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MAM Family: Sherah Carney @ SESAC
June 19, 2012
Childhood memories often evoke memories of playing outside, favorite toys, and playing with neighborhood kids. For Sherah Carney, she fondly remembers frolicking around her dad’s music studio, playing with adult musical instruments and messing with the music label’s shrink wrap machine with her younger siblings.
“I grew up sitting at the soundboard with my dad,” says Carney. “Musicians used to stay at our house.”
With her mom helping on admin. at the Mark V Recording Studio of Greenville, SC (the biggest of its kind in SC), the place was like a second home.

“We’d spend the night in the smaller studio when Dad worked through the night. They’d set up some pallets with blankets.”Growing up in the music industry certainly had its benefits when she started working with SESAC eleven years ago.

“I think that’s why it seemed to fit when I came to SESAC,” remembers Carney. “I didn’t necessarily plan to go into the music industry, but I did understand the music industry better than most folks coming into it.”

Carney, now Director of TV and Film Administration for SESAC, started at the company as a temp in 2001. During her time at SESAC, Carney notes much has changed within the music industry, especially now.

“It’s definitely a time of change right now when it comes to performances of music. There are more ways to access music with emerging new media platforms. It will be interesting to see which ones stick and which ones are fads.”

She adds that convenience may be a deciding factor of where new music appears within the new media revolution. Carney sees new music shifting into an internet-driven performance platform, though how that will integrate into performance royalties is yet to be seen.

“With the explosion in performance activity, our job at SESAC has required more vigilance and innovation in the way we monitor, analyze and pay these performances. We’re currently developing new systems that will position SESAC well ahead of the curve for dealing with the billions of transactions occurring in the new and traditional media spaces.”

The best action songwriters and composers can take for now, says Carney, is to be in regular communication with their PRO, and to submit the proper information about their performances in a timely manner.

New media aside, Carney says the biggest trend in music on TV is the increasing use of music libraries: “I’m seeing (library music) all over TV.”

She notes that it may be more convenient for some composers, particularly rising composers looking to break into the TV revenue stream.

“It might be easier for up and coming composers to get placement in TV shows through a library,” Carney says, adding that she’s seen the greatest increase in library music on cable.

Alongside her duties at SESAC, Carney leads the Nashville-based company’s annual Heart Walk fundraiser with the American Heart Association. Having several family members who’ve suffered from Heart Disease, it’s certainly a cause close to Carney’s heart. Money raised through the fundraiser helps finance heart disease research at nearby Vanderbilt University.

“It’s something that I like to be a part of,” says Carney. “And it’s a really fun fundraiser.”

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