, and finding an available bilingual publicist is like trying to win the jackpot on a scratch and win lottery ticket. Then again, the entire music world seems to be an endless stream of trying to win the lottery.
Being a songwriter is strange. There are no scheduled performance reviews, no guarantees of wage increases or promotions… For years I’ve witnessed many of my friends become bitter and jaded trying to reach their definition of success. After watching the industry kick people’s ass’ my friend Chris, who works for a large broadcasting company and who has been a part of the industry for a solid 20 years, routinely tells musicians to quit. But that’s the problem isn’t it? Like many of you, I have the curse and the incredible gift of being a lifer.
En fin de compte, I’ve come to realise how important it is to remember to be happy, to make choices based on artistic integrity or artistic curiosity, and to make moves (strategic or not) out of inspiration rather than desperation. I have resolved to pursue subject matters that instantly make me feel something, using whatever musical sounds that inspire me at the moment or that the lyrics call for, have conversations with industry professionals because they fascinate me as people, and play concert sets that flit between languages because that’s who I am. Hopefully, if I’m lucky, someone will give me the gift of an open mind and an attentive ear, and if I’m really lucky, that scratch and win lotto ticket might be a winner and they’ll fall in love with what I do.
Many of us attend workshops and conferences on a regular basis hoping to gain insight and information that will further our songwriting careers. Often times the information we learn lies in notebooks rarely visited after the fact. Jane Lewis, an S.A.C. member who is a singer/songwriter that is very active in the Guelph music community, recently attended Folk Alliance and put what she learned into action. We’re grateful she took the time to share what she learned about putting your music on YouTube. Hopefully it will put you into action too!
At the recent Folk Alliance conference in Toronto, I learned that YouTube is now the #1 search engine for music. If people (the general public as well as music industry folks) want to find out who you are and what you sound like, they go to YouTube first.
A panel of industry expert
s strongly advised that musicians have all their music available on YouTube. They agreed that videos of live performances are great (bookers check those out to see how well you do in front of a crowd), but somebody like a manager or agent will also want to hear the recorded versions of your songs. “Even if it’s only a song with a static photo,” they suggested. “Just get your stuff up there.”
“Make YouTube videos” had previously been an item hovering near the bottom of my endless to-do list. After attending that panel, I bumped it up to the top. How hard could it be to make a simple video, as they suggested: just the song playing with a static photo behind it?
Well—obstacle #1 was my own personality. I’m incapable of leaving well enough alone; once the “simple” project was underway, I started to think about how it could be “just a little bit more interesting.” What was one step up from a static photo? As a songwriter, I figured: why not at least showcase the lyrics of my song?
This brought me to obstacle #2 (also my own personality): perfectionism. In iMovie, I couldn’t get the exact effect I wanted with the built-in “captions,” so I ended up creating all the lyrics as individual jpegs in Photoshop, and then importing them like a slideshow. And if you’ve ever used iMovie, you may already know that synching them up can be an exercise in frustration…I did have to let go of some of my perfectionist tendencies there!
In the end, the “simple” video project took me about three days. Perhaps it will go faster next time, now that I’ve learned how to deal with a few of iMovie’s quirks.
Is it worth spending that kind of time and energy? We’ll see. I’m not in it for the money—with 186 views to date, I think I’ve earned about 0.007 cents (and apparently you don’t get paid until you hit 200,000 views). But if I think of it as advertising, then it’s an investment. And I will try to get more videos posted, as time allows.
I certainly won’t be operating on the timetable that industry blogger Bob Lefsetz proposes. In a recent post titled “Using YouTube,” he opined: “You’ve got to create on a regular basis. Once a week at least, once a day is totally fine.”
Everyone’s priority list is different. Where does “make YouTube videos” fall on your list? If once a day or even once a week is your goal, I suggest you stick with the simple stuff—perhaps a recorded song with a static photo…