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Mobile App Synchronization Licenses and E-commerce Rate Cards

New apps are brought to market every day, and many of them include some kind of music or sound. This presents a massive synchronization opportunity for rights holders, especially if they use a well constructed rate card to fairly value the license.

Unless the licensee insists on a buy-out, the rights holder’s first responsibility in procuring a license is to collect information from the licensee that gives an accurate and complete picture of the usage that will occur. 

This includes where the app will be available for download or purchase, as well as which countries will have access to the app. Additionally, you as the rights holder will want to agree with your customer upon how much the music will be used within the app, or if the licensee is entitled to unlimited “needle drops” i.e. usage of the audio.

Often this evaluation happens through a conversation, but if you’re dealing with a high volume of licensee customers, you can save valuable time by automating this process with a detailed rate card in the e-commerce suite.

After a licensee clicks to add a track to their cart, they’ll see their first set of multiple choice options appear from the rate card. Then depending on their selection, they’ll see another set of options pop up, and then another based on that response, specifying as many variables as you the rights holder would like. 

For instance, your first question might be the format of the media, whether it’s an app, film, OTT streaming, NFT, a catch-all selection or other formats, or whatever types of licenses your company wants to offer. Then if the licensee selects “app”, you could ask about the platforms it will be released on, and then the countries, and needle drops. You may even want to ask the total budget of the project.

Finally, the licensee will receive a price quote for the license depending on the answers given. Rate card creators also always have the opportunity to set a rate card selection to trigger a “contact us” message. This can serve a variety of purposes and certainly ensures that your biggest clients receive special attention.

With great tools and the right knowledge, a music library can tap into a vast and high-value market in the mobile app space!


Thinking of running a promo for mobile app synchronization licenses? The e-commerce suite makes it easy to create custom coupons for licenses and licensing subscriptions!

Friday, 22 April 2022
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4 Advanced Tips for Getting the Most Out of the SourceAudio YouTube Content ID Suite

Our feature-rich Content ID suite provides powerful tools for all facets of your YouTube department’s operational needs!

1. Integrate Allowlisting with Your E-commerce Checkout Process

Our allowlisting tools ensure that claims are never placed on a channel that shouldn’t receive ads for using your content. When you integrate allowlisting with your e-commerce checkout process, your customers can input their YouTube channel ID when purchasing a track, then following checkout and payment, they won’t receive any claims on their channel for use of your music.

It’s an entirely hands-free way to be sure your clients are never bothered with an unwanted claim, while Content ID remains active for all other channels, generating passive revenue on all other uses of your tracks on YouTube.

2. Sub-Publishers Can Use the Content ID API to Directly Release Claims and Allowlist Channels on Behalf of Original Publishers

SourceAudio’s proprietary YouTube panel allows rights owners to release claims and allowlist channels in real time, and our platform powers sub-publishing distribution for millions of tracks from thousands of companies around the world. That’s why we built an API that allows sub-publishers to release monetization claims and allowlist channels in real time. Following one-time authorization from the original publisher, a sub-publisher can manage claims for any of the content they distribute.

For detailed information on how a developer can leverage our YouTube Content ID API, check out the documentation page here.

3. Monetize Territory Specificity with Ease

When you monetize your tracks on YouTube with SourceAudio, you can be sure that claim ads only run when videos are streamed in the territories that you specify. Our instructions on the Content ID ingestion page tell you everything you need to know to easily designate the exact territories you want to monetize. You can even set up worldwide monetization and select the territories that should be left out.

Additionally, our Custom Rules allow site admins to easily designate different territory specifications for certain tracks by album, artist, label, catalog, composer, or publisher. For the most precise degree of specificity, a CSV spreadsheet import may be used to designate territorial monetization on a track-by-track basis.

4. Export Claims Reports to See Where Your Tracks are Being Used

We make it simple to obtain detailed information on any of your tracks’ claims. Head to the admin panel > YouTube Content ID > Claims, and click Export Claims in the top right. Set your desired date range, and whether you want to see only active, released, or all claims. Then click to export. A CSV spreadsheet will download immediately containing each claim’s date and time that it was placed, claim ID, video ID, channel ID, video title, channel title, release status, a link to the video and channel, and essential metadata for the claimed track. You can also export claims data from the YouTube Earnings sub-tab to export a CSV containing each claim’s amount payable and number of views for the selected month, as well as the track’s YouTube Asset ID, title, ISRC code, label, artist, and composer.

Questions about YouTube Content ID?
Reach out to our support department at support@sourceaudio.com

Friday, 15 April 2022
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A Beginners Guide to Mastering Audio

Looking to try your hand at mastering? Check out our guide to the basics of mastering!

Mastering is the final step of the audio production process. It’s the work done following a completed mix where the finishing touches are placed on a track’s EQing, processing, and final level setting.

Different schools of thought might suggest that it’s best to hand over your track to a fresh set of ears and a fresh perspective (someone other than the mixer) for mastering, but if you’re on a budget, you can learn enough to master your own tracks with just what’s in this article!

It all begins with a mindset. What are you trying to accomplish musically on this track, along with the technical settings? Especially in the case of beginners, choosing the right reference tracks is key to setting good goals and ending up with the desired final product on your mastering.

Then the first step within the track itself is to listen through the track without changing any settings along the way. Note if there are any imperfections that need to be fixed in the mix. Listen on both headphones and studio monitors. Depending on the distribution plans for the track, you may even want to listen on a laptop, smartphone, and through a car’s speakers. Note if there are any sections that need to be volume adjusted to sound the way you want them to in relation to the other sections of the track, and make sure there's no clipping, pops, hisses, or distorting that need to be touched up in the mix.

Next up are any adjustments to the tonal balance of the track. A good first step is finding a plugin that analyses the different frequency range levels for you to compare against professionally released tracks of the same genre. After getting your footing with a plug in, you may find that you prefer to rely more on your own ears for managing the idiosyncrasies of your track.

If you do find EQ adjustments that need to be made, use broad, minor adjustments with an EQing tool – nothing more than about 1db and nothing too targeted to take out a resonance or anything like that, which should have been done in the mixing process.

Additionally, a professional mastering job should utilize a hi-pass filter to take out the very lowest frequencies below the lowest bass note. Not only will this get rid of mud, but it will create more headroom by getting rid of that useless signal. Then you’ll usually want to fade the very beginning and end of the track so there’s no abruptness when the track comes on or ends.


Once that’s all done, you as the mastering engineer may decide to apply subtle creatieve effects as a sort of secret ingredient or finishing touch on the mix. This is completely optional, subjective to taste, should be done cautiously, and is by no means always necessary, but in some cases, a track may find its missing ingredient at this final stage after all other mixing has been done. A tube saturator or some compression may help level out a very dynamic track or warm it up a bit, just make sure the levels stay constant when applying additional effects.

Finally, use an application in your DAW to set the LUFS. Note, if you’re distributing to streaming services, they’ll typically lower the levels to -14 LUFS if it’s any higher. As such, pushing the track louder than that for the sake of loudness isn’t necessary.

Use a limiter to accomplish this, perhaps one made specifically for mastering. Inside your limiter, make sure the ceiling isn’t any higher than -1db, because artifacts and other issues can arise if it’s even -0.9db. Then lower the threshold until your mix hits around -14 LUFS. That’s it! Of course quiet parts will be quieter and louder parts will be louder than 14, but for the best results, most mastering engineers will shoot to put the average at about -14.

Export the audio at the required bit rate, and that will be your final product. Congrats – you’ve just mastered your track!

A gentle reminder – you might be experiencing listening fatigue after mixing your track when you go to master the track. If so, take some time away from the track before diving into mastering, make sure you’re in a creative mindset. Mastering is an incredibly important process in the production of a track. It’s not just a technical process but a creative and highly musical one as well.

Of course, there’s no one way to master a track. Some engineers like to work “backwards” through the mastering process, setting the level then applying effects and EQing. Another technique is to run through the subjective mastering steps very quickly, and repeat them as needed to avoid overthinking your choices. There’s a lot to work with when mastering, so try to keep it as simple as possible from the get go, and as you get more practice, you’ll develop your own tricks and techniques for your own sounds and styles.

Friday, 8 April 2022
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New Music Libraries On the Platform: Level 77, Alpheria Music, Verde Music Group, SongHero, and Robert Bruce Music

We’re thrilled to share that the following music libraries have just joined the SourceAudio platform!

Level 77 Music

Level 77 Music is an independent catalog of dynamic and powerful songs that let you take your creative work to new heights. Level 77 Music creates gripping and emotional content that tells your story with you — the way you imagine it.

Alpheria Music

Alpheria Music is a new music house based in New York and led by multiple award winning composer and sound designer Patrick Rundblad. In 2009, Patrick launched PR Music Productions, a production company which produces music for Film, Television, Games and Advertisement in a wide variety of styles and genres, and now Alpheria's primary focus is motion picture in its various forms.

Verde Music Group

Verde Music Group is a full service premium quality music production and publishing company that provides world class music for recording artists and content creators around the world for use in film, TV, video games and commercials.

SongHero

SongHero is a team of musicians and songwriters who care about making the world a better, fairer place. SongHero was started for two reasons: first, to create new opportunities for songwriters to expand their marketplace and connect with more like-minded fans. Secondly, to help charities and nonprofits grow their donor base. By connecting songwriters with more than one million charities around the world, SongHero helps writers become ambassadors and influencers for the causes they are most passionate about.

Robert Bruce Music

Robert Bruce Music offers a unique collection of beautifully produced pop and blues-based songs with female vocals, and a catalog of piano-based instrumental tracks with neo-jazz and neo-classical textures for sync/placement. The latter includes piano with string quartet, piano with bass and drums, and solo piano tracks. Ranging from fun and quirky to surprisingly deep and serious, these tracks all maintain the simplicity, accessibility and strong moods you generally want in sync.  Licensing is hassle-free and covers the life of your project and composer/producer Robert Bruce owns everything 100%. Send Robert Bruce Music a request to connect on SourceAudio so you can explore and test drive these compelling tracks.


We proudly work with thousands of libraries, publishers, indie labels, and television, radio, streaming, and podcast networks to solve their asset management, business development, workflow, and monetization needs.

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Thursday, 31 March 2022
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SourceAudio Goes to SXSW: Our Favorite Moments

We headed to beautiful Austin, Texas for an incredible week of panels on music, media, and emerging technologies.


Music for Ad Agencies and Brands with Music Supervisors Johanna Cranitch, Lilah Obregon-Wilson, Todd Porter, and Elijah Torn

Bringing together a wide range of experience from agencies as well as freelance work, this panel of four experts delivered valuable information on breaking into the word of sync as a rights holder, how to stay in the good graces of all your music supervisor clients, and plenty more essential information.

Among the most useful lessons from the panel was an emphasis on the importance of respectful persistence with your pitching. Consistency and checking up is a crucial part of the equation, just be sure not to become a nuisance by overdoing it. Another seminally important tip is to be aware of everywhere your music is being used, as some large scale placements often want to license exclusive use of a track for a set amount of time, an asset which can be leveraged for a much bigger licensing fee.

Ultimately, a common theme that music supervisors love to see with their suppliers is transparency. As Elijah put it, it’s better to ask a seemingly silly question early on than have to share some piece of information down the line that could make the supervisor's job much more difficult.


Web3 and DAOs with Water & Music Founder Cherie Hu, Big Green DAO Founder Kimbal Musk, Russian Protest Musician Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, and “Mayor” of the World’s Largest DAO Michael Zhang

DAOs (decentralized autonomous organizations) are online organizations run on the blockchain designed for transparency and the democratization of influence. That’s our take from what the experts said, but their exact definition has actually been the subject of much debate. In 2014 Vitalic Buterin founder of Ethereum, famously said that a DAO is “innovation at the center and humans at the edges.” Since then however, the most prominent DAOs have shifted their focus to their human impact. DAOstar, part of the Meta-Governance Project, took four months to deliberate on its working definition of what a DAO is, and settled on three essential elements. 

1. A unique cryptographic address for each member

2. “Behaviors” which are smart contract actions for things like transfering funds from one wallet to another

3. “Proposals” that can be voted on, and, if passed, become behaviors

The result: fluid membership structures and direct support of community initiatives with minimal administration, driven by token-based compensation for labor that can otherwise fall through the cracks in a web2 organization. One example given of a system benefiting from DAO technology was the peer review system, which Harvard alumni Ho says today is “very very fraught”, and completely lacking in transparency, with no way to review the credentials of the individual reviewing your paper. As such, there are many DAOs looking into making that review process more transparent and creating a compensation system.

Of course the music industry was another example, an ecosystem with “an entrenched history of information asymmetry” where certain people, typically artists, aren’t able to access the information they need to find out how much they’re earning from certain services or what kind of tools would be best for them to use for their careers. DAO technology aims to change that.


NFTs with Former Global Head of Digital Marketing for Nike, Revlon, and Estee Lauder Swan Sit 

The inescapable hype of NFT was everywhere at SXSW, and if you haven’t read our first blog on the NFT space, check it out here.

Swan offered a unique take on NFTs from her fortuitous marketing experience. NFTs are about more than a highly lucrative creative opportunity, they’re also about being part of a cultural movement. When Adidas launched their series of NFTs, they became part of the conversation surrounding a technology that may very well become the largest tool for financial democratization in our lifetime. 

NFTs aren’t just a savvy financial move. By stepping into this space, the creator becomes a part of this legacy.


Performance Royalties with PRS Chairman Nigel Elderton, Songtrust President Molly Neuman, Multi-Platinum Selling Songwriter Pamela Sheyne, and Cliff Fluet of Lewis Silkin LLP

In this expert panel, industry veterans described the history and current state of public performance royalties which have long been a critically important income stream for songwriters and rights holders. 

PRS, founded in 1914, and the other PROs have continually worked to adapt to the state of music consumption from sheet music to phonograph, to radio, to TV and film, to CD and MP3s, and on and on. At each juncture, they’ve had to grapple with a new set of rules as copyright law catches up and adapts. 

Currently, PRS is working to manage exponential growth in the volume of music usage that they process, which is doubling every year, as well as the ever fragmenting landscape of where music is used. Last year they processed 22 trillion lines of data, which Nigels says puts them about on par with Visa.

PROs have never been equipped to deal with that much data, so PRS has partnered with Swedish and German PROs STEM and GEMA, to develop ICE, international copyright enterprises, to process this massive amount of data. Also in development is ICE Cube, a multi transactional database for licensing multiple rights across multiple databases

For more information on ICE, which bills itself as “the world’s first integrated licensing and processing hub,” check out the PRS’s write up here.


AI and the Necessity of a Strong Human Component with MIT Professor Rene Richardson Gosline

Career title name shared a visceral and timely message of warning with her audience with regards to technology’s race to a completely “frictionless” life, which relies more and more on the algorithm to make our choices for us. Her talk, titled “In Praise of Friction”, explored how, thanks to the algorithms in the apps that power our day to day lives, we make decisions very quickly as information is rapidly presented at our fingertips. As we shift to impulse driven thinking and lose more of the slow thinking processes that once constituted the norm, the algorithm gains more and more power in determining the course of humanity as a whole. 

This fact becomes dangerous because of implicit bias present in all artificial intelligence. As algorithms decided who received ventilators and who didn’t during the worst days of the Covid pandemic, Professor Richardson remains grateful that the algorithm did not determine her own fate. Growing up an economically disadvantaged woman of color, she says that AI would not have considered her a logical candidate to achieve the success that she has. 

Diffusion of responsibility is the end result of a system where AI plays too great of a rule, a situation in which humans can make unethical choices based on input from an algorithm and never experience the personal responsibility that would drive them to make the correct choice – e.g. “I just did what the computer said”.

Professor Richardson voiced that AI certainly has the power to enrich our lives when used in the proper capacity, but systems of checks and balances must be put into place to preserve the humanity of our world.

Friday, 25 March 2022
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