Streaming makes ‘cents’ for musicians

(From left) Kathryn Waugh, Janet Baker, Amy Eligh, David Quilico and Ralph Singh speaking at an Oshawa Music Week event. Photo credit: Fiona Campbell

Television may have killed the radio star, but streaming services trample them all.

That was a sentiment delivered by a panel of music industry insiders at Oshawa Music Week on April 6 at the “Money for your Music” event where listeners got insight into where the big bucks are in the industry.

The summit, consisting of three industry panels, was held at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery as part of Oshawa Music Week run by Durham College’s Music Business Management program.

Speaking to a full house, the “Money for Your Music” panel covered music publishing and the future of the industry.

The five-person panel was run by music publishing professionals Janet Baker, Amy Eligh, David Quilico, Ralph Singh and host Kathyrn Waugh.

Companies such as the one Eligh works for help pair new artists and songwriters with professionals who assist with song writing and sound. Eligh, who is director of publishing and licensing at Arts and Crafts Music Inc., stressed the importance of keeping in touch after these sessions or three-day writing camps are done.

“Bring your A-game to the session, we just introduce you. You need to bridge those relationships after it’s over,Eligh explained.

Once a song is done, the next question is where to take it and who to take it to.

According to vicepresident of publishing at Sony/ATV Music Publishing David Quilico, it is up to the artist. Quilico explained songs don’t need to connect with millions of people through popular radio play, they can be successful within a niche.

However, the money isn’t in radio anymore. It’s in online streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu. Specifically, movie trailers, which Eligh describes as the “golden egg” of music publishing.

U.S. film and T.V. love Canadian music due to its unique sound, explains senior director of Film & Television Music Placement at Universal Music Canada, Ralph Singh. Today he said most of the U.S. music industry is saturated with rap, whereas the Canadian music industry has more diversity. This makes it desirable to a wider audience.

Touring, music streaming services, and video game placements are among the top paying places for music today, said Janet Baker, director of administration and synchronization licensing at Sony/ATV Music Publishing.

Not all companies recognize the value of her client’s music, she explained.

“We spend a great deal of our lives explaining that this person’s song has value and that no, you can’t get it for free,said Baker.

Video games are a growing part of the industry and are not be overlooked. Audiences discover new music through video games. The more downloads and online plays a game earns, the more money and exposure the artist gets.

Ending the panel, Eligh gave some advice to an eager crowed about getting in touch with a publishing company.

“Send me an email. Add three of your best songs and a brief blurb about you. Most importantly, know who you are and what you want to do,” Eligh explained.

Music Business Management student Mitchell Daniels explained he was impressed with the turnout and the whole week had been a success.

He said he expects next year’s turnout to be just as big if not bigger.