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Useful Instructions



Record in Iceland is a promotional effort run by Iceland Music, a public export office for Icelandic music, in collaboration with Promote Iceland, the Foreign Service Office and Reykjavik Music City. The project is funded by the Ministry of Industry and Innovation.

Producers can apply for reimbursements from the State Treasury for 25% of the costs incurred in the recording of music in Iceland.
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Music aggregators
It is important for composers to be aware of the flow of revenue from streaming services. In this connection, a distinction must be made between payment for publishing rights (which is a payment for the use of a specific record with a specific performer, often referred to as a master's right) and payment for copyright (for the use of the song itself, regardless of who recorded it). and who carries it).

Who handles the digital distribution?
The copyright holder is the only one who can authorize the digital distribution of the work. Sometimes the question arises as to who owns the publishing rights. It can be a special publishing company, the author, the performer or the band. The question is really who pays the recording costs? Here in Iceland, about 80% of all releases are the own version of the musicians in question, which is an unusually high percentage. This means that the musician in question is paid for the same stream on the one hand as an author and on the other hand as a publisher.

It is then the publishing agreement between the publisher and the performers that determines what the publisher receives a large part of the revenue from the stream and how much the performers receive. A publishing contract is usually made with the main performer or performers in the case of a band, but other performers i.e. so-called additional performers are paid for participation in recordings with a single payment.

If a band releases the work together or as a whole, they as the publisher must make a publishing agreement with the members as performers, so that it is clear what each member gets paid for the stream e.g. in cases where he quits the band.

The role of aggregators
Most streaming companies do not accept work directly from publishers unless it is a much larger publisher worldwide. The utilities make it a condition that publishers use so-called aggregators or intermediaries to deliver works to them. These intermediaries then charge either a specific amount (lump sum) for each uploaded work and then a renewal fee or a specific percentage of revenue from the stream. For copyright, however, authors receive payment from streaming services through copyright organizations such as STEF.

One Icelandic broker is active, but the publisher Alda Music also undertakes to distribute the electronic material of others. Other servers are e.g. Tune Core, CD Baby, Phonofile, DistroKid, Reverbnation, Mondotunes, Ditto and The Orchard to name a few.

In the same way, they offer very different services in terms of marketing, contract validity and it may be different which streaming service providers they put content on. For example, Tune Core offers very little service other than uploading content to music providers and charges a fixed annual fee. Phonofile offers more services and takes 20% of revenue. The Orchard, on the other hand, selects partners who can be publishers or musicians and at the same time markets the content it distributes. There is a lot of material available online on how to find the right server that is good to look at because it can be difficult and costly to change servers later. Links to the songs in question usually become inactive during such exchanges and counters start counting again how often the song in question has been streamed. It is also important to make sure you write the correct titles of the songs in question and to choose the final title for them immediately, but spelling mistakes can be costly.

Revenue from music aggregators
The total turnover of the digital music market in 2016 was around ISK 630 to 640 million. and in 2017 there were about 60,000 paying subscribers to Spotify in Iceland. 60% of music sales in Iceland today are now digital.

Revenue from streaming is usually divided as follows:

VAT is 11%. STEF then usually receives 12% of the income from traditional music providers. The distributor or broker takes up to 20% of the issuer's share, which the issuer then shares with the carriers according to Art. provisions of the publishing agreement. In the year 2017, the publisher and performers were jointly receiving from 363 - 545 ISK. of each ISK 1,200. yearbook on Spotify.

So what does one play on Spotify yield?

In total, authors, performers and publishers received around ISK 1 for each play in Iceland in 2017. This is a somewhat lower percentage if the play takes place at Spotify abroad.

Digital marketing
How can I increase revenue from streaming e.g. on Spotify?

When the streaming services began to enter the music market, we thought that access to older versions, which are often unavailable in stores, would be greatly improved, and at the same time revenue from such works would increase. It later emerged that only the first part of this resolution was well-founded. Accessibility as such increased, but at the same time users seem to have a very limited interest in these older works. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule e.g. in the case of specific sectors such as heavy metal, but in general users seem to have relatively little interest in devoting time to searching for the works of specific authors or performers. We know that 55% of the music streamed on Spotify is streamed by playlists and that 8-10% of the works on offer are 90% streamed. In addition, income from works that cannot be synchronized with the databases of copyright organizations and income from streams that do not reach the minimum allocation return to the pot, which means that larger parties receive an even larger share of the income. Consumers' patterns of use of music providers mean that those who have works that reach the top list are reaping a good harvest, while others are left behind. It must not be forgotten, however, that the same can be said in many respects about radio and television, where the window is small and only a small part of the works on offer are played at a time. However, this consumption of radio, television and music is very different from traditional record sales, which have been declining with increased access via streaming. It must not be forgotten that just as it is important for sales figures where the album is placed in the store, authors, performers and publishers need to work systematically with the music providers. You can not upload the music and then just wait for the revenue. In addition to traditional marketing, there are many things that can be done to influence the flow of music. The main tools are the interaction of these providers with social media and the dissemination of information and links to music providers to the musician's fans. Then the musician himself can create playlists and share them with his fans. Musicians can also work together on such projects. On the following page you can find some good advice in this regard:

Here are some good tips from María Rut Reynisdóttir on how best to market the music digitally, because putting the song on streaming services is just the beginning. Then the real work of getting it played begins.

Using social media alone is not enough to spread the music.

The musician must also have his own website in order to better control the flow of information.

Mailing lists are one of the most important tools in the coffin. You own the mailing list and do not have to rely on third parties such as Facebook to charge for advertising.

You can collect email addresses e.g. by donating content instead.

Gadgets or "widgets" can be useful - they encourage fan activity.

In the beginning, it is important to realize that music videos on YouTube have three different categories of rights.

- The footage
- The song
- The recording

If musicians upload videos with their own music, they will only be paid for the content (if using the AdSense service). In order to also get paid for the recording and the song, the music must have gone to YouTube through someone who is part of the "partner program" YouTube. Only the largest publishing companies have such access themselves, but others use aggregators.

When the music has entered YouTube correctly with all the information about the work, a control file is created which is run together with all other footage and if it turns out that others have used the recording and the song with their footage, the owner of the recording will also be paid for such use.

The owner of the recording must pay part of the income he receives in this way from YouTube with performers according to publishing agreement in the same way as from other streaming income. STEF then pays lawmakers separately according to STEF's agreement with YouTube.

Viewings that take place before the control file is created and the work is recorded through a YouTube server are not paid for. It is therefore important to consider these issues BEFORE uploading the footage to the provider, as the highest viewing is usually shortly after it is uploaded.

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