I’ve been thinking about the number of music hosting sites and MP3 directories that I have my music on. Most of them are free-to-download places where people can just have my tracks for nothing. I started off in late 2004 by choosing just one site – Electromancer.com, which is now no more, just because I lacked confidence about my music and it seemed like a good place to start when I’d never even considered putting my music out to the public. In fact, even though Electromancer closed down last year, a lot of the artists are still active on the forums of another site, Nervejam, and are still as friendly and supportive as ever.
I got a bit more confident after getting some great reviews, thinking that more people might give me a listen, so I followed links and recommendations about other hosting sites, signed up to 2 or 3, and waited for the plays to roll in. Then I started chasing more sites and more plays, until I had tracks on about 1o or 15 sites. I’ve now lost track (and usernames/passwords) of most of those sites, and still get the occasional email from them, saying someone has posted a comment. A quick check on google as to which sites I’m on offers up 94 links for “mistrust music site” and 30 for “never alone mistrust” (my first track from 2004).
I still see the same old faces on all these hosting sites,
Someone on the Big Chill forum that I occasionally visit wanted some advice about getting his music marketed through a music library and wondered if he had to sign up with MCPS and pay £100 for the privelege. As you may have read on here, I’ve recently signed a non-exclusive agreement with a major UK library, and haven’t had to register with MCPS, so something doesn’t add up if this chap has been told otherwise.
As far as I’m aware, the agreement I signed sorts out pre-clearance for my tracks that the library is offering to film, tv, companies etc. In other words, if a few tv production companies hear of one my tracks on the music library’s website and want to use it, there’s no need to wait ages for them to send me an individual agreement for each programme, for me to check them, sign them and send them back, etc, before anyone can use them.
From what I understand, the music library registers my track with MCPS (they get listed as the publisher), the production company requests a licence from MCPS website giving the catalogue number of my track, and the production company pays MCPS for the licence. MCPS (eventually) sends the licence fee (minus their admin fee) to the music library, which then pays me (minus their take – usually 50%).
If anyone else is looking for advice on signing up with a music licence in the UK, have a look here at the MCPS production music guide, which even shows you the official rate card for different types of production (anything from about £20 to £000s). The music library should be registered with MCPS – if they’re in the UK and not on this list, it’s probably not worth dealing with them.
If anyone from the USA or other countries is reading this and knows something about it in other countries, please let me know.
I can’t seem to find many musicians who are blogging. Maybe everyone’s too busy making music or playing live to keep a diary or blog of what they’re upto. What’s the point in blogging anyway, you may say. If you’re a musician, unsigned or not, please post a link to your blog and I’ll have a read and see what you’re upto. I’ll even add you the my “recommended” list. I know that Moby blogs on his myspace page, that’s about it as far as I know. I blog so that I can a) promote my own music to people who wouldn’t normally listen to it; b) let my “fans” and other listeners know what I’m upto with my music; c) help other unsigned musicians get some extra exposure. If you’re not blogging or using Web 2.0 tools and all the latest social networking sites, you’re missing out on a lot of exposure. Even my stepson has a blog about his music.
So, as I said, please let me know if you’ve got a blog, or if you know of any musical bloggers out there.
In the meantime, here’s one of my new tracks for you to download for free….
I came across a website called Talkr that claims to let you listen to text-only blogs on your iPod and other mp3 players. The idea looks great for someone like me who wants to have a podcast but hasn’t got time to record one. All you do is add your blog’s RSS feed to their site, and a permanent link to your blog post, and Talkr will create an MP3 of what you wrote in your post. I tried it on my last post here, and although I was disappointed by the automated female voice, it’s really quite good. I can see it being quite useful for people who want to listen to what I’ve got to say another time, rather than read it in one go. Also, visually-impaired visitors may like it. More features will be available soon!