We had the opportunity to gain insight from Songtrust's Associate Director of Client Acquisition, CJ Olivieri as well as Ben O'Connell, their A&R Representative . We are looking forward to Songtrust's presence at A3C this year. To learn more about Songtrust, check out our interview with their Associate Director of Client Acquisition, CJ Olivieri as well as Ben O'Connell, their A&R Representative:
A3C: Why do you think your presence is important at A3C this year?
Publishing is easily the most complex, misunderstood, and overlooked sector of the music business. Given the current streaming environment in music, now more than ever creators need to better understand the publishing landscape and the impact it has on their careers. Songwriters, producers, and artists, especially those that operate in the Hip-Hop spaces, are and have historically been overlooked or even taken advantage of because of a lack of knowledge around how the publishing industry actually works. In addition, the sum of uncollected royalties, also known as the Black Box, is estimated to be somewhere between $250 million and $2.5 billion. One of Songtrust’s key initiatives is to educate the independent creator to better understand the publishing side of the business so more of these Black Box royalties can make their way to the people who actually earned them. That’s why Songtrust has built out our presence in Atlanta and we’re excited to be apart of another year at A3C.
A3C: What impact has Songtrust made on the industry?
Songtrust has allowed creators, at every level of success, to take publishing into their own hands. We currently represent over 205,000 writers and more than 2 million copyrights, which, by volume, makes Songtrust the world’s largest publishing company. We’ve also taken a very active role in the education of creators around how publishing works in today’s modern age. We regularly speak on panels, hold workshops (here in Atlanta and throughout the world,) and give virtual webinars several times a week on the publishing fundamentals.
A3C: What type of legacy do you want to leave for Songtrust?
My goal is to educate as many creators as possible on how the music industry, and publishing specifically, actually operates. This will give them the tools and expertise to make the best decisions possible for their careers. I want creators to know that Songtrust is a company of experts that are here to cut through the noise and provide them with essential and accurate information that can impact their careers. I also want to see as many creators as possible receive the royalties they are actually owed, whether it’s $5 or $100,000.
A3C: Aside from colleagues at Songtrust, who do you admire in the industry?
I admire anyone who puts artists before themselves and does so through their actions in addition to their words. It is very easy to say you put artists first, but show me in your business model and contracts. I’m also constantly motivated by my close friends that I came up with, who are all working in music in many capacities and diligently working for their artists every day.
A3C: What are you doing that’s innovative?
Songtrust has, without question, the most advanced technology to collect global publishing at scale. We streamline and simplify music publishing for the everyday creator, something that has never been done before. We are always actively working towards bridging the time gap between royalty generation and collection. We are forming new society relationships that allow us to collect from territories that previously did not pay out publishing royalties. A lot of the industry is built on complex copyright law that differs in each territory; Songtrust educates creators so people have a better understanding of what they are owed and how to collect it.
A3C: What motivates and drives you to continue to improve and innovate?
What motivates me is knowing that for every creator I help, there are thousands more that need that same help. There is, and always will be, more work to be done regarding the publishing industry - whether it is operationally and functionally, or creating more awareness around the current landscape for creators. I’m motivated by the lump sum of uncollected royalties known as the Black Box. I want to see that number hit $0 so I know that creators are actually receiving the money they are owed for their work.
A3C: Is there anything you’re working on (that you can share) that you’re excited about releasing in 2019/20?
There is definitely some new developments in the pipeline that I cannot speak on at this time, but we’re always looking at providing a more accessible and robust service for our clients. Aside from that, we have new educational material rolling out this year and next. If you haven’t already come across it, we recently launched our Modern Guide to Music Publishing, an amazing collaborative effort from our entire team. Get your copy today to make sure you fully understand publishing.
A3C: What can we expect from Songtrust in the next 6 months?
New society affiliations that will allow us to collect from more territories more efficiently; improved product developments for our platform and clients; more B2B partnerships; and as always, tons of more educational content for creators.
As the world's largest global royalty collection service, Songtrust streamlines the music publishing administration of 2,000,000+ songs. Add yours!
As a global publishing administrator, Songtrust helps you save time and earn more by automatically collecting the royalties you’re owed. Songwriters, artists, managers, labels, and publishers use our platform to simplify the administration of music publishing assets, performing rights, and digital licensing.