HomeBusinessDo The Write Factor. - Music Enterprise Worldwide

Do The Write Factor. – Music Enterprise Worldwide


MBW Views is a collection of op/eds from eminent music business folks… with one thing to say. The next comes from Merck Mercuriadis (pictured), the founder and CEO of Hipgnosis Track Administration. Mercuriadis’ phrases are revealed on the morning of the day (Could 18) of the Ivor Novellos, the UK’s annual awards ceremony celebrating songwriters and their music.


I’m saddened to not be at The Ivors immediately as I’ve been grounded in Los Angeles by the nice Dr. Joe Sugarman as a result of a nasty ear an infection. It’s disappointing as that is a very powerful day of the yr (together with the Songwriters Corridor Of Fame) within the music calendar. It’s the day that we have a good time songwriters – the folks with out whom there isn’t a music enterprise.

All the things in our business begins with and revolves across the work of the songwriter. Most particularly, there isn’t a recorded music enterprise with out the songwriter delivering nice songs first.

Regardless of this, songwriters don’t get the popularity they deserve and stay the lowest-paid folks in music’s financial equation. Any alternative to shout about them from the rooftops and honour them have to be embraced – therefore this notice.

On this biggest of days (on par with Christmas and Arsenal – finally! – successful the league once more!) I’m delighted to have a good time these unbelievable songwriters and their iconic songs; Hipgnosis’ personal Nile Rodgers, Dave Stewart, Jack Antonoff et al will probably be lighting up my telephone whereas I cheer everybody on from afar. 5 hours or so of well-deserved celebration, however then we now have to get again to the truth of a press release that I’ve been making nearly day-after-day since I began Hipgnosis, “SONGWRITERS MUST GET PAID MORE”.

It’s a press release that nobody in our business can argue with, a press release that has resonated increasingly over the past 5 years, and a press release that’s echoed throughout the music publishing and songwriting communities.

It has helped deliver change and it has momentum.


Because of this we’ve made some very optimistic motion each within the US – with CRB III and IV – and across the globe.

In america, we now have a place of stability for the following 5 years – on the highest charges paid to songwriters so far – within the evolution of the streaming financial system. We are actually working in direction of bettering the songwriters’ share of the streaming income ‘pie’ but additional and, finally, attending to a free market.

I imagine even our mates in recorded music in the end agree that change is required. When Warner Music Group CEO, Robert Kyncl, fairly rightly says that “an Ed Sheeran stream will not be value the identical as a stream of rain falling on a roof“, I’m fairly positive he additionally signifies that an Ed Sheeran-written music – significantly these co-written with superb songwriters like Johnny McDaid, Amy Wadge, Benny Blanco and so many others – is value extra than simply some other music.

“We are actually working in direction of bettering the songwriters’ share of the streaming income ‘pie’ but additional and, finally, attending to a free market.”

Nobody advantages extra from the work of nice songwriters and their hit songs than the recorded music corporations who, due to the buoyant streaming financial system, have billions of {dollars} flooding by means of to them on a month-to-month foundation – and the very best years of their histories in entrance of them. However we now have to work collectively in order that we are able to stay up for a future that has not solely the DSPs and recorded music corporations on the negotiating desk but in addition songwriters, publishers and artists to agree honest and equitable phrases for all.

It shouldn’t be left to laws to resolve what crumbs from the ‘streaming pie’ go to the songwriter. If how a songwriter goes to receives a commission is set by laws, then your entire streaming financial system needs to be decided by laws.

Extra appropriately, if how recorded music corporations are paid is set by a free market then how songwriters are paid must also be additionally decided by the identical free market.


Once you see latest inconsiderate statements made by IMPALA it’s no marvel that one of many many legitimate causes the Writers Guild of America (WGA) is putting is that they don’t need their members to finish up like songwriters. Per the New York Instances: “The very last thing we want is for movie and tv to grow to be just like the music business, one other inventive subject disrupted by the web and tech cash, the place the center class has been hollowed out whereas danger has been pushed from the businesses onto the artists themselves. The WGA’s battle isn’t nearly protecting writers employed however about sustaining the well being of your entire ecosystem that makes our business run and retains the availability of high quality movie and tv flowing for viewers around the globe.”

Within the UK’s Premier League, an estimated 71% of all revenues go to the gamers; within the NBA and MLB it’s 50%, and it’s 48% within the NFL. Reside Nation‘s Michael Rapino and AEG’s Jay Marciano are usually paying their main and celebrity artists 100% of the gate.

Who can guess the share songwriters get from the general music enterprise?

“Finally the WGA strike is not only a battle for screenwriters; it’s a tone-setter for all writers, and foretells a prophecy of what’s to return within the music enterprise.”

Finally the WGA strike is not only a battle for screenwriters; it’s a tone-setter for all writers, and foretells a prophecy of what’s to return within the music enterprise as we try, for the primary time ever, to have a wholesome ecosystem of our personal that actually displays and honours the position of the songwriter.

I do know that everybody will stroll away from immediately’s Ivors feeling nice about being within the music enterprise, having celebrated these fantastic those that write the songs that make our world go spherical.

It’s time we acknowledged that not simply with awards and platitudes however with more cash.

It’s time to do the write factor.Music Enterprise Worldwide



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