Interesting comments from an artist who established her presence and has gained her greatest awareness/success as an interpretive artist-singing songs others wrote.Clearly, Joss has taken an interest in writing and is putting effort towards developing as a writer but, her writing is not what got her to a point where she can make the dough from the live show.Interpretation and performance are creative endeavors. But, they exist only when there is a composition. If she stopped singing songs from those first two records at her shows, will her shows retain the income generating power?
Let's get into what I know about concert economics. Promoter hires venue, books artist. Venue gets $$, I would guess a hard number. Artist gets $$, a percentage? Plus, of course, the t-shirt sales. Promoter gets the rest.Am I right? I'm a consumer and hobbyist. I am not part of the music industry, or even the beer-selling industry, and I'd hate to get into this with false assumptions.If I recall right, the ASCAP/BMI cost falls on the venue, but like radio, they get paid. And thus, theoretically, the songwriters get paid.
Well, my experience in publishing has all been with BMI affiliated writers/publishers. The only specific royalties from live performance I have seen (not mine btw, other writers I was doing some accounting chores for) are from symphony concerts.The venue paid performance fees you are talking about are, to my knowledge, "blanket licenses". I believe that ASCAP does a lot more blanket stuff than BMI. Anyway, all blanket royalties are based on voodoo percentage based formulas and not actual performances of particular songs.The only blanket payouts I've ever seen specified on a BMI report are for local TV performance in various other countries. I'm not saying that there isn't any concert performance stuff paid but, I've never seen any identified as such.All very convoluted and, not very compelling.Here's the thing though; traditionally, writers get paid on music sales and spins. Unless a song has a huge radio shelf life, the income from those two generalized sources worked out to be about half and half. Half sales-half performance...a very rough formula.So, if sales are no longer part of the equation, that means a revenue stream that was roughly half of the income is gone. You would still get paid for spins but, as the iPod is the new radio and the iPod is filled with shared files, the writer doesn't see any dough from the real "spins" that rapidly are displacing traditional spins.Now, I've seen a lot of this-"I love people file sharing MY music because, they will be the people at MY shows" type of talk from artists that are writing their own material and thus, building their live career from their writing. And, I feel that same way with my music.But, an artist that forms a career based on other peoples writing...well, that seems a little unsavory.
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