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Happenings in the Royalty Realm


Welcome to The Modern Musician - MAM's New YouTube Series

Getting started in the music business can be notoriously bumpy. Playing coffee houses, house parties, bars, or going to music college were key ways to climb toward making a living as a musician or composer. And even then your chances were super slim.

Which makes it all the more miraculous that viable music careers can now launch right from an artist’s bedroom, thanks to popular free self-distribution platforms like YouTube.

Overnight success can be, well… a few million clicks away. But once it happens, how do you make a living at it? Especially without the traditional support of a manager or record label?

Searching around online can lead to a lot of misinformation by well-intended industry “experts.” And even then, you may never see more than a few tiny paychecks for a whole lot of work if you don’t claim your work properly.

MAM Knight / Data Anaylist Dejan Tachevski plays guitar in a band in North Macedonia. As he started working remotely with MAM, he realized there was a whole world to music – terminology, copyright rules, royalty mechanisms, metadata protocols – that he and his friends had no idea existed. Really key, truly “expert” information for making a living in the digital music era.

“When I started 2 years ago, I wished there was a YouTube channel with a weekly [music business] lesson that wasn’t intimidating or overwhelming.”

Dejan started making explainer videos for some of his music buds. LOTS of videos. Over time, he worked with MAM’s top music biz expert, Nan Wilson, to develop a steady YouTube series that’s grown into MAM’s new education arm, The Modern Musician (TMM).

“We’re trying to give people who are or want to be in the music business everything they need to know to make some money,” says Nan, adding it fits perfectly with MAM’s overall mission to help musicians and composers make a healthy living.

And the word is spreading! Global subscribers are growing steadily into the thousands. Viewer participation is lively in TMM’s comments and on social media.

Even some of MAM’s most seasoned clients are pointing colleagues to TMM’s videos for quick explainers of complex concepts like ISRC vs. ISWC codes, sync licenses, split sheets, what SoundExchange does, and mechanical vs. performance royalites.

Part of TMM’s mission is offer a space where experienced music pros can connect their knowledge and insider tips with rookies eager to learn.

“I see TMM as MAM’s wingman, together broadcasting there are people who know what they’re doing behind the scenes in music. Who see the Big Picture, and want to share valuable knowledge with those in need in a simple way – one video at a time.”

Check out TMM’s YouTube channel for yourself. We’ve also included a few sample videos below. New episodes launch every other Wednesday.

Have a particular topic you’d love to see covered by the TMM team? Give us a shout! We’ll work it into our production schedule and let you know when it releases.

You can also head over to TMM’s comments on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter to chime in on the music biz conversation. Dejan moderates all TMM feeds — TMM’s growing collective can’t wait to hear from you. And who knows: maybe you’ll learn something, too!