Songtrust Atlanta hosted its second workshop of the year on Feb. 28th, at 55th Park Bar. The New York-based company functions as a global digital rights management platform which allows songwriters, and artists to manage their music publishing and related rights.
As a continuation from their previous event held this past January at Culture Republic Studios, Songtrust Atlanta conducted a Global Publishing Workshop.
Associate Director of Client Acquisition CJ Olivieri joined A&R representative of Songtrust Atlanta Bre Harper as hosts for the workshop.
“In Atlanta, there are so many people that are underserved in the music industry,” Olivieri said. “You would think since it is such a hot bed that they would be over-served, but they are being over-served with things they don’t need. Something like publishing, which should really be a important thing for them, no one knows anything about it.”
Olivieri currently travels internationally as an advocate and overseer for Songtrust New York and Nashville offices, and now assists with the start-up of Songtrust Atlanta.
Upon registration, attendees were promised to gain in-depth knowledge about music and global publishing administration, and be able to network. A mix of songwriters, publishers, producers, musical artists, and entertainment lawyers, were among those in attendance for the publishing workshop.
Numerous local creators huddled together in the reserved section of the bar, socializing with one another as they eagerly waited for the workshop to begin.
Olivieri and Harper began the workshop thoroughly explaining the difference between mechanical royalties collected by mechanical agencies, versus performance royalties collected by Performance Rights Organizations (PROs) and Collective Management Organizations (CMOs).
Along with providing valuable information about collecting royalties, Olivieri and Harper went on to enlighten the audience about Songtrust’s support with music publishing and allowing creators to protecting their assets.
Olivieri also advised the audience on the importance of copyright.
“Know the power of your copyright. A lot of people don’t how valuable publishing is,” Olivieri said. “They don’t understand the importance of it until years have passed, then all of a sudden they go try to get the money, and it’s gone. It’s been black boxed and distributed out to other people.”
“Understand the value of the asset that you have, and register your songs quickly. People don’t realize it takes six to nine months to collect on publishing. So the sooner you get that process going, the more likely you’ll be able to prevent that money from being black boxed in the first place.”
Harper also shared with the audience in order to get started, maintain royalties, and revenue, artists, songwriters, and producers need a distributor, publisher, the importance of registering music with Nielsen’s SoundScan, and Songtrust.
At the conclusion of the workshop, the Songtrust team administered a 40% discount on Songtrust services as an incentive for guests.
Creators who went on to stay after the presentation, conversed about their takeaways from the workshop, and further networked regarding potential collaborations.
“We don’t come here to sell, we come here to try to show everyone this side of the business that they don’t know,” Olivieri explained.
“Hopefully they learn a little bit, take that information, go learn more about it, and help their friends learn more about it. We can’t do our job of signing people up, if they don’t know what publishing is, and why it’s so important. If they choose to go to a different publisher that’s fine, we just want people to get the money that they’ve earned. That’s the most important thing to us.”
Ashanti Mayo, Legal Assistant at Jonathan E. Leonard, P.C., attended the workshop with her colleague Cheniece Webster-Jones, Esq. M.M., LL.M., to become more informed about music publishing for her current and potential clients. Mayo also previously worked with Harper during her time with Disturbing Tha Peace Records so she wanted to extend her support to her former colleague and associate.
“I’m from New York, and although I went to school here and have friends here, I’m in an industry that I need to know people. I need to be able to network. I learned more about publishing. We do a lot of publishing daily or license a lot of compositions for TV shows and commercials. Publishing is what I’m doing every day. I also came to meet more people here and see if they need a lawyer,” expressed Mayo.
Newly appointed Director of Business Development for North America Anna Bond also appeared at the workshop, representing Songtrust. Bond received her title just three days prior to the Songtrust Atlanta music-publishing workshop.
The workshop is one of her first attended events as a new member of the Songtrust team, Bond confessed, “I came because I’m brand new to the company. I just started on Monday. I came to meet Bre from the Atlanta team, see how these workshops work, and see how folks from Bre and CJ’s team interact with creators on a grassroots level.”
“People were really engaged and interested in this topic. Just hearing the questions, they were so interested and focused. You really got the sense that these are creators who really want to develop their careers, and want to make sure that they’re covering all their bases. It’s really inspiring to see people talking to each other now, like you have musicians who are now talking about collaborating,” expressed Bond.
With fifteen years of experience in the music industry, and a passion to continue helping musicians advance their careers and share their unique visions, Bond said, “What I really like that Songtrust does, is that on a really grassroots level, they’re ensuring that creators get all of the royalties and revenue that they’re due. Publishing coming from the label side and coming artists side, is something that people can be extremely confused about. It can seem really opaque and something you need to have crazy connections to be able to access, but you really don’t. Songtrust is a really democratizing platform that makes that available to everyone. What I want to do in my role is to get more people access to the platform, royalties, and help people develop their careers.”
Speaking on the development of Songtrust Atlanta events going forward, Harper stated, “We capped out at capacity the first and second time, so we definitely plan to make the workshops bigger, and doing them twice a month. We really want to make huge marketing efforts in getting Songtrust’s name out in Atlanta. Along with the workshops, we want to have networking parties, mixers, and things of that sort, a couple times a month. We want to keep that networking community going in the Atlanta market, and Songtrust being a catalysts for it.”
Olivieri also affirmed, “We want to keep a consistent event every month for the community. I really like this aspect, where people are networking, collaborating, and figuring out ways they can work with each other. We want to build a community within Atlanta of people who are passionate about learning about the music industry. Hopefully that becomes contagious and spreads, so more people want to become involved. We were also apart of A3C Festival last year, so we want to get back involved with that again.”
Additional information about future Songtrust Atlanta events can be found on Songtrust’s social media handles, as well as their official website, www.songtrust.com.