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In the discussion thread: If Trump gives the all clear [View all]

Response to DemocratSinceBirth (Original post)

Mon Apr 13, 2020, 09:18 PM

15. My business is changing forever, I think

I work with Broadway musicals and represent the writers of some classic shows and songs. The music business has undergone tremendous changes in the last decade and the income streams available to creative writers have, in many cases, dried to a trickle.

In the past, songwriters and their publishers could count on various royalties for income. These included mechanical royalties (for the sale of records, tapes and CDs), public performance royalties (for radio, TV and live performances), printed sheet music, commercial licensing, theatrical licenses (for the use of songs in stage plays) and synchronization licenses (for the use of songs in a motion picture, television show or other video-type use).

Today, the only viable income stream is the last, sync licenses. The rest of the list above has become nearly irrelevant. Music creators and their publishers have had to re-tool and re-focus their business models to adapt to this reality.

One aspect of these profound changes is that almost all of the business transactions-- from pitch through negotiation to final agreement and payment-- are done by email. It doesn't matter where the individuals are located as long as they have internet access.

My wife and I retreated from New York City to our mountain house in the Catskills over a month ago in anticipation of the self-isolating that we're all experiencing. Through good fortune, I've been able to keep working with my clients' "intellectual property rights" and continue to make good business for them. I think this is going to be a new model for this sliver of the entertainment business that I inhabit.

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