A few common challenges that composers and creatives face when it comes to their finances are volume, (a lack of) transparency, and accessibility on their income streams. That’s what three leading people in the industry argue. During the Smart Income, Smart Money panel, Marcel A. Wiebenga, Nitzan Hoffman, and James Jones Jr. presented their knowledge about managing different income streams in the best way. Let these smart data, technology, machine learning, and data science experts guide you through your financial process with their solutions.
1. James Jones, Esq. is the Co-Founder and CEO of UseBump.com, a company that started when his musician father couldn’t precisely grasp how much money he was making off his music while touring and performing at various churches. ‘The number of creators is rapidly growing, as well as their income. That applies to musicians, composers, and content creators on YouTube and Tiktok. The lack of accurate revenue tracking means creators are denied loans and credits from traditional banks. They’re placed in the category of being risky. Bump gives creators full visibility into their financials across all platforms, helping them make the right business decisions, unlocking access to capital, and prioritizing the greatest levers for growth. We track the creator’s total revenue and provide them with automated credit.’
‘So, as we’re beginning to move from an economy that has been powered by small businesses to one that is increasingly being powered by individuals, we have a responsibility to assure that creators succeed. We’re teaming up with Mastercard, Buma Music in Motion, and Snapchat to ensure that and work with creators worldwide.’
2. Marcel Alexander Wiebenga is Co-founder and Partner at Howl. Creative Music Strategy + Execution, a music agency that works for brands and advertising agencies, besides being the official representative for Hypnosis in the Benelux. Last year, Wiebenga also started the company, Ringo, together with Nicholas van den Doel. Ringo is a business-to-business music for media procurement platform.
‘In 2020, the entire music for media market was worth four billion dollars with an average of one million placements. A report from Goldman Sachs came out that shows we’re dealing with an eight-billion-dollar market in 2030. At the moment, we have a very inefficient system. The question is, why is that? As a producer at an advertising agency, you have about three roles: managing budgets, timings, and expectations. Every commercial production starts with track suggestions that might be or are not licensed. If there are ten songs, you have a problem as the producer.’
‘Doing a manual feasibility check means you lose a lot of time. The same goes for rights holders, who spend an average of three hours on one track. The conversion rate is less than 5%, by our research. We see that as waste. We want to make sync operations effortless and accessible by automating them. We’re doing that by providing people with on-demand feasibility checks. We’re the world’s first independent sync metadata access point.’
3. Nitzan Hoffmann has been an active touring musician and studio engineer for almost twenty years and is currently working as a project manager at FXR [fixer]. She sees a huge problem in the music industry. ‘We notice a lot of frustration on the composer’s side. As an artist and creator, different organisations collect income (mechanical-, performance-, neighbouring- rights, publishing, master etc.) for you from different royalty sources.. And it’s a valid question: are you getting paid correctly? But there is no simple answer.’
‘Some registrations go wrong or are forgotten. Collecting the royalty income is even more complicated. Your affiliations collect your money for you from all over the world. A lack of standardisation and transparency in the industry is still resulting in data-collecting problems and money “disappearing” into the black box. If you have a lot of time on your hands, you could go through all your different portals and manually compare your statements and look for inconsistencies. That is where FXR comes in: we give you one portal where you can submit all your statements and give you a clear overview of your entire catalog containing all these different income streams.’