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Tag: Music Business Club

Music Business Club

The 29th Annual James G. Zafris Distinguished Lecture Series with David Israelite

The Music Business/Management Department hosted its 29th Annual James G. Zafris Distinguished Lecture Series and featured one of the music industry’s most influential advocates for equity in the music business, David Israelite. As President and CEO of the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA), Israelite has dedicated his career to advocating for publishers and songwriters. He fights to protect and advance their interests in the music industry, specifically relating to their domestic and global protection of music copyrights. He played an integral role in raising the CRB rate for songwriters, as well as modernizing copyright laws. He visited Berklee and joined Professor Tonya Butler, Chair of the Music Business/Management Department, to talk more about his career and work in the industry.

From a young age, Israelite always had a passion for music, but he had an equal love for debate, politics, history, and government. His collegiate and professional careers were spent pursuing law and government where he collected many experiences working for the government in Washington D.C. During this time, Israelite noticed a lack of government protection on intellectual property which inspired him to create a task force dedicated to raising awareness and changing protection laws on intellectual property. His initiatives led him to land his current position as President and CEO of the NMPA, which is a trade association that represents all publishers and their songwriters in the music industry. As a member of the NMPA board, he participates in a trial every 5 years in which he litigates with streaming services to decide on how much money streaming services should pay their songwriters. Just recently, he championed the largest CRB rate increase in history, meaning songwriters will now receive even more royalties for their music. 

As for other ways songwriters can monetize their music, David Israelite had lots of advice for songwriters. Israelite dove into the complicated calculations of streaming royalties and explained how artists really get paid from top streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music. He stressed the importance of signing up for a Performing Rights Organization (PRO) and the Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC) in order to collect all applicable royalties. Both organizations are extremely crucial for songwriters to get paid for their work. There are also other ways to monetize your music aside from streaming, such as public performance (radio) and synchronization placements (TV/Film). Additionally, songwriters should join songwriter advocacy groups like Nashville Songwriters Association International and Grammy Advocacy. 

In the Q&A session, Israelite shared his favorite piece of advice, “Grit is the most important quality of success. You can be born with it but you can also develop it.” He encouraged aspiring songwriters to always keep going in their careers, pushing through any rejection and advocating for themselves in any way possible. For the full-length recording of the lecture, click here. We recommend watching if you’re interested in how songwriters get paid!

Creating A Release Schedule for Your Next Single

Presented by Chris Wares – Assistant Chair of Music Business/Management Department

The Music Business Department hosted The Music Business Opportunities Expo & Release Strategy Masterclass on Thursday, September 29 at David Friend Recital Hall. We had a successful event for students to meet eight of our music business clubs and to learn from our masterclass speaker, Chris Wares, the Assistant Chair of the Music Business/Management Department. A special thanks to the clubs who attended: Berklee A&R, Berklee Popular Music Institute, Blockchain Club, Berklee Management Club, Law & Management Club, Music Business Club, Music Business Journal, and the Berklee Career Center

Key takeaways: with anywhere from 3 months before the release to the day of, how do you build the most effective release strategy possible? Chris Wares presented a checklist of everything you need to execute your release strategy and a timeline for action items. His advice ranged from creative vision to financing to marketing plans. Another big takeaway from Chris’ talk was all the promotional platforms available to artists and strategies to take advantage of each. With tasks like pitching to Spotify for Artists and creating your release campaign, there are lots of important details to pay attention to and he had great advice on how to tackle each step to make the most out of your release. Chris shared some of the lessons he has gained through experience with leading marketing campaigns and gave insight into strengthening release strategies. If you have any more questions, reach out to the Music Business/Management Department, or schedule an office hour with us!











Photo Credit: Timothy Mah

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