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The Changing Landscape for Songwriters – Statement by Eddie Schwartz

December 20, 2012

As most of you are well aware, the music industry faces many challenges, and making a living as a music creator has not gotten any easier over the last decade.

One of the few good news stories has been the significant growth of revenue collected and distributed to songwriters and music publishers from performing rights societies, such as our excellent Canadian society, SOCAN. Revenues at SOCAN are up approximately 40% in recent years, and performing rights societies around the world now collect over $10 billion annually.

Just as importantly, songwriters and composers receive their performance royalties directly from SOCAN, and overhead has been kept to around 15%, so 85% of the money collected goes to music creators and publishers.

Unfortunately, the very success of performing rights societies may have created serious problems going forward. Please follow http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20121216/MEDIA_ENTERTAINMENT/312169998 to this interesting and important article which helps explain the enormous challenge to performing rights societies in the US and worldwide by the threat of direct licensing.

Please stay tuned for further posts and information from the S.A.C.. Given the enormous stakes and profound change direct licensing poses, this is not an issue songwriters can ignore.

Many thanks,
Eddie Schwartz
President S.A.C.
Co Chair Music Creators North America

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Brian permalink
    December 20, 2012 12:16 pm

    If the DMX/Sony ATV model starts prevailing and companies like SONY/ATV do not sufficiently pay their songwriters they would be sacrifcing the creation of future catalogs by not supporting their product makers so in the long run in my opinion, I think they would lose out by not retaining their talent and losing them to another company who supports their product makers

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