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SELF-PUBLISHING VIABILITY IN THE MODERN MUSIC INDUSTRIES

Stephen Mulhaney-Clements

Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of MSc IN MUSIC & CREATIVE INDUSTRIES MANAGEMENT

Business & Creative Technologies University of Bolton August 2010


Abstract The postmodern music industry landscape is global, technology-driven and fractious, so much so that it may be wiser to call it the music industries. By educating themselves, modern music industries professionals are now able to compete in markets dominated by major players on a surer level footing, in the belief that traditional music industries’ business models can, and have, changed. The music industry professionals can be described as cultural entrepreneurs, as they manage both artistic and managerial functions in micro-enterprises and within embedded networks.

However, most of those professionals who benefit from these changes that have been studied thus far tend to be related to the recording industry (i.e. bricoleur musicians). It seems that other music industries, such as the music publishing industry have had little academic attention paid to it. This research aims to rectify this by focusing on the selfpublishing writer, the music publishing industry’s cultural entrepreneur. It analyses whether it is viable for a songwriter to self-publish in the modern music industries by carrying out qualitative research methods (semi-structured interviews) and focusing on the individual, processes and domain.

It was hypothesised that it is viable for a songwriter to self-publish, and the findings tend to agree. However, there is a caveat attached – it is a challenge and may be too much for the songwriter to take on board. While self-publishing is viable it may not be worthwhile. It requires the right mix of individual attributes. As publishing involves the sustaining of numerous relationships that have taken years to build up, in order to access resources and opportunities the self-publisher would need to develop their own network which may not be possible. Publishing also requires that numerous functions be performed (administrative; creative; business; legal) and music publishing companies are able to facilitate this; the self-publisher would not be able to manage unless focusing on the domestic market only.

The music publishing industry is still ruled by traditional models and systems. However, internet technologies may aid the songwriter in self-publishing, particularly if

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he is a performing-songwriter. Although not adopting all of the publishing functions necessary for sustenance and not having the same affect on the music publishing industry as they have on the recording industry, internet technologies can aid the selfpublisher in some way. Online publishing services focus on niche services that can help the songwriter generate revenue whilst utilising the service’s networks. Internet technologies also allow self-publishing songwriters to market themselves and develop networks (although these need to be organic in order to be effective), publishing functions in themselves.

This research confirmed that self-publishing may be viable but it is a challenge and many may not believe it to be worthwhile. If one is willing to self-publish then adopting managerial cybernetic methods, such as the Viable Systems Model (VSM) may allow them to function effectively and remain sustainable. Such a model considers all aspects of the self-publishers’ enterprise.

Although this research highlighted the issue of self-publishing, it is not without its limitations. No self-publishers were interviewed as part of the research which means that vital information is missing from the conclusions drawn. It is therefore recommended that future research interviews self-publishers and their views. Also, in order for generalisations to made it is recommended that more music industry professionals be interviewed.

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Contents 1. General Overview..................................................................................1 1.1

Background................................................................................................

.....1 1.2

Research

Purpose............................................................................................2 1.2.1

Aims

and

Objectives..........................................................................................3 1.3

Theoretical

Frameworks

Used

in

the

Research

Study................................5

2. Literature Review..................................................................................7 2.1

Cultural

Entrepreneurship.............................................................................8 2.1.1

Definition.....................................................................................................

......8 2.1.2

The

Artist

and

the

Businessman........................................................................9 2.1.3

The

Cultural

Micro-

Enterprise........................................................................10 2.1.4

Embedded

Networks

and

Creative

Clusters....................................................11 2.1.5

Section

Summary.............................................................................................13 2.2

Managing

Creativity.....................................................................................14 2.2.1

A

Delicate

Process..............................................................................14 2.2.2

The

Balancing

of

4

Operational

and

Creative


Processes..................................15 through Innovative Means 2.2.2.1

Offline

Processes................................................................................16 2.2.2.2

Online

Processes.................................................................................17 2.2.3

The

Balancing

of

Several

Distinct

Paradoxes................................................18 2.2.4

Provide

the

Correct

Environmental

Conditions

that

Facilitate.....................19 Creativity Growth, Focusing on Interaction and Communication with Other Creatives 2.2.5

Section

Summary...........................................................................................20 2.3

Managerial

Cybernetics

and

the

Viable

Systems

Model................................................................................................ .....21

2.3.1

Systems........................................................................................................

...22 2.3.2

Cybernetics

and

Managerial

Cybernetics......................................................22 2.3.3

The

Viable

Systems

Model

(VSM)..................................................................24 2.3.4

Section

Summary...........................................................................................26 2.4

Music

Publishing.........................................................................................29 2.4.1

Definition

of

Music

Publishing......................................................................29 2.4.2

Music

Publishing

5

Company


Infrastructure...................................................30 2.4.2.1

The

Creative

Department..................................................................32 2.4.2.2

The

Administration

Department.......................................................32 2.4.2.3

The

Business/Legal

Affairs

Department..........................................33 2.4.3

Writer-owned

Publishing

Company

Infrastructure.......................................33 2.4.4

Revenue

Streams...........................................................................................34 2.4.5

Music

Publishing

in

the

Twenty-First

Century.............................................35 2.4.6

The

Self-Publishing

Songwriter....................................................................37 2.4.7

Section

Summary..........................................................................................37 2.5

Chapter

Summary......................................................................................38

3. Research Design...................................................................................39 3.1

Constructivist

Epistemology

and

Interpretivism.......................................40 3.2

Phenomenology..........................................................................................

...40 3.3

Methods......................................................................................................

....41

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3.3.1

Literature

Review

(Secondary

Research)........................................................41 3.3.2

Interviews

(Primary

Research)........................................................................42 3.3.2.1

Music

Publisher

Interviews.................................................................43 3.3.2.2

Online

Publishing

Services..................................................................44 3.3.2.3

Online

Songwriter

Tools......................................................................44 3.4

Data

Analysis..................................................................................................45 3.5

Extrapolation.............................................................................................

.....45

4. Data

Collection

and

Analysis...............................................................46 4.1

Coding.........................................................................................................

....46 4.2

Content

Analysis............................................................................................47 4.3

Interpreting

the

Findings:

Discussion..........................................................50 4.3.1

Self-Publishing

Can

Be

Done

But...................................................................51 4.3.2

Networks

and

Relationships

are

Important............................................52 but They Take Time to Develop and They Need to be Organic

7

Very


4.3.3

Music Publishing Companies Offer Various Services and

Provide

Many

Benefits..............................................................................55 4.3.4

Internet Technologies have their Advantages but they are not

the

be

All

and

End

All................................................................................56 4.3.5

Knowledge

is

Key............................................................................................57 4.3.6

Self-publishing

Success

depends

on

an

Individual’s

Attributes......................58 4.4

Chapter

Summary.........................................................................................60

5. Conclusions

and

Recommendations....................................................61 5.1

Research

Objectives:

Summary

of

Findings

and

Conclusions..................61 5.1.1 Research

Objective

1.......................................................................................61 5.1.2 Research

Objective

2.......................................................................................62 5.1.3 Research

Objective

3.......................................................................................63 5.1.4 Research

Objective

4.......................................................................................64 5.2

Recommendations

and

Limitations..............................................................65 5.2.1 Putting

Theory

Practice............................................................................65

8

into


5.2.2 Further Research.............................................................................................65 5.2.3 Research

into

the

Development

of

Online

Publishing.....................................66 Services that May Carry Out Other Publishing Functions

6

References........................................................................................... 67

7

Bibliography......................................................................................9 0

8

Appendix.............................................................................................. .96

List of Tables

Table

1:

Key

Summaries

of

Themes

from

Coding

Tables.........................................48 Table

2:

Content

9

Analysis

of


Research......................................................................49

List of Figures

Figure

1:

Viable

Systems

Model

(VSM)

Diagram

(Source:

Beer,

Relationships

(Source:

Lathrop,

2003,

1967)...................28 Figure

2:

Music

Publishers’

p230)................31 Figure

3:

Publishing

Industry

Structure

Publishing

Company

(Source:

Passman,

2008)..............................30 Figure

4:

Music

Departments

and

Functions............................36

Acknowledgements This dissertation would not have been completed without the support of a select few. First, I would like to thank all of the music industry professionals who gave me some of their invaluable time to participate in my research. Without their knowledge, experience and passion, this research would remain incomplete. I am also grateful to the University of Bolton for giving me the opportunity to undertake research in an area that I am particularly interested in; and to my supervisor, Dr. Paul Oliver, for his constant encouragement, guidance and support...and good taste in music. Thanks also to the ‘music industries’ team. Finally, thank you to my friends and family for their support, encouragement and sense

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of humour. Special thanks go to my auntie, Ann Mulhaney, for her constant guidance, knowledge and help throughout my academic career (a true inspiration!); and Michelle, for her continued support, love and unquestionable faith in my abilities – Mi.My.Mu.

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1. General Overview 3.1 Background Today’s post-Fordist economy is now a ‘cultural’ economy, where cultural products are treated as commodities (Ellmeier, 2003). The creative industries, who heavily contribute to this economy, account for a large percentage of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of many Western nations, including the UK (DCMS, 2010). Such industries (the DCMS identifies thirteen industries that form the ‘creative industries’ – DCMS, 2001) are largely made up of micro-enterprises - usually one-person operations run by ‘cultural entrepreneurs’ (NESTA, 2003; Pratt, 1997; Rae, 2004; Scase, 1995; Smallbone et al., 2005). These entrepreneurs manage both artistic and managerial functions (see Angerer, 1999; Ellmeier, 2003; Gwee, 2009; Wilson and Stokes, 2005) in a postmodern environment. The music industries (identified in the DCMS’ remit) are no different. The postmodern music industry landscape is global, technology-driven and fractious, so much so that it may be wiser to call it the music industries (Frith, 2000; Toynbee, 2000; Williamson and Cloonan, 2007). By educating themselves, modern music industries professionals are now able to compete in markets dominated by major players on a surer level footing, in the belief that traditional music industries’ business models can, and have, changed. There are certain reasons for this. It is true that globalisation has blurred boundaries and provided new opportunities for “innovation, ingenuity and creativity” (Renshaw, 2001: 1), but so too has technology, and significantly so. Internet, digital and mobile technologies have helped democratise the music industries (limiting the oligopolistic power of the major players) (Asia, 2008; Berthon, 2007; Graham et al, 2004; Reed et al., 2004; Regner et al, 2009), allowed for a wider range of cultural diversities (Renshaw, 2001), and given rise to the modern, self-sufficient music cultural entrepreneur. Taking advantage of the postmodern music industries environment both cultural entrepreneurs and consumers can gain greater freedom of access to, exploitation of, and

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rewards from, music. The bricoleur musician is such an example. Bricoleur musicians believe strongly in self-sufficiency and creativity (Ciborra, 2002; Introna and Ilharco, 2004; Oliver, 2009; Stahl, 2005), and are now able to control their own careers and compete in the modern music industries landscape, espousing the grand narrative of the need for a ‘major’ label (Ellmeier, 2003). But that is the bricoleur musician. 3.2 Research Purpose Recent academic literature and scholarly research has tended to focus on the impact of technologies and changes in music business models on musicians solely (see, for example, Graham et al., 2004; Lewis et al., 2005). Equally, the same academic literature has also tended to focus on the recording industry and no other. Although this is understandable given the number of do-it-yourself artists who are now able to benefit from the restructuring of the traditional music industry (particularly in regards to production, distribution and marketing) and the prevalence of illegal file-sharing and piracy which made the recording industry’s traditional business model (that of selling music as a physical product) redundant, one needs to question why other music industries haven’t had the same academic interest. Although the recording and music publishing industries have suffered enormously from technological advancements and illegal piracy, the music publishing industry has been less affected (Bandier, 2008, says ‘unaffected’, although this is arguable), even being able to flourish due to the number of new and emerging revenue streams which can be exploited, especially online and digital revenue streams (Lambrecht and Ohler, 2007). However, the music publishing industry has had little prior academic research. Although there is an abundance of academic research on the constantly-changing business models of the music industries and new distribution channels for music in the 21st Century (Meisel and Sullivan, 2002; Rupp and Smith, 2004 to name but a few), this industry, arguably the most lucrative within the music industries at present (Lambrecht and Ohler, 2007), has generally been overlooked. The proposed research aims to rectify

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this; but it aims to do so by focusing on the self-publishing songwriter rather than the musician. The self-publishing songwriter is the music publishing industry’s cultural entrepreneur. Following in the footsteps of the bricoleur musician he aims to utilise new technologies and take advantage of new business models to further his career. But is he able to be as successful as his musician counterpart in doing this, particularly as the music publishing industry and music publishing in general requires more than merely distributing music on a digital download store and collecting the revenue? In other words, is it viable for a songwriter to self-publish and become self-sufficient like his musician counterparts? This research aims to answer this question. However, it does so by approaching the subject from a different angle to current literature on the music industries. Rather than focusing on the application of technologies and new business models like most current literature does, this author believes that it would be more beneficial to the modern music cultural entrepreneur, the self-publishing songwriter, to investigate the mechanisms, processes and systems that can facilitate his self-sufficiency and define his corporate existence, as well as those technologies that could be utilised. 3.2.1

Aims and Objectives

The main aim of this research, then, is to gain an understanding of whether a selfpublishing songwriter could create a niche within the UK music publishing sector and be able to generate a sustainable income whilst balancing artistic integrity with business functions. It aims to investigate industry perceptions towards the self-publishing songwriter (namely those by other music publishing companies, i.e. non-self publishing), the effect self-publishing and the adoption of business roles would have on the songwriter’s creativity, and aims to propose effective mechanisms and processes that would be advantageous to the self-publishing songwriter (taking into consideration creative technologies and the self-publishing micro-enterprise’s information systems).

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In order to successfully achieve the aim of this research, several objectives need to be met. The objectives for this research are: 1. To investigate and evaluate the current publishing sector infrastructure, processes, mechanisms, technologies and income streams utilised within the music self-publishing/publishing domain, and thus evaluate the viability of selfpublishing compared to hiring the services of a publishing company. 2. To analyse current industry models and systems, and evaluate their currency and relevance to the self-publishing songwriter. 3. To investigate the perceptions of the industry towards self-publishing songwriters, and any barriers they face, including understanding whether a selfpublisher can truly represent themselves. 4. To investigate how a self-publishing songwriter could adopt business and managerial roles and creative, artistic roles when they are demanded, and what processes they could adopt to do this. This research aims to test the hypothesis that self-publishing is a viable option to the modern songwriter. It will investigate the surrounding issues and attempt to develop a conceptual framework for the self-publishing songwriter that will take into consideration the various processes, mechanisms, technologies and income streams that could be utilised by the self-publishing songwriter, and enable them to manage their creativity and business system effectively enough so as to be self-sufficient. The investigation looks at different industry perceptions towards the viability of selfpublishing in the modern music industries, including music publishing companies and online publishing services and songwriter tools. The research did intend to investigate the practices of some current self-publishers also. However, due to a lack of availability no self-publishers were interviewed for this research (this is explained further in the Limitations part of Chapter 5 - Conclusions and Recommendations). The expectations of the empirical investigation are discussed more fully in the Research Design (Chapter

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3); and the academic literature on which these expectations are based is examined in Chapter 2. 3.3 Theoretical Frameworks Used in the Research Study The major theoretical framework used in the research is Beer’s (1959) theory of viable systems. Beer (1967) believed that the traditional viewpoint of organisations as being tree hierarchies was unsatisfactory and proposed that, instead, organisations consist of many complex systems which overlap and entwine recursively and circularly (see also Achterbergh and Virens, 2002 and Espejo and Harnden, 1989). He proposed that organisations operating in their environments as interactive systems are likely to have “complexity, homeostasis and probabilism that can make it suitable for analysis by cybernetic methods” (Warren, 2003, p355; Beer, 1959) because their “central task...is to strive for viability” (Achterbergh and Virens, 2002, p227). Viability means that an organisation can adapt and effectively respond to imposed changes and environmental pressures, whether anticipated or not (Chen, 2005: 383; Warren, 2003). Viable systems are robust against internal malfunctions and adapt and change to unforeseen stimuli within or from their environments (Beer, 1979; Bustard et al., 2006; Herring and Kaplan, 2001; Laws et al., 2001; 2003; Shaw et al., 2004). Such an understanding then informs strategic decisions that enable the organisation to become viable. ‘Cybernetic methods’ can provide tools for managers to cope with this complexity and enable the organisation to become viable (Warren, 2003). One such tool is the Viable Systems Model. The Viable Systems Model (VSM) is “a neurocybernetic model of an organisation conceived as a viable system” (Hayward, 2003, p19), which looks at organisations from a “process-based horizontal view of whole organisations” (Warren, 2003, p360). A selftheoretic, diagnostic organisational framework (Beer, 1962; Hayward, 2003), the strengths of the VSM can benefit most organisations (Chen, 2005; Flood, 1999; Jackson, 2000; O’Grady et al., 2010). The model enables an organisation to understand

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each of its systems (teams, departments, and divisions), their interrelationships, respective activities and internal complexities inside a complex environment, through effective communication (highlighting existing or missing communication patterns – Nystrom, 2006 – and outlining “a number of management functions and specific interrelationships between functions” (as well as dysfunctions) – Hayward, 2003, p20) and self-regulation and self-reference (Cezarino and Beltran, 2009; Espejo and Harnden, 1989; Shaw et al., 2004); and creates the conditions from which the properties of a viable system will arise. This enables an organisation to respond to threats and opportunities in their present and future environments (Jackson, 1991; O’Grady et al., 2010). Organisations are bound by different types of information flows and communication channels (Espejo et al., 1996; Jackson, 1991; O’Grady et al., 2010), which allow the right information to reach the right location in the right format (but only if the system is viable - misappropriated communication channels can reduce the effectiveness of a system) (O’Grady et al., 2010). Supporting empowerment and cooperation (Nystrom, 2006), cybernetic models such as the VSM, consider these flows and channels and “can provide the detailed understanding for the design of management and information systems” (Warren, 2003, p356) – any system (Jackson, 1991). From this understanding, the VSM can then be used to diagnose and design organisational structure and communication (Nystrom, 2006) in the self-publishing songwriter’s micro-enterprise. An examination of Beer’s (1967) work on viable systems led to the conclusion that this would provide a good system design method for the self-publishing songwriter to adopt. The self-publishing songwriter operates in an environment that deals with numerous information and communication flows and channels, and most of the time, as a cultural entrepreneur, he does this alone. The same environment is also continually evolving so adaption is necessary. Designing a production-publishing company using cybernetic methods (particularly the VSM) may enable the self-publishing songwriter to effectively function, especially when there are so many roles he needs to adopt (see the ‘Music Publishing’ section in Chapter 2 - Literature Review).

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4. Literature Review With the research aim and objectives in mind, this literature review will attempt to provide a focused interpretation of the key areas that needed to be considered in order for the research to be valid, authentic and robust (Fisher, 2007; Glatthorn and Joyner, 2005). By reviewing (relevant) past research it aimed to identify potential linkages and key variables that can be built upon (Roberts, 2004), with the intention of raising issues that were relevant to this research (Fisher, 2007), and meeting the overall aims and objectives of the research. Because the research area has remained relatively untouched until now, the aim of this literature review was and is to propose a “preliminary conceptualisation of the topic” (Torraco, 2005, p357), and establish the research agenda by asking questions and offering ideas related to the self-publishing songwriter and his enterprise. The following sections consider keywords which directly relate to the aims and objectives of the research. The literature review is structured in such a way as it considers the individual (‘cultural entrepreneurship’) first, the processes and mechanisms involved in the research area second (‘managing creativity’ and ‘managerial cybernetics and the viable systems model’), before finally addressing the domain (‘music publishing’). The intention of this is to highlight significant (and related) points of interest that directly relate to the self-publishing songwriter.

Keywords: Cultural Entrepreneurship, Managing Creativity, Managerial Cybernetics, Viable Systems Model, Music Publishing

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4.1

Cultural Entrepreneurship “The former cultural worker, the artist has been changing into an entrepreneurial figure” (Ellmeier, 2003, p4)

“This emergence of the new artist is value creation for the [music] industry and artists stakeholders. This value creation is the essence of entrepreneurship” (Reed et al., 2004, p460)

4.1.1

Definition

The cultural entrepreneur has gained prominence in the new consumption-orientated “cultural economy” (Ellemeier, 2003). The concept of ‘cultural entrepreneurship’ is based on three core principles: entrepreneurship; art; and, the economy (Swedburg, 2006). From these principles two primary definitions can be found (with each definition emphasising the core principles in different ways). The first definition, based on Schumpeterian (1911) theory and espoused by Swedburg (2006) and Cato et al. (2007), is the idea that the cultural entrepreneur merely aims to progress culture, with the core principle of ‘art’ being emphasised. Although there is some truth in their viewpoints (indeed many cultural entrepreneurs create for the sake of creating) it fails to fully articulate the need for many cultural entrepreneurs to become enterprising in order to make a living from their art, sometimes with them being creative merely for the sake of generating revenue. This author believes that a more realistic and pragmatic definition of the cultural entrepreneur and cultural entrepreneurship, then, (and the definition that shall be adopted for the purpose of this research) can be found with Rae (2004, p493; see also Bygrave and Hofer, 1991; Hausmann, 2010; Konrad, 2004) who defines cultural entrepreneurship as:

“creating or identifying opportunities to provide

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a cultural product, service or experience, and bringing together the resources which enable this to be exploited as an enterprise.”

This sits well with the notion of the self-publishing songwriter and the aim of this research, whose objectives include understanding the mechanisms, processes and opportunities that could be utilised by the self-publishing songwriter in order to remain enterprising, and identifying tools and resources that can be used to aid sustenance; because as Hesmondhalgh (2002, p70) points out: “Most creative workers make very little money. Great sacrifices have to be made to achieve even limited autonomy”.

4.1.2

The Artist and the Businessman

Following on from Rae’s (2004) definition the general consensus within the literature is that the cultural entrepreneur encompasses “all-round artistic and commercial / business qualifications” and is both artist and businessman (Angerer, 1999; Ellmeier, 2003; Gwee, 2009; Wilson and Stokes, 2005). Such assumptions describe the self-publishing songwriter, who, by his very essence, is clearly both (for artist, see songwriter; for businessman, see self-publisher). This dichotomy aligns with Swedburg’s (2006) argument that the cultural entrepreneur makes ‘combinations’. For example, they may combine artistic and managerial processes into something that may be of benefit to their enterprise (see Oliver’s, 2009, DIY musicology model as a case in point). Berfund et al. (2007) also identify another combination that may benefit the cultural entrepreneur: the ability to leverage both the ‘artist’ and ‘entrepreneur’ identities independently when legitimation is needed. If such leveraging (and separation) is advantageous, would it not also make it easier in some respects to balance the dichotomy? Could the selfpublishing songwriter? It is fair to say, then, that the cultural entrepreneur (i.e. the self-publishing songwriter) needs to marry the two components of the artist-businessman dichotomy together in

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order to function effectively; but can he in practice? Weber (1978) warns that such a balance may be difficult, uncertain and hostile. His anxieties are supported by Chaston (2008), McCarthy (2008) and Cato et al. (2007, p106), who argue that although the cultural entrepreneur needs to balance artistic creativity with managerial processes, there could be a “clash between their art and their livelihood since there is an in-built resistance to selling what is a personal and creative outpouring rather than a material product� (but if the self-publishing songwriter allows this resistance to embed in his business practices, surely sustenance cannot be achieved?). Although managing both artistic and managerial process, the cultural entrepreneur adopts a different approach to knowledge and skill management in the business context than the more traditional entrepreneur (Leadbetter and Oakley, 1999; Rae, 2004; Raffo et al., 2000). Flexible and opportunistic (Angerer, 1999; Burns, 2007; Florida, 2002; Hausmann, 2010), the cultural entrepreneur goes far beyond the concept of the artist category (Ellmeier, 2003), gaining education in other more traditional fields and applying the knowledge to a cultural context (Hausmann, 2010), becoming microentrepreneurs in the process (Ellmeier, 2003). The successful cultural entrepreneur manages both creativity and innovation (Wilson & Stokes, 2004; McRobbie, 1998), in a flexible, mobile, project-funded working environment (Ellmeier, 2003). There are several key characteristics which Ball (2003) believes a cultural entrepreneur should possess: excellent communication skills; networking and team approaches; flexibility; and, good interpersonal and research skills. Should self-publishing songwriters possess these characteristics also? 4.1.3

The Cultural Micro-Enterprise

The majority of employment and commercial activity in the creative industries takes place within small businesses (NESTA, 2003; Rae, 2004; Smallbone et al., 2005). Most cultural entrepreneurs are self-employed (Pratt, 1997; Scase, 1995), the owners of micro-enterprises (Baines and Robson, 2001; Ellmeier, 2003), because there are few options for employment (Hausmann, 2010). This supports the choice to self-publish, particularly if other publishing companies do not show interest in a songwriter’s work,

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reflecting Hausmann’s (2010, p20) argument that “cultural entrepreneurship always begins with a start-up stimulus that is motivated by one or more goals”. 4.1.4

Embedded Networks and Creative Clusters

Although independence and ‘singularity’ are important to the cultural entrepreneur (Baines and Robson, 2001; Hausmann, 2010; Wilson and Stokes, 2004; 2005), embedded network systems play an important role in generating business and providing a support system to those within it (Baines and Robson, 2001; Carson et al., 1995; Ellmeier, 2003; Hausmann, 2010; Hill et al., 1999; Shaw, 1999; Wilson and Stokes, 2004; 2005), particularly in the creative industries (Davis et al., 2009, p203). This creates a paradox of sorts (Baines and Robson, 2001; Wilson and Stokes, 2005). Past literature has often promoted the idea of “the lonely entrepreneur” (Schoonhoven & Romanelli, 2001; Shaw, 1999). However, the generalisation is slowly becoming obsolete. Modern literature on ‘entrepreneurship’ tends to converge towards the idea of a team of individuals working together within social and market networks (Carson et al., 1995; Curran and Blackburn, 1994; Wilson & Stokes, 2005), which allows microentrepreneurs to overcome the “commercial disadvantage of small size” (Baines and Robson, 2001) whilst creating the “sociability associated with corporate employment” (Baines & Robson, 2001), the ability to learn (Raffo et al., 2000) and the ability to achieve success (Hausmann, 2010; More et al., 2009). Embedded networks, or creative clusters (Wilson and Stokes, 2004), also allow creativity and enterprise to flourish. Elaborating on Durkheim (1912), Swedburg (2006: 256) says that in order for creative industries to operate effectively, “these industries also need to be embedded in a culture of creativity”. Creative clusters are particularly evident in the music industry (Cato et al., 2007; Power and Hallencreutz, 2002), where ‘creative destruction’ (Schumpeter, 1942) and advances in technologies have shaped new music networks, allowing them to converge (Reed et al., 2004). It seems that cultural entrepreneurs also rely on these creative clusters to access resources (Wilson and Stokes, 2004). Elaborating on this point, Wilson and Stokes

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(2005) suggest that cultural entrepreneurs should cultivate “different relationships for different purposes” (especially as the rock and roll network is ambiguous and hard to manage – Reed et al., 2004). Through their research Baines and Robson (2001) found that some cultural entrepreneurs already do this. Working on a temporary and collaborative basis via long-standing networks, ‘colleague employers’ “co-opt and coordinate the work of others” (Baines and Robson, 2001). They make use of ‘promoter’ strategies to access resources but also to increase their ‘visibility’ within the cultural sector (Ellmeier, 2003; Kretschmer et al., 1999; Stevenson, 2000; Wilson and Stokes, 2004; 2005). Birley (1985) opines that entrepreneurs can utilise both their formal (i.e. banks, lawyers, accountants) and informal (i.e. family, friends etc.) networks advantageously. Considering that there are numerous benefits to be gained from embedding oneself in a network, particularly a creative cluster, it will be interesting to see whether the industry professionals interviewed believe that a selfpublishing songwriter should utilise an embedded network in order to receive these benefits; and, if so, to investigate who they believe should makes up the self-publishing songwriter’s network. However, it must be noted that Baines and Robson (2001) also argue that such networking and collaboration is limited due to the pervasiveness of distrust and isolation throughout the cultural industries. This issue raises important concerns considering that the cultural industries rely heavily on relationships and networks of trust to function effectively (Bourdieu, 1984; Cato et al., 2007), especially the music industries, where relationships and networks, and collaboration and cooperation, are central features (Negus, 1992; Reed et al., 2004). Hausmann (2010: 25) even elaborates on the need for artists to comprise artistic creativity and the “ability to build and sustain relationships, particularly with customers” (supported by Colbert, 2003, and Konrad, 2004). Reed et al. (2004), elaborating further, claim that the micro-network of companies and competitors and the macro-network of the music industry are codependent, with their relationships being recursive and complex. If this is the case, when considering the self-publishing songwriter’s information system, from a cybernetic point of view (discussed later in this Literature Review), both micro- and macro-networks need to be considered and accounted for (isn’t this what makes a

23


system viable anyway?). 4.1.5

Section Summary

From this review we can now define the cultural entrepreneur, and indeed the selfpublishing songwriter, as being an individual who creates or identifies “opportunities to provide a cultural product, service or experience, and [brings] together the resources which enable this to be exploited” (Rae, 2004, p493; see also Bygrave and Hofer, 1991; Hausmann, 2010; Konrad, 2004). Being a cultural entrepreneur requires a delicate balance of both artistic and managerial processes (Oliver, 2009). The self-publishing songwriter, like any other cultural entrepreneur, needs to marry the two components of this dichotomy together in order to function effectively (Angerer, 1999; Ellmeier, 2003; Gwee, 2009; Wilson and Stokes, 2005), and he can do so by ‘combining’ mechanisms and processes in order to achieve success (however he defines it) (Swedburg, 2006). However, this delicate balance is not easy to achieve and is beset with many challenges (Chaston, 2008; Cato et al., 2007; McCarthy, 2008; Weber, 1978). On the other hand, Berfund et al. (2007) argue that resources can be gained by leveraging each process, or identity, separately and independently (supported by Wilson and Stokes, 2005). This notion could be advantageous to the self-publishing songwriter whenever he chooses to adopt the artist (i.e. songwriter) or managerial (i.e. self-publisher) function. It is also an example of being flexible and opportunistic, two traits that embody the successful cultural entrepreneur (Angerer, 1999; Burns, 2007; Florida, 2002; Hausmann, 2010). Other traits which the cultural entrepreneur must learn to develop if he doesn’t already possess them, include: gaining business qualifications; being mobile; working in a project-funded environment (Ellmeier, 2003); having excellent communication, interpersonal and research skills; and, networking (Ball, 2003). Networks and networking are very important to the cultural entrepreneur (particularly within the music industries – Negus, 1992; Reed et al., 2004), as they enable them to overcome the “commercial disadvantage of small size” (Baines and Robson, 2001; see also Butler and Hansen, 1989; 1991; Larson, 1991; Rothwell, 1989). Cultural entrepreneurs can utilise information, exchange and influence networks (Johannisson,

24


2000) (both formal and informal - Birley, 1985), to: pool resources (Wilson and Stokes, 2004); gain information, increase their visibility; generate business; and, provide support (Baines and Robson, 2001; Carson et al., 1995; Ellmeier, 2003; Hausmann, 2010; Hill et al., 1999; Shaw, 1999; Wilson and Stokes, 2004; 2005). Embedded networks allow creativity to flourish. However, effective networks are based on trust which is another challenge the cultural entrepreneur may face (Baines and Robson, 2001), especially if he is beginning to establish one. From the literature, it therefore goes without saying that in order to achieve success the self-publishing songwriter must be part of, and develop, his own embedded networks.

4.2 Managing Creativity The first part of the literature review (‘Cultural Entrepreneurship’) identified that the cultural entrepreneur, amongst other things, must manage both the artistic and managerial function. Understanding that this is not an easy task establishes the necessity to clarify how creativity is managed. The following literature review aims to provide a solid foundation on which questions related to managing creativity in the selfpublishing domain can be answered, and Objective 4 of this research can be achieved (which will, in turn, help meet the overall aim of the research). “Artists often struggle with the potential conflict of attracting customers without compromising their creative integrity and the artistic mission.” (Hausman, 2010, p27)

4.2.1

A Delicate Process

There is an apparent agreement in the literature that, for many, the creative industries raise different managerial and organisational challenges (Caves, 2000; Foote, 2006; Hirsch, 2000; Lampal et al., 2000; Townley et al., 2009). Many believe managing creativity to be a “delicate and difficult process” (Andriopolous, 2003, p375; see also, Ceserani and Greatwood, 1995; Leenders et al., 2009), dealing with many pressures

25


(Andriopolous, 2003). In today’s globalised market successful management of creativity is a corporate priority (Andriopolous, 2003). So how can creativity be managed successfully? According to the literature there are many ways, ranging from designing an organisation based on creativity (Schmitt, 1999) and encouraging creative behaviour (Amabile et al., 1996; Cohendet and Simon, 2007; Leenders et al., 2007), to adopting untraditional business methods (Fleming and Marx, 2006; Foote, 2006; Sutton, 2001). It seems apparent that the delicate process of management of creativity requires a delicate balance: that of artistic modes on one side, and managerial attitude on the other (Ceserani and Greatwood, 1995; Cohendet and Simon, 2007; DeFillippi and Arthur, 1998; Lampel et al., 2000, 2007). This theme of balance is prevalent throughout the literature, in particular: the balancing of operational and creative processes through innovative means (Leenders et al., 2007; Sutton, 2001), whether through offline (Ceserani and Greatwood, 1995; Foote, 2006; Townley et al., 2009) or online processes (Currah, 2007); and, the balancing of several distinct paradoxes (Andriopolous, 2003; Leenders et al., 2007) that are characteristic of managing creativity. However, there are several other themes that can be identified in the literature. As creativity is motivated by learning and challenge (Fleming and Marx, 2006; Wilson and Stokes, 2005), it is necessary to provide the correct environmental conditions that facilitate creativity growth, focusing on interaction and communication with other creatives (Csikszentmihaly, 1988; Powell and DiMaggio, 1991; Tschang, 2005; Tschang and Szczypula, 2006). 4.2.2 The Balancing of Operational and Creative Processes through Innovative Means Creative industries require a different form of management than other industries (Cohendet and Simon, 2007; Marotto et al., 2007; Sutton and Hargadon, 1996; Tschang, 2007). Parrish (2005, p8) argues that the most exciting creativity “is the blending of apparent opposites� that create a whole. This perspective can also be applied to managing that creativity. Business elements need to be combined creatively (Parrish,

26


2005 - supporting Swedburg’s, 2006, view on ‘combinations’) to generate a unique and workable formula (see also Currah, 2007). Although creativity thrives under “loose and unsystematic conditions” (Leenders et al., 2007, p167) there is a “simultaneous need for systematic design methods” (p167) that balance systematic variation, satifisification, discursiveness and decomposition (supporting Muller, 1999). Such systematic design methods must also translate intellectual, social, cultural and symbolic capitals into economic capital, enabling a creative work to be both aesthetically and economically viable (Townley et al., 2009). 4.2.2.1 There

are

Offline Processes

substantial

arguments

for

managing

creativity

through

modern,

counterintuitive processes and methods (Ceserani and Greatwood, 1995; Cohendet and Simon, 2007; Leenders et al., 2007, Sutton, 2001; Townley et al., 2009) because traditional management approaches are ineffective in managing creative individuals (Foote, 2006). Portraying creativity and management as antithetical is being too simplistic (Jeffcutt and Pratt, 2002) because they are both entwined (Ceserani and Greatwood, 1995). Ceserani and Greatwood (1995) argue that a cycling process between the “innovation world” (p28), where exploration can occur, and the “operational world” (p28), where traditional operational thinking occurs, must therefore be in place. Supporting Ceserani and Greatwood (1995), Townley et al. (2009) argue that categorisation of roles, such as ‘creatives’ and ‘managers,’ is not beneficial and that an understanding of roles and behaviours is what’s needed (does not the definition of the cultural entrepreneur solve this problem?). But there is opposition to the idea of entwining the creative and managerial processes. De Fillipi et al. (2004) and Bilton and Leary (2002) suggest that an organisation can manage creativity by separating the two. Cohendet and Simon (2007), supporting Townley et al. (2009) and Ceserani and Greatwood (1995), notice a flaw in doing this, stating that “the implementation of such a solution introduces a major risk of dissonance when creative inputs and creative work practices have to be introduced into the rest of the organisation” (p599). However, this research aims to consider the self-publishing

27


songwriter only, the cultural entrepreneur, who is more inclined to be a sole service provider (Baines and Robson, 2001; Ellmeier, 2003), so does Cohendet and Simon’s (2007) observation even matter? Other ways of achieving a balance include: adopting a coach-manager model (Foote, 2006); utilising the three-phase model for managing creativity (Ceserani and Greatwood, 1995); utilising the ‘kite model’ (Ceserani and Greatwood, 1995); following Florida and Goodnight’s (2005) three guiding principles; stimulating creative minds and minimising hassles (Fleming and Marx, 2006); and, implementing flexible working patterns (Fleming and Marx, 2006). Sutton (2001, p96) suggests other methods that will produce “the richest soil for creative work”, but many of his methods sit at odds with those presented by others in the field, particularly Fleming and Marx (2006) (compare Sutton’s, 2001, and Fleming and Marx’s, 2006, methods for dealing with customers as an example). However, both are in agreement when suggesting the importance in questioning and constructively criticising ideas, and promoting and commending idea generation, whether they are good or bad/effective or ineffective (Fleming and Marx, 2006; Sutton, 2001) (is there any way the self-publishing songwriter can achieve this, for isn’t this the role of a publisher?). 4.2.2.2

Online Processes

The Internet has democratized the processes of “creation, appropriation and dissemination of creative works” (Currah, 2007, p469), enabling ‘user-generated’ innovation (Von Hippel, 2005). Due to the growth of gift economies on the Internet (“communities of individual computer users that regularly create, appropriate and share an array of information resources” – Currah, 2007, p469), managing creativity in a digital networked environment requires business model and process innovation similar to that proposed by Ceserani and Greatwood (1995), Cohendet and Simon (2007), Leenders et al. (2007), Sutton (2001), and Townley et al. (2009), which presents many challenges (Currah, 2007). However, there is evidence of peer-based models that aim to meet this challenge (such as Alt Net, Bit Torrent, SnoCap and Peer Impact). These models facilitate the balancing of gifts and commodities in the networked environment

28


by harnessing social production to generate new revenue streams that benefit “creators, consumers and corporations” (Currah, 2007, p482). These models are important for the management of creativity because they can “improve access to information, both for creators and consumers, and in the process carve out...a larger (if leakier) marketplace for corporations” (Currah, 2007, p471) ensuring an optimum utilisation of creativity and maintaining the economic value of creativity. 4.2.3

The Balancing of Several Distinct Paradoxes

When reading the literature it is apparent that there are numerous paradoxes to consider when managing creativity (Andriopolous, 2003; Leenders et al., 2007). Andriopolous (2003) suggests there are six distinct paradoxes: 1. Support employees’ passions, but achieve financial goals; 2. Challenge employees but build their confidence; 3. Encourage personal initiative, but maintain a shared vision; 4. Encourage diversity, but build cohesive work teams; 5. Learn from the past, but seek new areas of knowledge; and, 6. Take incremental risks, but break new grounds. Again, optimum efficiency in managing creativity is achieved through a process of balancing - this time by balancing each aspect of each paradox. Although challenging to maintain (see Andriopolous’, 2003, Paradox 3 as an example) Andriopolous (2003) argues that it can be done. To do so requires new organisational and managerial behaviour and action (supporting the arguments of Ceserani and Greatwood, 1995; Cohendet and Simon, 2007; Sutton, 2001; Townley et al., 2009). This behaviour incorporates: identification, analysis, interaction, and diversification processes; resource utilisation; organisational culture change; foresight; and, (calculated) risk taking. But (realistically) how can a single self-publishing songwriter manage all of these paradoxes, particularly as he adopts the role of both the manager and creator? Even Andriopolous (2003) himself admits that managing them is not as easy as learning them. Schneider (1990) and Ford and Ford (1994) propose a three-phase model of

29


confronting these paradoxes: acceptance (living with them), confrontation (discussing and understanding them) and transcendence (altering behaviours and logic). This model may be beneficial to the self-publishing songwriter. 4.2.4 Provide the Correct Environmental Conditions that Facilitate Creativity Growth, Focusing on Interaction and Communication with Other Creatives Communication is an important factor in creativity (Leenders et al., 2007). Leenders et al. (2007) argue that effective communication patterns and teams are essential. The importance of teams is also supported by Csikszentmihaly (1988), Tschang (2005), and Tschang and Szczypula (2006). Teams allow ideas to embed, adapt and evolve (the argument for embedded culture is further reinforced by Bank et al., 2002), but they must be within the correct environmental conditions (Amabile et al., 1996). In regards to this research, the songwriter can develop a team with whom to work with, such as a producer or musicians, or even studio engineer, but what roles could/should he adopt to facilitate this? Should he be a publisher or a songwriter? Leenders et al. (2007) argue that interaction between members of a team determines creative function. Cohendet and Simon (2007) elaborate on this point, discussing the importance of simultaneously belonging to a project and a community, which is achieved through the interaction between “communities of specialists� (p590) and the building of cognitive links, even if communication is not aligned with corporate goals or strategy (Fleming and Marx’s, 2006, concept of small worlds takes the idea of interaction and communication between teams and communities of specialists as proposed by Cohendet and Simon, 2007, and Leenders et al., 2007, but expands it further). However, Cohendet and Simon (2007) elaborate further, suggesting that interacting with places of knowledge exchange outside of an organisation can also aid creativity. This poses the question: as a self-publishing songwriter is generally working alone would he have to do this anyway, out of necessity (especially considering how important embedded networks are to him as a cultural entrepreneur - see Negus, 1992; Reed et al., 2004)? If the above argument is to be considered, how will a self-publishing songwriter know

30


how much time to dedicate to the creative process of song writing and the managerial process of publishing? Would creativity be affected? Answering these questions will allow Research Objective 4 to be met. It must also be noted that although Leenders et al. (2007) suggest frequency of interaction of teams is essential for creativity and that “a new idea dies unless it finds a breeding place” (p176), creative ideas generally originate with individuals. Is there any way that a self-publishing songwriter could manage this process, originating ideas and interacting with others to allow them to grow, whilst maintaining the publishing function along the way? Leenders et al. (2007, p176) suggest that “the most creative solutions to complex...problems [are generated] when communication frequency is modest.” Therefore, it seems that a self-publishing songwriter’s creativity won’t be too hindered by isolation but that a team, or network, of support is still necessary. In regards to a self-publishing songwriter, Fleming and Marx’s (2006) argument that seminal creativity is less likely with clusters due to effects of groupthink could be seen as an advantage when creating new music without the influence of like-minded individuals (i.e. the cluster). However, Fleming and Marx (2006) also say that if there are bridging connections within a cohesive cluster, new ideas can be generated and diffused, leading to a “self-reinforcing cycle of creativity” (p11). It will be interesting to see if this could be maintained by self-publishing songwriters in practice. 4.2.5 Section Summary It is apparent that successful management of creativity, of both the innovative and organisational processes, is challenging. Such managers are faced with numerous paradoxes that require tailored methods and adaptive behaviours that may go against common thinking. However, there are many proposed solutions. Cohendet and Simon (2007) point out that managing creativity is an evolving process that is dictated by the creatives it proposes to govern. There are many tools, models and processes that can be utilised but this is dependent on what best suits the organisation. Whatever the tools adopted, the manager, or in this case the self-publishing songwriter, must understand that creative people need to be managed differently (this point will be considered when

31


carrying out this research, especially considering that the self-publishing songwriter is both creating and managing that creativity) and that interaction and communication between teams is mutually beneficial. This literature review of managing creativity can inform decisions made by the selfpublishing songwriter. However, it must be noted that the literature regards managing creativity in organisations and not sole enterprises which the self-publishing songwriter is. Will the ideas proposed still produce the same results? Can they be modified? Hopefully the results of this research will allow these questions to be answered.

4.3 Managerial Cybernetics and the Viable Systems Model (VSM) The literature review thus far (‘Cultural Entrepreneurship’ and ‘Managing Creativity’) has already identified several points of interest, namely that cultural entrepreneurship and managing creativity both involve the challenging act of balancing both artistic and managerial functions, and that embedded networks play a very important role for the cultural micro-enterprise. One way to ensure that this balance is successfully achieved is by effectively designing the systems from within which the cultural entrepreneur operates. The importance of embedded networks and relationships has already been established, but what has not been established thus far is the need to design a system that considers the actors in such networks. The following section aims to rectify this, but does so by focusing on particular schools of thought from the information systems arena, namely managerial cybernetics, systemic thinking and the Viable Systems Model (VSM).

“The essential properties of a system taken as a whole derive from the interactions of its parts, not their actions taken separately.” (Ackoff, 1981, p16)

32


“What matters most in the start-up context in a cultural micro-enterprise is the organisation of processes, as the number of contributors within the business is extremely limited, so that it frequently gives rise to joint ventures with other self-employed artists.” (Hausman, 2010, p26)

4.3.1

Systems

Systems are collections of dynamically interrelated parts (Ackoff, 1974; Beer, 1979; Flood and Jackson, 1991; Gregory, 2007) that vary in their interactivity (Gregory, 2007). There are many different types of systems (Devine, 2005) but due to hierarchical structure, one system is usually “part of a larger enclosing system” (Bustard et al., 2006, p314). Inputs and outputs across the boundary of richly interactive elements (those within the system) and weaker interactive elements (external and forming the environment) requires control (Gregory, 2007), but control that maximises freedom for the individual elements whilst maintaining the integrity of the system as a complete whole (Beer, 1972) (a lack of control would lead to fragmentation of the system – Luckett, 2003). One can say that the self-publishing songwriter’s enterprise is such a system: it is independent yet part of a much larger music publishing system, which in turn is also part of an even larger music industries system. 4.3.2

Cybernetics and Managerial Cybernetics

Cybernetics is the science of feedback and control in biological and mechanical systems (Wiener, 1948). In 1956, Ashby extended its reach to include social systems. Beer (1972) used this science to develop his theory on organisational design, “defining management as the science and profession of control, with cybernetics the basis of effective organisation” (Warren, 2003, p355), and the field of managerial cybernetics (also known as management or organisational cybernetics) was born. Beer (1967) believed that the traditional viewpoint of organisations as being tree

33


hierarchies was unsatisfactory and proposed that, instead, organisations consist of many complex systems which overlap and entwine recursively and circularly (see also Achterbergh and Virens, 2002 and Espejo and Harnden, 1989). He proposed that organisations operating in their environments as interactive systems are likely to have “complexity, homeostasis and probabilism that can make it suitable for analysis by cybernetic methods” (Warren, 2003, p355; Beer, 1959) because their “central task...is to strive for viability” (Achterbergh and Virens, 2002, p227). Viability means that an organisation can adapt and effectively respond to imposed changes and environmental pressures, whether anticipated or not (Chen, 2005: 383; Warren, 2003). Viable systems are robust against internal malfunctions and adapt and change to unforeseen stimuli within or from their environments (Beer, 1979; Bustard et al., 2006; Herring and Kaplan, 2001; Laws et al., 2001; 2003; Shaw et al., 2004). Such an understanding then informs strategic decisions that enable the organisation to become viable. ‘Cybernetic methods’ can provide tools for managers to cope with this complexity and enable the organisation to become viable (Warren, 2003). One such tool is the Viable Systems Model. (The music publishing industry is such a system that has had to adapt and respond to imposed changes and environmental pressures (one need only look at how they have responded to illegal file-sharing!). However, the question lies in whether such responses have been successful or not (i.e. whether the system was/is viable). Is it fair for one to assume, then, that systemic thinking, and the adoption of cybernetic methods, may be of benefit to a music publishing organisation, including the self-publisher?)

4.3.3

The Viable Systems Model (VSM)

The Viable Systems Model (VSM) is “a neurocybernetic model of an organisation conceived as a viable system” (Hayward, 2003, p19), which looks at organisations from

34


a “process-based horizontal view of whole organisations” (Warren, 2003, p360). A selftheoretic, diagnostic organisational framework (Beer, 1962; Hayward, 2003), the strengths of the VSM can benefit most organisations (Chen, 2005; Flood, 1999; Jackson, 2000; O’Grady et al., 2010). The model enables an organisation to understand each of its systems (teams, departments, and divisions), their interrelationships, respective activities and internal complexities inside a complex environment, through effective communication (highlighting existing or missing communication patterns – Nystrom, 2006 – and outlining “a number of management functions and specific interrelationships between functions” as well as dysfunctions – Hayward, 2003, p20) and self-regulation and self-reference (Cezarino and Beltran, 2009; Espejo and Harnden, 1989; Shaw et al., 2004); and creates the conditions from which the properties of a viable system will arise (enabling an organisation to respond to threats and opportunities in their present and future environments – Jackson, 1991; O’Grady et al., 2010). Organisations are bound by different types of information flows and communication channels (Espejo et al., 1996; Jackson, 1991; O’Grady et al., 2010), which allow the right information to reach the right location in the right format (if the system is viable misappropriated communication channels can reduce the effectiveness of a system) (O’Grady et al., 2010). Supporting empowerment and cooperation (Nystrom, 2006), cybernetic models such as the VSM, consider these flows and channels and “can provide the detailed understanding for the design of management and information systems” (Warren, 2003, p356) – any system (Jackson, 1991). From this understanding, the VSM can then be used to diagnose and design organisational structure and communication (Nystrom, 2006) in the self-publishing songwriter’s micro-enterprise. There is no doubt that self-publishing songwriter can benefit from implementing the VSM. He operates in an environment that deals with numerous information and communication flows and channels, and most of the time, as a cultural entrepreneur, he does this alone. Designing a production-publishing company using cybernetic methods (particularly the VSM) may enable the self-publishing songwriter to successfully function, especially when there are so many roles he needs to adopt (see the ‘Music

35


Publishing’ section in this literature review). The VSM is a generic model that can be applied and adapted to any system in any way (Hutchinson and Warren, 2000; Shaw et al., 2004; Warren, 2003), at different levels of recursion (Achterbergh and Virens, 2002) and has been used in many settings (Devine, 2005). Examples of its use include knowledge management (Leonard, 2000), managing organisational agility (Bititci et al., 1999), change interventions (Haslett and Sarah, 2006), organisational learning (Espejo et al., 1996), and the development of a “viable system archictecture (VSA) for the interfaces that link a viable system” (Shaw et al., 2004, p274; see Herring and Kaplan, 2001). Can the model then not be applied to the music publishing industry and the self-publishing-production enteprise? Devine (2005, p493) posits that the VSM framework recognises that any system: is evolutionary and open (able to adapt and correct – von Bertalanffy, 1950); must have sufficient variety within itself to cope with the threats and opportunities from the external environment (supported by Ashby, 1956); manages its complexity conceptually by recognising its existence at several levels of organisation as a nested hierarchy of quasi-autonomous subsystems (Miller, 1978); and, the system maintains itself in a stable regime - regulated through feedback mechanisms (Ashby, 1956; Wiener, 1948). Also, the recursive nature of the model means that there are numerous systems in any organisation at any time (Bustard et al., 2006; Haslett and Sarah, 2006). However, correct application of the model means that each system works together as a unified whole (Beer, 1994; O’Grady et al., 2010). This is true of the self-publishing-production enterprise. A basic and general overview can reveal almost immediately two systems: the ‘production’ system (the song writing system) and the ‘publishing’ system. However, they (if we are to believe the theory on viable systems) need to effectively function independently, as well as effectively function interdependently. The VSM decomposes a system into interdependent subsystems with different roles (Shaw et al., 2004). It posits that any viable system (Gregory, 2007) consists of five separate functions (Beer, 1972), which are performed by a related system (a subsystem to the organisation as a whole) - see Figure 1 (Chen, 2005; Leonard and Bradshaw,

36


1993; Schwaninger, 2000). The systems are as follows: System 1 (Operations); System 2 (Coordination); System 3 (Control); System 3* (Audit); System 4 (Intelligence); and, System 5 (Policy). A full account of each system’s functions and their relevance to the self-publishing enterprise is given in Appendix 4. However, each function in each subsystem needs to be performed adequately in all organisations, regardless of size (Warren, 2003) for viability (Beer, 1994). This point raises the issue of ensuring the systems within the self-publishing songwriter’s enterprise are viable by performing these functions adequately, even though the enterprise is likely to be a micro-enterprise. Applying the VSM allows organisations to respond effectively to changes in their immediate environment (Beer, 1994). However, these changes are dependent upon the current business model, resources and policies (O’Grady et al., 2010) (although Warren, 2003, argues that the VSM can provide ‘crisis of control’ in small growing companies). But one may be wise to listen to Van Gigch and Le Moigne’s (1990) argument that an organisation’s information system should be built before the organisation and serve as a foundation or frame on which to build (it is hoped from conducting this research that the self-publishing songwriter’s system can be mapped and used as a reference). 4.3.4

Section Summary

The self-publishing songwriter’s micro-enterprise is a system that is part of much larger systems, including the ‘music publishing industry’ system and the ‘music industries’ system. Within this system are numerous information and communication flows (both internal and external – with the environment), which must be controlled and effectively managed in order for the system to remain viable. Viability means being able to adapt and respond to environmental changes, including those that are unforeseen. Therefore, it is argued that viability is extremely important to the self-publishing songwriter, considering that the music industries are currently in a state of constant change to environmental pressures (such as technological developments), and adaption is key to survival. According to the literature, one way the self-publishing songwriter can ensure his

37


system remains viable is by applying cybernetic methods and tools. One such tool is Beer’s (1967; 1972) Viable Systems Model (VSM) which breaks down any system in focus into five interdependent parts: System 1 (Operations); System 2 (Coordination); System 3 (Control); System 3* (Audit); System 4 (Intelligence); and, System 5 (Policy). By ensuring that the performance in each system is adequate, viability in the system in focus as a whole can be achieved. In the case of the self-publishing songwriter’s enterprise it means that by applying the VSM it can be successful (or at least, sustainable) and able to adapt to any future changes that may occur in the wider music industries system. The VSM can be effective in any organisation of any size (Hutchinson and Warren, 2000; Shaw et al., 2004; Warren, 2004), which makes it suitable to be applied to the cultural micro-enterprise. However, Van Gigch and Le Moigne (1990) suggest that an organisation’s system should be built before the organisation. This research, in some small way, aims to do just that.

38


Figure 1: Viable Systems Model Diagram (Source: Beer, 1967) System 5 Policy (Normative Management) System 4 Intelligence (Strategic Management) Future Environment

System 3 Control (Operations Management) System 3* Audit

System 2 Coordination

Environment

Immediate Environment

System 1

System 1

Operation

(Management)

System 1

System 1

Operation

(Management)

System 1

System 1

Operation

(Management)

Key Circles – Indicate the core operation of the system Lines – Indicate flows of information (two-way – a communication loop)


40


4.4 Music Publishing The preceding sections of the Literature Review (‘Cultural Entrepreneurship’, ‘Managing Creativity’ and ‘Managerial Cybernetics and the Viable Systems Model’) have identified the attitudes, processes and mechanisms that the self-publishing songwriter needs to adopt in order to successfully run his micro-enterprise. However, what the literature review has failed to do thus far is identify and discuss the domain in which these processes need to be implemented. The following section discusses the intricacies of the music publishing industry (specific mechanisms, processes, infrastructure etc.) and aims to highlight key areas of research, in the hope of informing conclusions and meeting the project’s overall aim and objectives. 2.4.1 Definition of Music Publishing At the heart of music publishing is the value to be found (and exploited) within a song or musical composition (Borg, 2003, p197; Bradford, 2005; Burnett, 1996; Dann and Underwood, 2003; Davis and Laing, 2006; MPA1, 2009; Sturm, 2000). As musical works are based on copyrights, and the exploitation of those rights, there exists a potential to generate vast amounts of revenues if the musical work becomes successful. Music publishers facilitate this through the offering of “highly professional services” (Ng, 2009) and the undertaking of various activities and duties that value, develop and protect musical works (Davis and Laing, 2006), whilst exploiting as many revenuegenerating avenues as possible (Kanaar and Phillips, 2009; Lathrop, 2003). But, the current music publishing model leans more towards the performer-writer than the nonperforming writer, as well as co-writing, due to the additional revenues that can be generated (Hull, 2004). However, because of the number of avenues available, and the vast amounts of potential revenues, a music publisher needs to sustain several relationships at the same time; relationships built on mutual trust (Barrow and Newby, 1995; Bergman, 2004; Harrison, 2008; Lathrop, 2003; Sturm, 2000) (Figure 2 shows some of these relationships). One


can say that the music publisher is the middleman between the creator (the songwriter) and the end user (e.g. the recording artist, advertising company etc) (see Figure 3). Figure 3: Publishing Industry Structure (Source: Passman, 2008) Songwriter

Song

Publisher

Licenses to Song Users

Records / Prints / Films etc.

2.4.2 Music Publishing Company Infrastructure Company infrastructure depends on the size of the company (see Barrow and Newby, 1995; Hull, 2004), although a publishing company very much mirrors “the two primary functions of acquisition and exploitation of copyrights” (Hull, 2004, p71), as well as creative, investment and protection functions (Bradford, 2005; see also Barrow and Newby, 1995; Broido, 1977; Burnett, 1996; Garofalo, 1999; Harrison, 2008; Hull, 2004; Kanaar and Phillips, 2009; Lathrop, 2003; Sturm, 2000; Wallate, 1994). A typical, medium-sized publishing company will have creative, administrative and business/legal affairs departments (Ashurst, 1999; Burnett, 1996; Hirschhorn, 2001; Kidson, 1907; Lathrop, 2003; Sturm, 2000). Generally, the roles of the music publisher within these departments have not changed since its inception (see Garofalo, 1999; Hauser, 1958; Kanaar and Phillips, 2009; Sturm, 2000). Granted, technology has changed how roles are conducted (Burnett, 1996; Garofalo, 1999; Kanaar and Phillips, 2009; Kidson, 1907) but the roles themselves, and their objectives, have generally remained unchanged, with the ‘song’ remaining the focal point of the publishing industry (Bradford, 2005; Burnett, 1996). The modern music publisher, like its predecessors, has numerous roles that are carried out in the various departments of the publishing company (Harrison, 2008; Ashurst, 1999; Hull, 2004; Hirschhorn, 2001):

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43


Figure 2: Music Publishers’ Relationships (Source: Lathrop, 2003:, p230)

Artist Management

Record Company

Copyright Offices

Harry Fox Agency (in America)

Background Music Companies

Toy Manufacturers

Domestic Performing Rights Organisations

Print Music Licensees

Music Publisher

Foreign Sub-publishers

Internet Production Companies

Ad Agencies

Foreign Mechanical Rights Agencies

Theatrical Production Companies

T.V. Production Companies Movie Production Companies

Home Video Production Companies


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2.4.2.1 The Creative Department The creative department is involved in the discovery (artist and repertoire), development, nurturing and support (including financial) of artists and songwriters (Ashurst, 1999; Barrow and Newby, 1995; Hull, 2004; MPA 1, 2009; Sigman, 1988) and the promotion of the company’s catalogue of songs (Borg, 2003; Harrison, 2008; Hull, 2004; Kanaar and Phillips, 2009). Figure 4 details the numerous roles within each department of the music publishing company. However, within the creative department are professional managers who deal with all of the songwriter’s business affairs (Bergman, 2004; Bradford, 2005; Hull, 2004). In regards to the development of artists and songwriters, a music publisher can also adopt the functions of a record company, helping performing songwriters in the recording process, providing demos, and networking opportunities etc. (BBC, 2010; Bergman, 2004; Davis and Laing, 2006; Harrison, 2008; MPA1, 2009) 2.4.2.2 The Administration Department Due to its lucrativeness, the music publishing industry is “administratively intensive” (Ashurst, 1999, p58). Administration duties enable the music publishing company to remain sustainable (Barrow and Newby, 1995) by ‘administering’ the copyrights of musical works it owns (Passman, 2008). The administration department deals with all of the ‘paperwork’ involved in music publishing (Hull, 2004), which includes: copyright administration (registering, copyright amendments – ownership etc., copyright renewals – Hull, 2004; Lathrop, 2003); licensing (working with the collection societies and rights organisations of each country where the rights are exploited); and, accounting (collection of royalties and fees and distribution of payments – Hull, 2004; Lathrop, 2003). Barrow and Newby (1995) point out that if one is a self-publishing songwriter the administration duties can be minimal: generally only involving signing up and filing forms with the relevant collection societies and paying any relevant lawyer and accountant fees.


Although catalogue sales and acquisitions are important to the music publishing industry (Bergman, 2004), this author believes it to be unimportant to this research (although a self-publishing songwriter may want to sell their catalogue in the future). 2.4.2.3 The Business/Legal Affairs Department A music publishing company is also likely to have a business/legal affairs department (Burnett, 1996; Hull, 2004; Kanaar and Phillips, 2009; MPA 1, 2009; Passman, 2008; Sobel and Weissman, 2008). This department prepares various contracts, such as publishing contracts (between the company and the songwriter), licensing contracts, catalogue acquisitions, collection deals etc. This department also takes appropriate action against anyone using their music without a necessary license (Barrow and Newby, 1995; Burnett, 1996; Kanaar and Phillips, 2009; MPA 1, 2009). Prior to such legal action, the business/legal affairs department will monitor their works to ensure that “its copyright is not breached” (Bradford, 2005, p278). Like any other business, the size of a music publisher dictates its capabilities (Barrow and Newby, 1995). Some music publishers amass a huge catalogue of popular songs to continuously exploit; some merely focus on a particular niche (such as a particular genre, or artist) (Davis and Laing, 2006; Passman, 2008). It can therefore be argued that the self-publishing songwriter would fall under the latter – a publisher of a niche product (i.e. his own music). Also, in relation to the discovery and development of new talent, it is obvious that a self-publishing songwriter will not have to carry out this function other than to invest in the development of his own talents (although he may look to third parties for investment). 2.4.3 Writer-owned Publishing Company Infrastructure Hull (2004, p71) points out that writer/artist/producer-owned publishing companies, due to their small size, “do not have the expertise or personnel to deal with the complexities of music publishing”. But does this mean that it can’t be done? It is such statements

47


which this research aims to refute or support. 2.4.4 Revenue Streams Due to technological advancements (Harrison, 2008; Malkani, 2004), revenue streams have changed and developed, and in today’s climate it is necessary for music publishers to constantly seek out new avenues in which to exploit musical works (Barrow and Newby, 1995; Harrison, 2008) (although synchronisation is the fastest growing part of the industry – Harding 2001; Harrison, 2008). Although the ‘copyright’ of a musical composition is still the central asset of a music publisher (Harrison, 2008; Wallate, 1994), dependent on having a strong copyright framework in place (Firth and Marshall, 2004; Kanaar and Phillips, 2009), today it is exploited through numerous and various guises in order to generate revenue. Borg (2003) and Passman (2008) describe two different sources of income that have several revenue streams: primary (mechanical and performance royalties); and, secondary sources (including synchronisation fees, print royalties, electronic transmissions, digital media and foreign sub-publishing incomes). A mechanical royalty (which includes those from synchronisation and licensing revenues) is paid by a record company to the publisher for permission to use the copyrighted work (Barrow and Newby, 1995; Borg, 2003; Edgecliffe-Johnson, 2009; Passman, 2008; Sturm, 2000). A performance royalty is paid by anyone who wants “to profit from the public performance of...music to ask permission and pay a licensing fee” (Borg, 2003, p214; see also Allen, 2008; Barrow and Newby, 1995; Broido, 1977; Kanaar and Phillips, 2009). Mechanical revenues are the greatest earner for music publishers (Harrison, 2008; Hull, 2004), with recordings of songs generating “the vast majority of a music publisher’s income” (Ashurst, 1999, p55). Publishers can gain a lot of their revenue from foreign territories (Bergman, 2004; Harrison, 2008). Because of this, some publishers open up divisions in other countries; others merely sign sub-publishing or licensing deals with foreign publishers. The latter is often the chosen method of smaller, independent companies (Bergman, 2004; Harrison, 2008). However, it must be noted that sub-publishing deals can vary

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(Bergman, 2004). Sub-publishers may also cover more than one foreign territory, which may be of benefit to the domestic publisher (Bergman, 2004). 2.4.5

Music Publishing in the Twenty-First Century

The music publishing industry has consolidated since the beginning of the twenty-first Century, with mergers and acquisitions being common-place (Bergman, 2004; Burnett, 1996; Harrison, 2008; Sturm, 2000). As a result, the music publishing industry has globalised and many smaller, independent companies have exited the industry, unable to compete with the behemoths of today. Such exits have been further exacerbated by the compartmentalisation of the wider music industry, with each sector focusing solely on their core competences and then merging with other industries (Sturm, 2000). However, music publishing models are changing like their recording industry counterparts, with digital and online services coming to the fore (see Kobalt, 2010), and managers and production companies taking rights in musical works (Harrison, 2008). Such evolution can be advantageous to the self-publishing songwriter, allowing him to utilise these tools in order to remain sustainable. As the music publishing industry went through a paradigmatic shift in the mid-twentieth Century (see Barrow and Newby, 1995), where the emergence of the singer-songwriter changed existing practices, the music publishing industry of today is also experiencing something similar, where a singer-songwriter has the ability to publish themselves due to digital channels and the democratisation of the industry as a whole. With the proliferation of the singer-songwriter, record companies became the power-centres of the entire music industry because they held the rights of the recordings of those singersongwriters – the performers and songwriters in one package (Barrow and Newby, 1995). This one package has come to the fore again today. However, the singersongwriter now has the control to run their own record label. Also, Burnett (1996, p87) points out that “a publisher with a hit song can do business with [just] a telephone”, and because they don’t have to necessarily rely on distribution channels, there is the ability to survive as an independent (Burnett, 1996).

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50


Figure 4: Music Publishing Company Departments and Functions

Creative Department

Administration Department

Signing songs and songwriters Promoting and pitching the company’s catalogue through a huge network of personal contacts

Copyright administration (registering and amending copyrights – ownership etc., copyright renewals)

Securing commissions

Keeping records of subsisting copyrights and music they own

Artist development

Licensing the use of music (some publishers have advertising specialists who are experts in licensing songs to the advertising medium – Ng, 2009)

Recording demos for songwriters’ songs (even putting out limited editions of records)

Drawing up contracts (which requires lawyers)

Placing the songwriter with numerous contacts (persuading artists, producers and record companies to record the writer’s music)

Liaising with record companies, collection societies and other writers (maintaining relationships)

Song-casting (if the writer is non-performing)

Music Publishing Company Infrastructure

Discover, develop, nurture and support songwriters Provide legal assistance

Filing taxes Royalty distribution and management

Provide networking opportunities

Balancing the books / finance control (“handling receipts, and disbursements, accounting, data processing, payroll, insurance, and purchasing” – Bergman, 2004)

Professional advice Funding for development (advances etc)

General upkeep of the office

Business / Legal Affairs DepartmentCollecting and monitoring any income

Seeking recording and management contracts • Prepares various contracts, such as publishing Bidding for the rights of newly-signed recording artists’ songs contracts (between the company and the songwriter), licensing contracts, catalogue Maintaining good working relationships with writers under contracts acquisitions, collection deals etc. and other ‘useful contacts’ (i.e. producers, record label • Deals with general business affairs representatives etc.) • Takes appropriate action against anyone using their music without a necessary license Negotiate favourable rates for songwriter material Search out ancillary uses of copyrights (i.e. the licensing of lyrics for merchandise) Financial investment: live work; legal fees; equipment; promotional costs, press coverage distributing marketing funds

Sources: Ashurst, 1999; Barrow and Newby, 1995; BBC, 2010; Bergman, 2004; Borg, 2003; Bradford, 2005; Burnett, 1996; Dann and Underwood, 2003; Davis and Laing, 2006; Edgecliffe-Johnson, 2009; Harrison, 2008; Hirschhorn, 2001; Hull, 2004; Kanaar and Phillips, 2009; Klein, 2008; Lathrop, 2003; MPA1, 2009; Ng, 2009; Passman, 2008; Sigman, 1988; Sobel and Weissman, 2008; The Times, 2009)


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This seems a positive notion for the self-publishing songwriter but is it the case? Also, Burnett (1996) points out that many independents rely on major worldwide publishers for administrative services. 2.4.6

The Self-Publishing Songwriter

If a songwriter doesn’t want a publishing deal, he can self-publish his own works and keep all of the rights for himself, and fully control the exploitation of them (Harrison, 2008; Lathrop, 2003; Sobel and Weissman, 2008). Harrison (2008) points out that a songwriter can easily do this by becoming a member of the relevant collection societies (such as PRS for Music), but says that a self-publisher must also do a lot of the administration works themselves, including notifying foreign collection societies and chasing up payments, and tracking down where their songs are being used and if they are being used legally. Lathrop (2003, p229) also argues that self-publishing works best “when the musician-songwriter isn’t especially interested in trying to convince others to record new versions of the songs”. Does this mean then that if a songwriter had the nous and business acumen, they could easily become self-published, but it is only worthwhile if they are a performing songwriter? Lathrop (2003, p229) goes further to say that an established music publisher is the best route to take “when you want active promotion of your songs in the music market but don’t have the time, energy, industry contacts, knowledge of money sources, and business expertise offered by a professional publisher”. Does such an argument lend itself to the idea then that a songwriter can effectively self-publish up to a certain extent, and anything beyond that is worth utilising the expertise of a professional publishing company? It will be interesting to see how this point informs the author’s general conclusions and recommendations. 2.4.7

Section Summary

Music publishing involves the exploitation of musical works’ copyright. Although relatively straightforward, music publishing requires the sustainment of several simultaneous relationships built on trust (Barrow and Newby, 1995; Bergamn, 2004;


Harrison, 2008). Although music publishers vary in size, they consist of several departments: the creative department; the administration department; and, the business/legal affairs department. Duties within each department are various and many. However, the complexities associated with this are dependent on the size of the music publisher and their catalogues (see Barrow and Newby, 1995). This means that smaller companies, such as the self-publishing songwriter, can function – in theory. Technological advancements have increased the number of revenue streams available to publishers. There are now more ways and opportunities to licence music. However, more revenue streams are also likely to mean having to deal with more foreign territories. It can be argued that dealing with these territories may be too much for the micro-enterprise, but alternatives do exist (see Bergman, 2004; Harrison, 2008). Although the modern music publishing industry has been consolidated and smaller players have been pushed out of the industry, niche publishers still have a foothold. This means that it could be possible for the self-publishing songwriter (a niche publisher in that he deals in his own work) to remain sustainable (again, in theory). This research aims to corroborate this statement. 2.5 Chapter Summary This Literature Review has identified several key areas of interest: the cultural entrepreneur has to delicately balance both the artistic and managerial functions in order to operate effectively; he needs to utilise embedded networks for entrepreneurial success; when managing creativity numerous paradoxes need to be accounted for alongside the use of offline and online processes for managing creativity; managerial cybernetics and the Viable Systems Model can be used to manage the many processes within the cultural micro-enterprise, even in the music publishing industry. Such insights now inform the discussion of the results from the primary research undertaken as well as the Conclusions and Recommendations proffered (Chapter 5).

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3

Research Design

It was hypothesised that self-publishing is a viable option for the songwriter and that technologies and changing business models have increased this possibility. It was also hypothesised that the self-publishing songwriter could manage both his artistic and managerial functions (like every cultural entrepreneur does), but that this may get more difficult the bigger his enterprise gets. This difficulty, however, may be limited by designing his enterprise’s information system effectively. Through the utilisation of Beer’s (1967) Viable Systems Model, he may be able to limit the number of problems encountered as the enterprise grows bigger in the future. The above theories were tested in an empirical investigation that focused on understanding the modern music publishing industry (analysing its business models, infrastructure, revenue streams – done via secondary research) and current industry thinking (views, opinions and perceptions – primary research). It was hoped that such analysis would enable the following questions (based on the research’s objectives) to be answered: 1. Considering the current industry infrastructure and processes, mechanisms, technologies and income streams utilised, is self-publishing a viable option for the songwriter? 2. Are current industry models and systems relevant to the self-publishing songwriter? 3. What are current industry perceptions towards self-publishing songwriters and what barriers do they face? 4. Could a self-publishing songwriter be able to adopt business and managerial roles and creative, artistic roles when they are demanded? If so, what processes/tools could they adopt to achieve this?

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3.1 Constructivist Epistemology and Interpretivism A constructivist epistemology was adopted for the research (Gray, 2004), via an interpretivist approach. Such a position was taken because the research aimed to gather knowledge and develop new theories (Grix, 2001), particularly as the research area is relatively untouched. Interpretivism plays on the subjectivism of the social context (Grix, 2001). This research investigates perceptions and opinions which are in themselves subjective, so an interpretivist epistemology has been deemed to be the most appropriate to be taken. Identifying the paradigm and theoretical perspective informed the research design (see Gray, 2004). The research aimed to understand the views and opinions of individuals (music publishing industry professionals), an ideographic stance, which interpretivism allows for. By adopting an interpretivist approach the researcher can “understand differences between humans in [their] role as social actors” (Saunders et al., 2007, p106) and draw conclusions that consider this subjectivity. The interpretivist approach was also inductive (Gray, 2004; Saunders et al., 2007) in that it identified “patterns, consistencies and meanings” (Gray, 2004, p6; see also Grix, 2001) that were established in the context of events (Saunders et al., 2007) (i.e. in the interviews). By adopting an inductive approach, new theories could emerge from the data collected and themes identified (Saunders et al., 2007). 3.2 Phenomenology A phenomenological methodology was used when conducting this research (Saunders et al., 2007). An example of an interpretivist approach, it was considered to be the most appropriate to use because it is exploratory “via personal experience, of prevailing cultural understandings...[and] it is more likely to pick up factors that were not part of the original research focus” (Gray, 2004, p21 and p28) due to its emphasis on inductive data collection. It is also flexible (Saunders et al., 2007). The research explored views,

56


opinions, models, frameworks, processes and mechanisms, before drawing conclusions on what was found, which is phenomenological in essence. However, some disadvantages of adopting a phenomenological methodology are that because it focuses on small cases (which this research does) it may be difficult to generalise the results “to other situations...and may be difficult to replicate” (Gray, 2004, p28; Saunders et al., 2007). This is accounted for when future work in the area is proposed. 3.3 Methods 3.3.1

Literature Review (Secondary Research)

Several methods were employed when conducting this research. The first method, the Literature Review, was used to gain an understanding of current academic thinking on the issues surrounding the research area (Churchill and Sanders, 2007; Glatthorn and Joyner, 2005; Gray, 2004; Grix, 2001) and helped to identify and design questions that would enable the research’s aims and objectives to be met. Literature was reviewed from several sources, including books, journal articles, websites and online databases (ABI/Inform Global, Emerald, and Scopus specifically). Keywords that were used to identify relevant literature, and to narrow down the research focus so that an in-depth rather than breadth approach could be adopted, were developed by identifying the individual, the processes, and the domain of the research area. Therefore, ‘Cultural Entrepreneurship’ (the individual), ‘Managing Creativity’ and ‘Managerial Cybernetics and the Viable Systems Model’ (the processes), and ‘Music Publishing’ (the domain) were chosen. Initially, only literature from the past decade (circa 2000) was chosen for review, as this was the time when digital technologies and the democratisation of the music industries began to take hold (Napster, the file-sharing technology which revolutionised music distribution and begun the decline of music in physical formats, was created in 1999). However, as the review was underway it was apparent that there was an abundance of relevant literature prior to 2000 that could be considered (particularly the theoretical

57


literature, i.e. authors such as Beer, Schumpeter and Weber), and would help solidify the arguments and discussion made. It must be noted, though, that most of this literature was informed by the post-2000 articles (even directly cited in some cases). 3.3.2

Interviews (Primary Research)

The methodology used to capture the data took the form of semi-structured interviews (although it was hoped that case studies of practicing self-publishers could be used – this did not occur). Semi-structured interviews were used as they allow for “a certain degree of flexibility and...the pursuit of unexpected lines of enquiry during the interview” (Grix, 2001, p76). Due to the uncertain environment surrounding the music industries at present, many potential participants were too busy to participate in this study (over eighty companies were contacted initially). As a result, only six full interviews took place (another two interviewees provided comments that were of value but were not given as part of any interviews). These were conducted in three ways: face-to-face; over the telephone; and, via email. Participants from two of the biggest music creative clusters in the UK (the Liverpool-Manchester area and London) were identified via online directories (such as the Music Publishers Association’s online directory) and contacted. Each participant belonged to one of three groups: music publishers; online publishing services companies; and, songwriter tools (self-publishing songwriters were also contacted but due to a lack of availability they did not participate in any interviews). Such categorisation enabled a well-rounded data collection process to take place. The purpose of the interviews was to gain an understanding into the perceptions, views and opinions from industry professionals related to music publishing/self-publishing. Exploratory in nature, the interviews enabled first hand data to be collected and analysed from those within the industry. Copies of the interview questions can be found in the Appendix as well as the full coding tables (coding of results). Discussion of the findings occurs in Chapter 4 – Data Collection and Analysis.

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Piloting of the interview questions did not occur due to time constraints. However, questions were refined after initial (speculative) correspondence with potential interviewees provided some feedback, such as concerns over length etc. 3.3.2.1

Music Publisher Interviews

Three complete interviews took place with music publishers (two other music publishers provided additional and useable quotes and comments that did not directly correspond to interview questions). One of the music publishers was located in the Liverpool-Manchester area; the other two, in the London area (the additional commentators where from Manchester and London respectively). Several interview techniques were employed to interview these music publishers: face-to-face for the Liverpool-Manchester publisher; a phone interview for one of the London area music publishers; and, an email response from the third (and London-based) music publisher. The additional commentators were interviewed via telephone (Manchester publisher) and email (London publisher). Although different techniques were employed, they were chosen in order to overcome distance and schedule issues. However, each publisher was asked the same questions (see Appendix 1) (although it must be noted that Interviewee B did not answer all of the questions due to time constraints). The face-to-face interview was audio-taped and transcribed at a later date whilst the telephone interview was transcribed during the conversation. The email respondent (Interviewee C) answered the questions in his own time. Face-to-face and telephone interviews were each given a minimum time of half an hour but an extension was granted depending on the information given and the direction in which the interview took (Interviewee A ‘s interview went on for one hour and thirteen minutes). The questions for the music publishers were split into three categories: ‘networks and communities within the industry’, ‘the internet and digital technologies and the publishing industry’, and ‘the self-publishing songwriter’. Each category can be considered a form of a priori coding (Churchill and Sanders, 2007), as they provided a theme which guided the questions. All of the questions were open-ended and were designed to investigate industry perceptions towards the self-publishing songwriter as

59


well as current industry thinking on recent developments in the music publishing industry (on a micro-level) and the music industries as a whole (on the macro-level) (Pennings et al., 1999). 3.3.2.2

Online Publishing Services

Representatives from two online music publishing services were interviewed for this research. Like the music publishers, each service (although online) operated from within the creative clusters based in the Liverpool-Manchester area (Interviewee D) and London (Interviewee E). Although newly established, each company was made up of industry professionals with past experience. Two methods were employed for the interviews. Interviewee D’s interview took place face-to-face (it was audio-taped and transcribed at a later date); Interviewee E’s interview was conducted on the telephone (transcribed during the conversation). Each interview was given a duration of half an hour each. The questions for the online publishing services were similar to the music publishers’ questions - exploratory and open-ended. However, they primarily focused on the use of digital technologies due to the nature of the companies being interviewed (see Appendix 2). 3.3.2.3

Online Songwriter Tools

One interview (Interviewee F) took place with an ‘online songwriter tool’ provider (a songwriter’s tip sheet), which was based in the London creative cluster. The interview took place via telephone with the data being transcribed during the conversation and sent to the interviewee afterwards, via email, for clarification and amendments. Like the online publishing services’ interviews, half an hour was given as an initial duration limit with an extension granted if necessary (this was not needed). The interview questions consisted of an edited version of the music publishers’

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questions but with most of the questions related to music publishing omitted - see Appendix 3. 3.4 Data Analysis The research was analysed on the micro-level (looking at the individual publishers and publishing-related

companies)

and

the

macro-level

(looking

at

the

self-

publishing/publishing system) (Grix, 2001) – a multi-level analysis (Pennings et al., 1999, p9). Primary research was analysed using a coding method. Codes were developed inductively (Churchill and Sanders, 2007). The coding process involved a priori coding first of all as research questions were placed into categories related to the research aims and objectives (i.e. networks and communities; internet technologies; the self-publishing songwriter; perceptions etc.). From the answers provided, themes were identified within the categories and open coding (codes generated using terms that are used by respondents themselves) was used. From the identification of themes coding tables were developed where all of the relevant themes were categorised alongside relevant interviewee quotes (Churchill and Sanders, 2007) (see Chapter 4 – Results and Findings). 3.5 Extrapolation This research provides insight into the self-publishing songwriter’s cultural microenterprise practices. By investigating issues surrounding cultural entrepreneurialism within the music industries, a systems framework has been developed that may aid the self-publishing songwriter. However, due to the small number of participants it may not be possible to generalise the findings and further research is needed. The system framework proposed provides “interpretations of relationships between variables” (Marsh and Stoker, 1995, p18).

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4 Data Collection and Analysis This chapter consists of an empirical investigation of music publishing industry professionals’ views and opinions regarding self-publishing viability. It begins by outlining the approach taken to find meaning in the data gained from the interviews discussed in Chapter 3 (Research Design), before discussing the results and findings gained. 4.1 Coding After the primary research had been collected, the information was coded (Fisher, 2007), with the end result being the identification of common themes that emerged throughout the interview process. To summarise the coding process followed: a priori coding was used in the design of interview questions so that themes that were relevant to the research would be covered within each interview (i.e. networks and communities; internet technologies; the self-publishing songwriter; perceptions etc.). From this foundation, open coding was used to identify common themes amongst the interviewees, regardless of type. The common themes then allowed for comparison and analysis which informed the discussion of the findings. Appendix 5 (a,b and c) contains the full ‘coding tables’ for each of the stakeholder groups interviewed: music publishing companies; online music publishing services; and, songwriter tools. Each table contains five columns: 1. Ref – the reference numbers for each code that facilitated cross-referencing of main points of interest; 2. Interviewee - this enabled comparisons to be made between each interviewee’s answers; 3. Theme - the general theme that emerged from the codes (subjective in nature); 4. Code – the open codes that were generated from interviewees’ responses and related to anything that was considered to be of value in the research; 5. Quote – the relevant interviewee quote that generated the code used.

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The themes that emerged from the process are summarised in Table 1 in order to show their interrelation. These emergent themes then facilitated discussions of the findings; and aided in drawing conclusions and recommendations from the research undertaken (Chapter 5). As can be seen from the summary in Table 1, most of the themes that emerged came from all of the stakeholders interviewed (except for those indicated in red). Although the research is limited to the low number of interviewees, such correlations, in regards to this research alone, could be considered as generalisations across industry professionals’ thinking. 4.2 Content Analysis The content analysis presented in Table 2 “adds a quantitative element to qualitative material� (Fisher, 2007). It shows the frequency with which themes appeared in the entire research (using the data from Table 1). The frequency is measured as a percentage, which makes it easier to interpret. However, as the allocation of frequency to the themes is subjective (solely at the discretion of the author), the content analysis cannot be considered completely accurate.

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64


Table 1: Key Summaries of Themes from Coding Tables Themes Identified from the Music Publishing Company Interviews

Themes Identified from Company Interviews

Services

Themes Identified from the Songwriter Tools Interview

(Interviewees A, B, C, G and H) • Self-publishing can be done but... • Sub-publishers are very important • Networks and relationships are very important but they take time to develop and they need to be organic • Music publishing companies offer various services and provide many benefits • Exploitation opportunities need to be found and taken advantage of • Internet technologies have their advantages but they are not the be all and end all • Marketing and promotion are important • It all comes down to the music at the end of the day • Traditional avenues still need to be followed • Knowledge is key • Self-publishing success depends on an individual’s attributes • Self-publishers are not a threat to music publishing companies...they can’t compete • It’s easy to set up a music publishing company • A self-publishing entity requires an effective infrastructure be in place • Self-publishing cannot be done

(Interviewees D and E) • Internet technologies have their advantages but they are not the be all and end all • Music publishing companies offer various services and provide numerous benefits • Networks and relationships are very important but they take time to develop and they need to be organic • Self-publishing can be done but... • Self-publishing success depends on an individual’s attributes • Collection societies aren’t adequate enough • It all comes down to the music at the end of the day • It’s about what’s best for the artist • Exploitation opportunities need to be found and taken advantage of • Knowledge is key • Traditional business models no longer matter

(Interviewee F) • Networks and relationships are very important but they take time to develop and they need to be organic • Music publishing companies offer various services and provide numerous benefits • Internet technologies have their advantages but they are not the be all and end all • Marketing and promotion are important • It all comes down to the music at the end of the day • Self-publishing can be done but... • Sub-publishers are very important • Self-publishing success depends on an individual’s attributes • Traditional avenues still need to be followed

Themes in red are exclusive to those stakeholders’ answers only.

the

Online


66


Table 2: Content Analysis of Research

Theme

Self-publishing can be done but... Sub-publishers are very important Networks and relationships are very important but they take time to develop and they need to be organic Music publishing companies offer various services and provide many benefits Exploitation opportunities need to be found and taken advantage of Internet technologies have their advantages but they are not the be all and end all Marketing and promotion are important It all comes down to the music at the end of the day Traditional avenues still need to be followed Knowledge is key Self-publishing success depends on an individual’s attributes Self-publishers are not a threat to music publishing companies...they can’t compete It’s easy to set up a music publishing company A self-publishing entity requires an effective infrastructure be in place Self-publishing cannot be done Collection societies aren’t adequate enough It’s about what’s best for the artist Traditional business models no longer matter

Occurrence in Music Publishing Companies’ Answers

Occurrence in Online Services Companies’ Answers

Occurrence in Songwriter Tools Company’s Answers

(% out of 131 Refs) 12.2

(% out of 64 Refs) 6.3

(% out of 16 Refs) 31.25

2.3

0

6.25

26

20.3

25

12.2

34.4

12.5

8.4

6.25

0

18.3

14.1

6.25

8.4

0

25

4.6

4.7

25

0.8

0

6.25

5.3

7.8

0

13.7

10.9

12.5

0.8

0

0

1.5

0

0

1.5

0

0

0.8

0

0

0

1.6

0

0

7.8

0

0

1.6

0


4.3

Interpreting the Findings: Discussion

So far this chapter has presented the results that were gleaned from the empirical research undertaken by interviewing key stakeholders relating to the research. This demonstrated a qualitative analysis of the respondents’ answers and quantification of the themes that evolved, via a content analysis. Now that the data has been collected and coded into relevant themes, it is necessary to interpret the data and assess the findings, with the intention of generating theory or “theory-based generalisations” that can be developed by future research (Daymon and Holloway, 2002). The following discussion relates to those themes considered most relevant (to this research). Other themes that were identified are discussed in Appendix 6. In order to do this the data has to be positioned within the body of knowledge that already exists (i.e. current academic literature and secondary research). A critical analysis was undertaken that challenged the themes and patterns identified against the current literature. Before interpreting the data from the primary research, ‘informant validations’ were carried out (Daymon and Holloway, 2002). This process involved sending the transcribed interviews to the interviewees to clarify what was said and to ensure that the analysis was not taken out of context and that the resultant findings were valid and accurate enough on which to base assumptions. Due to the subjective nature of the data it must be said that the following interpretation is merely one perspective (the authors) of many possible perspectives that could be derived. The author has taken a critical-realist stance developed by Bhaskar (Johnson and Duberley, 2000), which proposes three levels of reality (Collier, 1994): ‘experiences’; ‘events’; and, ‘mechanisms’ (according to Daymon and Holloway, 2002, mechanisms are “causes of events” and the reasons why events occur).

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4.3.1 Self-Publishing Can Be Done But... “Yeah, it’s viable for them to do it...” (Interviewee A, Ref. 42)

From the results it seems that industry professionals believe that self-publishing can be done but that the parameters are huge (Interviewee C, Refs. 98 and 99).The music publishing industry in the twenty-first century has consolidated (Bergman, 2004; Burnett, 1996; Harrison, 2008; Sturm, 2000), and many smaller, independent publishers have exited the industry (Sturm, 2000), which explains why self-publishing “is never easy” (Interviewee F, Ref. 201) and also why self-publishers do not pose a threat to other publishing companies (Interviewee A, Refs. 43 and 69). Also, it seems that the ability to self-publish depends on what type of songwriter and publisher the selfpublisher wishes to be and if they are still active or issuing a back catalogue (Interviewee C, Ref. 98 – supported by Lathrop, 2003, p229). However, although unable to compete with major publishing companies Interviewee A (Ref. 71) suggests that people should at least attempt self-publishing because they can always change their mind. However, Interviewee F (Ref. 211) gives a proviso, stating that anybody who wishes to self-publish should “give themselves a year to eighteen months of doing it hardcore” then reassess where they are. It may also be easier to selfpublish by having a partner take on the publishing (administration) functions (see Interviewee B, Ref. 96; Interviewee C, Ref. 99; Ref. 100) (although doing so does not necessarily mean a living can and will be made - Interviewee D, Ref. 140; Hesmondhalgh, 2002, p70). Self-publishing is also only efficient when done on a local scale, “if you’re doing it in your home territories” (Interviewee A, Ref. 1; see also Interviewees B, Ref. 96, and F, Ref. 203). Once a song becomes successful overseas self-publishing becomes more complex and the problem of not being able to effectively manage the publishing function escalates (Interviewee A, Refs. 3 and 31; Interviewee F, Ref. 203; see also Interviewee H, Ref. 131). Such complexity is highlighted by Harrison (2008) in the

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literature. Hull (2004, p71) even argues that due to their small size self-publishers “do not have the expertise or personnel to deal with the complexities of music publishing”. However, Burnett (1996) points out that many independents can and do rely on major worldwide publishers for administrative services. There is no reason why selfpublishers can’t. Money is also a determinant of self-publishing success. If finance is in place then operations overseas can become more effective (Interviewee B, Ref. 96; Interviewee A, Refs. 1 and 41), legal issues can be dealt with more efficiently (see Interviewee G, Ref. 124) and sustenance can be achieved. Interviewee E (Ref. 179) argues that the only reason why a songwriter should go with a publisher is for finance and public relations, and that they can do everything else themselves (supported by Interviewee F, Ref. 206). 4.3.2 Networks and Relationships are Very Important but They Take Time to Develop and They Need to be Organic “The music industry only has one door handle – from the inside.” (Interviewee G, Ref. 127)

The importance of embedded networks and relationships in the creative industries (of which the music industries are members of) permeates throughout the literature on cultural entrepreneurship (see Baines and Robson, 2001; Birley, 1985; Bourdieu, 1984; Butler and Hansen, 1989; 1991; Carson et al., 1995; Cato et al., 2007 to name but a few) It also permeates throughout the results of this research. Developing organic relationships and networks and teaming up with other people are very important to the self-publisher (Interviewee A, Refs. 28, 33, 59, 63; Interviewee B, Ref. 89; Interviewee C, Ref. 113). This is supported by Negus (1992) and Reed et al. (2004) who emphasise the importance of embedded networks to the cultural entrepreneur, particularly within the music industries (see also Cato et al., 2007 and Power and Hallencreutz, 2002). However, the development of such organic networks takes time and comes at some cost to the music publisher (Interviewee A, Refs. 4, 7, 60 and 70; Interviewee C, Ref. 113;

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Interviewee D, Ref. 163; Interviewee E, Ref. 192), often requiring an element of trial and error (Interviewee A, Ref. 30). But, regardless of the costs, there is a need to follow up leads in order to develop and expand a network and ‘make things happen’ (Interviewee A, Ref. 5; Interviewee B, Ref. 76; Interviewee D, Ref. 147 – supported by Baines and Robson, 2001; Carson et al., 1995; Ellmeier, 2003; Hausmann, 2010; Hill et al., 1999; Shaw, 1999; Wilson and Stokes, 2004; 2005), particularly in the creative industries (Davis et al., 2009, p203). However, doing so may be a problem for the selfpublisher who generally has limited resources (Interviewee A, Ref. 6). Even though the music publishing industry is easier to move around in now than in the past (Interviewee C, Ref. 102), developing a network may be difficult and tiresome for the self-publisher (Interviewee A, Refs. 4 and 7; Interviewee D, Refs. 164 and 165), particularly networks of trust (important in the music industries - (Interviewee A, Ref. 72; Barrow and Newby, 1995; Bergman, 2004; Bourdieu, 1984; Cato et al., 2007; Harrison, 2008; Lathrop, 2003; Negus, 1992; Reed et al., 2004; Sturm, 2000). But if networks can be developed, cultural entrepreneurs should cultivate “different relationships for different purposes” (Wilson and Stokes, 2005). Baines and Robson (2001) found that some cultural entrepreneurs already do this. These arguments are supported by the results from this research which suggest that different types of self-publishers should develop relationships with different types of people for different reasons (Interviewee A, Refs. 12, 13 and 35). Other important relationships that need to be developed are with the collection societies and relevant support organisations of the home territory of the self-publishing songwriter (Interviewee A, Refs. 48 and 50; Interviewee B, Ref. 74; Interviewee C, Ref. 103; Interviewee D, Ref. 175; Interviewee F, Ref. 202), and even traditional business support organisations (Interviewee B, Ref. 78). Teaming up with other writers also provides songwriters with opportunities to access others’ networks, expand their own and get work (Interviewee A, Ref. 54) (this is particularly important if one is a selfpublishing, non-releasing/non-performing songwriter – Interviewee C, Ref. 122, Interviewee D, Ref. 176; see also Interviewee F, Ref. 200). It is also important for selfpublishing artist-writers to develop a fan base and relationships with record labels (Interviewee A, Ref. 60; Interviewee C, Ref. 123) and promoters/pluggers (Interviewee

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C, Ref. 123). Due to the importance of organic networks, the advantages proposed by internet technologies for facilitating the development of networks cannot be gained (Interviewee A, Ref. 63). Interviewee B (Ref. 89) agrees, adding: “the internet can open the doors but I think it’s still very much about the personal contact.” However, such a statement sits at odds with Interviewee F (Ref. 196) who argues that “if a songwriter wants to develop a network they should use the usual channels”, citing the internet as one of those to use. Also, the existence of online publishing services companies, such as those provided by Interviewees D and E, would argue that internet technologies can help develop relevant networks because they can “make sure that the writer is earning what they can in royalties and also finding out about sync opportunities, while the writer is still in control of copyright” (Interviewee D, Ref. 175), and enable self-publishing performer-writers to access their network of contacts (Interviewee E, Ref. 192) and place co-writers together as well as find artists to perform the songs (Interviewee E, Ref. 193). In regards to the literature, Currah (2007, p469) argues that the internet facilitates “creation, appropriation and dissemination of creative works...[allowing users to] appropriate and share an array of information resources”. Reed et al. (2004) also argue that advances in technologies have shaped new music networks, allowing them to converge. Interviewee B (Ref. 79) believes that creative communities are useful to some extent but that they don’t really enhance a self-publishing songwriter’s career. However, having a partner or some form of counsel may be advantageous to the self-publishing songwriter as it could lessen their workload and the amount of administration they would need to do (Interviewee B, Ref. 95). Such a belief sits at odds with the literature which says embedded networks, or creative clusters (Wilson and Stokes, 2004), allow creativity and enterprise to flourish (see also Durkheim, 1912, and Swedburg, 2006). This is supported by Interviewee C (Refs. 112 and 113) who points out that by overlapping socialising and work one can easily develop and maintain a network which may present working opportunities.

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4.3.3 Music Publishing Companies Offer Various Services and Provide Many Benefits “..Publishing companies still hold the key to getting your songs to the right people.” (Interviewee D, Ref. 141)

There is no doubting that both the results and the literature indicate that music publishing companies still provide many benefits to songwriters through the services they offer and the experience they have (Interviewee A, Ref. 40). Music publishing companies can take on numerous roles that the self-publisher simply could not accommodate for (see Interviewee B, Ref. 86; Barrow and Newby, 1995; Bradford, 2005; Garofalo, 1999; Harrison, 2008; Hull, 2004; Kanaar and Phillips, 2009). Music publishing companies also have the capacity to easily “facilitate the creativity side” (Interviewee A, Ref. 8), look for outlets for a writer’s music (Interviewee A, Refs. 8, 9 and 10; BBC, 2010; Bergman, 2004; Davis and Laing, 2006; Harrison, 2008; MPA 1, 2009), provide finance (Interviewee A, Refs. 8 and 45; Interviewee C, Ref. 107; Interviewee F, Ref. 206; Interviewee G, Ref. 126), provide guidance and advice (Interviewee D, Ref. 170; Interviewee E, Refs. 186 and 187; Interviewee F, Ref. 206), generate and collect income quicker than self-publishers and collection societies (Interviewee A, Refs. 40, 41 and 45; Interviewee D, Refs. 135, 143 and 148), and provide writers with access to many important industry personnel (Interviewee A, Ref. 11; Interviewee C, Ref. 107; Interviewee D, Ref. 141; Interviewee E, Ref. 193). As Interviewee C (Ref. 116) points out, they have “knowledge/experience/contacts” and “support – creatively, financially and legally”. Of interest is the point made by Interviewee D (Ref. 133) who says that “if you’re looking to get your songs sung by someone else...a publishing company is probably still the way it’s going to happen – certainly...if you’re gonna make a living off it”. As publishing companies have their own organic networks that have been developed over many years they can exploit songs through this network and generate many exploitation opportunities (Interviewee D, Refs. 136, 149 and 152; Interviewee E, Ref. 188) and collect the revenues generated quickly; collection societies can only do so much

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(Interviewee D, Ref. 145). 4.3.4 Internet Technologies have their Advantages but they are not the be All and End All “The internet can open the doors but I think it’s still very much about the personal contact.” (Interviewee B, Ref. 89)

The results suggest that although Internet technologies do have their advantages (Interviewee B, Refs. 88, 90, 91 and 92; Interviewee C, Ref. 108; Interviewee D, Refs. 152 and 153; Interviewee E, Refs. 178 and 181 - supporting Burnett, 1996; Currah, 2007; Von Hippel, 2005), they do not fully stretch to the music publishing industry. Distribution may have been simplified by internet technologies but Interviewee B (Ref. 88) believes that “the market is flooded” (see also Interviewees C, Ref. 108, and F, Ref. 198), and revenues generated via internet and digital technologies are miniscule (Interviewee A, Refs. 17, 18, 19, 20 and 34). Even Interviewee A (Ref. 15) believes that such distribution doesn’t mean anything unless a strong marketing strategy and campaign is in place. However, Interviewee C, Ref. 110, argues that “the accessibility of social networking helps [self-publishers] to market themselves as there are endless free marketing tools available”; and Interviewee E (Ref. 180) believes “the tools are there for them to self-promote”. Although correct in stating that many of the music industries’ major players have lost of control of their business models and revenues (Interviewee E, Ref. 195), it is fair to assume from his connotation that traditional business models no longer matter. But is this correct? It seems the answer is ‘no’. Internet technologies can aid self-publishers but “the principles of managing [their] catalogue is going to still be the same” (Interviewee A, Ref. 27). Instead, internet technologies should be seen as an “added bonus” (Interviewee A, Ref. 36). Although new technologies can be utilised traditional publishing avenues and practices still need to be followed (Interviewee A, Refs. 27 and 36; Interviewee B, Ref. 89; Interviewee G, Ref. 128), as well as traditional marketing and promotion routes (see Interviewee A, Refs. 62 and 65), such as playing live and

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trying to get radio airplay (Interviewee F, Ref. 210). Interviewee B (Ref. 91) even argues that although mp3 technology has been “absolutely brilliant”, he is “dubious as to whether people listen to them as intently as they do to a CD in the post”. More directly, Interviewee G (Ref. 128) believes online tools to be “a bit of a blag”. Interviewee D (an online service company) even admits that “if you were a songwriter and not a performer, I don’t think, so far, things have changed that much for you” (although he believes there are opportunities for performer-songwriters – Ref. 134). However, there exist some online companies which aim to help those who wish to selfpublish (see Interviewees D and E as examples from this research). Although covering few functions, such companies perform services that help limit the workload placed on the self-publisher, particularly the performing songwriter. These companies do what is best for the artist/self-publisher (Interviewee E, Refs. 190 and 194) by making publishing functions easier (Interviewee D, Ref. 158), particularly administration and synch licensing, whilst also allowing the self-publisher to retain all of the rights to the music (Interviewee D, Refs. 159 and 160). 4.3.5 Knowledge is Key “A good grasp of basic numbers would be very handy, so too some business skills” (Interviewee C, Ref. 121)

Gaining knowledge of the intricacies of music publishing, the music publishing industry and the wider music industries from reputable sources and relevant organisations is paramount to self-publishing success, particularly if you are a self-publisher with no support strategies or network in place (Interviewee A, Refs. 29 and 32; Interviewee B, Ref. 77; Interviewee C, Ref. 121; Interviewee E, Refs. 186 and 187). It is also important to know your target market and your product (Interviewee A, Ref. 61), as well as the best strategies to adopt in order to market oneself as a self-publishing songwriter (Interviewee B, Ref. 77) and utilising other people’s networks for knowledge (Interviewee A, Ref. 32 -supported by Raffo et al., 2000). Gaining help and advice from business organisations such as Business Link can also enable a self-publishing to set up

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their production-publishing enterprise properly and professionally (Interviewee B, Ref. 78). This is supported by many scholars who define the cultural entrepreneur (the selfpublishing songwriter) as encompassing “all-round artistic and commercial / business qualifications” (Angerer, 1999; Ellmeier, 2003; Gwee, 2009; Wilson and Stokes, 2005). In regards to education, Hausmann (2010) argues that the cultural entrepreneur gains education in traditional fields and applies the knowledge to a cultural context, yet none of the results seemed to indicate that this was a necessity. Interviewee C (Ref. 121) argues that “a good grasp of basic numbers would be very handy, so too some business skills”. Interviewee D (Ref. 171) agrees but says that “there’s no better education than learning on the job”. Although believing that education is business and management fields would be beneficial “this should be done while picking up experience as well, otherwise [they would] really be jumping in at the deep end when it comes to dealing with some situations”. These viewpoints support the literature which argues that the cultural entrepreneur adopts a different approach to knowledge and skill management in the business context than the more traditional (i.e. non-cultural) entrepreneur (Leadbetter and Oakley, 1999; Rae, 2004; Raffo et al., 2000), and their combinations may be more dramatic. 4.3.6 Self-publishing Success depends on an Individual’s Attributes “Well I think as with most things in life it’s up to the individual...” (Interviewee B, Ref. 73)

Self-publishing can be done but it is also about an individual’s capacity, capabilities, aptitude and independence to handle all that is involved in self-publishing, particularly on a global scale (Interviewees A, Ref. 42; B, Ref. 94; C, Refs. 100 and 109; Baines and Robson, 2001; Hausmann, 2010; Wilson and Stokes, 2004; 2005). The single determining factor in the success of any business venture is the attributes of the entrepreneur. If an entrepreneur has the right mix of attributes then an enterprise can flourish. A production-publishing enterprise is no different (Interviewee B, Ref. 73;

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Interviewee G, Ref. 129). An individual’s competency for self-publishing (as well as song writing – Interviewee A, Ref. 56; Interviewee C, Refs. 105 and 109) would decide whether the self-publishing route is the right one to take (Interviewee A, Ref. 38; Interviewee B, Ref. 94; Interviewee C, Ref. 115; Interviewee D, Ref. 172). The music industries are based on the reputations of those professionals within it (Interviewee A, Ref. 39; Interviewee D, Ref. 166) and if an individual has the time, capability and capacity to handle the managerial and artistic functions (as the literature indicates: Angerer, 1999; Ellmeier, 2003; Gwee, 2009; Hesmondhalgh, 2002; Rae, 2004; Wilson and Stokes, 2005) then there is no reason why the self-publishing enterprise cannot be sustainable (Interviewee A, Ref. 42; Interviewee B, Ref. 80; Interviewee C, Ref. 101). However, Weber (1978) and McCarthy (2008) warn that such a balance may be difficult, uncertain and hostile (but aren’t these challenges which entrepreneurs thrive on anyway?). Also, Interviewee B (Refs. 73, 80 and 84) points out that (regarding self-publishing) it depends on the ambition of the individual and what they want to achieve, both as a writer and a publisher, as well as how they approach their business and how professional they are (Ref. 93; see also Interviewee D, Ref. 139 and Interviewee F, Refs. 204 and 209). Interviewee C (Ref. 105) gives an example from his experience of “one self-published writer who has been incredibly successful”, his attributes aligning with those characteristics as described by Ball (2003). However, he also points out that this is the exception and not the rule (Ref. 106). Interviewee C’s example aligns with Interviewee D’s (Ref. 172) summation that there are “some songwriters who are very switched on to both the music and business elements of their career and are therefore willing to put the effort in to make sure that they’re generating as music revenue as possible from their songs”. In this instance then, these self-publishing songwriters are flexible and opportunistic (Angerer, 1999; Burns, 2007; Ellmeier, 2003; Florida, 2002; Hausmann, 2010) and are able to make use of ‘promoter’ strategies to access resources but also to increase their ‘visibility’ within the cultural sector (Ellmeier, 2003; Kretschmer et al., 1999; Stevenson, 2000; Wilson and Stokes, 2004; 2005; see also Baines and Robson, 2001). 4.4 Chapter Summary

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This Chapter has presented the results that were gleaned from the empirical research undertaken by interviewing key stakeholders relating to the research. This demonstrated a qualitative analysis of the interviewees’ answers and quantification of the themes that evolved via a content analysis. These themes were then discussed, which involved comparing and validating the results against the literature reviewed in Chapter 2. From this comparative analysis conclusions and recommendations can be drawn – Chapter 5.

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5 Conclusions and Recommendations This Chapter will consider the aim of the research and its specific research objectives (see Chapter 1) and by summarising the results and findings of the research conducted will draw appropriate conclusions. The previous Chapter discussed several themes indepth that were identified in the findings, and summaries are needed (Biggam, 2008), which this Chapter succeeds in providing. Recommendations are suggested that consider the research objectives. The limitations of this research are also discussed.

5.1 Research Objectives: Summary of Findings and Conclusions 5.1.1 Research Objective 1: To investigate and evaluate the current publishing sector infrastructure, processes, mechanisms, technologies and income streams utilised within the music self-publishing/publishing domain, and thus evaluate the viability of self-publishing compared to hiring the services of a publishing company.

Analysing the literature enabled the author to identify and understand the makeup of the music publishing industry. It appears that the modern music publishing industry is the result of global consolidations which forced many small independent publishers to exit the industry. Although many independents still exist they cannot compete with the resources, networks and experience of the major music publishers. However, in order to remain sustainable many independents offer niche services or exploit niche catalogues. The results seem to confirm this. The self-publishing songwriter (a niche publisher himself) cannot compete with the majors because he hasn’t got any of the resources, networks and experience which make them so efficient at what they do (those selfpublishing songwriters who have experience usually have someone carrying out the publishing function on their behalf). Also, publishing companies are made up of three separate departments: administration; creative; and business/legal affairs. Each department carries out specific functions that enable the publishing entity to function

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effectively. The self-publisher would have to carry out all of the functions of these departments himself (although if he has already had some success he may be able to sign an administration deal with another publisher), which he simply could not manage if on a large scale. However, the results show that self-publishing is a viable option for the songwriter provided that his enterprise remains local (i.e. only within the UK), he has the right mixture of attributes (which is an exception to the rule) and he is a performingsongwriter. Most of the industry professionals interviewed believe that non-performing songwriters would find it difficult to self-publish (unless they are already established writers) and that signing with a publishing company is the best route to take. And although internet and digital technologies have provided new revenue streams, new ways to market oneself, and the ability to network more easily; those revenues tend to be miniscule, the market is flooded with others trying to market themselves, and the networks developed are not organic (which they need to be in the music industries). The main conclusion to be drawn, therefore, is that self-publishing is a viable option for the domestic writer and can certainly be achieved but the question is whether it is worth doing.

5.1.2 Research Objective 2: To analyse current industry models and systems, and evaluate their currency and relevancy to the self-publishing songwriter

Although internet technologies have altered the business models of many music industries, they don’t seem to have affected the music publishing industry in so much as the traditional models and systems still remain. Granted, internet technologies have increased the number of revenue streams and ways that copyrights can be exploited but these tend to be viewed as added bonuses, with the sale of physical recordings still providing the most revenue. Also, digital and mobile revenue streams are dependent on the type of copyrights held and also how well known the song writer is, so many publishers may not even benefit. If one is a performing-writer then these revenue

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streams may be exploited but unless one has a large fan base then the revenues generated are going to be miniscule to say the least. Saying that, there are some online publishing services whom enable performing-writers to receive income from synchronisations as well as gigs and radio airplay. Internet technologies may also allow self-publishing songwriters to market themselves and collaborate with other writers and creatives, building their embedded network. However, such networks need to be organic in order to be effective (social networking sites can only do so much!). Also of relevance to the self-publishing songwriter who wishes to remain local (at present) is the role played by the collection societies and support organisations. Collection societies will collect a writer’s monies for them (although this may take two years) so there is no need for writers to make deals with sub-publishers in foreign territories. This significantly reduces the administration duties they would have to complete. The main conclusion to be drawn is that traditional models and systems still rule the music publishing industry. Internet technologies may provide some benefit to the selfpublishing songwriter but many of its proposed advantages are irrelevant.

5.1.3 Research Objective 3: To investigate the perceptions of the industry towards self-publishing songwriters, and any barriers they face, including understanding whether a self-publisher can truly represent themselves.

Perceptions towards self-publishers varied in the research. Many interviewees believed that self-publishing is a viable option and that many songwriters should attempt it; others wholeheartedly disagreed. Many believed that self-publishing success depends on the attributes of the individual and if one possesses them then there is no reason why their enterprise cannot be sustainable. However, the same interviewees wouldn’t consider self-publishers a threat and that they wouldn’t be taken seriously by the music publishing industry and its stakeholders.

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It seems that self-publishing is harder for non-performing-songwriters (unless they are established) because they would find it hard to develop a network (they can’t play live to develop a fan base, they are not exposed as much as performing-songwriters) and receive income (they do not perform on records etc.). But, there is no reason why selfpublishing shouldn’t be tested because, as one interviewee put it: “they can always change their mind”. The main conclusion to be drawn from this is that, generally, the music publishing industry remains indifferent to self-publishers. Also, there are many barriers to selfpublishing but it can be achieved...if you’re a performing-writer.

5.1.4 Research Objective 4: To investigate how a self-publishing songwriter could adopt business and managerial roles and creative, artistic roles when they are demanded, and what processes they could adopt to do this.

The literature suggested that the self-publisher as a cultural entrepreneur would have to manage both the artistic and managerial functions but that this poses many challenges. It requires a delicate balance. However, the use of embedded networks can help support the self-publisher in his many functions. This was supported by the results of this research. Such networks also prove useful when trying to manage creativity. There are also various tools that the self-publisher can employ to ensure that his creativity isn’t compromised by adopting publishing roles. But, if a self-publisher’s information system (the design of its organisation’s information and communication channels) is designed effectively before the organisation has been established then the challenges faced by the self-publisher can be limited. Employing managerial cybernetic techniques such as the Viable Systems Model (VSM) could enable a self-publisher to effectively manage the artistic and managerial function. It would also enable him to adapt to external changes in his environments (which seems apt considering that the music industries’ environments are in constant flux at present). Appendix 8 provides a VSM system design that may aid the self-

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publisher. The main conclusion to be drawn is that managerial cybernetics could benefit the selfpublishing enterprise, particularly if the organisation’s information systems have been designed before the organisation has come into being. 5.2 Recommendations and Limitations 5.2.1

Putting Theory into Practice

It is recommended that the Self-Publishing Viable System in Appendix 7 be implemented to see if it is truly effective in practice. One way of doing this is for the author to begin self-publishing whilst implement the model. This would enable the author to monitor the effectiveness of his systems design, knowing the complexities that the self-publisher will face himself. 5.2.2

Further Research

A limitation of this research was that no self-publishers were available to participate. Having the viewpoints and opinions of practicing self-publishers would have added more validity to the research’s findings and conclusions. It may have also aided the design of the Self-Publishing Viable System (Appendix 7). Therefore it is recommended that future research be conducted into the current practices of selfpublishers in order to corroborate the statements made in this research. Further research with more music publishers, online publishing services and songwriter tools is also recommended, as the results may allow for generalisations to be made. This research was limited by the number of participants involved. Only six full interviews were conducted, which is too small a number in which to generalise the findings (future research may discount this research altogether!).

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5.2.3

Research into the Development of Online Publishing Services that May Carry Out Other Publishing Functions

There already exists online publishing services which perform certain administrative duties on the self-publishers behalf, such as song registration, royalty collection and licensing. However, it is recommended that further research be conducted into the development of such services and whether they can perform other publishing functions that may aid the self-publishing songwriter in his venture.

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8 Appendix

Appendix 1: Interview Questions for Music Publishers Appendix 2: Interview Questions for Online Publishing Services Appendix 3: Interview Questions for Songwriter Tools Appendix 4: Viable Systems Model’s Systems’ Functions Appendix 5: Full Coding Tables Appendix 6: Discussion of Further Themes Identified Appendix 7: Self-Publishing Viable System Appendix 8: Project Log

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Appendix 1: Interview Questions for Music Publishers As this research focuses on in-depth analysis please elaborate on any answers you provide as best you can. Thank you for your participation. PLEASE NOTE THAT ALL INFORMATION PROVIDED FOR THIS RESEARCH WILL REMAIN CONFIDENTIAL AND YOUR COMPANY WILL REMAIN ANONYMOUS.

Company Details Publisher type (i.e. major, major-affiliate, self-publisher, independent): _______________________________________________ Number of Employees:__________________ Do you focus on a particular niche/genre/function? Please give details: ____________________________________________________________ Questions Networks and Communities within the Industry 1. A user of your services can utilise your network of contacts to some extent (though admittedly through the discretion of your company), which provides access to new income streams. How difficult was it to develop this network? How can a selfpublishing songwriter develop their own network?

2. The idea of ‘community’ is important in the music and creative industries (particularly in harnessing and generating creativity). In what way do you facilitate this?

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3. Music publishing requires the sustaining of several simultaneous relationships. How is this achieved? 4. How important are sub-publishers in the publishing network?

5. In regards to networks and relationships, which relationships do you think is the most important for the self-publishing songwriter? The Internet and Digital Technologies and the Publishing Industry

6. The internet has democratized the music industries and as a result lowered the barriers of entry for musicians. Do you think it has had the same effect for songwriters (performing and non-performing) specifically? 7. New music publishing business models are being implemented regularly (e.g. online services, a focus on digital channels). What, to your knowledge, have been the most effective business models in today’s climate?

8. What technologies have made the industry more efficient and effective?

9. What aspects of the above models do you believe will be advantageous to the selfpublishing songwriter?

10. The internet, digital technology and mobile technology have provided new income streams where musical works can be exploited. What income streams does your company primarily exploit? The Self-Publishing Songwriter 11. How do you perceive songwriters who wish to handle their own publishing?

12. What is the main benefit of a having a publishing company over self-publishing?

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13. Do you think it is viable for a songwriter to self-publish and handle their own publishing? Why? 14. How receptive is the music publishing industry to self-publishers?

15. If a songwriter is adamant about retaining all of the publisher rights to their works, what other services can a publisher offer that may help them in their self-publishing venture? 16. How easy is it to set up and maintain a publishing entity? What are the primary considerations?

17. It is said that the artist/writer is the dominant model in today’s music publishing industry? Is there any hope for the non-performing songwriter who is not established?

18. How can a self-publishing songwriter market themselves within the music industries?

19. Publishing in the digital domain is beset with numerous problems (particularly regarding copyright law jurisdictions) and the industry is still trying to develop a way to cope with them. Do you consider these problems to be beneficial to the self-publishing songwriter? 20. Technological advances and the music publishing industry have always been synergistic. What advances could the self-publishing songwriter best exploit to generate income or aid in the day-to-day running of the publishing entity? 21. Can a self-publishing songwriter realistically compete in today’s industry?

22. Do you think the self-publishing songwriter will find it difficult to manage both the artistic and managerial functions? Education

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23. Do you think it is wise to gain education in tradition fields (such as business, management, accounting) and apply the knowledge to the self-publishing enterprise, or is this not necessary?

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Appendix 2: Interview Questions for Online Publishing Services As this research focuses on in-depth analysis please elaborate on any answers you provide as best you can. Thank you for your participation. PLEASE NOTE THAT ALL INFORMATION PROVIDED FOR THIS RESEARCH WILL REMAIN CONFIDENTIAL AND YOUR COMPANY WILL REMAIN ANONYMOUS.

Questions 1. The internet has democratized the music industries and as a result lowered the barriers of entry for musicians. Do you think it has had the same effect for songwriters (performing and non-performing) specifically?

2. New music publishing business models are being implemented regularly. What aspects of these models do you believe will be advantageous to the self-publishing songwriter?

3. How do you perceive songwriters who wish to handle their own publishing?

4. Do you believe that the self-publishing songwriter can generate a sustainable income through utilising online services?

5. Do you think the self-publishing songwriter will find it difficult to manage both the artistic and managerial functions?

6. In what ways can your services benefit the self-publishing songwriter?

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7. What publishing functions does your company conduct (administration, exploitation, creative, investment, copyright protection)?

8. Within the above functions, what roles do you specifically conduct (for example, the administration function incorporates registering songs with collection societies in all territories of the world; monitoring, protecting and collecting the money from the songs’ usage; distributing funds; drawing up contracts; and, liaising with record companies, producers and other writers, etc.)?

9. Are there any areas of exploitation that your company particularly focuses on (i.e. online sync licensing, live performances etc.)? 10. Regarding contracts, do you have a general contract for use of music or are they tailored to each individual client and artist?

11. What income streams does your company primarily exploit?

12. A user of your services can utilise your network of contacts to some extent (though admittedly through the discretion of your company), which provides access to new income streams. How difficult was it to develop this network? How can a selfpublishing songwriter develop their own network?

13. In regards to networks and relationships, which relationships do you think is the most important for the self-publishing songwriter?

14. The idea of ‘community’ is important in the music and creative industries (particularly in harnessing and generating creativity). In what way do your services facilitate this? 15. Do you think it is wise to gain education in tradition fields (such as business, management, accounting) and apply the knowledge to the self-publishing enterprise, or is this not necessary?

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Appendix 3: Interview Questions for Songwriter Tools As this research focuses on in-depth analysis please elaborate on any answers you provide as best you can. Thank you for your participation. PLEASE NOTE THAT ALL INFORMATION PROVIDED FOR THIS RESEARCH WILL REMAIN CONFIDENTIAL AND YOUR COMPANY WILL REMAIN ANONYMOUS.

Questions Networks and Communities within the Industry 1. A user of your services can utilise your network of industry contacts which could hopefully provide placements. How difficult was it to develop this network? How can a self-publishing songwriter develop their own network? 2. The idea of ‘community’ is important in the music and creative industries (particularly in harnessing and generating creativity). In what ways does ‘SongLink’ facilitate this? The Internet and Digital Technologies and the Publishing Industry

3. The internet has democratized the music industries and as a result lowered the barriers of entry for musicians. Do you think it has had the same effect for songwriters (performing and non-performing) specifically? The Self-Publishing Songwriter 4. How do you perceive songwriters who wish to handle their own publishing? 5. What is the main benefit of a having a publishing company over self-publishing?

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6. Do you think it is viable for a songwriter to self-publish and handle their own publishing? Why? 7. How receptive is the music publishing industry to self-publishers?

8. How can a self-publishing songwriter market themselves within the music industries? 9. Can a self-publishing songwriter realistically compete in today’s industry?

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Appendix 4: Viable Systems Model’s Systems’ Functions The following information describes the individual systems that make up the Beer’s (1967) Viable Systems Model (VSM) and their functions. Each description also considers the self-publishing enterprise though at various degrees. System 1 (Operations) This is where the basic activities of the system are performed (Walker, 1998). This system can be considered to be made up of an operational part (managed component) which is overseen by a management part (Bustard et al., 2006; Sterritt and Bustard, 2003), which has autonomic elements (with the management part being an autonomic manager - Bustard et al., 2006). The System 1s agree between themselves who will be responsible and perform certain actions inside the system and outside the system (resource sharing and shared client management respectively) (Hayward, 2003). (Is the self-publishing songwriter, due to the small size of their venture, able to ‘sub-contract’, for wont of a better word, his operations to others, such as the production of a song. and oversee it from a managerial perspective, determining who performs what task and role?) System 2 (Coordination) This system includes the common language and tools between management and operations that conduct information flows in the organisation (Walker, 1998). It manages the agreements made between each of the System 1s. In regards to the selfpublishing songwriter this could be the technical jargon used in the production, song writing and publishing arenas. System 3 (Control) This system manages complexities, keeps synergy and optimises the internal environment (Walker, 1998) (the ‘inside and now’ function – Hayward, 2003). It is the

123


bargaining centre, where the authority and policies from System 5 are passed to the operational systems, establishing the territory of each operational system and the performances of each (Hayward, 2003). Publishing requires the adoption of numerous roles and responsibilities (see the following section of this literature review, ‘music publishing’), and organisation and control are necessary. If one then includes the added responsibilities of writing and producing a musical work in order to publish, one can see that the need for control increases. But can such control be managed by external forces? System 3* (Audit) System 3* is a monitoring process that is agreed by Systems 3 and 1 (Hayward, 2003). The audit process samples interaction between each operational system and the external environment and ensures that agreements between Systems 3 and 1 are being met, allowing the communication channel between the two to handle more complexity (Hayward, 2003). During the creative process, revision may take place. Such revision can be considered as an ‘audit’, ensuring that actors within the system are operating according to organisational (the self-publisher’s) requirements. System 4 (Intelligence) The ‘intelligence’ system deals with future planning, projections and forecasting (Jackson, 1991; O’Grady et al., 2010; Walker, 1998) (the ‘outside and then’ function – Hayward, 2003, p22). An information clearing house (O’Grady et al., 2010), System 4 gains intelligence about the external environment through constant examination and aggregation (Hayward, 2003; O’Grady et al., 2010). If the intelligence can be managed by existing policies, System 4 passes the information to System 3 (the control function – the ‘translation’ interrelationship) (Hayward, 2003). If it requires “re-examination of the entire system’s identity” (Hayward, 2003, p22), it is passed to System 5, where new policies (if necessary) are passed to “System 3 and the process is repeated” (Hayward, 2003, p22). Management in this system is strategic and it liaises with the operational and normative management departments, providing only relevant information (Jackson, 1991; O’Grady et al., 2010).

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The music industry is highly competitive. It is necessary to continuously have current knowledge of the industry as a whole. Although ‘intelligence’ action may compromise or challenge the artistic process (as can be seen in ‘cultural entrepreneurship’ and ‘managing creativity’), it is necessary in order to function effectively and to remain viable. But how does the self-publishing songwriter do this and are there any tools available to aid him? System 5 (Policy) This system represents “the identity of the system” (Hayward, 2003, p21). Performing ‘reflection and representation’ (Hayward, 2003), via normative management debate and discussion, the identity of the system includes its purpose, vision, values, measures of success, and strategy (both internal and external perspectives) (Hayward, 2003; O’Grady et al., 2010). The policies, rules, values and objectives developed and established in this system are passed to System 3 and 3*, where audits are carried out and complexities and synergy are effectively managed (Hayward, 2003; Walker, 1998). Hayward (2003, p21) also points out that System 5 “also moderates the relationship between System 3 and System 4” – the ‘transformation’ interrelationship. It is hypothesised that in regards to the self-publishing songwriter (and indeed, any cultural entrepreneur) System 5 (policy) will dictate how much one is willing to compromise on their creativity. For example, the self-publishing songwriter may refuse to licence his music to fast food corporations, or refuse to write a formulaic pop song for the sole intention of earning money. The policy that he establishes within his System 5 will set the agenda for the overall system, for the entire micro-enterprise.

The interrelationship between Systems 5, 4 and 3 (that is, between the Policy, Intelligence and Control systems) are known as the meta-system (Beer, 1972; O’Grady et al., 2010), because it determines the identity and direction of the system as a whole (Hayward, 2003, p22). The interrelationship between Systems 3, 3*, 2 and 1 are called

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the ‘operating system’ (Hayward, 2003; O’Grady et al., 2010), and include functions such as resource allocation, control of operational activities, minimising friction, creating roles and processes, monitoring and auditing, policy implementation, and analysing performance targets (O’Grady et al., 2010). O’Grady et al. (2010, p100) also point out that “the inclusion of system 3 in both the operational and the meta systems indicates its key role as the hinge between current operations and future planning and development”.

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127


Appendix 5 a: Full Coding Table for Music Publishers’ Answers (Interviewees A, B, C, G and H) Ref

Interviewee

Theme

Code

1

A

Self-publishing can be done but...

Easy to self-publish in home territories; overseas is a different kettle of fish.

2

A

Sub-publishers important.

Much more efficient if you’ve got a sub-publisher.

3

A

Self-publishing can be done but...

Easy if it’s local.

A

Networks and relationships are very important but they take time to develop and they need to be organic.

Network has been developed over many years...it’s come at a cost.

A

Networks and relationships are very important but they take time to develop and they need to be organic.

Linking up and following up on relationships to expand a network

4

5

6

A

7

A

are

very

Networks and relationships are very important but they take time to develop and they need to be organic. Networks and relationships are

Self-publishers have to expand network on their own It will take years to develop a good

Quote “If you are a self-publisher you are going to have to set up a system whereby, particularly if you’re...it’s alright if you’re doing it in your home territories. It’s very easy to do: you join the MCPS, the PRS – they collect the money for you and you get paid. Simple as. Now then, if you’ve got a release overseas it becomes a different kettle of fish because the MCPS and PRS will collect it for you overseas but it takes that long a time to come through, it just adds to the whole problem.” “I’m not saying that they’re bad at it but it’s much more efficient if you’ve got a big publisher who’ve got their offices in these overseas territories, who can pick them up for you; or you do a sub-publishing deal with a publisher in that territory.” “Yeah, that’s what I mean. Being a self-publisher is alright if you’re doing it locally but if you then have a big hit that’s overseas then it becomes a bit of a complex matter.” “Well our network has developed over many, many years and any writer that signs with us is principally locking into that network that’s been developed over those many years. And during that period of time it’s cost us a lot of shoe leather, booze and late nights.” “Of course, you’re travelling a lot, you go to the conferences overseas, you see people and you find out what they’re up to and, you know, you link up and then develop relationships which expands your own network – and that’s principally what it does.” “As for someone who is doing self-publishing then they’re going to have to do that thing on their own.” “Yeah, it will take them years...it will take a long time.”


very important but they take time to develop and they need to be organic.

network

A

Music publishing companies offer various services and provide numerous benefits.

Publishers can facilitate the creative side of things...but only if they could get released.

A

Music publishing companies offer various services and provide numerous benefits; Exploitation opportunities need to be found and taken advantage of.

Try to find outlets for writer.

10

A

Music publishing companies offer various services and provide numerous benefits.

We help them out, develop the network

11

A

Music publishing companies offer various services and provide numerous benefits.

We give guidance

12

A

Networks and relationships are very important but they take time to develop and they need to be organic.

Managing relationships is a balancing act. Need to keep the artist/writer happy – that’s the primary relationship.

13

A

Networks and relationships are

Always

8

9

maintaining 129

important

“Oh yeah. We have to facilitate the creativity side principally because that’s how income is generated. We get artists coming to us, writers who are looking to sign recording deals, but they’ve not got a recording deal; so if we feel that we can help get that writer get a recording deal, that helps us because being a small publisher, it’s pointless us signing a writer if he’s not going to get released. It just makes financial sense to us; and more often than not they’re looking for an advance so paying out, say, ten/fifteen grand on an advance to a writer who’s never ever going to get released (not never ever - we wouldn’t sign them if they’re never ever...)...” “..but if they’ve not got a recording deal at that time when we sign them then we actively try to find some sort of outlet for that artist.” “Yes. We look for record deals for them but it’s not our job. We only come into play there if they’ve not got a manager and they’re just really starting out; because it’s principally their manager’s responsibility to do that for them, not our job. But it’s that cohesive nature of developing a relationship...” “..Well you give them guidance, and depending on the type of music we’ll say “go and see this guy; go and see that girl or person”, or we contact someone directly and say “Have a listen to this, what do you think?” and see whether we can get a deal going for them.” “It is a balancing act. You’ve always got to keep your artists happy. That’s your primary relationship – between the publisher and the writer – that’s our primary relationship (everything else just falls into place behind all that). If they’re signed to a different record label, like we have some writers who are signed to different record labels, because our...” “So that relationship is still ongoing with those writers but now


14

15

16

very important but they take time to develop and they need to be organic; Exploitation opportunities need to be found and taken advantage of.

relationships – new outlets.

A

Sub-publishers important.

Sub-publishers important.

A

Internet technologies have their advantages but they are not the be all and end all; marketing and promotion are important.

A

are

very

Internet technologies have their

are

very,

very

Anyone can release music on the Internet but it doesn’t mean anything unless you’ve got the marketing.

It’s not even as easy as they say – 130

they’re on different record labels. So we’re still maintaining that relationship and it’s even moreso now because if they get dropped from their record labels, or if they’ve not got a record label in particular, then we’re trying to find them some sort of other outlet for their new material; and also, with income streams, we try to exploit other income streams other than income from record sales, like synchronisations and other stuff.” “It goes back to the first question I was answering you in regards to being a writer-publisher, being self-published. Your subpublisher is going to be very, very important to you, particularly for your overseas collections because you can either join...You join the local collection society or you join a joint-venture with a sub-publisher.” “Yeah, but that’s not an entry, that’s just a means of distribution. Anybody before...since the Seventies, there’s a lot more people being able to do things for themselves and moreso in the Eighties, based upon new technology equipment, new innovative equipment whereby the quality of a home studio is nearly as good as what you used to get back in the Seventies in a big, professional studio. So, yes, that has helped the music community increase; and then with the Internet came...a better (not better) a wider distribution...there’s a colleague I used to work with, Tony Wilson, and he was always raving “the internet, the internet. You could have a record store on the corner of every street in every part of the world.” But that’s before the implications became...were realised of what it means. Any Tom, Dick and Harry can try and get, what they call, an internet release but in actual fact it means fuck all to be quite honest...anyone can put it up there. But it comes down to your marketing. If you haven’t got any marketing and you shove it out there you’re not going to go anywhere...” “And unless that individual who has put his/her release out on the internet, unless they’re got some sort of marketing campaign planned, then it’s going to stay there.” “It’s a fucking long process because we’ve got backlogs, a back


17

A

18

A

19

A

advantages but they are not the be all and end all.

need to go through aggregators.

Internet technologies have their advantages but they are not the be all and end all.

You’d be lucky to make much through downloads.

Internet technologies have their advantages but they are not the be all and end all.

The internet has made things easier, like distribution, but the revenue generated doesn’t stretch very far.

Internet technologies have their advantages but they are not the be all and end all.

Big artist success: yes downloads but it is still backed up by CD sales. 131

catalogue of hundreds of titles, and we went to iTunes and they said “no, you’ve got to go through some aggregate company”; so I thought “What the fuck? We’re a well-respected record label and you’re talking about we’ve got to go through an aggregate company?”; because they’re asking how many titles we had and we’ve not into thousands but we’re into hundreds, probably a couple of thousand or so titles we have of tracks that could be released, but we had to go through an aggregate company.” “Going back to days when it was much easier: you’d do a vinyl, a 12-inch vinyl, you’d do, say, 500-1000, you’d go to a local record store and say, “here’s twenty; I’ll come back next week”, and if you sold twenty (you gave them the price you want to sell it at or they give you the price they want to sell it at), you come back and see how many you sold. For a thousand you could make a profit of, you know, three or four grand. If you do a thousand of iTunes releases, you’d be fucking lucky if you get back 20p.” “So as an artist you put your release out, old days-vinyl, you’d get a decent return back which would fund your next project. So there is a perpetuation there going. Now then, with the internet and downloads (through iTunes and whatever), do a thousand you’d be very lucky (very lucky) if you got money back to fund the next one. So you’ve still got to rely on vinyl and CD releases. So, you know, downloads in themselves are not the answer.” “But it goes back to the amount that you’ve just paid for that track – 79p. In that 79p iTunes want their share, the aggregator wants their share, and you the artist who have uploaded it, are somewhere down there. And if you’re the writer of that track, you’re even further down the line. So therefore the distribution of income is minimal.” “..At the top end. Downloading is great because they’ve made a million hits, or a million 79 pences that they’ve had, that they’re going to get. That’s alright, but that is still backed up by CD


20

A

Internet technologies have their advantages but they are not the be all and end all.

As a self-publisher, making income from downloads only is not going to be worthwhile. Small income.

Can be done, and money can be generated, if you’ve got a marketing campaign or a good synchronisation.

21

A

Marketing and promotion are important.

22

A

Exploitation opportunities need to be found and taken advantage of.

Synchronisation is an important part. How can you compete with the majors?

23

A

Exploitation opportunities need to be found and taken advantage of.

Need to focus on getting income from as many avenues as possible.

132

sales.” “So there’s good things and there’s bad things about downloading. Now, going on to the aspect of being a selfpublisher, if all your sales are through downloads, trust me, you’re publishing income is not going to be anything worthwhile because what I’ve noticed in the ‘income generated’ part of it as a publisher, whereas before we were getting quite decent turnover per year...now don’t be, sort of, view us just as because we’re small we’re basically small; but, say, back seven or eight years ago, our annual turnover was over a hundred k. Right? And we were doing really well. And that’s on generating income. Now when we had ten people working for us that’s great, but because of internet we’ve had to cut back because now you look at the statements coming in and one writer who used to generate on his own, say, thirty grand every three months or so, he’s only on two. And that’s a good quarter. You know, he’s still getting downloads...People download it for free, but the ones that are legitimately downloaded through iTunes, the income from it is minimal, it’s pennies.” “Yeah, the mobile and ring backs, it’s the same thing. You’re getting back pennies, two pence. You look at the statements and you go, downloading is 0.2p.” “Yeah. That’s our back catalogue working but we’ve got no marketing campaign because they’re not new releases, they’re old releases, so trying to work that angle, we have to now then start to rely on synchronisations. So if you get a good marketing campaign, then we’re cool. A good synchronisation could rake you in some really good money.” “When we started that was the principal aspect of it. Because we felt that we couldn’t compete with the big publishers and we knew that the music that we were doing...was conducive to that type of exploitation.” “My personal philosophy is that you try to get as much income from as many different places as possible; and your primary one has got to be your record sales. Because if you only concentrate


24

A

It all comes down to the music at the end of the day.

It’s about the quality of the music.

25

A

Internet technologies have their advantages but they are not the be all and end all.

Still need to find away to combat illegal piracy.

26

A

Internet technologies have their advantages but they are not the be all and end all.

Traditional music industry playing catch-up with new technologies.

27

A

Internet technologies have their advantages but they are not the be all and end all; Traditional

No technologies will really be advantageous to the self-publishing songwriter solely because the 133

on synchronisations then you become a library music company as far as I’m concerned...” “So those same people who were nineteen/twenty/twenty-one years of age that where at university, their memories are centred around what they were listening to at that age and, consequently, those are their memories that will take them forever; because people who are now in their sixties are re-buying the records that they used to buy when they were nineteen/twenty years of age, vinyls and so on, they’re buying and purchasing them on CD. So there is that memory and longevity that keeps the whole thing going.” “We have to find – I’m sure the technicians are out there probably trying to do it – is to find a way to prevent free downloads. It’s simple as. I’m sure that there is technology out there but it’s whether the powers that be want that to be in place...” “Exactly. They’re trying to catch because...I think it was Universal who ended up buying Napster because they think “oh right, yeah, we got fucked so let’s try and repair the situation” (because they were one of the richest people out there). Similar to what Sony did when they found out they didn’t have any content; because they had the Beta[max] format, which was better than the ordinary video format, but they didn’t have any content, so what did they do? They went and bought Universal film studios and they bought Columbia Records because they knew that “whatever the fuck happens when we come up with a new format we’ve got content to put on it”. So it’s that strategy of thinking, and that’s what happened with Napster. It’s the after-the-event thinking: “Oh right, shit. We screwed up there so let’s go and buy it and make sure we can channel all our music through this content so that they download it”. So now you’re getting all this back catalogue stuff going through Napster and all that, so people can have access to that music.” “No, not really...Because the principles of managing your catalogue is going to still be the same; and if you’re doing it by yourself then it makes it that much more difficult.”


avenues still need to be followed.

principles of managing a catalogue are still the same. If you are self-publishing you need to team up with other people.

28

A

Networks and relationships are very important but they take time to develop and they need to be organic.

29

A

Knowledge is key.

You need to know the strategies

A

Networks and relationships are very important but they take time to develop and they need to be organic.

Relationships were built up through trial and error.

30

“Like I said, you’re going to have to team up with other people.”

31

A

Self-publishing can be done but...

Doing it nightmare

32

A

Knowledge is key.

Can glean knowledge from a publishing company

33

A

34

A

Networks and relationships are very important but they take time to develop and they need to be organic. Internet technologies have their advantages but they are not the be all and end all; Exploitation opportunities need to be found and taken advantage of.

yourself

can

be

“..you know, there are ways of doing it but you’ve got to know the strategies; and if you make a bad mistake, you’re stuck.” “We built up the relationships we did through trial and error.”

a

“The majors didn’t really want to know; some of the small independents did. So we decided, “okay then, fuck ‘em, we’ll do it ourselves”, so we did lots of licensing deals all over the world. That ended up being a nightmare because you’re trying to manage the whole situation. You know, the main countries, you’ve got: America; Germany; France; the Eastern European territories; Australia; Northern Europe. And everybody wants to make sure that a release date doesn’t affect their territory disadvantageously; so trying to coordinate all that...and I was responsible for all that and it was a nightmare.” “So because Sony was looking after theirs I was able to glean their knowledge, so I used to throw questions at them and I’d find things out. And that’s what made it easier. Now then, if you were a self-publisher and you didn’t have the access to all these people, it’s going to make it that much harder.” “It makes a huge, huge difference.”

Being able to access a big network makes a huge difference. Online synchronisations provide little money.

134

“The digital aspect of it is just the synchronisations because, were as before...like I said, talking about like in an advert and so on – that’s great; but now we’re talking about getting synchronisations for online stores. But they’re not big money it’s like two hundred quid - and they’ll do it for, say, six months.


35

A

Networks and relationships are very important but they take time to develop and they need to be organic. Internet technologies have their advantages but they are not the be all and end all; Traditional avenues still need to be followed.

Look at the longer term. Making deals to develop network. Traditional routes still digital is just a bonus.

matter;

36

A

37

A

Self-publishing can be done but...

Good luck to self-publishers

38

A

Self-publishing success depends on an individual’s attributes.

It’s down to capacity.

39

A

Self-publishing success depends on an individual’s attributes.

Once you’re in you live and die by your merits – reputation.

40

A

Music publishing companies offer various services and provide numerous benefits.

A publisher can do things for them that a writer can’t do for themselves. Publishers have the experience, can generate an income, and can collect the income.

the

135

individual’s

We did one for Toyota. It was an in-house advert that they had and they wanted one of our tracks. They gave us two hundred quid for it - it was only on the internet.” “It’s like I said, it’s there but it’s nothing big. But...we did it for the reason being that it’s Toyota; and we then now had a connection to Toyota’s advertising.” “What we did before still counts, yes. The advent of digital and the use of digital stuff is just an added bonus...” “Good luck to them. I have no problem if they want to do their own publishing – let them go ahead.” “That is just down to [the] individual’s capacity to absorb information and being able to be competent at what they do, because...We get lots of people wanting to be in this business but they’re not always competent.” “..this business has a certain degree of nepotism about it: the guys who are high up will always have some relative who wants to be in the business so they bring them in. But once they’re in...you live and die by your own merits. If a songwriter wants to do self-publishing, good luck to them. If they have the time and capability then, yeah, go for it.” “Well, what we try to do when we sign a writer, we try to sell them the concept of having a publisher, being able to do things for them that they probably won’t do for themselves or don’t want to do for themselves. It goes back to your earlier question: are they capable of doing it for themselves? More often than not, if they get lazy then being a self-publisher is just doing themselves an injustice. So what we try to do is sell it for them on the basis that we’ve got the experience, we can generate a certain amount of income but so long as you’re signed to a record label that’s going to release your material, then we can work to enhance that income that you’re going to generate; and we can collect the money from the various parts of the world that, if you’re a self-published writer, it will take you longer. It


41

42

A

Music publishing companies offer various services and provide numerous benefits; Selfpublishing can be done but...

It could take longer to collect the money from collection societies if self-publishing

A

Self-publishing can be done but...; Self-publishing success depends on an individual’s attributes

Self-publishing is viable but it is individuals’ capacity that matters.

43

A

Self-publishers are not a threat to music publishing companies...they can’t compete.

Publishers don’t care about selfpublishers.

44

A

Music publishing companies offer various services and provide numerous benefits.

No other services...publishing is what it is.

45

A

Music

Administration is the basic stuff

publishing

companies

136

will take us less time.” “Yeah, and the money can be in your account by a set time of the year, rather than you waiting two years for it to come through. ‘Cause that’s what it can do. If you release an album now, and you’re a self-publisher, you’re a member of MCPS and PRS, by time you’ve told them to go and collect your royalties (and MCPS will tell you the same thing) for the money to come through it could take you two years.” “Yeah, it’s viable for them to do it, but like I said, it’s the capacity to handle it all and still be creative at the same.” “They don’t care. I’m sure, in their own self-interest the music publishing industry will say “you should have a publisher”, so long as you have the right publisher who will collect the money and do what they are supposed to do – you know, get yourself a publisher. But if you want to be self-published, they don’t care because they’re making their money. Or what they will do is try and persuade you that they’re the right publisher for you to be with rather than you being a self-publishing person.” “No. The concept of publishing is that, as a writer you sign your publishing over to the publisher, you sign your songs over to the publisher; therefore, effectively, the publisher owns those songs. All the publisher is doing is – well, they own those songs temporarily for a number of years – all that publisher is doing is temporarily holding those songs but will pay you a share of the income that is generated from the exploitation of those songs. That’s all. After the term is over, be it 5-20 years, to go back to the writer. That’s all it is. It goes straight back to the writer. I mean, I’ve just done a termination agreement where a writer has been with his publisher for ten years but he was just so fed up with them that he don’t trust them anymore (because they did some various things that he later found out about) and he actually paid the publisher to give his publishing back, and we helped him get his publishing back - all his rights back.” “Well, the administration service is the bear basic stuff that the


offer various services and provide numerous benefits.

but it’s only effective if you’re an established writer.

A publisher won’t do an administration deal because you probably won’t generate much income.

It’s easy to set up a publishing company – join the collection societies.

46

A

Music publishing companies offer various services and provide numerous benefits.

47

A

It’s easy to set up a publishing company.

48

A

Networks and relationships are very important but they take time to develop and they need to be organic.

Have to pay to join societies but also have to have something they can make money off.

137

publisher is doing – he’s acting like a bank. All it is doing is knowing where the money is, collecting it and passing it over to the writer and they take 5-10% (most administration deals are 10%). They’re not proactively trying to exploit the songs on behalf of the writer; they’re not generating income for that writer. All their job is to collect that money, that’s all, and they take the 10%. You see, administration deals are good if you are an established writer with lots of songs. Say, for example, you’re Sting, and you’ve written all these wonderful songs, do an administration deal with someone like Sony Records. And they’ll be happy to do that because the amount of money that Sting will generate from his songs, you know, probably £6 million a year or some shit like that, and they get 10% of £6 million, for just collecting it...and, you know, if Sting came to me and said “Rudi, I want Grand Central Music Publishing to administer my songs”, what do you think I’m going to say? 10% of £6 million a year, of course I’d bite his hand off. Actually, I wouldn’t even take 10%. I’d say “Sting, just give me 1%...I’ll take 1% mate, don’t worry, I’ll take 1%”.” “If you’re a self-publisher...’cause, don’t forget, the publisher himself has to look on at how much he’s going to be generating. Is it worth his while to take the job on for that percentage? Because if you’re only generating ten grand a year, what’s the point of taking 10% of ten grand?” “It’s dead easy. It’s easy as piss, honestly. If a person is going to be self-published, all they have to do is just join MCPS and PRS – that is your basic route. But you can’t just join it; there are certain criteria before you get your foot through the door, namely: you’ve got to have songs that have been released to the general public, a minimum of sixteen, or something like that, that have been released to the general public or you’ve got a hit record.” “Yeah. But I think it’s gone up, the joining fee. And if you’re not generating enough to even cover that joining fee, don’t even bother. And even if after that you’re not generating enough to justify them sending a statement out to you, they won’t send you


A

Music publishing companies offer various services and provide numerous benefits.

Always need registrations.

50

A

Networks and relationships are very important but they take time to develop and they need to be organic.

Sign with the MPA – networking opportunities, training etc.

51

A

It all comes down to the music at the end of the day.

Loads of hope for non-performing songwriters...down to the songs.

52

A

Exploitation opportunities need to be found and taken advantage of.

Songs need to be out there making money.

A

Exploitation opportunities need to be found and taken advantage of; Music publishing companies offer various services and provide numerous benefits.

Need to find an outlet for the nonperforming writer’s music.

49

53

54

A

55

A

Networks and relationships are very important but they take time to develop and they need to be organic. Self-publishing can be done but...

to

check

the

Partnerships. It’s probably easier to be a nonperforming songwriter and selfpublisher because you’re not losing 138

a statement. There’s two things going on there: you’ve got the little guy who wants to join MCPS/PRS – the collection societies – but he’s got to justify to them, to become a member, and then he’s got to be generating enough income to still be a member; and then you’ve got the people on the other hand who are big writers who are earning lots of money, like Elton John and Sting and Coldplay writers, and there is what’s known as...there’s a black box income.” “So you should always go through and check. I do, particularly when it’s a new writer, check it and try to find out from them “what tracks have you signed up before we signed you? What names did you use?” and so on.” “Yeah, because you get certain freebies in there and they do conferences and seminars...” “There’s loads of hope for non-performing songwriters. If that individual is a good songwriter. A good songwriter is a good songwriter, end of.” “Well that would be a strategy of that particular publisher. Principally because, again it goes back to the point that I was making, if that song is not out there making money, there is no point in signing that person.” “So therefore if you’ve got a writer on your books that is not a performer as well, then you’re going to have to find an outlet for him. Signing non-performing writers adds to the bow of that publisher, [but] they’re going to have to go out there and try to find artists who don’t write songs and pump their music to them.” “Yeah. It’s the proactive side of things, you go out and try to exploit those songs; or what you do is, if you’ve got a nonperforming writer, try to team him up with a performing writer.” “Well, I’m trying to think what’s a negative about being a nonperforming songwriter who is self-published. It’s probably the easy way to go, being self-published, because you don’t have to


worry about trying to do a deal because if you’re self-published then no money’s coming in and you’re not losing anything by it. You won’t have any pressures as such. It’s just that your own pride may cause you, like anybody would...any endeavour you undertake you want to succeed at it, so, yeah...it’s a hard one really.” “To a certain extent but, again, it comes down to what you’re writing. You know, if it’s any good...it’s how proactive you are. Honestly, you cannot imagine the number of enquiries we get from people who...I’ll give you an example: yesterday a kid rings up saying “I want a publishing deal” and I say “why do you want a publishing deal?”

anything.

56

A

Self-publishing success depends on an individual’s attributes; It all comes down to the music at the end of the day.

“Well, I’ve been writing loads of songs in my bedroom for the last twelve months so I think I’m at the stage, I’m ready for a publishing deal.” Depends on the individual...but more importantly it’s the songs.

So I said, “Okay, you think you’re ready for a publishing deal. Now why should I give you an advance to publish your songs?” And he goes, “Well I think they’re good.” I said, “Yeah, well, the only way you’re going to find out if they’re any good is if someone else likes them so you need to send me some demos. Have you done any recording?”

57

A

It all comes down to the music at the end of the day.

The song needs to be good.

139

“No.”” “So you’ve got loads of all those types of enquiries. They have no idea but they just know that you need a publishing deal, you need a publishing deal. So that’s where they go, they start to follow that route; but there’s a lot more to it than just “I want a publishing deal”. Because they don’t see it from the angle of the publisher themselves, trying to exploit those songs; because for


A

Marketing and promotion are important; Internet technologies have their advantages but they are not the be all and end all.

To market yourself, play live. Create buzz from live and get newspaper articles...and SNSs.

59

A

Networks and relationships are very important but they take time to develop and they need to be organic.

Organic growth is necessary.

60

A

58

Networks and relationships are very important but they take time to develop and they need to be organic.

Need to build up base...organically and slowly.

140

fan

every one writer there’s probably another thousand out there trying to do exactly the same thing. They’re trying to get their songs to be released as a track, so it’s hard work; and unless they’re wonderful...we get demos through all the time and you listen to it, thirty seconds, and if the first one’s crap then more than likely the last one is going to be crap to. You know, you get guys in their sixties, sixty-odd year old with his guitar saying “I think my songs are good enough for so and so and so and so”, and I’m thinking...” “How can they market themselves? If you’re a self-publisher and you’re going to market yourself, the only route there is to market yourself is to play live. The one and only...Once you’ve got the buzz circling around you because you’re a good live act and your songs are good, then you go into the realms of getting newspaper articles written about you, and that’s where the buzz comes from. That’s part of marketing yourself. Of course, you’ve got social networking sites. And if you’ve got friends and friends. You know, MySpace. If you’ve got good music people hit you up. We had one girl, she has something like 30 000 hits – she’s still never been released. It depends on...you’ve got to back that up with other things. The Arctic Monkeys, their success was mainly through MySpace...and it’s the network of a friend telling a friend, saying “this is a good band”. And the fact is the Arctic Monkeys were a good band. They had something different about them that were different from all the other bands.” “It was an organic growth thing, just like the Rage Against The Machine – their Christmas single. That was because people joined together and had a collective single thought. The objective was not to allow one of Simon Cowell’s crappy bands to be number one. And that’s how you market yourself, using that collective to generate...to achieve the objective.” “Now then, if you’re going to market yourself, you’re basically marketing yourself to the music industry. And the buzz is built up from the music industry and the record labels; because they’re the ones who are going to take the interest in you. You


61

62

A

A

63

A

64

A

65

A

66

A

Knowledge is key. Internet technologies have their advantages but they are not the be all and end all; Marketing and promotion are important. Networks and relationships are very important but they take time to develop and they need to be organic. Marketing and promotion are important.

Knowing your customers.

Internet is direct and quicker but it’s still word of mouth.

Networks have to be organic. A non-performing self-publisher would find it hard to market themselves.

Internet technologies have their advantages but they are not the be all and end all.

Utilisation of new technologies may have some benefit but how much is questionable.

Marketing and promotion are important.

Need to do something drastic to get attention.

141

want to have some sort of fan base to get them interested; and in that sense, unless you’ve built up your fan base, you’re not going to get that record deal. And you can only build up your fan base by being good at what you do. Hard work.” “Yeah, exactly. And we knew that when a night was on it was always sold out...So when a release went out, we knew we’d have sales of a thousand which generated money to pay the next thing. The social networking sites are basically a more digital version of that.” “Yeah. Direct and quicker. But with those digital networking sites, it’s not all genuine. In principle it’s still word of mouth.” “So going back to what I was saying, your network has to be organic and they have to genuinely want to be a part of what you’re doing as an artist or a writer. So these social networking sites are a bit of a fallacy in a sense but it’s quick.” “Yeah. It would be very hard...” “Yeah, it’s questionable because as I was pointing out before, in the old days you were competing with, say, probably a hundred people in the business on a particular release date. Now you’re competing with thousands on the same day and the consumer is overwhelmed by the amount of stuff that is coming at him, so what does the consumer do? He will only narrow his focus to what they want.” “So if you’re coming in as a new self-published writer you’re going to have to do something drastic to get my attention because it’s very, very hard. I remember when mp3 first started, the record label mp3.com. We got the guy who started the label over here, at In The City. Because I met him at a conference in Las Vegas and everybody was sort of going, “oh wow. Everyone can have an outlet. Great, great, great”. But he also recognised that, because you’re on the website, you’ve got to do something to generate interest in your product, otherwise you’ll just be


67

A

Networks and relationships are very important but they take time to develop and they need to be organic.

68

A

Marketing and promotion are important.

New income streams - DVDs

69

A

Self-publishing can be done but...

Self-publishing songwriter can’t compete but it depends on what they want to achieve.

70

A

Networks and relationships are very important but they take time

Need to have the network in place but also the music.

Size isn’t everything.

142

there – one of a thousand.” “Yeah, you’re just there. And the same in a publishing company. If you’re a writer within a big publisher, you’re just one of a thousand writers. And there’s certain publishers, like ourselves, who will sell themselves to writers, saying “we might be small but you’ve got our undivided attention. You know, we’re looking out for you. We’re gonna work on your stuff to generate income because if we don’t generate income through you we ain’t going to be...income.” If you go to Universal, they’ll give you a big advance but then you become one of a whole long list. Now then, Sony, they’re a big company but they’ve got a small company mentality in so far as their roster of artists (I’m talking about the UK one, the UK office), their roster of writers are not that big...they’re building up but at the moment they’ve not got a huge, huge amount.” “That’s the next thing because there’s a whole stream of different formats of putting your music out (you know: digital; CDs; vinyl, and so on). One of the big sellers is DVDs because people now are very, I would say...they’re more receptive to DVDs – they want to see moving pictures with the songs as well. I think DVDs would be the one thing to help market themselves and there’s a means of putting their product out.” “No. I don’t think they can compete at all. It just depends on what they want to achieve. It’s about what they want to achieve rather than compete because if they want to compete: you can’t compete against Sony; you can’t compete against Universal; you can’t compete against people like Chrysalis: and the minor ones like Kobalt (you can’t compete with Kobalt); and you go further down, Bucks Music and all those smaller but nimble publishing companies...whether they compete with us; they can’t compete with us...because we’ve already got the connections. But the fact is, the one and only differentiation amongst everybody is: whoever the self-published writer is, if their music is the bomb then they can fucking kick everybody’s ass...” “Yeah. You know, the establishment have their network in place but if we don’t have the kickass music...”


to develop and they need to be organic; It all comes down to the music at the end of the day. A

Self-publishing can be done but...

Go and try self-publishing because you can always change your mind.

72

A

Networks and relationships are very important but they take time to develop and they need to be organic.

Need to trust whoever you sign with.

73

B

Self-publishing success depends on an individual’s attributes.

What does individual want to achieve?

74

B

Networks and relationships are very important but they take time to develop and they need to be organic.

Make the most of networking opportunities...always be equipped.

75

B

Marketing and promotion are important.

Business Cards

76

B

71

Networks and relationships are very important but they take time

Follow up on a lead.

143

“Yeah, go ahead and do it, because don’t forget you can always change your mind. If you are self-published and you’re earning money, trust me, someone will say “come with me and I will increase your income”...” “All you’ll have to do now is see if you can trust who you’re getting into bed with. Because that’s what it comes down to. Like I said, this guy, his publisher...he just couldn’t trust him anymore and he had to pay him to get out [of] the deal because he wanted all his rights back. He just couldn’t trust him. Because there are unscrupulous people involved...I’ve seen people come to me and say “what do you think of this deal?”, and they’ve been crap. And I’ve said to them “it is crap but it’s what you want to do with it; whether you want to trust this person and get into bed with them in the deal.” Because once you’re in there, you’re stuck.” “Well I think as with most things in life it’s up to the individual to focus on what they want to achieve; and if they have a vision of what they’d like to achieve then karmically sometimes...doors open and contacts are made that might not otherwise have opened had someone gone in blind. However, in the same way, I think we could say that as socially we make friends, things happen that are not always pre-destined (or maybe they are!).” “It’s also about, if there are networking opportunities, for example the PRS for Music, PPL, the British Academy and AIM are organisations that, if you work at it, and make sure you spend the time to read their information on their websites and get along to meetings, things can happen...it’s making sure you’re always equipped.” “So it’s standard practice for anyone to have a business card that says what you are (whether it’s a songwriter, mixer, session musician, manager, or publisher).” “Also, what is even more important is when you’ve met with somebody, and if you think they’re going to be of help to you, is


to develop and they need to be organic.

B

Networks and relationships are very important but they take time to develop and they need to be organic; Knowledge is key.

Take advantage of organisations’ offerings.

B

Networks and relationships are very important but they take time to develop and they need to be organic; Knowledge is key.

Business Link business advice.

79

B

Networks and relationships are very important but they take time to develop and they need to be organic.

Creative communities are good for knowledge but don’t enhance career...there are timewasters...but, again, it’s the individual.

80

B

Self-publishing success depends on an individual’s attributes.

Managing time...what do you want to achieve?

81

B

A self-publishing entity requires an effective infrastructure be in place.

First of all, get the administration right in order to make money.

82

B

Exploitation opportunities need to be found and taken advantage of.

Be aware of different opportunities...synchronisations.

83

B

Exploitation opportunities need to be found and taken advantage of.

If you’re a good songwriter, getting cover records is a strong area...tip

77

78

144

traditional

to follow it up (if not that day then the next). Follow it up so people can see how you’re working at what you want, and they know you are serious.” “Other organisations that are worth looking at that aren’t always in focus but worth approaching are Music Ally, and another one called Song-Tank run by some top songwriters. It’s not exactly elitist but they expect those people that are on it to be serious about what they’re doing. People like Rob Davies who wrote ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Head’, and Wayne Hector...they sometimes go on it, so you can meet on ground level. I don’t think bulk emails to publishers will work...it is like throwing mud to the wall, or a chocolate pie...it’s a case of focusing.” “One really good thing to do is to get involved with Business Link because they offer practical help as business advisers – help you set up a company as a songwriter, or a publisher, and help you get focused and achieve what you want.” “Creative communities are good for gaining knowledge and developing networks but I wouldn’t say they would enhance someone’s career. There are people who hang around these communities and become time wasters, and people know; but, again, it’s about the individual, and the personal strive.” “It’s about management of your time and what you want to achieve as a music publisher.” “The most important thing is first of all getting the administration right (registering the songs correctly with the collection societies). It’s no good promoting a song and the registration and administration is not taken care of, because it couldn’t collect and you wouldn’t make your money.” “..You need to be aware of the different ways music can be promoted. So as a publisher you might want to put up some money for an independent release for an artist who you think can’t get a release by a record company. At the moment, there is also the big area...everyone wants to get their music used on films and TV, and have audio-visual productions.” “But if you’ve got a really good songwriter, I mean with outstandingly good songs, getting cover records is a very strong


sheets. 84

B

Self-publishing success depends on an individual’s attributes.

Look at music and ask what you want to achieve.

85

B

Exploitation opportunities need to be found and taken advantage of.

Look for opportunities.

86

B

Music publishing companies offer various services and provide numerous benefits.

Admin, promotion and collection are important.

87

B

Sub-publishers important.

Sub-publishers are incredibly important...collection societies can only do so much.

88

B

Internet technologies have their advantages but they are not the be all and end all.

89

B

90

B

are

very

Networks and relationships are very important but they take time to develop and they need to be organic; Internet technologies have their advantages but they are not the be all and end all Internet technologies have their advantages but they are not the be all and end all.

It’s what you make of technologies...they can provide opportunities.

area. SongLink is good for that. It’s a magazine, you can get it in emails or a magazine something like every three or six months...It’s a way of finding out internationally who is looking for songs...” “It’s looking at the writer’s music and trying to decide what they want to achieve again. It’s about what their aims are.” “You need to be always looking for opportunities. Occasionally I notice a TV programme and hear something and go “Oh...” and contact the production company to see if that writer has a publisher. Wherever there might be an avenue.” “Fundamentally I’d say it’s about admin, promotion and finally, making sure that the royalties are collected and accounted for properly.” “Incredibly important. There are a lot of people who think that because they belong to the collection societies that all their money is going to be gotten. It’s not the case. You know, some publishers might represent you for as little as 10% administration fee...but having someone out there who can speak the language and deal with queries...Having someone in most territories...they will know rules, how record companies work, custom and practices.” “I think really, again, it’s what you make of it. I think it has been great that songwriters can now create songs like they’re playing chess - in the same way socially you can play chess people can write songs internationally. Their creativity is opened to a lot of opportunities. But also, the market is flooded.” “The internet can open the doors but I think it’s still very much about the personal contact.”

Still very much about personal contact. MySpace – ease of viewing and testing out music.

145

“The most important is MySpace because what’s changed, whereas in the past you’d listen to a song and then go along and see how the audience responded, if you look on their MySpace and they have 300 views and then someone else has 30 000, it


91

B

Internet technologies have their advantages but they are not the be all and end all.

Mp3 good...but do people listen as intently as putting in a CD?

92

B

Internet technologies have their advantages but they are not the be all and end all.

Online technologies...immediacy.

93

B

Self-publishing success depends on an individual’s attributes.

B

Self-publishing can be done but...; Self-publishing success depends on an individual’s attributes.

Can self-publish but have you got the capabilities?

95

B

Networks and relationships are very important but they take time to develop and they need to be organic.

Find a partner; find counsel.

96

B

Self-publishing can be done but...

Self-publishing is domestically; overseas different story.

97

C

Internet technologies have their advantages but they are not the be all and end all.

94

Individual approach, professionalism and ambition.

viable is a

Music industry too slow to react to technology.

146

puts a different slant on how you approach them.” “Well mp3 has been absolutely brilliant hasn’t it? You can listen to it straight away. But I am dubious as to whether people listen to them as intently as they do to a CD in a post, where they put it in their computer...” “Being able to deliver music with WAV files. Also being able to stream music and have music on their website...which must be licensed. And...just the immediacy.” “It’s about how they approach their business, how professional they are, and how they take the time and trouble to meet people. They need to be ambitious. Still about building personal contacts and having that personal touch.” “It’s like most things in life...you can do it yourself...but it’s whether you’ve got the capabilities, have you got the aptitude? It’s knowing how to do correct registrations...but it’s down to the individual.” “It would be very good to have some advice...to find a company to take advantage of in being able to register your songs, do your administration. You could find a partner who will be helpful, whether it’s a boyfriend or a girlfriend to handle the admin etc. Looking after it all is quite a task and you have to have particular flair for doing that. But it’s down to the individual. We all need counsel, help in one way or another. Most of the people I’ve met have a manager that helps them or someone who is working alongside them, whether it’s a friend who becomes a manager, or an administrator.” “Yes...it’s possible. I’d say domestically, but when it gets overseas, unless you’ve got the money, there are limitations. It’s difficult to be...What’s most clear is to be really creative, the best, but then you’re having your head filled with “How does the business need running? I need to meet with...” You could end up being brain damaged. I’d encourage them to get a partner.” “..In truth, the music industry as a whole has been too slow to react to technology, and it will take a number of years before it truly understands where the best solutions and partnerships lie to


make a healthier future.” “Is it possible for a songwriter to successfully self-publish? Yes, absolutely, but the parameters are huge. Who are we talking about? A self-published songwriter? A self-published, self-releasing artist/songwriter? 98

C

Self-publishing can be done but...

Can self-publish but parameters are huge.

A self-published, self-managed, self-releasing artist/songwriter? Someone whose royalties don’t surpass £3000 a year or someone who is earning in excess of £20,000 from their songs per annum? Are they still active or do they just have a catalogue of songs from when they were active?

99

C

Self-publishing can be done but...

100

C

Self-publishing can be done but...; Self-publishing success depends on an individual’s attributes.

101

C

Self-publishing success depends on an individual’s attributes.

For a proper living it is a full-time job.

Those writers with the capabilities usually choose not to self-publish.

It’s whether a creative person wants to spend their time and effort doing it.

147

And so on….” “First off, if you expect to make a proper living out of it, then it’s a full time job. Hopefully they’ll still find time to be creative.” “Those songwriters that do ‘control’ their own rights, and that are fully capable of doing so, usually decide not to. They nearly always employ the assistance of someone to actually do the work for them. I’m talking about really smart people here, who if they weren’t writing and/or performing they’d be very successful in whatever career path they’d decided to take.” “I feel it is less of whether it’s possible and more a question of whether creative person wishes to spend their time and effort doing it. In my experience, the majority of creatively gifted people don’t have any desire to do it, let alone the wherewithal to actually make it happen. As previously stated, those that do have the nous, usually choose not to.”


102

103

104

C

C

C

Networks and relationships are very important but they take time to develop and they need to be organic. Networks and relationships are very important but they take time to develop and they need to be organic; Knowledge is key.

Marketing and promotion are important; Self-publishing success depends on an individual’s attributes.

Self-publishers are capable of developing their own network...it’s easier now.

“A self-publishing songwriter is fully capable of developing their own network of contacts. In my opinion, the industry is a far easier place to move around in to 15 years ago.”

Becoming members of collection societies is really straight forward.

“Becoming full members of collection societies in their own territory and those abroad is all fairly straight-forward. Strong language skills will really help.”

It’s difficult to be acknowledged.

“Servicing music supervision companies, TV/film production companies and advertising agencies with their material is one thing, but (depending on their level of achievement or “success”) at times it will be difficult for these people to even acknowledge them.

105

C

Self-publishing success depends on an individual’s attributes.

Successful songwriter mix...music is the main thing.

106

C

Self-publishing success depends on an individual’s attributes.

Successful songwriter mix is hard to come by.

107

C

Music publishing companies offer various services and provide numerous benefits.

Can think of music publishers as banks.

108

C

Internet technologies have their advantages but they are not the be all and end all.

New technology has sped up ‘getting notice’.

148

Same goes for record company A&R, record producers and artist management.” “I know of one self-published writer who has been incredibly successful. He has that rare mix of business acumen, a strong work ethic, self belief, a huge amount of ambition/drive, and to top it off he’s also capable of writing a decent tune. Let’s face it; if you can’t do the last bit well then the rest of this is purely academic.” “For every one of him, there are thousands of other songwriters/artists that simply don’t have that mix of attributes (or the desire). Incidentally, the more success he has had, the more he signed various deals.” “Like many, he now thinks of publishers predominantly as a bank. They finance his activities and he still retains a lot of control. However, they make introductions for him that he’d never achieve on his own.” “New technology has helped speed up the “getting noticed” stage of a writer/artist, and as you quite rightly say, it has lowered the barriers for entry… some say it has also lowered the quality too, but I think that’s because there’s more music getting through than before. Anyone that had to go through the demo box (es) every week will know how bad it’s always been.”


C

Self-publishing can be done but...; Self-publishing success depends on an individual’s attributes.

Non-performing? Then need to be producing.

110

C

Self-publishing can be done but...; Internet technologies; Marketing and promotion are important.

More plausible to self-publish nowadays: digital recordings; SNSs; marketing tools.

111

C

Sub-publishers important.

Sub-publishers are invaluable...localised knowledge.

109

112

C

113

C

are

very

Networks and relationships are very important but they take time to develop and they need to be organic. Networks and relationships are very important but they take time to develop and they need to be organic.

Socialising overlap.

and

work

could

Relationships are vital but easier to maintain if organic...provide opportunities.

“If you’re a non-performing songwriter then you need to be a ‘producing’ songwriter. If you’re not able to do that, then you’re going to find it difficult. For someone to do it all on their own, then they have to be able to bring more than just a few chords and some lyrics to the table. That’s just from my experience though.” “It’s a far more plausible scenario to self-publish nowadays and for artists to self-release because of the ease of digital recording. The accessibility of social networking helps them market themselves as there are endless free marketing tools available.” “It makes the world a smaller place, and communications with your society in France or Germany or the States is easier because of it, but having someone on the ground in that specific territory is invaluable. The questions of ‘community’ and sustaining relationships are exactly where sub publishers come into their own. Very simply, localised knowledge is the real key to why people use subpublishers. When you consider your own relationships within the industry you realise that being sat at a computer counts for very little when you need something to be done two thousand miles away, by people you’ve never met.” “A lot of creative industries overlap. For 99% of the population, music is an interest/hobby. So for me, socialising and work overlap because of that.” “No matter what industry you are in, relationships are vital, but they are a lot easier to sustain if they are organic, and I have found that the longer you work within these industries, the further your network stretches. You tend to have friends in creative industries (or perhaps that is just a coincidence). If the common interest you share with a business contact is also your day to day work, then those relationships are easier to maintain. You tend to hear about an opportunity over a drink, and there are times when the most creative ideas come from the time spent

149


114

C

Exploitation opportunities need to be found and taken advantage of.

New income streams are useful but only if providing an opportunity to exploit.

115

C

Self-publishing success depends on an individual’s attributes.

Depends on individual...theory okay but need to put it into practice.

116

C

117

C

118

C

It’s easy to set up a publishing company.

Easy to set up but for maintenance money is an issue.

119

C

It all comes down to the music at the end of the day.

Songs matter.

120

C

Self-publishing success depends on an individual’s attributes.

121

C

Knowledge is key.

Music publishing companies offer various services and provide numerous benefits. Music publishing companies offer various services and provide numerous benefits.

Benefits of a publishing company.

“socially” as opposed to a forced meeting. So maintaining them becomes second nature.” “We will exploit in all areas that we feel there are opportunities. You are of course aided/restricted with the type of copyrights you represent and how relevant the new revenue streams are to them. How many Charles Mingus ringtones did I sell last year?” “It depends on who they are. I’ve met some who are crazy to want to do it. Anyone who thinks they can learn how to be a publisher from a text book will be in for a very big surprise. It’ll familiarise you with terminology, but putting it into practice is a completely different proposition.” “Knowledge/Experience/Contacts. Support – creatively, financially and legally.” “Whenever I encounter such situations I have encouraged the writer to at least consider someone to take care of the administration (the registration and royalty process).” “Really easy to set up (when you know what you’re doing). To maintain: it depends on your overheads and running costs. Money is the only real consideration to be able to maintain it.

Administration.

What do you want to achieve? Formal business education cannot hurt.

150

For low maintenance you can register with PRS For Music and have them collect everything and everywhere on your behalf. That’ll leave you to just open the post/emails from them each month and check with the bank that the money has arrived. I wouldn’t call that maintaining things though.” “Of course, none of it is possible unless you have the songs.” “It’s not a question of whether they able to compete, it is to what level they can operate and exist. If you continue to raise and achieve your expectations then it doesn’t matter about the competition.” “It can’t hurt. I guess it depends at what level they’re operating. A good grasp of basic numbers would be very handy, so too some business skills, but I’m sure you can apply that to any


walk of life just managing your own finances etc. To understand record and publishing royalties that people might be offered to them in a deal can only be a good thing. It never fails to amaze me the bad decisions that songwriters/musicians make when deciding who to work with. I suppose that it might always be that way – it’s what makes them who they are / do what they do.

C

Networks and relationships are very important but they take time to develop and they need to be organic.

Those relationships that are going to bring work in are the most important.

123

C

Networks and relationships are very important but they take time to develop and they need to be organic.

Management and record label are important relationships.

124

G

Self-publishing can be done but...

Self-publishing is a good idea but watch out for the majors.

125

G

126

G

122

A self-publishing entity requires an effective infrastructure be in place. Music publishing companies offer various services and provide

Need strong infrastructure. Publishers are basically bank...it’s the songs that matter. 151

a

I certainly won’t say it’s unnecessary. If someone actually gives consideration to self-publishing themselves, then an additional business sense can’t be a bad thing. Especially when you have to deal with some of the people employed by PRS For Music.” “As a self-publishing (non-releasing) songwriter then the most important relationships are those that are going to bring you work. Whether that’s artists, producers or fellow songwriters, or its management, record and publishing companies, all of these will be important to you. Without them you’re simply not going to make a living from being a songwriter.” “As a self-publishing (artist) songwriter relationships are still important, but the ones with your management and record label are obviously the closest, most meaningful. Again, without their involvement, you’re not going to earn very much. You’d also want your radio/tv plugger to be doing whatever they can for you as national radio play (in the form of A, B or even C list on BBC) will generate income too.” “Self publishing is a good idea but the problem is if one of the major’s seen that one of your songs is of influence, you might have a melody that somebody might see, if it’s going to be released, you cannot afford them in court. They can demand the big boys.” “Good idea but you have to have infrastructure with service cash flow.” “Key elements: if the track is a kicking track, big publishers are only very good if you need the money.”


127

G

128

G

129

G

130

131

G

H

numerous benefits. Networks and relationships are very important but they take time to develop and they need to be organic; Marketing and promotion are important. Internet technologies have their advantages but they are not the be all and end all. Self-publishing success depends on an individual’s attributes. Networks and relationships are very important but they take time to develop and they need to be organic. Self-publishing done.

CANNOT

be

“The music industry only has one door handle – from the inside.” Music industry. “I think online tools are a bit of a blag – they can’t guarantee it.” Online tools are no guarantee. Down to individual.

“I think the industry is what you make of it.” “It’s all about lawyers and monies.”

Relationships with lawyers and finance are important. “The self publishing songwriter is making a grave error and should find a publisher as soon as possible. Self-publishing is a bad idea. Basically, you can’t be a songwriter and run all the admin. Both are full time jobs I think.”

152


153


Appendix 5 b: Full Coding Table for Online Services Companies’ Answers (Interviewees D and E) Ref

Interviewee

Theme

Code

132

D

Internet technologies have their advantages but they are not the be all and end all.

Internet works the same way for performing songwriters; nonperformer things haven’t changed.

133

D

Music publishing companies offer various services and provide numerous benefits.

For covers of songs a publishing company is still the best place to go.

134

D

Internet technologies have their advantages but they are not the be all and end all.

Still not many opportunities to get your music heard.

135

D

Music publishing companies offer various services and provide numerous benefits.

Company puts music forward for briefs.

136

D

137

D

Music publishing companies offer various services and provide numerous benefits; Networks and relationships are very important but they take time to develop and they need to be organic. Networks and relationships are very important but they take time to develop and they need to be

Level playing field...help develop contacts. Partnership with online distribution aggregator...quid pro quo.

Quote “I think it depends because if songwriters that write their own music and perform their own music then I think it works the same way. If you’ve got the songs and you perform them as well...you can get your music heard a lot easier than you could do in the past. But I think with...if you were a songwriter and not a performer, I don’t think, so far, things have changed that much for you.” “Personally I think that if you’re looking to get your songs sung by someone else it’s still...a publishing company is probably still the way it’s going to happen – certainly if you’re gonna have, if you’re gonna make a living off it. You know, to the point where you didn’t have to have another job?” “I still don’t think there’s that many opportunities to get your music heard. But if you do perform as well as sing, write your own songs, then...you’ve got just as much chance as anyone else on the internet.” “Well I guess that’s like with Sentric, that’s the kind of thing we’re doing. Someone has just been telling me on the phone that they’re really happy [with] the fact that they get to put their music forward for briefs that we receive because we’ve got lots of contacts in TV, film, gaming and advertising.” “And so, in the past...it’s really difficult to make contact with these kinds of people but we help them to do that; and everyone’s got a level playing field. If someone does have great music, we’ll put it forward and then hopefully the agent, or the production company, will use it.” “Yeah, that’s kind of...they’re doing the distribution side of things. That’s something we do a little bit but that’s not really our aim to do that. They’ve got a lot of artists, independent


organic.

138

D

Self-publishing can be done but...; Self-publishing success depends on an individual’s attributes.

Self-publishing is a good thing...Ignorant to money owed.

139

D

Self-publishing success depends on an individual’s attributes.

Being proactive – it’s a good thing.

140

D

Self-publishing can be done but...

A self-publisher can be sustainable but not enough to earn a living.

141

D

Music publishing companies offer various services and provide numerous benefits.

Publishing companies still hold the key.

142

D

Music publishing companies offer various services and provide numerous benefits.

We make it easy as possible for them to collect royalties.

143

D

Music publishing companies offer various services and provide numerous benefits.

We make sure they get everything.

144

D

Music publishing companies offer

Simple process if you’re already a 155

artists, that could...” “I think it’s a good thing. People...some songwriters don’t even handle it in any way. They don’t do anything. A lot of people that we deal with don’t realise that they’re owed royalties for their music and they don’t just collect them. It’s stupid. You know, you should collect the royalties if they are there, there’s no point in not doing it.” “Yeah, exactly. So if someone is taking an active...trying to collect the royalties themselves or doing it through [us] – that’s a good thing. You’d be getting somewhere with it.” “Yeah. Yeah. I think sustainable as in that it can be a few hundred pound every quarter if it’s PRS royalties and things but it’s still difficult to get to a stage where you’re making a living out of it...” “..Publishing companies still hold the key to getting your songs to the right people.” “Well, what we do is we try to make it as easy as possible for them to collect the royalties that they are owed so the PRS (I don’t know how much you know about the PRS?)...it’s...dealing with them and their online system can be quite difficult. People can do it, I’m not saying it’s impossible, but it’s quite difficult to get the most out of it. Making claims for gigs isn’t that easy; registering tracks; making sure royalties are collected from the past. We try to make it as easy as possible for people to give us their music and the details of their tracks and their gig details through our site.” “Yeah, we just try to make it as easy as possible for them to get the most they can because we find that a lot of people might go “well we’re already members of PRS; we don’t need to join with [you]”, but then if you ask what they’ve done they’ll say that they’ve claimed for a few gigs, or some gig money’s come through. But we ask “have you collected for everything? No, we haven’t”. So we try and make sure they can get everything they can really.” “It’s just simple. When they register the songs with us they just


various services and numerous benefits.

provide

aren’t

145

D

Collection societies adequate enough.

146

D

Music publishing companies offer various services and provide numerous benefits.

member of the PRS.

PRS introduced new system so registration should be quicker.

Mainly perform royalty collection.

147

D

Networks and relationships are very important but they take time to develop and they need to be organic.

148

D

Music publishing companies offer various services and provide numerous benefits.

Royalty collection and sync.

149

D

Music publishing companies offer various services and provide numerous benefits.

Send out briefs and personal preferences...look through catalogue.

Contacts in America

156

have to add their CE number, which is the PRS membership number. And that’s it. And if they have a Tunecode as well for the songs that are on their system, the PRS system, we can just then amend them instead of registering new tracks. It’s very simple. It just works exactly the same way.” “It has been. It used to be that you got...it used to be 28 working days it would take but that’s changed now. They’ve introduced a new system called ICE, which is their back-end system..of the PRS. Apparently it’s going to take about two days, although it’s been over two months now but they haven’t updated their systems.” “Well...the base level is the royalty collection. We help artists to collect money through the PRS and the MCPS as well.” “And we can also...if someone is doing well in America, we’ve got contacts over there that can help us collect money through BMI and ASCAP as well. It’s not something that we do too much because most artists aren’t really at that level where they’re getting money from the US but if, say, we’ve got some people on MTV and other TV programmes and stuff over in America, we then make sure that they get the royalties from them as well.” “It’s quite a lot, yeah. So royalty collection is the first level and then sync is the other side of what we do. TV, advertising, film, gaming are the main areas...and that’s not just in Britain. We’ve got contacts: a lot in America; a few in Australia; a few in Europe. So, yeah, all over the place really.” “It works two ways really. One level is that we send out briefs to our artists...if we’ve got enough time, we send out briefs to artists for them to look over. We had one the other day for Samsung and they’re doing a new 3D TV. They sent us the advert and said what music they were looking for. We send the details and suggestions over to the artists for them to see if they’ve got anything. They send them in then we listen to them and choose the best ones to send off. As well as that, we also look through our catalogue of people that we know are good


D

It all comes down to the music at the end of the day.

A lot of music sent in isn’t great.

D

Music publishing companies offer various services and provide numerous benefits; Networks and relationships are very important but they take time to develop and they need to be organic.

They have a creative side – need artists to help them out.

152

D

Music publishing companies offer various services and provide numerous benefits; Internet technologies have their advantages but they are not the be all and end all.

Offer online distribution.

153

D

Internet technologies have their advantages but they are not the be all and end all.

Sales more than royalties.

D

Music publishing companies offer various services and provide numerous benefits; It’s about what’s best for the artist.

Always trying to improve services and give artists what they want.

150

151

154

155

D

Exploitation opportunities need to be found and taken advantage of.

Main opportunities are in TV advertising.

156

D

Networks and relationships are

Good sync contacts. 157

quality musicians, and see if they’ve got anything, and send them off as well.” “Yeah. If we’ve got the time to send the briefs out, we send them out to everyone that’s signed up. If someone does have something that is brilliant, we will hear it and we will put it forward. A lot of people do send music that isn’t great but there’s nothing we can do about that.” “Yeah, because as I said there’s only a few of us...there’s three of us who work in the office mainly so we can’t know the music of 1800 artists off the top of our heads so we need the artists to help us out really.” “We also do the distribution for iTunes and Spotify now. That came about just because artists were asking for it: how do you get music on iTunes? And, again, how do you get it on Spotify? And because we do speak to a lot of independent artists who haven’t got managers or labels to tell them about these things, we thought we’ll do that for them if they want it. We don’t make much money out of it at all but if it’s there for the artists, if they want it.” “I said royalties – it’s probably more sales. I mean, yeah, there’s royalties as well through the PRS but sales come direct from iTunes, so we pay that. And Spotify – we’re yet to receive anything from Spotify so we’ll see how much that is, if anything.” “Oh, we’re always trying to improve what we offer. At the moment there’s no real change in the service but we’re trying to update the website a lot.” “It depends really. The main focus has really been...the most opportunities we get are for advertising, TV advertising. That’s what we receive briefs for most of the time. But that’s not...we also spend quite a lot of time looking for TV placements, both in the UK and in the US.” “We’ve got very good contacts...”


very important but they take time to develop and they need to be organic. Networks and relationships are very important but they take time to develop and they need to be organic.

157

D

Contacts in gaming are improving.

158

D

It’s about what’s best for the artist.

Have a general contract.

159

D

It’s about what’s best for the artist.

We need a contract but not trying to rip anybody off.

160

D

Music publishing companies offer various services and provide numerous benefits; It’s about what’s best for the artist.

We don’t royalties.

161

D

Exploitation opportunities need to be found and taken advantage of.

Mainly exploit gigs and radio royalties.

162

D

Exploitation opportunities need to be found and taken advantage of.

Want to improve royalties and syncs.

163

D

Networks and relationships are

Network took a few years to

keep

158

any

of

the

“Also, our contacts in gaming are improving. We’ve done a bit of work with a company in Liverpool who make games (I can’t remember their names; they’re based in Speke)...Yeah, we’ve tried to find music for them which has gone quite well.” “We just have a general contract which is on the site. So once you’ve registered on the site, before you add a track you have to agree to the contract. It’s just a lot easier to do it that way. It could be done by paper but we’ve spoken to various lawyers and they said we can do it online and it works.” “If we’re dealing with the tracks, with the PRS and things, we need to have some kind of permission to do that. That’s why there needs to be a contract there. You know, the bottom line is, people can leave our service with 28 days notice, and at the end of that time you have nothing to do with [us] anymore. You know, we’re not trying to rip anybody off, and at the end of that time, you’re free.” “If people register with us, we take a 20% cut of any PRS royalties. But that’s it. They can do whatever they want with their music, and if they ever want to leave, they can leave. That’s it really. We’re not trying to take anything else away from them.” “Exploited through the PRS, the main things we do are the gigs. It’s quite a big area...and then also radio royalties really are probably another area.” “Yeah, there’s plenty of briefs coming through. I mean, we do get a lot of sync. We do make most of our money off the royalties side of things at the moment, and we hope that in the future the royalties will continue. And as we get more artists who’ve got better music that sync agents will want to use that that will improve as well. You know, we’ve done quite well getting syncs in the past...the past couple of years...but you always want to improve.” “It’s kind of developed really. Most of our contacts are people


very important but they take time to develop and they need to be organic.

develop.

D

Networks and relationships are very important but they take time to develop and they need to be organic.

Network has been difficult to establish.

165

D

Networks and relationships are very important but they take time to develop and they need to be organic.

Not easy to develop a network...companies won’t speak to an individual artist.

166

D

Self-publishing success depends on an individual’s attributes.

It’s all about reputation.

167

D

Self-publishing success depends on an individual’s attributes.

Again, it’s all about reputation.

168

D

164

Music publishing companies offer various services and provide numerous benefits; Internet technologies have their

The company doesn’t facilitate community...SNSs do it much better: Facebook; MySpace etc.

159

we’ve just contacted and said (you know, this is over a couple of years): “We’ve got this music, we’ve got all these bands, do you want to listen to them? Do you want to add them to your briefing lists so we can pitch tracks to you as well?” And over a couple of years, you get to know people as well...and if we’ve had contacts ourselves, we use them as well.” “It has been difficult ‘cause the bigger the company that you’re dealing with... Yeah, because they’ve got the contacts in all the major publishers and for them some small indie band, or something like that, isn’t of interest to them as much; so we haven’t got any recognised catalogue really. We’ve got a few bands that are doing quite well these days but we haven’t got massive hits from the eighties or nineties so it has been difficult in some ways with certain companies, to get in the door with them. But others have embraced it. So it’s been a bit of both really.” “No, it’s not that easy. Generally, a lot of companies, I think, in the world of sync, wouldn’t really talk to just an individual artist if they just rang up or sent them an email. They’re not going to pay attention to it ‘cause while you think about one person, there’s hundreds of people doing exactly the same. There’s no way they can do it.” “I think with songwriters it’s all about your reputation. You know, if you’ve written a song which has done well for someone else then people will listen to what you’re saying; but if you don’t have a reputation then I do think it’s difficult to get in the door with anyone really. But that’s publishers and sync agents – they’re both the same. People won’t pay much attention unless you’ve got a reputation.” “Again, if the publishing company they were saying had a reputation then people would listen so... Yeah. I think reputation still goes a long way. Yeah, being heard of, it does help.” “No. We don’t really do much in the way of community at the moment. Our artists sign with us and we don’t really have any features for them to speak to our other artists. You always...you know, in Web 2.0 world, it’s always “Let’s make a social


advantages but they are not the be all and end all.

169

D

It all comes down to the music at the end of the day.

It’s all about the quality of the songs.

170

D

Music publishing companies offer various services and provide numerous benefits.

The company offers advice.

171

D

Knowledge is key.

Company employees have a background of music at university, industry professionals.

172

D

Self-publishing success depends on an individual’s attributes.

It depends on the individual.

160

network” and things, but we never really felt that that’s gonna work really for us. And there’s that many other good social networks out there for people (Facebook and artists’ MySpace) that what we do, on a very small scale, 1800 people just isn’t going to really do much. We do get a lot of people asking...songwriters getting in contact saying “I’ve just got these songs but no one to sing them”, you know, “no one to perform them”, so in the future we might go into the world where if you’ve got a song you can put it online so other musicians can hear it. That’s a possibility. It’s certainly not going to happen anytime soon but it’s always something we think about because we do have a lot of people...” “..but then, it’s about the quality of the songs as well. You know, people giving bad quality lyrics or music in general, we can’t be interested.” “Support? I don’t know about support. A lot of people just ring us up with questions about different parts of the music industry and things, and we try and offer the best advice we can to them. Someone rang up today asking, there’s a band they’re in and there’s another band who have got the same name, and what should we do? It’s difficult to give any big guidance (that’s a question for a lawyer), but we can certainly offer advice. I’ve got a lot of people asking me “we’ve got this track, what shall I do next?” So we try to give them advice on what they should do really. Yeah, just try and help as much as we can.” “No. The company was originally set up four years ago now and it was originally set up by two people who went to [a performing arts school], down the road. They just finished uni and that’s it, they’d seen a gap in the market for it so they set up the company. And then me personally, I used to work for [a record label] for about five years...so I’ve been here for about two years now so...yeah, they’ve kind of come from the background of doing music at university so that’s...” “In my experience it seems to really depend on the individual. I come across some songwriters who are very switched on to both the music and business elements of their career and are therefore


173

D

Knowledge is key.

Good education helps but there’s no better experience than learning on the job.

174

D

Knowledge is key.

Education in business and management but also practical experience.

D

Networks and relationships are very important but they take time to develop and they need to be organic.

Self-publishers need a good relationship with collection society.

176

D

Networks and relationships are very important but they take time to develop and they need to be organic.

Need to know the right people in terms of A&R and artists/performers.

177

D

Self-publishing success depends on an individual’s attributes.

Need to be active and get there.

178

E

Internet technologies have their

The

175

Internet

can 161

help

self-

willing to put the effort in to make sure that they're generating as much revenue as possible from their songs. I also come across writers who need help, and they generally fall into two categories: the ones that don't understand about things like the PRS/MCPS/PPL and how they generate royalties/revenue; and, those that just aren't interested as they'd rather focus on doing what they enjoy which is making music.” “I think having a good education can certainly help, especially if you're getting involved in some of the trickier aspects, such as accounting; but I'd also say that there's no better education than learning on the job. Practical experience can't be bettered in my opinion if you want to learn about things, and there's a lot that you won't get taught in the classroom.” “Education in areas such as business and management can certainly be beneficial but this should be done while picking up experience as well, otherwise you'll really be jumping in at the deep end when it comes to dealing some situations.” In relation to publishing, I'd have to say that the best relationship you could have would be with [us]! We can make sure that the writer is earning what they can in royalties and also finding out about sync opportunities, while the writer is still in control of copyright; and this can be important to a lot of independent writers. If we're not talking about [us], I'd say that it's good to make sure you have a good relationship with your local collection society (so in the UK it's the PRS). While it may not be a personal relationship, you keeping them up to date with what you're doing [- it] is important if you're going to generate royalties.” “If a songwriter's looking to get their songs out to other artists, it's a very difficult market to get into but it's all about knowing the right people both in terms of A&R and other artists/performers.” “These relationships can be hard to make but if you're talented enough then these kinds of people will find you as long as you're active enough and getting out there.” “Yes I do. It gives songwriters more scope to find artists to sing


advantages but they are not the be all and end all.

publishing songwriters.

E

Self-publishing can be done but...

Self-publishing can be done.

180

E

Self-publishing success depends on an individual’s attributes; Internet technologies have their advantages but they are not the be all and end all.

It’s down to the individual...the tools are there.

181

E

Internet technologies have their advantages but they are not the be all and end all.

It’s more feasible in today’s climate.

182

E

It all comes down to the music at the end of the day.

Create songs that people are interested in and you can make a living.

183

E

Self-publishing can be done but...

We tell them to do it themselves.

184

E

185

E

179

Music publishing companies offer various services and provide numerous benefits. Music publishing companies offer

We provide administration. We provide distribution. 162

their songs. The internet gives them the chance to keep control of copyrights without having to go somewhere like a major publisher, where a deal may not materialise.” “From these new models, the main thing is to do it themselves. The main reason for going with a publisher is mainly for PR and finance, which is less forthcoming in today’s climate, everything else they can do.” “They’ve got it in their hands to learn and do it themselves. Yes, it’s daunting because they’re new to it and won’t understand the mechanics and how it works, (especially the amount of work involved because administration takes up a huge amount of time), but the tools are there for them to self-promote, to record their music to a high standard, and to promote their songs!” “I do. It’s certainly more feasible now than it was ten-twenty years ago. I think you will see less of big artists, big icons, like The Beatles or Elvis, because it’s more spread out. In regards to the music industry, it’s like socialism through the back door.” “All it will take for a songwriter (who won’t ever get the major publishing deal they seek) to make money out of their products is to create songs that artists are performing and people are interested in. For example, if he gets 5000 people spending £5 or £10 on his products a year, which is feasible due to the scale of the Internet, he has a basis of making a living. Okay, yes, it’s not going to be big sums of money but he can still make a living from their art.” “The main thing [about our service] is that we encourage them to do it in the first place. That’s our number one goal. You know, rather than chase a publishing deal that’s not going to materialise in the end or one that they don’t benefit from, where someone else will have control of the songs, do nothing with them and wait for the money to come in. Put them in a place where they will have the control.” “Our service (currently) also provides administration and distribution for them which is time-consuming...so it will remove a major headache for them.” “We release their music for them through iTunes etc. - online


various services and numerous benefits.

186

E

187

E

188

E

189

E

190

E

provide

Music publishing companies offer various services and provide numerous benefits; Knowledge is key.

Music publishing companies offer various services and provide numerous benefits; Knowledge is key. Music publishing companies offer various services and provide numerous benefits.

Internet technologies have their advantages but they are not the be all and end all.

It’s about what’s best for the artist.

We provide advice and guidance...and build a library.

The company is there to educate.

We focus on synchs and licences.

The future is online.

We have standard contracts but there may be scope for negotiation in the future. It’s what’s best for 163

distribution, which is what 99% of them want anyway. That’s another headache out of the way for them. Also, [we want to] be able to distribute their music in retail.” “We can provide advice in distribution and retail, give advice relating to synchs and, you know, build up a massive library of music that the TV and film industry will come to, to use, once we’re established. From my experience, I’ve seen it happen loads of times throughout the years, TV and film broadcasters are taking advantage of young music makers. You know, they promise them exposure but won’t pay them to use the music. Or they want total control of the copyright. You see it in the big studios in America - studios doing an all-media licence where they only pay $1000 for a track but they own all rights. It’s easy for them because it saves paperwork.” “Our company is there to educate the MySpace generation to say “No, we’re not giving it away. We need to get paid. We want recognition for our music or a royalty.”” “We’ll probably be focusing on synchs and licences when we’re established.” “It will be a mix of everything. The future is online, there is no doubt about it. It’s become a bigger numbers game. Film and TV are going that way anyway. You know, they go online looking for new market...unless there are back catalogues they know they want to use. They go online and are looking for sound-alikes, new stuff. And it will get more like that...using an unknown artist on the internet is cheaper. Unless you’re talking about a specific back catalogue. At the end of the day the synch is down to the director, who might change his mind at the last minute; and unless you’ve got a track that that director wants then they are going to want to save money. It’s true that music is the last thing to be spent on in a film.” “We have standard ones that we use. But as everything else comes along the way things are done might be a little different...negotiable. The power is in their hands, we’re there to


the artist. 191

192

193

E

Exploitation opportunities need to be found and taken advantage of.

Going to exploit all revenue streams.

E

Networks and relationships are very important but they take time to develop and they need to be organic.

It takes years to build up a network...organic growth.

E

Music publishing companies offer various services and provide numerous benefits; Networks and relationships are very important but they take time to develop and they need to be organic.

We get co-writers together and find artists.

194

E

It’s about what’s best for the artist.

It’s about helping the artist.

195

E

Traditional business models no longer matter.

Traditional business models no longer matter.

164

help them but, yeah, if things get bigger and negotiations are wanting to be made, and we approve, then yeah...” “We’re basically going to cover everything available. Everything. You know: digital channels, online, mobiles, TV...” “For the big songwriters, it’s taken years to meet people and build up their network and get their songs in front of people. But we have contacts and people are there...it’s not guaranteed but it can open doors. The more clients we take on...you’ve got a networking effect taking place. It’s organic growth with us all moving as one in the same direction.” “Absolutely. We get people bouncing off each other. We get cowriters together and find artists. It’s so much more easier to do with the web.”

“Kind of. Yeah, like a hybrid but we’re offering it for everyone. If you look at the last twenty, thirty, forty years...if you look at the publishing contracts from the seventies and eighties, it was about helping the artist. But it’s not like that now. It’s now become a licence to print money. It’s now a numbers game in which so many want the product but percentage who actually buy it...will it justify? It’s a contract within itself. Spread amongst more people. No massive deals being done except the big stars. But it’s far more open. Artists can now see it for themselves.” “I go to conferences and you see them talking about how they’re going to make money, all trying to fish around for new income streams. And they’re running round like headless chickens. The bottom line is they’ve lost control. If you think about it, the Digital Economy Bill, like Billy Bragg said, it’s a bit of a joke. It was only the record companies who wanted it...and that’s what the film and TV industries are doing. It’s self-interest. It’s the lawyers and accountants who have never picked an instrument up in their life.”


165


Appendix 5 c: Full Coding Table for Songwriter Tools (Interviewee F) Ref

Interviewee

Theme

196

F

Networks and relationships are very important but they take time to develop and they need to be organic.

A network takes many years to develop but a self-publisher should use traditional channels.

197

F

Music publishing companies offer various services and provide numerous benefits.

We provide leads and information.

198

F

Internet technologies have their advantages but they are not the be all and end all; marketing and promotion are important.

There are numerous ways to get out there but it’s hard to get noticed.

199

F

It all comes down to the music at the end of the day.

It’s down to the songs.

200

F

Networks and relationships are very important but they take time to develop and they need to be organic.

Harder for non-performing songwriters, unless they have relationships.

201

F

Self-publishing can be done but...

Self-publishing is never easy but a business attitude is needed.

F

Networks and relationships are very important but they take time to develop and they need to be organic.

Join the collection societies.

202

Code

166

Quote “If a songwriter wants to develop a network they should use the usual channels – the internet, viral marketing and promotion and PR. PR is a cheap way of getting out there and developing a network.” “We provide information for writers and publishers. Mainly what we do is provide leads for songwriters to send songs to artists, managers and record labels etc who are looking for songs. [We are] dealing with helping writers who are purely songwriters. It’s not necessarily non-performing writers but anyone who is trying to get their songs placed with other artists.” “Yes. Do you mean non-performing or performing?... Well if you are a performing songwriter there are obviously numerous ways to get your stuff out there, but it’s a nightmare trying to get yourself noticed.” “At the end of the day it’s down to the songs. You need to have a good website with your music on and know what you’re doing.” “It’s a lot harder for non-performing writers. If they have a track record of songs and interest and relationships with artists or managers etc then it’s easier. You know, having their catalogue online as well. If they are an unpublished writer it’s a lot harder. It’s important for writers to have their own website with songs up there so people can look at the songs. A lot of the time the companies we deal with ask songwriters to provide links to sites rather than mp3s.” “These days it’s never easy. It’s a lot easier if people have a business attitude.” “The first thing to do is join PRS and MCPS. Every writer should be a member. In terms of performance collection, PRS is the one to go for. Record sales can rely on MCPS to an extent.”


203

F

204

F

205

F

Self-publishing can be done but...; Sub-publishers are very important. Self-publishing success depends on an individual’s attributes; Networks and relationships are very important but they take time to develop and they need to be organic. It all comes down to the music at the end of the day.

Self-publishing is easy if you’re only dealing with domestic market; difficult overseas – a subpublisher is necessary. Register all your songs – do business as a company...but you need to get a good lawyer. It’s all about the songs.

206

F

Self-publishing can be done but...; Music publishing companies offer various services and provide numerous benefits.

207

F

Self-publishing can be done but...

Everything is negotiable and flexible nowadays...but deal in the presence of a good lawyer.

208

F

It all comes down to the music at the end of the day; Marketing and promotion are important.

It’s down to the music...but it looks more professional coming from a publisher.

209

F

Self-publishing success depends on an individual’s attributes; Marketing and promotion are

You need to look professional.

Self-publishing is viable to an extent.

167

“If you’re only dealing in this country then it is very easy to administer your own publishing but if you start having releases abroad or airplay abroad, everyone needs to think of getting a sub-publisher or a co-publisher otherwise the admin side will takeover. And many songwriters wouldn’t be able to cope.” “It’s good to have all your songs registered so you own all your work, so any deal you’re doing, you’re doing as a company and not a songwriter. But it means that you need to have a good lawyer. Get yourself a good lawyer.” “But again, it’s all about the songs.” “It is to an extent. You know, at the top end there are many big songwriters who are self-published and own their own publishing company but they might be going through a larger company for admin. By doing that, they have the financial backing and the help. They could get paid a big advance and have that major affiliation.” “At the bottom end, it’s still a good idea. In terms of earning money, if the songwriter’s got something going he might find it harder if another publishing company wants to do a deal directly to the songwriter. But then again, everything is negotiable these days. Everything is a lot more flexible. If a songwriter is good at negotiating he could do it himself or if he is not then he should do any deal in the presence of a good lawyer.” “I don’t see any problem with that. At the end of the day it’s down to the music. If a publisher or a record label want to use a song they couldn’t care less where it comes from. Of course, it looks more professional if it comes from a publisher. And I think that getting a co-publishing deal or sub-publishing deal - a publisher wouldn’t mind as long as it’s presented in the right way.” “By looking professional. And again, unless you know how to negotiate, go into meetings with a lawyer. At the end of the day, most established writers have their own company.”


210

F

211

F

important. Marketing and promotion are important; Traditional avenues still need to be followed.

Self-publishing can be done but...; It all comes down to the music at the end of the day.

Market yourself through both traditional and new routes.

Can compete...it only takes one song, but...

168

“The usual routes: playing live; trying to get airplay. Doing as much as you can to get your songs out there. And of course, there’s online.” “Yes. It only takes one song. To do something, you’ve got to have the hits or something that is going to sell. If anyone is going to do it, give themselves a year to 18 months of doing it hardcore...it’s down to the songs. If you aren’t getting your songs out, you’re not going to get a cut. If you’re a performing songwriter, yes, you’d get money from playing gigs and the PRS. It’s a tough world but it’s down to the songs, the artist and the attitude.”


169


Appendix 6: Discussion of Other Themes Identified There were many themes that were identified when analysing the primary research results. However, due to a lack of direct relevancy to the objectives of the research (as well as due to the limit on the word count of the dissertation) not all of the discussions of the themes were included in the main body of this research; but instead have been placed in the Appendix as supplemental material. Theme: Sub-Publishers Are Very Important There is common agreement amongst the interviewees who raised the issue that subpublishers are very important in the music publishing network (Interviewee A, Refs. 2 and 14; Interviewee B, Ref. 87; Interviewee C, Ref. 111; Interviewee F, 203), particularly as publishers can gain a lot of their revenue from foreign territories (Bergman, 2004; Harrison, 2008). Due to the complexities that arise when handling one’s publishing affairs overseas (particularly collecting income from overseas), subpublishers are very important because they can collect the money faster than collection societies do (Interviewee A, Ref. 14). Interviewee B (Ref. 87) agrees but adds that “having someone in most territories...they will know rules, how record companies work, custom and practices”, which will be invaluable, particularly to the self-publisher who doesn’t have any overseas network in place (supported by Bergman, 2004, and Harrison, 2008). Although internet technologies have made it easier to communicate with collection societies in, for example, France and Germany (Interviewee C, Ref. 111), “having someone on the ground in that specific territory is invaluable” (Ref. 111). Such invaluableness arrives from the “localised knowledge” that sub-publishers in foreign territories have (Interviewee C, Ref. 111). Sub-publishers can also handle the administration from the foreign territory which will lessen the load on the selfpublishing songwriter (Interviewee F, Ref. 203). Bergman (2004) elaborates on this point stating that sub-publishers may also cover more than one foreign territory which may be of benefit to the domestic publisher. Theme: Exploitation Opportunities Need To Be Found And Taken Advantage Of

170


The importance of exploiting opportunities can be found throughout the results of the primary research. Interviewee A (Ref. 23) goes so far as to say that his personal philosophy is that “you try to get as much income from as many different places as possible”. Likewise, Interviewee B (Ref. 85) argues that “you need to be always looking for opportunities”. Barrow and Newby (1995) and Harrison (2008) agree, stating that in today’s climate it is necessary for music publishers to constantly seek out new avenues in which to exploit musical works. There are many opportunities available to publishers, including self-publishers. The primary income stream is from record sales (Interviewee A, Ref. 23) but publishers exploit other avenues, such as synchronisations (Interviewee A, Ref. 13). Harding (2001) and Harrison (2008) argue that synchronisation is the fastest growing part of the industry. Such a viewpoint is confirmed by the research’s results (Interviewee A, Ref. 22; Interviewee B, Ref. 82; Interviewee D, Ref. 155). However, Interviewee A (Ref. 23) points out that if a music publisher concentrates only on synchronisations then they risk becoming “a library music company”. Also, online synchronisations are worth very little money to the music publisher (Interviewee A, Ref. 34) (although to the struggling self-publisher this may be a welcomed avenue). Other traditional income streams such as gigs and radio royalties are also big areas (Interviewee D, Refs. 161 and 162) To take advantage of the many opportunities that may be presented to the music publisher it is necessary “to be aware of the different ways music can be promoted” (Interviewee B, Ref. 82); but Interviewee C (Ref. 114) argues that “you are of course aided/restricted with the type of copyrights you represent and how relevant the new revenue streams are to them”, citing a lack of Charles Mingus ringtone sales as a case in point. However, new technologies provide many new opportunities (see Interviewee E, Ref. 191). Interviewee B (Ref. 83) points out that if one is a “really good songwriter...getting cover records is a very strong area”, where tip sheets (such as Interviewee F) can provide many leads.

171


Theme: Marketing and Promotion Are Important In order for a self-publishing enterprise to be successful it is necessary to market and promote it effectively (especially when trying to exploit a catalogue of music – Borg, 2003; Hull, 2004). Half of those interviewed alluded to the importance of marketing and promotion in their answers, supporting Ellmeier (2003), Krestchmer et al. (1999), Leenders et al. (2007), Stevenson (2000) and Wilson and Stokes (2004;2005). Even though internet technologies have made it easier for music to be distributed, in order for someone to listen to it and be interested in the offering it is necessary to market the music effectively (Interviewee A, Refs. 15 and 21) (especially if it is only back catalogues and not new releases getting promoted – Interviewee A, Ref. 21); and if one is a new self-publishing writer then it also “very,very hard” to market oneself and one’s music (Interviewee A, Ref. 66; see also Interviewee C, Ref. 104) so more attention needs to be paid to effective marketing strategy design. But how can a self-publisher market themselves? Playing live seems to be one of the main strategies to adopt (Interviewee A, Ref. 58; Interviewee F, Ref. 210), as well as the use of social networking sites and the internet (although organic social networking needs to occur – word of mouth) (Interviewee A, Refs. 58 and 62; Interviewee C, Ref. 110; Interviewee F, Ref. 210), and the obvious route of trying to get airplay (Interviewee F, Ref. 210). However, playing live and using social networking sites seems to be only advantageous to performing self-publishers; Interviewee A (Ref. 64) believes that “it would be very hard” to market oneself if one is a non-performing selfpublisher. However, any type of self-publisher could create a promotional DVD. DVDs are a useful marketing tool to employ because they could allow self-publishers to “market themselves...because people now...want to see moving pictures with the songs as well” (Interviewee A, Ref. 68). From a more professional standpoint, Interviewee B (Ref. 75) believes that, regardless of your position “it’s standard practice for anyone to have a business card that says what you are”. Another way of marketing oneself (for general business practice) is to attend business meetings with a lawyer present (Interviewee F, Ref. 209). Such an approach could be adopted for generating creative partnerships because communication is an important factor in creativity, and Leenders

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et al. (2007) argue that effective communication patterns and teams are essential. Theme: It All Comes Down to the Music at the End of the Day “It only takes one song.” (Interviewee F, Ref. 211)

It seems that the main determining factor in any self-publishing venture’s success, or even that of any music publisher or songwriter, is the quality of the songs themselves. Most of the interviewees gave comments related to the importance of having great songs. It is an obvious assumption but great songs which have longevity enable music publishers (including self-publishers) and writers to generate and receive revenues for a number of years (Interviewee A, Ref. 24). Also, on a basic level the ‘song’ is the focal point of the publishing industry (Borg, 2003, p197; Bradford, 2005; Burnett, 1996; Dann and Underwood, 2003; Davis and Laing, 2006; MPA1, 2009; Sturm, 2000)). Although non-performing songwriters may find self-publishing to be more difficult than their performing counterparts due to the lack of exploitation opportunities, a lack of a network in place and an ineffective marketing strategy, “there’s loads of hope...if that individual is a good songwriter” (Interviewee A, Ref. 51; see also Refs. 57, 70 and 119), particularly if they are being proactive (Interviewee A, Ref. 56). Interviewee D (an online publishing service company) goes so far as to say that “if someone does have something that is brilliant, we will hear it and put it forward” (Ref. 150; see also Ref. 169). Having great songs and being proactive in promoting them (utilising both traditional and new tools) can lead to song writing and self-publishing success (Interviewee F, Refs. 199, 205, 208 and 211). As Interviewee F (Ref. 208) points out: “at the end of the day it’s down to the music”. This is confirmed by Burnett (1996, p87) who points out that “a publisher with a hit song can do business with [just] a telephone”. Theme: It’s Easy to Set Up a Music Publishing Company Setting up a music publishing company is relatively easy (Interviewee A, Ref. 47; Interviewee C, Ref. 118). In order to set up a music publishing company in the UK all a self-publisher needs to do is sign up with the Mechanical Copyright Protection Society

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(MCPS) and PRS for Music (Interviewee A, Ref. 47; Interviewee C, Ref. 118). This is supported by Barrow and Newby (1995) who point out that if one is self-publishing songwriter the administration duties can be minimal: generally only involving signing up and filing forms with the relevant collection societies and paying any relevant lawyer and accountant fees. However, although it is easy to set up, Interviewee C (Ref. 118) points out that it is harder to maintain, and that “money is the only real consideration to be able to maintain it”. Theme: A Self-Publishing Entity Requires an Effective Infrastructure be in Place Although easy to set up a music publishing company (the roles of the music publisher within its company’s departments have not changed since its inception - see Garofalo, 1999; Hauser, 1958; Kanaar and Phillips, 2009; Sturm, 2000), in order to maintain its business it must have an effective infrastructure in place, with service cash flow (Interviewee G, Ref. 125) and with the administration in place correctly also (Interviewee B, Ref. 81). However, Barrow and Newby (1995) and Hull (2004) point out that company infrastructure depends on the size of the company. Managerial cybernetics and the application of the Viable Systems Model (VSM) can aid in the implementation of an effective company infrastructure whilst designing the information systems of the company (Beer, 1959; Chen, 2005; Flood, 1999; Warren, 2003).

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Self-publishing viability in the modern music industries  

Ste Mulhaney-Clements

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