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ORFIUM Announced as Presenting Sponsor of the 2022 Production Music Conference

Los Angeles, CA — The Production Music Association is pleased to announce ORFIUM as the presenting sponsor of the 2022 Production Music Conference, to be held September 21-23, 2022 in Los Angeles, CA.

“ORFIUM’s dedication to helping music creators protect and monetize their work on UGC platforms is incredibly important as the need for effective digital licensing grows” said Morgan McKnight, Executive Director of the Production Music Association. “We’re thrilled they will be joining us as the PMC presenting sponsor for 2022.”

ORFIUM offers the most powerful automated license clearance software on the market – Synctracker – ensuring your customer’s licensed music use won’t get claimed, while capturing all revenue from unlicensed usage of your music. UGC platforms lack a mechanism to proactively clear licensed use of music on a video-by-video basis. Most companies address this problem by either not monetizing UGC content or by whitelisting entire channels. ORFIUM is solving this problem with Synctracker.

Synctracker is the only solution that programmatically checks each video for licensed music usage before a claim is placed. It is able to distinguish between licensed and unlicensed usage of music, allowing rights owners to monetize true UGC. The API provides for seamless integration with both UGC platforms and your website, managed web application or CRM.

“Sync licensing is seeing huge growth across the UGC, Digital, TV and Film space, with creators desperate to find legitimate ways of licensing the best music catalogues. We are delighted to be working with the Production Music Association and its partners on what should be an incredible conference,” said Francis Keeling, Executive Vice President of Business Development at ORFIUM.

ORFIUM will also join the Production Music Association community on Tuesday, August 23rd from 10am-11am PT for a virtual meet & greet networking and presentation session. You can get more information and RSVP at www.pmamusic.com/events

Anyone interested in a demo with ORFIUM can reach out and schedule with Bryan Bakke – bryan.bakke@orfium.com or place a time on the calendar here.

Division Manager, Corporate Sales

Megatrax – Remote

High growth sales opportunity licensing music for corporate/enterprise clients. Join a great team at an established, reputable, innovative production music company pitching music, developing new business and seeking out new licensing opportunities. Salary plus commission and benefits, work from home. Must have 5+ years outside sales and account management experience with a proven track record of new business development and sales success. Music or media production industry experience preferred.

Contact: humanresources@megatrax.com

Creative Sync Licensing Director / Advertising

Megatrax – East Coast

High growth sales opportunity licensing music for advertising, brands and film/TV/video productions. Join a great team at an established, reputable, innovative production music company pitching music, developing new business and seeking out new licensing opportunities. Salary plus commission and benefits, work from home. Must have prior experience in sync licensing and music pitching for advertising and brands, and a successful track record in sales and business development. East Coast-based candidates preferred.

Contact: humanresources@megatrax.com

PMA’s Statement on Ukraine + Available Resources

The Production Music Association strongly condemns the abhorrent and inhumane Russian invasion of Ukraine. War has no place in this world, and we stand with the people of Ukraine as they so boldly and bravely fight back against this brutal attack on democracy and human rights. 

Our hearts go out to our friends, colleagues, family, and community members that have been impacted by this war.  

PMA Publisher Members below have made their catalogs (or portions of their catalogs) available on a gratis basis for licensing to Ukraine-related humanitarian/non-commercial productions. The following libraries can be contacted at the email address listed. 

If there are any additional publishers within our community that are also offering catalog(s) for usage, please reach out to morgan@pmamusic.com so we can add you to this list.


Additional Resources to Help Ukraine (via ASCAP & CISCAC)

Donate to CISAC’s Fund for Ukrainian Creators

Want to support the people in Ukraine? Here’s how you can help (NPR)

Here’s how Americans can donate to help people in Ukraine (Washington Post)

How you can help Ukrainians (Vox)

Help Ukraine: Charities, record labels and campaigns you can support (MusicTech.com)

A LIST OF WAYS YOU CAN SUPPORT UKRAINE (Mixmag)

Icon Trailer Music is seeking an Album Producer to oversee all music production.

Part-time, Remote Position

Led by Emmy-winning composers and music publishing entrepreneurs Joel Goodman & Frederik Wiedmann, Icon Trailer Music is a production music catalog distributed worldwide by Universal Production Music. We are a friendly team of professionals creating award-winning epic music for use in trailers, tv promos and programming, advertising and more. 

We are looking for someone to oversee and coordinate all aspects of production for our catalog. 

Responsibilities 

• Research current trends in the trailer industry

• Meet with exec producers to establish album concepts and production schedule

• Create project briefs, hire composers and oversee production

• Prep final deliverables for post-production

• Coordinate with mastering engineer, music editor, meta-tagger, and graphic designer

• Oversee all post-production and coordinate final album delivery

• Post-delivery admin – invoicing, internal record keeping, etc.

• Prep marketing materials

• Oversee organization and backup of all assets

• Help fulfill various needs/requests from distributors, as necessary

Key Qualifications 

• Experience in the trailer music industry, preferably as both composer and producer

• Prior experience in the production music industry

• Strong communication skills

• Working knowledge of Microsoft Excel, Google Docs and other software 

• Diligent, efficient and highly detail-oriented work habits 

• A self-starter who can work independently with little to no supervision 

• Fluency with current trends

• Honest, trustworthy and respectful with a positive can-do attitude 

We Offer

Ability to work remotely

• Part-time position

• Nice group of successful, creative people

• Salary commensurate with experience

• Hours are flexible/deadline-oriented.

• Must produce a minimum of 7 albums per year.

Contact:

Frederik Wiedmann

frederikwiedmann@mac.com

Note to Motion Picture Academy: Rethink Your Attitude About Music Scores

Article by Jon Burlingame for Variety

Just how important is music to movies?

Not too important, according to the producers of the upcoming Academy Awards, who have decided to relegate the score Oscar — along with seven other categories — to an off-air segment prior to the three-hour telecast.

It is a slap in the face to the hundreds of composers, arrangers, orchestrators, musicians, engineers and other professionals whose work provides the emotional foundation for so much of today’s cinematic storytelling.

Anyone who saw “Dune” in a theater knows that it was an immersive experience of sight and sound, the latter led by an evocative, powerful soundscape created by musicians and singers. Even if you watched “Encanto” at home on Disney Plus, you were entranced from start to finish by the authentic musical sounds of Colombia. The music of “Don’t Look Up,” “Parallel Mothers” and “The Power of the Dog” was also recognized by Oscar’s music branch as making a significant contribution to what we watched and how we felt during those films.

Read the full article at https://variety.com/2022/awards/opinion/oscars-original-score-music-left-off-telecast-1235188124/

“The Minions Do the Actual Writing”: The Ugly Truth of How Movie Scores Are Made

By Mark Rozzo for Vanity Fair

Creating music in 21st-century Hollywood, as a composer for an Emmy-winning cable series put it, “feels like an underground, a real pimp situation.” He talked about long hours, low pay, and working under a martinet “lead composer”—his boss—who delegated the actual work of writing and recording. “One time he had a meltdown because the director was coming to hear what he had come up with and he didn’t have anything to play him,” the composer went on, “because my computer had all the music on it and it was on the fritz!” He laughed—c’est la guerre. But the irritation and dismay were palpable. Another Hollywood composer summed up the widespread feeling among the men and women who do the day-to-day work of bending melody, harmony, and rhythm to match pictures on a movie or television screen: “There’s no contract, there’s no union. You’re completely beholden to working with someone who’s completely unethical or not.”

“The ultimate perquisite of a composer’s life,” said Henry Mancini, “is being able to make a living doing what you truly love to do: create music.” Mancini, who scored such films as Breakfast at Tiffany’s, The Pink Panther, and Victor/Victoria, winning four Oscars along the way, belongs to an all-time pantheon of film composers that includes Bernard Herrmann, John Williams, and, more recently, Hans Zimmer. We don’t talk about film composers much, but their work is essential to the cinematic experience. Try to imagine Psycho without Herrmann’s stabbing violins or Inception without Zimmer’s gut-rattling BRAAAM. As the director James Cameron once put it, “The score is the heart and soul of a film.”

“I can COUNT THE NUMBER of mainstream Hollywood composers that I KNOW write all their music themselves ON ONE HAND.

Lately, in the streaming era, composers themselves are talking more and more about making a living. With an increasing share of their work moving to streaming, film composers are seeing their royalty earnings dwindle to “pennies on the dollar,” as more than three dozen of them put it last August in an open letter to ASCAP, BMI, and the other performance-royalty organizations, or PROs, that collect and distribute revenues to songwriters. “This raises serious concerns for the future financial outlook for all composers,” the letter declared.

Worse still, some streamers, most notably Netflix, are defaulting to work agreements that cut out royalties entirely. Such agreements are known as buyouts—work-for-hire deals that offer a lump payment and no back end—and they deprive the composer of any share in the ongoing success of a hit series or movie. In 2019, a group of award-winning composers—including Carter Burwell (who has written the score for nearly every Coen brothers movie), Joel Beckerman (CBS This Morning), John Powell (the Jason Bourne franchise), and Pinar Toprak (Captain Marvel)—launched Your Music, Your Future, an initiative aimed at raising awareness about buyouts. So far, nearly 19,000 people have signed on.

Read the full article at https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2022/02/the-ugly-truth-of-how-movie-scores-are-made

AT LEAST $5 BILLION WAS SPENT ON MUSIC RIGHTS ACQUISITIONS IN 2021. COULD 2022 BE EVEN BIGGER?

Article by Murray Stassen for Music Business Worldwide

MBW’s Stat Of The Week is a series in which we highlight a single data point that deserves the attention of the global music industry. Stat Of the Week is supported by Cinq Music Group, a technology-driven record label, distribution, and rights management company.

The music rights market was on fire in 2021.

MBW estimates – based on confirmed prices and information from industry sources – that at least $5.05 billion was spent on catalog and music rights acquisitions across the 60-plus big-money deals we reported on during last year.

That figure includes deals for individual catalogs sold by artists and songwriters, plus acquisitions of music rights portfolios (including those owned by active labels/publishers) by companies from other companies.

For clarification, the latter category included deals such as Warner Music Group‘s $400 million acquisition of 300 Entertainment, Concord’s $400 million acquisition of Downtown‘s catalog, Sony Music Group‘s nine-figure acquisitions of Todd Moscowitz’s Alamo Records and Brazilian label Som Livre, plus Kobalt‘s $1.1 billion catalog sale to KKR venture, Chord Music.

Close to half of MBW’s estimated $5.05 billion total sum – some $2.33 billion – was spent on acquisitions of rights directly from artists, songwriters and/or their estates.

And the pace (and price) of such deals is accelerating: In December alone (excluding WMG’s $400 million acquisition of 300), deals worth at least $720 million were struck for artist and songwriter catalog sales.

At least $500 million of that December tally came from Bruce Springsteen’s confirmed sale of his entire masters-plus-publishing catalog to Sony Music Group (and Eldridge Industries), the first time the half-a-billion dollar mark has been crossed for the catalog of an individual artist.

Could there be a bigger individual artist catalog deal in 2022? And could the massive total amount spent on catalogs in 2021 be surpassed this year?

There’s a good chance that it might.

The 2022 rights M&A market kicked into action last week Monday (January 3) with the news that Warner Music Group, via its Warner Chappell Music subsidiary, had acquired the global music publishing rights to David Bowie’s song catalog.

The price of the deal was in the region of $250 million.

We also learned last week that US songwriter and performer John Legend had sold his songwriting catalog for an undisclosed fee to BMG and KKR.

That transaction took place in September 2021, suggesting that MBW’s $5.05 billion estimate above might just be the tip of the iceberg; clearly, as in the case of Legend’s sale, our number doesn’t take into account those artists/writers who sold a catalog… but decided to stay quiet about it.

As we prepare for another potentially seismic year for the catalog deals market, below MBW has printed a big list of pretty much all the music rights acquisitions that hit MBW’s headlines in 2021, inclusive of many prices that were confirmed or – via MBW sources – rumored at the time.

This list primarily formed the basis for our headline calculations in this story.

Before we get into all of that, though, a few important caveats on our number above, and our list below:

  1. The below is certainly an extensive list, covering as it does the vast majority of M&A music deals covered by MBW in 2021, but it’s not an exhaustive one. There will be a few big money catalog deals, for example, that were never confirmed or announced at the behest of the writer/artist in question, which likely add up to hundreds of millions of dollars;
  2. We have discounted two huge 2021 music biz deals from our list/calculations, on the basis that they were acquisitions of music companies that were not rights-ownership-led: The first is HYBE’s $1 billion acquisition of mega-manager Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings (which included rights via Big Machine and other Ithaca holdings, but appeared to be primarily led by Braun’s artist management facility); the second is Sony Music Group’s $430 million acquisition of Kobalt’s AWAL and Kobalt Neighbouring Rights, neither of which was a music rightsholder. Where possible, we also haven’t included acquisitions where no underlying rights were purchased (e.g. BMG‘s acquisition of Mick Fleetwood’s personal royalty stream for his recordings);
  3. We’ve only included deals where the buying party acquires a sizable stake in the rights in question.

View the full article here: https://www.musicbusinessworldwide.com/at-least-5-billion-was-spent-on-music-catalog-acquisitions-in-2021-could-2022-be-even-bigger

Streaming Music Subscriptions Grew 26% in 2021, With YouTube Music as Fastest Growing DSP in the West

Article by Chris Willman for Variety

A study released by Midia Research shows that worldwide streaming subscriptions grew by a healthy 26.4% in the second quarter of 2021, standing at 521.3 million subscribers at the end of that period, an increase of 109.5 million from the year before. But that growth didn’t necessarily come via the usual DSP suspects.

Spotify continued to have by far the highest market share among streaming services, with its 31% slice of the pie being more than double the 15% claimed by the nearest runner-up, Apple Music. With Spotify adding more subscribers than any other service in the 12 months leading up to the middle of 2021, “there is no risk of Spotify losing its leading position anytime soon,” wrote Midia’s Mark Mulligan. But, he cautioned, “the erosion of its share is steady and persistent,” since Spotify had a 33% share at the same time a year before and 34% in 2019.

So who’s benefitting most from the industry’s gains? Midia points to the momentum belonging to YouTube Music, which still has a modest share — just 8% of the market — but which grew by more than 50% during the 2020-to-2021 Q2 period. “YouTube Music was the only Western DSP to increase global market share during this period,” Mulligan writes.

The news was also fairly good for second-place Apple Music, which saw gains of 25%, versus Spotify’s 20% growth.

“But the biggest subscriber growth came from emerging markets,” Midia points out. Two services that are only available in China, Tencent Music Entertainment and NetEase Cloud Music, together account for 18% of the global streaming market — and those two combined added 35.7 million subscribers during the 12 months measured. (Tencent has 13% of the worldwide market, and NetEase is at 6%.)

And whatever Cold War fears may be arising at present about Russia, streaming is getting hotter in that country. “Yandex, in Russia, was the other big gainer,” Mulligan writes, “doubling its subscriber base to reach 2% of global market share.”

Midia’s report cautions that the 26.4% global growth in subscribers doesn’t translate to that big of an increase in revenue. The reason for a disparity, Mulligan writes, is due to “the rise of multi-user plans and the growth of lower-spending emerging markets.” Still, he adds, “growth in monetized users represents the foundation stone of the (DSP) streaming market. So, accelerating growth at this relatively late stage of the streaming market’s evolution is clearly positive.”

The full report is only available to Midia subscribers, but Mulligan’s summary, and an accompanying pie chart showing the market share of the different services, can be found here.