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Blog #1

Hello fellow musicians and lovers of music.


 Most of you (if not all of you) know that being successful in the music industry is extremely challenging. Today I would like to talk about the different streaming services that new musicians can use to help push forward their careers as well as some companies that work along with them.


In the last decade streaming music has become one of the most common ways to collect and listen to music. Companies like Pandora, Spotify, Soundcloud, Band Camp, etc. have grown in popularity because of how cheap their services are. People would rather listen to Pandora for free than pay $15 for a CD. However, if everyone is getting music for free, how are the artists getting paid? Some of you may say that they get plenty of money through ticket sales and merchandise but you would be wrong. Unless you're Beyoncé or Justin Bieber most of those profits are going strait back to the record label. 








So how are the artist getting paid you ask? Well they are paid royalty fees from companies like BMI (Broadcast Music Inc.), SESAC, and ASCAP. These companies go to streaming services like Pandora, as well as many other areas of music use, to retrieve annual fees in order to pay royalties to their songwriters. Within the last couple of years, Pandora attempted to reduce the royalties they paid songwriters and publishers by taking BMI and ASCAP to court. Ultimately, both BMI and ASCAP prevailed against Pandora. As a result, Pandora now pays a higher rate than was previously offered during settlement discussions (Investors Business Daily, 2015).


Streaming is not the only source of royalty income that BMI and ASCAP generates. Currently, I am working a temporary assignment at BMI’s Nashville office in the Licensing Department. I have learned through my assignment that there are many different types of music use that can be licensed. My job is to call different restaurants, bars, hotels, gyms, and venues to find out what types of music they provide. When I talk to these companies I ask questions about the type of music they have, the nights they have music, the occupancy of their building, if there is a cover charge to enter, and what artist is playing next. All these things are combined to get a final annual fee that is then sent to the business. Anything from a jukebox to karaoke to full bands can be licensed by BMI and ASCAP. It is these fees, when paid, that become royalties for the songwriters. Other sources of royalties collected, come from things like radio, television, cable, and traditional internet uses. (youtube, myspace, facebook, snapchat, amazon, google, apple, etc.).


So what do you guys think, Is it fair that streaming services charge so little for the music they provide or should music be valued higher in today’s culture?

Post June 12th, 2016





Investors Business Daily. 12/23/2015, pA02. 1p.

Blog #2

Hello fellow film and music lovers.

Recently I have been finishing up my studies at Full Sail University and have been thinking about my goals and aspirations for after I graduate. I am currently in the process of taking the second level (operator level) of AVID's ProTools certification tests and through studying for the 201 certification test I started to wonder how prepared I was for not only this test, but for what is to come after I'm finished with my schooling. I guess this blog post will be a little bit about me as well as my experience here at Full Sail University, and about what my dreams are for after I graduate.


Just a warning, I'm only speaking to my experience in the Recording Arts Program and can't speak to other programs at Full Sail.

First of all, Full Sail is a great University that does a lot of things write, but just like any other universities it has some things to work on. Full Sail goes about it's schooling in a very abnormal way compared to most American Universities. To understand some of the things I'm going to be discussing, you will need to understand how this program works. The Recording Arts program lasts 20 months and is a full Bachelors of Science Degree program. Each class at Full Sail lasts a month long (4 weeks as it doesn't always line up exactly with the start and end of each month) and the classes you take are the classes that everyone in that major takes, so there is no adding, dropping, or changing classes. Throughout the program you will have either one or two classes for that month and that is it. Now each teacher has a different way that they set up that class but for the most part the classes are set up one of two ways. One, each week you have one large assignment that you work towards with small quizes and testes spread out throughout the week, or two, there is one large project that you focus on the whole month with small assignments that may take you 15 minutes to do daily. Obviously there are some exceptions to this but for the most part this will be how the classes at Full Sail operate. This university is very serious about preparing it's students for the real world so they have some programs and rules set up to reflect how the entertainment industry works. For one Full Sail is very strict with the attendance of its students. Like many other Universities, you can fail at Full Sail for both attendance and grades. If you fail for grades you will be forced to retake the class but do not have to pay to retake it for the first time; however, if you fail for attendance you have to pay to retake the class which usually cost somewhere between $4,500 and $6,500. How does attendance work? Well at FullSail you either get 6 or 8 hours to miss for each class depending on the amount of contact hours each class contains. There are two ways to get marked out for attendance. The first is through missing a lecture or lab and two is through missing and ILA (Integrated Learning Activity) assignment (most lectures are 2 hours, labs 4 hours, and ILAs 2 hours).  Full Sail does not have on campus living, meal plans, or people to look after you like many colleges do for freshman and sophomores. Full Sail is all about being a professional that can take care of yourself and your work in the real world.

This setup works very well  in a lot of ways. The way the classes are set up, each one builds off of the last which really helps you to solidify what you previously learned. Full Sail also has a Project and Portfolio program which I believe is essential to students and their success. However, I have seen far to many students get through the program without really learning anything because they choose to rely on their fellow classmates for far to much, as well as many students who fail just because they don’t have the motivation to get up and go to class. While the work load at Full Sail is heavy they also teach it in a way that makes it easy for anyone to pass without really learning anything as long as they just do the work. One of the biggest Issues I have with the recording arts program is how heavily they focus on the music aspect of audio and how little we get to work with audio for video games and film comparatively (I'm also partially biased on this topic mostly because we missed half of one of the two film classes due to hurricane IRMA). My biggest issue overall with Full Sail though has to be with our final mixing class which also doubles as our Project and portfolio 4 class.

 This class was set up in an extremely detrimental way. Throughout that class you are given the song that you recorded in the studios the previous month to mix. Every two days you are supposed to get your mixed checked by one of the lab instructors. They give you revisions to make to the mix and you get checked again for the final mix by the lecture teacher at the end of the month. Well mixing in general is a very biased activity so even if the lab instructors helps you out and they say its great and exactly what they like, your final grade could still be failing because the final product doesn't match with the lecture teachers vision for the project. This is not only counter productive, but unrealistic. In the industry the only person who's opinion matters is the guy that is signing the paycheck. If he is happy with it then you did your job correctly but by giving us 5 different people to get it checked by and never letting the guy in charge check it you are already set up for failure. All that said, I learned a lot during my time at FullSail.

However, Learning a lot is not the question of this blog post. The questions is, did Full Sail prepare me for the real world? After all, that's what the program is made to do. Well, the answer is yes. Full Sail has given me all the tools I need to be successful in the entertainment industry. However, that doesn't mean that I will be. Most Full Sail graduates expect everything to be easy after they graduate, but I know that the journey has just begun and I 'm going to have to work harder than ever to get the where I want to be.

Where do I want to be? Well I want to be apart of it all. In ten years I want to have worked on a major Hollywood Film, Written, Recorded, and Mixed and Full EP or Album, and done the sound for a successful indie video game. What comes first well? I'm hoping to start in post production but am willing to start wherever my first opportunity takes me. All I can control is how hard I work and how well I do my job, and as long as I do that anything can happen. 

Post October 18th, 2017

Blog #3 Video Podcast



Post November 2nd, 2017

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