Is it really that horrifically bad? Yes, according to TuneSat, a New York-based startup that sees bloody murder when it comes to music played commercially. "Musicians and songwriters all know that if their music is being played commercially, the reports they are getting back are more than likely wrong," an executive from the company told Digital Music News. "Cue sheets and affidavits are routinely entrusted to interns to fill out – sometimes by hand. One misspelled song title and the artists wave goodbye to their royalties.
Welcome to the famously-missing or flawed royalty check, but TuneSat sees a gigantic opportunity here. The company has been deploying audio fingerprinting technology to scan TV stations worldwide, all to detect unreported or unauthorized use of a client's music. It's sort of like pointing Shazam at the problem, and TuneSat claims that its detections work under dialogue, sound effects, or voiceovers. "For years, rights holders of all sizes have relied on antiquated reporting systems that often times leave them with a wholly inaccurate view of what they're owed," said Chris Woods, COO of TuneSat.
Expand that to the internet and other channels, and you can see where this is going. But is it really 80 percent spoiled? We've heard lots of horror stories related to radio station reporting, not necessarily through manual logs but because of missing data, misplaced data, or incompatible datasets.
Jeff Price, the just-ousted CEO of TuneCore, sees a far more transparent future. At Digital Music Forum West in Los Angeles last week, he etched a gigantic leap towards forced accountability.
The only problem? Transparency isn't good for everyone, especially older, entrenched intermediaries that benefit from ineffeciency and misreporting. Which means efficient auditing technologies have some very serious enemies in their path.
@maxwillens Friday, October 12, 2012
Wasn't blue arrow supposed to fix this?
@BenjiKRogers Friday, October 12, 2012
good job our PRO's use TuneSat then ;)
Whoa, yeah Friday, October 12, 2012
Remember when you had to pay for airplay? *cough* Remember when if you didn't pay, then your song might get played but not reported to the charts? If your song did get played, but not reported, do you think it was ever tracked for publishing? It's a slippery slope. I thought when the mega-large broadcast chains started billing for airplay then Mediabase and BDS was supposed to cover their ass on billed spins. Am I wrong here?
@mattadownes Saturday, October 13, 2012
Spot on. Piracy isn't really the problem it just leveled the playing field.
Visitor Sunday, October 14, 2012
@mattadownes - by leveling the playing field you mean "everyone is equal when everyone is equally broke." Uh yeah, than I guess that's true...
Colin Saturday, October 13, 2012
Who in particular is DMN referring to when they say "especially older, entrenched intermediaries that benefit from ineffeciency and misreporting. "
Visitor Monday, October 15, 2012
Let's see, uh, maybe ASCAP, BMI and SESAC?
Versus Sunday, October 14, 2012
My faith in human morality is slipping with every article I read here.
sasebastian Sunday, October 14, 2012
I had a band that was promoting a record to 300 stations with an indie promotion company. We were super excited by the number of spins we were getting at commercial in the first week, and then suspicious by the third week when the local stations were reporting large numbers of spins but we weren't hearing us on those stations. The promoter explained to us that stations reporting spins doesn't actually mean the record was played. They were reporting spins for smaller, unknown bands in exchange for tickets and promo items for bigger bands worked by the promoter.
Sure, you get chart exposure, but little to no one hears the music for it to make a difference. And, because the people using the charts are the ones messing up the charts, they aren't using the charts to influence their station's actual playlists. Good times.
woo-hoo Monday, October 15, 2012
Ha, the veritable 'paper add'.
@luci Sunday, October 14, 2012
An unflawed Collecting Society? Doesn't exist.
@opdiner Sunday, October 14, 2012
This is justification for artists who claim that their stuff gets played and they ain't getting paid
Sheila R. MacArthur Sunday, October 14, 2012
tis worse Monday, October 15, 2012
it gets worse -- same thing for songs airing in tv shows. unreported, misreported, etc. every quarter i have to get something corrected -- percentages wrong, background or foreground, played more than once in the show, length wrong, name of the song or artist wrong... or $ went to BMI not ASCAP...
many times (probably 15 times), i know a track aired on a certain show and i have to repeatedly contact my PRO to contact the other PRO to get on it. in 4 or 5 cases, (or more) it has taken 4 or more years to get paid.
as there is no penalty for wrong reporting, it is seen as the least important job -- below getting coffee. interns do it.
Kurt Shilling Monday, October 15, 2012
I hear you. Been there. Am there.
Herman V Monday, October 15, 2012
There definitely is a lot of music not matched properly by collecting societies. But not just because of mis-reporting, also because many societies around the world can't be arsed to deal with small amounts. (Sorry, I mean they "can't efficiently process" those small amounts).
TuneSat is one option, but there are many such companies out there that do exactly the same. But the problem with all of those is that a rights holder now needs to pay upfront to find out where their tracks have been played, and then fight with collecting societies to get what they were already entitled to anyway.
That's *not* an efficient solution to the problem...!
radio & records vet Monday, October 15, 2012
I could probably write a book on this subject :(
I got my start in radio in the mid-seventies. We were only required to produce a quarterly report, of one day of programming for ASCAP & BMI. That's the way it was for many many decades. There was really very little accountability beyond that.
Same goes for charting stuff. I do a modern tip sheet to this day. Unless I actually do the homework myself, and scan each and every day's playlists, stations can tell me whatever they want and there is no way to "correct" them. I know for a fact that some stations have lied to me about what they played.
Go check out Spinitron playlists. www.spinitron.com .. this displays in many cases the problem with having airstaff using non-digital on-air technology filling out playlists - often AFTER the fact of a show, even if the station streams content.
If a station streams their content they are supposed to be posting a real time playlist. If they're doing that, then the only mistakes are human - misspellings, etc. And I see a fair amount of that.
Another issue, especially as it relates to SoundExchange reporting, is that it's often very difficult to determine exacly who the owner of the sound recording is. Is it the artist? Is it the band? This leads to a lot of "unknown" entries in the "label" fields. This then leads to no owner being listed - which could lead to no one getting paid for the airtime a record does receive.
IN our digital crazed world it's hard to imagine that there are literally thousands of radio stations that do not use digital music files, and still rely on cds and vinyl... too true. In those cases, it is up to a human to report what got played... and too often the information is either incorrect or insufficient.
Yes Monday, October 15, 2012
3rd party licensing is a major issue that's not been addressed by any legislation. If an artist pays for their own recording, then licenses it to a label, that sullies tracking ownership. Worse, if it's yet a 3rd party like The Orchard that places a song on a service like Rdio (or the like). The Orchard has notified labels that it won't place songs on youtube unless they have a direct license from the original copyright holder of a project. That puts an indie label at the disadvantage and the artist is left out in the dark.
Kurt Shilling Monday, October 15, 2012
Article does not mention that TuneSat does not work.
Again. TuneSat does not work.
Not even close. Picks up a fraction, has trouble with dirty audio, but still charges the artists for a service that the people who use the music are supposed to be doing.
Don't believe me? Ask TuneSat to prove their accuracy. They won't, because they can't.
A commenter said it right: The PROs have, and use, TuneSat already. So...why would anyone else need to buy it? If you get a TuneSat statement, and send it to your PRO, you're giving them info they already had. And you paid for that.
And what if everyone had TuneSat and everyone flooded the PROs with accounting errors, that, in fact, the PRO knew it made, because it also has Tunesat?
Also, hasn't TuneSat advertised on DMN? No mention of that here. Maybe I'm wrong.
cipher Monday, October 15, 2012
There is nothing new about this..it has been going on for decades.The music business has always been suspect when it comes to money. As I have said before..a few make lots of money..some make some money...most make no money. Thats they way it is and thats how it looks into the distant future.The spin in the music industry is not just the CDs. My music interests make little or no money...my other interests do quite well they fund my music..is this good business..no..but I love it.
@dave_cool Tuesday, October 16, 2012
This is insane.
@ThatChristianD Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Visitor Tuesday, October 16, 2012
I though the new digital music utopia touted back in the 90's was supposed to solve all of these tracking problems. Make it easier to distribute, track and report.
I guess that dream has gone the way of personal jetpacks and space colonies on the moon
sasebastian Tuesday, October 16, 2012
An interesting thing is that ASCAP and BMI both provide a way to automate reporting plays and cue sheets. I worked on a project at MTV Networks where we developed an interface to these APIs to report our cue sheets. You select a show title, enter the episode number, select a band or performer, choose a song and the publishing details from the licensing agreement are automatically filled in, then submit. The only thing was that the data sent to the PROs was as good as the data given to the intern or PA using the system. Missing cues and reporting cues that aren't used is still possible. Radio has this ability too, using the same APIs. They could also use digital fingerprinting (a la Shazam, Soundhound and YouTube).
Kurt Shilling Tuesday, October 16, 2012
sasebastian, you're right. But as the article barely notes, that's not in anyone important's interests. So, it's an economy dependent on people like MTV interns. Who I'm sure are nice and all.
Soundmouse has better technology, and is free. Artists: You should check into it.