It would be nice if Broadcast Licence customers were encouraged to enter a bit of information prior to purchase - expected air time, country, network etc.
I almost forgot what is higher broadcast license. Envato NEED to clear terms of usage, we loosing money.
Encouraged? How about mandated! It needs to be Obligatory! as it always had been in the past by every other music house, music library, music publisher on the planet. This behavior is just unprecedented! Problem solved with TV spot broadcast licenses once the client enters this data:
Name of Buyer?
Email Address of Buyer?
Name of product/ brand / advertiser using the music?
Title of commercial?
TV Spot codes ? (all major USA advertisers use spot codes)
Territory? Country it will air in?
Name of ad agency or post house licensing the music on behalf of the client?
First projected Air Date of commercial?
Yo Top sellers, time to unite and demand this of Envato today, i.e. right now. I don’t know about you guys, but I sure do love 4 and 5 figure performance royalty checks from TV spot royalties. I have to believe you do too. Yet when you remain silent, you are complicit in the downfall of our own industry. You are enabling and allowing Envato, the true seller of our music, to get away with this! Why do they refuse to gather this data and information about lucrative and very profitable TV spot syncs???
Isn’t this insane?
Why can I not get the name and e-mail address of my buyer who purchased a $999 license to make either a Lexus or Samsung commercial in Korea? How will Envato lose by sending me that information?
ENVATO, we do not expect all this info from your core clients buying STANDARD licenses, but my God, when they buy the broadcast licenses just get us this information so we can rightfully claim our performance royalties from our performing rights organizations!
Hope you’ve got some coffee, this one is going to be a long one… You can’t talk about broadcast licenses without talking about performance royalties and cue sheets too, so I’m going to try to collect my thoughts and post them is a way that’s relevant to the topic still. I considered starting a new topic however a lot has already been said that holds great value, so here I go with my perspective:
The Reality of Today
AJ has come a long way — and has changed a lot of lives (certainly mine) along the way too. I always try to remember that and try to approach current challenges with gratitude. While I think the forums are a great place to share ideas and create positive change, I also have learned that ungratefulness and complaining quickly spread like infectious disease. This isn’t to say I think there aren’t very important issues at hand, or that people shouldn’t have strong opinions, I simply believe that it is always in everyone’s best interest to communicate professionally and constructively as much as possible so that we can unite and see real change.
It seems some believe that a mass show of outrage in the form of profanity laced forum comments IN ALL CAPS GRRRR…. will be the sort of pressure that will move Envato to change. Perhaps, however, the thing that persuades Envato will be the calm, (yet persistent and united) rational, well-articulated presentation of thoughts, ideas and facts. You can still be firm and united in a strong position without all the flashy foolishness that turns people off (even though your argument is valid and something worth fighting for).
Of course, there is also the possibility that nothing will change, and Envato’s stance on some of the pressing issues of today won’t budge. Whether you like it or not, you must acknowledge the reality that you are the one choosing to stay within this ecosystem. Maybe we don’t like the terms, but the terms are clearly laid out and no one should be shocked — you signed up for this, and you can leave at any moment. Sometimes that is the only choice, but let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.
Some are very frustrated — I understand — and rightfully so in some cases. When you feel desperate sometimes, shouting at the forums and other authors feels like the only thing left to do. Can I say however, respectfully, please stop blaming other authors for how this marketplace is run if that is what you are doing. It is not the top author’s fault, or the long-time author’s fault, or the new author’s fault — it is no author’s fault. There is this absurd idea that keeps repeating that somehow it is the responsibility of a particular author group to become the saviors of the marketplace and push whatever flavor of the month problem is currently happening. Yes, perhaps maybe a particular author will carry more persuasion, however regardless of that, being successful doesn’t obligate anyone to become the AudioJungle ambassador for change. If you want to ask for people to weigh in that’s all good of course (and I do agree that the more the better) but putting a requirement on people and getting angry when they don’t show up to protest your battle — that is over the top.
There are so many things that have gone on here in the past. Many of you weren’t even around. We only used to have two licenses, and broadcast use was done with both of them. We didn’t have any performance rights options, we were prohibited from registering. We couldn’t upload our music to itunes, or Spotify, or any other platform. Remember TRAX? Some of you do, a lot of you don’t. These are just of few of the MASSIVE changes that took place that some of the “old guys” who became “top authors” had to fight YEARS for. So please, I understand you’re desperate, but (personally speaking now) please stop sending me angry DMs or e-mails or calling me out to come fight your battle. I’ve been here for 10 years now, and pushed for things you know nothing about. If you want to start a movement for change, go right ahead, but don’t get angry at people who you may be forgetting have lives beyond AudioJungle and the forums.
Broadcast Licenses + Cue Sheets
Envato — decision makers, you’ve done a lot for your authors, but you still must do more if you don’t want to be known as the digital sweat shop of the future.
Where we are today, the old arguments of the past or that the music industry is too complex and unnavigable can no longer be tolerated. I personally believe that you have a right to help enforce what customers should already be doing when you are providing this platform. If you refuse to release customer information to the “sellers” as you say we are, then you MUST implement a better system to ensure those buying broadcast licenses are fulfilling their obligation to properly fill and report cue sheets.
‘Autocue’: A New Cue Sheet Filing System
Can I propose something? Could we not have an online tool built right into the user account interface (a new page) that would allow buyers to fill out a digital cue sheet right on the site (like an e-mail form almost), then select the appropriate PRO from a list, where the submitted form is then sent? Half of it could be auto-populated with existing author and buyer data. Reminders could be sent to broadcast license purchasers. A ‘file a cue sheet’ link could appear right next to the download link in the download area At the very least, could you not create an official download package for buyers that enters their existing info and encourages them to complete the process?
The existing issue here is that it is not a standard practice to bypass collecting broadcasting information at the time of licensing. As the platform, you shouldn’t be allowing buyers to have broadcasting rights without legally protecting the author’s copyright. Doing so is reckless, and is turning a blind eye simply speed up the sale process. It also guarantees a huge percentage of unfiled cue sheets for sure.
Others have suggested embedding the Composer and Publisher IPIs right into the broadcast license which I think is a good start, but ultimately, we are just at a place now where much more needs to be done. This needs to happen.
AudioJungle, the Publisher?
Yes, you read that correctly. I have currently been in a little bit of a spat with SOCAN as a production company has incorrectly listed AJ / Envato as the publisher to some of my works which made it to TV. So there is another very serious reason you want to make sure customers fill our there cue sheets properly — while I don’t think you are trying to claim publishing rights, according to SOCAN it needs to be legally contested. I have every reason to believe this was not ‘your’ claim, but you can see the problem here without me having to put it into words.
In the end, even with AJ making the much-needed changes I and many other mention, the very best way to ultimately ensure you are collecting performance royalties is to educate yourself and start using the available tracking tools that exist now.
If by chance you are new to all this and need some help, this is what I wish someone told me 10+ years ago:
1.) You can’t claim any performance royalties until you are registered with a Performance Rights Organization, and there is a window (about 9 months or so) that you will only be able to retroactively claim. Each country has its own, and often times multiple organizations exist in one country. Once you register with one (and you should have one) they talk to the other PRO’s world-wide to collect royalties for you. Not all PRO’s are equal however and some do a better job than others! Do you research first, then get your music registered! You don’t necessarily always get big money each quarter, but if you hit the right spot (ad, film, show), it can amount to $20,000+ for a single placement.
2.) There are TWO rights a PRO collects for, the writer and the publisher. To get 100% of the money you must claim BOTH the writer AND publisher portions. With some PROs this is easy and with others you may have to do an additional registration. If you haven’t signed away your publishing rights, you own them.
3.) By registering with a PRO, you will get an ISWC# which is an International Standard Musical Work Code) — a unique, permanent and internationally recognized ISO reference number for the identification of musical works. In other words, your composition (not your recording) needs to have a unique trackable number. A ISWC is not to be confused with the ‘International Standard Recording Code’ (ISRC). This code is usually supplied by an aggregator like Tunecore or CD baby when you make you music available to digital platforms like iTunes and Spotify. An ISRC is for the ‘recording’ of your composition and is what is used to track streaming mechanical royalties etc. but I am not getting into that too because I would like to sleep tonight If you need an ISRC however, and don’t want to release your music in that way you can purchase them here along with UPC codes (think whole album identifier codes): https://www.isrc.com/index.html
4.) Register your music with Soundmouse: https://app.soundmouse.com/ Soundmouse is a web-based system designed to enable broadcasters, producers and distributors to manage and deliver their music cue sheets. If you’re not in the system, it makes it much harder for ad agencies and production companies to get it right and it’s guaranteed you are losing out.
5.) Use tools like TuneSat https://tunesat.com/tunesatportal/home, SourceAudio https://www.sourceaudio.com/ and Numerator https://www.numerator.com/client-login Registering your work is only half the battle. Don’t leave it up to AJ customers and your PRO’s to always get it right — THEY WON’T! If you know your music is our there on TV in a foreign country but can’t get the money (and don’t mind some legal paperwork), consider finding a reputable sub-publisher in that country who can get ahold of that money (of course, they will want a cut to do it).
6.) This should maybe be #1 actually: Spend most of your time creating music someone wants to use in their ad, show or film. You won’t be collecting royalties if your music never gets placed!
Finally, understand that there are other royalties our there beyond performance royalties! Take some time to look up Neighboring Rights. Do some reading about copyrights to under stand how your work could be (actually, probably is) making you much more money then you know about! This is an great place to start with an funny but appropriate title: Music Industry Survival Guide: How Not To Get Screwed https://www.tunecore.com/guides/sixrights
I hope that helps someone out there
That Was Long...
The last thing I’ll say, is that I understand some may not agree with me and maybe I will ruffle some feathers. I hope we can all work together to help bring even more great change to the marketplace.
I believe Envato truly means well. Companies however, just like people, can lose their way too if not careful.
AudioJungle Sales Monitor 2
Thanks for a superb post Tim! Very educational and definitely some great ideas you bring to the table.
I agree that there is some very unnecessary over the top rants going on that leads to absolutely nothing constructive, and some of them are plain right insulting. I think we all can try to avoid writing on the forum in the heat of the moment. Take a timeout, and at least not post anything when you are feeling angry. We all know how our mixes sounds different the day after
I really hope Envato is taking the time to read your post Tim. I rate it
Thanks for chiming in, Tim!
However, I don’t get the first part of your post. Who is writing profanities in all caps in this thread? Who is blaming other authors here? Other than you in this post. You obviously have some score to settle with some authors, and I can totally understand that, but please this is not the appropriate thread to do so.
The second part of your post is very insightful and helpful, and this precious knowledge should be read by as many authors as possible, so thank you for that.
Just one question:
Doesn’t “royalty-free” in the context of Audiojungle specifically mean free of Neighboring Rights? If we can claim our Neighboring Rights, what royalties is AJ music free of then?