How to get paid for your creativity

The Academy Theatre opened its programming in the Brighton Dome for BMC 2018 with a panel hosted by Ashley Howard, the main-man for electronic music at the UK’s performing rights organisation PRS For Music.

“Getting Paid For Your Creativity’ featuring guest panellists including Defected Records’ Adrienne Bookbinder, Soraya Sobh from The Bakery and Adam Woolf from Critical Recordings.

Covering topics such as copyright, publishing, sync and sampling, the panel touched on real-world examples of some of the least understood areas of the music industry, that are often criminally overlooked by upcoming artists, labels and producers, at a point in their careers where building a portfolio of revenue streams has become increasingly important.

When using samples in your music, Adam Woolf recommended to “do it the right way and get clearance”, by reaching out to labels and publishers who own the rights and try to negotiate clearance for the samples you are using.

How to get paid for your creativity

With the so-called vinyl resurgence in full-swing, Ash Howard poses the questions “Is there still money in vinyl for dance music?” “Its a very broad subject – it hasn’t really gone up or down for Critical Recordings, apart from the price” said Adam Woolf. “You have record plants shutting down, with long lead times of 3-4 months to get something pressed and pressing in minimal quantities, there’s very little revenue, but re-presses later down the line can generate profit.” Defected Records’ Adrienne Bookbinder had a slightly different perspective; “we’re pressing a lot more vinyl in last year and a half, we’ve seen a massive increase in vinyl sales”. It really depends on the release and the artist though”. On a recent Classic Release “we went vinyl only, produced 300 copies which sold out, then repressed another 300, sold out again, before going to digital, but it’s really on a case by case basis”

Artist income came under the spotlight with Soraya Sobh suggesting that DJing income represents 70% of artists incomes these days, with publishing and royalties coming in around 15-20% and merch making up the remaining 10% while also sharing some insights on sync licences for HBOs’ Silicon Valley hit comedy, with figures bandied around of between £2000  and £10000.

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