English · Interviews

MUZU.tv – What Can The Music Video Distribution Platform Do For You?

muzu homepage

What is MUZU.TV and how has it come into existence?

MUZU TV (http://www.muzu.tv) is a fully licenced music video distribution platform. We enable Labels, Artists and content producers to create a channel and promote and monetise their videos across the MUZU multi platform network. MUZU’s network covers 22 territories of North America, Central Europe, Latin America and Australasia on desktop, mobile, smart TV and Xbox.

MUZU TV was founded back in 2007 on the back of the issues that Youtube unearthed with copyright. the vision was to support all copyright holders to provide them with a platform and video players to protect their rights and earn revenue from video views, which at the time Youtube was not doing. In 2014 we have over 200,000 licenced video clips being watched by over 11m users and we work with the Major and Indie labels to deliver activity for both new releases and their video archives.

For Music Fans MUZU is a place to watch music videos, build playlists and share content with your friends across the web. By registering you can access your channel and playlists on your PC, Mobile phone, tablet, Smart TV and X Box console. You can sign up to our newsletter to be sent weekly updates on new music and artist promotions as well as follow us on Facebook and Twitter to get daily updates. MUZU is just music and entertainment video focussed where as sites like Youtube have everything and you dont get a ‘pure’ music experience.

How does it work?

Content owners just need to set up a channel on MUZU to get started and upload their videos https://www.muzu.tv/join/?type=industry

Once the content is live they can share it themselves through artist websites and social media pages and contact MUZU for submission for editorial to be featured in New Releases, Our Picks and Iconic features. By uploading videos the content is also automatically distributed through the MUZU network so it is searchable on our parnter websites like Last.FM, Metacafe and NME and our Smart TV and Xbox apps.

MUZU is a premium ad funded business model so content owners earn 50% of the net ad revenue generated from video views wherever the video is watched. Our business model is syndication so premium ads travel with the content.

Our ethos is to work with artists and labels to drive reach and scale around key impact dates for releases and tours and we have a number of promotions that we offer to help promote content: from video premieres, to artist interviews, featured playlists and competitions. By working together to share this activity you drive fan engagement, music discovery and video views which will turn into ad revenue

For Music Fans we recently relaunched our site with new playlist making tools. DJ Mode allows you to continously watch music videos while browsing for more content to put in your playlist. There is also a great recommendations engine working to provide users with music discovery with an auto populate feature. Fans can also enjoy the promotions we set up with labels for new music and competitions.

What are the benefits of using MUZU?

MUZU benefits in many ways: it protects copyright and monetises content; we automatically distribute your content to a network of sites; We enable activity as we want to share new music with our users through our editorial voice that supports established and emerging artists. Labels are able to promote their artists within a music community and share their videos using MUZU players across their networks.

How can it help people who are a part of the music industry, for instance artists and bands?

MUZU is an independent video network. We work with labels to offer additional reach and monetisation to their video content outside of Youtube.com. Most views to Youtube powered videos happen on Youtube via Organic search through Google or as recommendations in the platform. If labels want to get artists featured on the Youtube homepage they need to buy advertising campaigns. They may also find that monetisation off Youtube does not provide premium rates when they share their content across social media

MUZU helps labels and Artists by giving them a music community to promote their content to. It gives them a premiium monetised player to share their content and we offer marketing initiatives to Labels to give them homepage editorial and social media support to give them the incentive to share their videos in our player to drive more views. We enhance the existing activity that Youtube generates naturally and labels can benefit greatly to help drive more activity and conversations for new releases.

How do you want MUZU.TV to develop? What are the future plans?

MUZU is developing alongside the ever evolving digital world. We have new Console apps in production as well as bespoke iOS and Android Apps. Watch this space in 2015

For more information on MUZU go to http://www.muzu.tv

​Follow MUZUTV on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/muzutv

Follow MUZUTV on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/muzutv

Email us info@muzu.tv

by Sara Shirazi

English · Interviews

Interview with Marc Friedman – Entertainment Lawyer South Africa

Antionette Cronje, Music2Deal representative (South Africa), asked Marc Friedman some questions regarding issues, such as copyright, publishing, licencing, needletime and how these issues are addressed in South Africa.

 If you want more detail on any of the questions below, you can contact Marc on Music2Deal at the following link: http://bit.ly/RWkh3e

 What advice can you give songwriters when they’re approach with a publishing deal for a song? What is the most critical point to look out for in a publishing contract?

 The most important aspects are the TERM OF THE DEAL and the SHARE OF REVENUE.  Sometimes publishers will present a deal that expects the composer to assign the composition for the life of copyright.  This is not the industry standard anymore; anyone can usually negotiate that the terms if for 3 to 5 years with a retention period in certain instances.  Also the revenue shares needn’t necessarily be 50/50, depending on the status of the composer and the level of effort on the part of the publisher, i.e. where the publisher is more active, they will expect a bigger share of the revenue.

What are the possible pitfalls when an artist has been approach for synch licensing deal?

Does the licensee want the piece of music in an exclusive or non-exclusive basis?  If exclusive, one should ask for a very large fee, one should never have to assign the work and should look out for words such as “BUY YOU OUT”, which suggest an assignment.  One should also ask that once can still earn public performance royalties and that the Licensee will fill out cue sheets to enable this.

Why do some publishers, who have a music catalogue or library, want to change the name of the songs, when an artist signs a publishing deal with them?

You would have to check with the publisher on this point, but it could be to try and distinguish them from similar hits with a similar or identical title.

How does changing the name of the song by the publisher of a music library impact the songwriter?

There shouldn’t be an effect of this, provided any collection society is appraised of this change to avoid confusion.

To qualify for live performance royalties, a band has to complete a live performance royalty form and submit it to SAMRO. If 3 of the band members are new to the band and are not registered as songwriters of the songs performed live, are they entitled to live performance royalties?

SAMRO (the South African Music Right Organisation) would have to clarify this, but I suspect they are entitled to collect these royalties, but the fact that they are not registered is an administrative issue for SAMRO and that these royalties may be able to be held by SAMRO until they are registered.

If an artist wants to record a cover of a chart topping hit, does he/she need to get permission from the original artist?

No.  The South African Copyright Act makes provision for a compulsory mechanical license in respect of any song previously recorded in South Africa.  This is provided that it is an identical cover.  If one changes any word, music or structure, one needs permission.

In short, what is needle time and when does an artist qualify for needle time?

Needletime is the public performance royalty, which is paid when a recording is played in public, i.e. on the radio, at a venue etc.  Needletime has always been in our Copyright Act, but has not been practiced for a number of years.  About a decade ago, it was agreed that this would be re-introduced in South Africa, but the broadcasters and music industry are still haggling over what rates should be paid by the broadcasters for the use, so it is not being paid yet.  The general sentiment is that the needletime on any recording should be shared equally between the copyright owner (who paid for it) and performers who participated in the recording.

Who owns the mechanical rights to a song?

Copyright in South Africa vests in the party who wrote it.  The mechanical right (i.e. the right to allow the song to be recorded or reproduced is just one of the rights that copyright reserves for the owner).  Copyright sits with the composer, unless it is assigned to another party in writing.

If band XYZ wants to record a song for their album and the song was offered to XYZ for re-recording by the original songwriter (who is not a member of the band), does the band have to pay any set fee for re-recording the song?

The agreed mechanical royalty rate is 6.76 % of the PPD price of a CD, although models are developing for the digital industry, where rates are often calculated on the retain price (rather than PPD, which is the wholesale price)

When entering an agreement with a management company, what percentage of the band’s income can the band expect to part with?

This would depend on the nature of the relationship (what the manager does), the status of the manager and the band, but I would say it could be in a range from 15 – 25 % with a further debate as to whether this is calculated on gross (the amount payable to the band) or net (once expenses have been deducted).

Interviewed by Antionette Cronje