Sit down on the couch, turn on your favorite sitcom or TV drama, CLOSE YOUR EYES, and listen. As you LISTEN (not watch) the episode, what do you hear? The continual music cues, stock music clip, production elements, and sound effects all throughout every show on every channel of the television. That’s just the TV example. On average, a show on network television spends $2.5 million per season per show on stock music and sound effects….simply put, it’s a $3 billion market opportunity in need of microstockitization.
Let’s be real, ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, and although BMI had a record year in 2007 in terms of it’s revenues and “rake” percentage, it’s tough to imagine a world in 2030 with ASCAP and BMI still controlling the music licensing market with their “old school” ways and “old school” technologies. We love the fact that these agencies are able to garner big checks for the top artist and we understand that they are “pro artist”. However, we also see the future of audio content licensing and 20 years out, it’s hard to imagine that anyone except the top 1% of artists will ever see a check from these agencies. That’s because the digital music revolution is making it harder and harder for them to police and easier and easier for artists to create content and push it out to a huge audience. AudioMicro will often be referring to these companies the “Royalties Police”. Can you believe that ASCAP once tried to sue the Girls Scouts of America for not paying royalties to the artists who’s songs are sang around Girls Scout Campfires? I think they actually have “undercover agents” that go around to Americas bowling alleys and Juke Boxes and police the venues for appropriate royalty reporting. It’s actually a fact that these agents exist, not just a guess. That’s a pretty pathetic way to run a business, especially in today’s world.? What’s even funnier is that once they find a venue (let’s take the bowling alley in Valencia, CA), they then whip out a rate chart and scroll down to that particular type of venue (bowling alleys) and they attempt to perform a rights managed form of music licensing whereby they come up with a price they bowling alley must pay depending on the number of lanes in the alley. This is not a joke, this is actually how ASCAP operates. AudioMicro would like to suggest to them a uniform pricing model of $1 per minute per track – a one time fee per location. This form of royalty free stock music licensing with uniform, democratic micro stock pricing will be the ultimate licensing model of the 2030’s and 2040’s. It will just take some time before it’s accepted and commonly used.
AudioMicro just returned from the NAB Show in Las Vegas this past weekend.? Our research from the show confirms out expressed beliefs that the commercial stock photographer market is nearly identical to the commercial music licensing market and that the future growth of this industry lies in the real of micro stock / micro payment.? There are a handful of companies at the high end (Rights Managed) end licensing stock music to films and television for $1,000 or often much more, and there are a handful of nice royalty free CDs collections with thousands of stock music tracks and sound effects available on a per DC basis.? I sound like I’m describing the stock photography industry don’t I?? Although with slightly different customers.? This visit to NAB confirmed the notion that micro stock, a phenomenon that has taken control of the photo industry, will ultimately rise to the challenge and take on the high end licensors with it’s crowd sourced ingestion cycle and simple pricing model and end user licensing.? Time will tell…this industry will certainly be fun to watch over the next 5 to 10.
We read about Sellaband raising $5 million in venture capital money today.? Quite an accomplishment.? They have a very unique business model for promoting artists whereby the “crowd” donates cash, actually $10 a peice in real cold hard cash, to the band of their preference and once the band has 5,000 donations, or $50,000 in donations, the cash is pooled together and the $50,000 is used to produce a limited run of an album.? We are impressed.? This is quite a profound and creative business model and it will take the pain out of capital raising begging at the doorsteps of record companies for a deal.? Sellaband’s business model is yet another example of crowd sourcing content (in this case, money, votes, and reviews) and using the power of the crowd to outperform that which would traditionally be accomplished by a smaller group of individuals, like a bunch of grumpy old record execs.? Right on….AudioMicro wishes Sellaband much continued success.
Tons of media outlets are reporting on MySpace’s joint venture with the big music distributors called “MySpace Music”. This is all fine and dandy and great PR spin. However, the real news is that although it’s nice that MySpace is playing nice in the sandbox with the big boys (Warner Brothers Music, EMI, Universal, BMI, Sony Music, etc.) by sending them a fat royalty check for all of the unauthorized music that folks have been listening to on user’s MySpace pages over the years, this does little, if anything, to help young, emerging artists garner a royalty check. AudioMicro has a better solution…post your content on AudioMicro.com and license it through our general commerical use license and we’ll send you a check (actually, it’s a Paypal) wire, every month. No need to go banging down the doors of the big record labels trying to get an audition or your demo played like the rest of the crowd. Once you can show them your songs have been licensed many times to willing content purchasers, you’ll be more likely to land that big deal you deserve. At least you’re not giving it away like a lot of sites – including MySpace prior to the point at which the aforementioned deal was signed.
Omg, can you imagine a time machine blender?!