Answered by: Michael Laskow
Would it be possible to provide us with the Listener ID on YES/NO submissions when the report comes back on Broadjam (returns and forwards)?

The majority of our submissions seem to be to YES/NO listings. Often we're submitting the same material to different listings. It would be nice to know who is forwarding us versus who is returning us.

I imagine that some of the same listeners who have written critiques on our material are also listening to the YES/NO listings, so knowing what they've said in the past (possibly about the same song) might help inform us as to why we might have been forwarded or not on a YES/NO listing.



Hi Tony,

That's a great suggestion! I'll bring it up at our next staff meeting. I know that my staff will tell me that it's largely up to our ability to get the guys at Broadjam to implement the code changes, and for us to modify the way our internal database "talks" to Broadjam, but I think your idea has merit and we will do our best to bring it to fruition. A word of caution though — programmers take more time than one could imagine, so it might be slow in coming. But again, we'll do our best to make you happy.

I have written a song suitable for a female country singer, but I'm wondering if I'll be at a disadvantage submitting a recording of it in my own (male) voice. Do you have any advice about whether I should go to the trouble of getting a woman to record it for me? Thanks.

Dan Gribbin

Hi Dan,

The answer is "yes." I think it's always a good idea to have the gender of the demo singer match the gender of the artist you'd like to have cut the song. It makes sense to not make the listener have to work too hard when trying to imagine himself/herself singing the song. Also, the pro writers in Nashville will almost always match the gender, so to be competitive with them, you should do the same.

You can even go a step further by trying to pitch it in the key the artist is most comfortable singing in. Would you like them to sing along by the end of the first chorus? Well then, don't give them a demo in G if they normally cut most of their songs in D.

I'm a songwriter not in a band, so I'm looking to sell my music, not get a recording deal. I know every deal is different, but what are some average deals for selling songs? Should I expect a different price for songs for an artist vs. TV vs. movies vs. commercials vs. video games? Also, will a label or TV network pressure me when they contact me to sign a deal, or will they understand when I say I have to contact a music industry lawyer? Speaking as my knowledge base of the music industry, what can I expect to sell my songs for?

Mike McNiff

Dear Mike,

Truth be told, you don't actually "sell" your songs. It's not like Faith Hill is going to call you up and offer you $20,000 to buy your song, she'd just license the use of your song and you make income from the mechanical royalties (about 9.1 cents per CD pressed), and from performance royalties collected by ASCAP, BMI, or SESAC when your song is played on radio, TV, film, etc.

The network or the artist generally won't pressure you to sign a deal with them, but they WILL want to act quickly for film and TV placements. If you can't agree to their terms in a hurry, they'll often move on to another writer's song.

If you are ever offered a placement in a film or TV show, it's not unusual that they'd offer you a standard deal that many others have signed before you, and if you try to negotiate, they'll just move on. That being said, most of the "standard" deals aren't that bad.

It sounds like you need to read these great books to get yourself up to speed on these issues.

The Craft and Business of Songwriting by John Braheny

All You Need to Know About the Music Business by Donald Passman

Music, Money, and Success by Todd and Jeff Brabec

These are three of the very best books on this and many more subjects. You should really read all three if you're serious about being in the music biz!

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